clickfree-logoStorage Appliance, maker of the Clickfree brand of external backup and storage devices, said today its products are being sold at 21 top retailers across North America.

The move is impressive because it’s pretty rare for a hardware startup to gain traction in a market against entrenched competitors such as Seagate and Western Digital.

Retailers selling the Clickfree devices now include American TV, Best Buy, Beach Camera, Bernie’s, BrandsMart, Dell, Electronic Express, hhGregg, JC Penney, Kmart, Kerr Drugs MicroCenter, Office Depot, Willoughbys, and in Canada, Blacks, Future Shop, London Drugs, Sears, The Sony Store, The Source, and Vistek.

The Toronto, Canada-based company makes universal serial bus (USB) backup devices that you just plug into your computer in order to activate a backup. You don’t have to install any software. It just works. It’s also simple to restore data. I’ve used Clickfree to restore my data after a hard drive failed on a laptop. It can be a life saver. The company makes everything from wallet-size traveler’s backup devices to full hard drive backups. Rivals include Seagate, Western Digital and a variety of other companies.

The consumer backup market has grown more than 400 percent in the past couple of years, but more than 80 percent of home PC users still don’t do regular backups, said Bryan McLeod, chief executive of Storage Appliance. Consumer storage is expected to grow six-fold to a terabyte from 2009 to 2013, according to Parks Associates. That’s because everybody is saving a lot of video, photos and music.

Storage Appliance was founded in 2005 and raised $10 million in May. Investors include Jefferson & Partners.