Backblaze offers truly no-hassle online backups
Unlike most applications where items to be backed up must be manually added by the user, Backblaze works by automatically excluding the junk it knows you don't really want to back up anyway. Gleb from the Backblaze team explained it like this:
"The reason we took this approach was that most users would get stuck at the "pick what files and folders to backup" step. They either didn't know how to navigate the file system (try finding your PST file), or their files were not organized, or they just didn't have time."
By default it won't back up operating system, application, or temp files, and you can add any other exclusions you like via the settings screen.
Now, if you're like me and confined to 30kbps upload your initial backup is going to take a while - four days in my case. Once it's done, Backblaze keeps things efficiently in synch by performing differential backups. Your data is encrypted prior to uploading, transmitted securely via HTTPS, and users that demand added security can add their own private key.
To restore or view your backup history, simply log in to the web site. Restores can be downloaded as .zip archives, or you can have them sent to you on DVD or an external hard drive - both options are a little pricey, but it is a disaster recovery service, after all.
I was very satisfied with how it backed up my wife's laptop with no configuration changes. Sure, some unneeded files were uploaded, but I can easily remedy that by setting up a few custom exclusions.
The service is reasonably priced at $5/month or $50/year for unlimited storage, and would make a nice Christmas gift for your more forgetful friends. After all, it may save you the hassle of having to help them out with data recovery later.
To see if Backblaze is a good fit for you, grab the application from their site and sign up for a trial account. It's publicly available for Windows, but Mac uses can request an invite.