BDS Offers Unlimited Online Backup for Macs

April 27, 2007

The Mac Mozy beta service provides unlimited, secure backup of Mac-based digital media content, including iTunes and iPhoto collections.

Online storage startup Berkeley Data Systems, which only three days earlier announced it had signed General Electric to a multimillion-dollar backup contract, was back in the storage news April 26 with the public beta release of Mac Mozy - a service a BDS spokesperson called the "first unlimited online backup for Macintosh users worldwide."

For $4.95 a month, the hosted service allows Mac users to encrypt and automatically back up all of their digital media content online, including collections from iTunes and iPhoto, the spokesperson said.

"The public beta was built by Mac engineers who understand the needs of the Mac community," said BDS founder and CEO Josh Coates, in American Fork, Utah. "With more than 1,000 participants in our limited beta, we're excited to be the first to embrace the Mac community with this unlimited online backup service."

The company did not say how long the public beta version would remain in operation, but it said it is seeking feedback from users about the software and service.

Intended as a service for individual consumers, Mac Mozy uses Apple's Spotlight Search technology to enable users to select the types of files they want to back up. The service installs quickly and runs quietly in the background; backup speeds vary from user to user, largely determined by the upload speed of the consumer's Internet connection.

Mac Mozy offers an added measure of privacy by allowing its users to choose between a Mozy encryption key and a private encryption key. Incremental backups and block-level differentials are included, which means subsequent backups take much less time than the initial backup.

Mozy's servers also retain the most recent version of a file, as well as 30 days' worth of previously modified file versions. Customers may retrieve files or versions of the files via the Internet or by requesting a DVD restore with next-day delivery, the spokesperson said.

Thanks to the public key setup, the hosting service has no ability to see or affect any of the data being stored in its servers, Coates said. The data stays private at all times.

The company started its regular online backup for individual Windows users last April and now claims to have more than 165,000 customers in that part of the business. It reports an additional 15,000 customers - and said that number is rapidly growing - for its online business backup service, Coates said.

Coates also said the company is in the process of developing an archive service, likely to be announced later in 2007.

Copyright 2007 by Ziff Davis Media, Distributed by United Press International

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