Carbonite, the imperial solution to holding Han Solo, is now also a secure way of backing up your files online.
This week, Carbonite Online PCbackup, a leader in the residential consumer market in the US and Canada, has released plans to market an Australian version of the product to local shores.
Carbonite is an unlimited service that uses incremental backup technology to backup files over the web. It's said to be easy to use and completely automatic, working in the background and claims to not slow down your PC unlike some software clients of a similar nature.
Although there was a little confusion amongst the press at this week's launch regarding the differences between an archiving and a backup service, international vice president Floyd Bradley was adamant that the Carbonite product is a "backup service, not an archiving service" and should be seen as something of a "mirror of your hard disk".
Similar products that specifically archive already exist on the local market, so Carbonite is trying an unlimited service for $59.95 a year to attract local customers who are unfamiliar with backing up their files. A free 30 day trial is offered on their website to new users.
And for those customers who are worried about data protection, Carbonite uses a 1024 bit blowfish encryption key, whilst the encrypted key to your personal data is stored in secure segregated servers to minimise data fraud. Carbonite is unique that in that it is hard keyed to the users PC serial number, using a non- standard executable file that remembers a person's individual PC and requires data to be only uploaded/downloaded from this unique address. You also have the option to transfer the security licence to other computers, should you change your computer or purchase a new unit in the future.
Carbonite currently stores over 3.1 billion files and is looking at a range of co-marketing opportunities with some of the big Australian ISPs in the future. The issue of lower download caps in the Australian market - which could potentially slow the customers ability to backup a large amount of data - was addressed by Carbonite executives at the launch, and is something that the company is eager to address in the near future.
Carbonite predicts that over 50% of computers will be using online backup technology over the next five years. However, we believe that it might be difficult for customers to be weened off using cheap external hard drives as a potential alternative so soon.
Bradley argues that online backup technologies were free of the problems that can affect many removable drives, such as hardware failure, damage to hardware from fire/power surges and the chance of physical theft. Bradley said that the best part with online backups was that it meant a customer's data would always up to date and ready to use.
Carbonite Australia will be initially available via the Web, and will also be available from retailers as of this month.