Wallet-size Clickfree Traveler promises backup while you're on the road

Storage Appliance is launching its Clickfree Traveler backup device today that is just about the size of a credit card but stores up to 64 gigabytes of data. That means it can probably back up most of the data you have on a laptop or netbook computer.

The Toronto company (which raised $10 million this week) bills it as the world’s smallest, totally automatic PC backup device. All you do is plug it into a universal serial bus (USB) port on a computer and it automatically starts backing it up. The company is also introducing Clickfree DVD Transformer today, a device that can back up data to optical disks. Both are available May 7 and are both PC and Mac compatible. A 16-gigabyte version sells for $99.99, a 32-gigabyte version sells for $149.99, and a 64-gigabyte version sells for $249.99. The DVD Transformer cells for $39.99.

The Clickfree Traveler doesn’t need any software installation. It copies all sorts of data, including documents (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), Outlook email and contacts, photos, video, music and even favorite websites. The devices are aimed at mobile professionals, photographers, graphic artists and financial planners. Those are the sorts of people who would be horrified if they lost a presentation or portfolio, but anybody could benefit from safe and easy backup.

The system lets you back up multiple computers without worry that the data will be mixed up. It has a summary of all the files backed up. You can easily browse through them. And restoring data is pretty simple as well.

The products are available at Best Buy, Office Max, QVC, Kmart, Walgreens, Ultimate Electronics, Cord Camera and Amazon.com as well as Clickfree’s site. Rivals include Seagate’s new Replica backup system, but Seagate doesn’t sell anything this small. Also, the Clickfree folks say that Clickfree uses a file-based backup, rather than an image-based backup like Seagate. A file-based solution is more useful because it can back up just pieces of what you have stored, while the image-based system means you back everything up. When it comes time to restore an image-based system, you restore the whole thing.

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