Whenever I try to backup my computer files online, I get tripped up somehow. It’s inexplicably complicated, with most products unable to backup all my files simply — and to keep on doing that over time.
That’s probably why 94 percent of computer users don’t back up their files regularly (once a day or more), according to a Harris Interactive survey.
Some new products like Mozy and Carbonite are getting pretty good. They’re affordable and back up online, but you still need to point them to which files you want downloaded. Carbonite, for example, defaults to backing up the files in your “My Documents” folder.
Backblaze, a new Silicon Valley company (Palo Alto, Calif.), today launches a product that makes it all dead simple. Backblaze backs up every file, regardless of where it is on your computer — though it does, like other products, necessarily skip over the files that aren’t easily copyable, for example your Windows directory, programs and applications, your recycle bin and cache and temp files. Finally, it passes over any file that is 4 gigabytes or greater.
You download the software, and it starts backing up all your files online in the background. It backs it all up to its data center, and if your computer ever crashes, you can restore everything again. You can also order a DVD or a USB harddrive with your files on it. Warning: It can take up to a week to back everything up if you’ve got a lot of files.
What I like about this product is its easy interface. If you create new files, it starts backing those up too, and will tell in the background — via its online dashboard — how many files it has left to backup.
It is $5 a month, for unlimited backup, and you can have several computers backed up to one account.
Here’s a demo of how it works: https://www.backblaze.com/launchv1
It’s run by Gleb Budman, chief executive and cofounder, who earlier founded MailFrontier, an email security company bought by SonicWall for about $31 million. He and his team have worked hard to bring down the various infrastructure costs for running Backblaze, using commodity hardware (Linux boxes instead of IBM, etc), leveraging their homes to do their work. He says he’s brought the cost of storage down to two cents per gigabyte per month, from 15 cents before — and about a third of the cost of Amazon’s storage product. As a result, they’ve minimized capital raised to $1 million in self-funding, he said.