Data Deposit Box provides an online backup service, which enables you to backup your computer to their online storage space.
Backing up your computer is always a very smart thing to do. Most people don’t, and for those that eventually have a hard drive crash, or some other computer failure, it’s brutal. Losing stuff on your computer sucks, especially since we continue to put more and more stuff on there. A good example is digital pictures. How many of you have hundreds of pictures on your computer with no backup? Computer dies and that’s a lot of lost memories…
Online backup can make a lot of sense for the less tech savvy among us. Very few of us backup to extra hard drives and the such, so online backup is a good alternative.
I’ve seen other online backup services before, but I’ve never tried them. Data Deposit Box takes a different approach from most that I’ve looked at; whereby it’s backing up on-the-fly as files are being changed, when you’re not using the computer. So when your computer is idle, Data Deposit Box kicks in and backs things up.
Google Desktop Search works in a similar fashion, where it indexes/crawls your computer when it’s idle. It’s a smart feature on Data Deposit Box’s part because it means once you’ve installed their software you don’t have to worry about it anymore. It should keep backing up without you having to remember to do it at given intervals, etc.
Signing up was easy. There’s a 14-day free trial, so you can experiment with it and see if you like it. Installing their software on my computer was easy as well.
Since the first backup is going to be the biggest, I let it run overnight. The next morning I logged into the Admin area on the Data Deposit Box website.
Restoring a file seems simple enough. Click the filename and download it. So if you delete a file by accident or your computer mucks up on you, the files are always available.
One of Data Deposit Box’s neat features is that you can share files with others. It’s straightforward, and the result is a link you can distribute (password-protected if you want) so others can access files. Although this isn’t the easiest way in the world to share and distribute files it could work nicely in a few circumstances. For example, for sharing big files, especially with a group of people. There are services like DropSend which allow you to email big files, but Data Deposit Box’s alternative isn’t a bad one at all.
In my test I backed up 950 MB. Price-wise, they charge $2/month per GB, so I’m not even at that price point. Of course, I’ve only backed up some files, not my entire computer, but still, I’d guess most people could pay anywhere from $2-$10/month for their service.
I do have 2 major concerns when it comes to a service like this:
- What Happens if the Company Disappears?
These are not unfamiliar concerns when you talk about Software as a Service (SAAS) vendors, and when you’re looking to backup your desktop (which almost certainly has confidential information) you have to be careful. Data Deposit Box does address security concerns in their FAQ. Very few companies ever address the issue of disappearing (cause that’d be pretty scary for everyone involved!) but it’s a question that you do see crop up in the world of SaaS. If Data Deposit Box goes bankrupt and shuts their doors, what happens to your data?
Related to security, Sanjay Parekh reviewed Data Deposit Box (along with other services) and pointed out:
This service has the problem of not allowing for user generated encryption keys. So they could potentially look at your files.
That’s going to scare some people off, and Data Deposit Box should do something to address this type of security concern.
I did a bit more homework to see what others were saying. I found a number of reviews:
- Backing Up with Data Deposit Box (sponsored)
- Data Deposit Box – Backing Up Your Files! (sponsored)
- Feasibility Study: S3 Powered Backup Service
Here are my recommendations:
- Backup your files! Find a solution that works for you and do it.
- Test out Data Deposit Box during their 14-day free trial – try restoring/downloading a file, sharing a file and using a few of their other features. You don’t have to backup everything; just backup a few things and experiment.
- Ping them about your security concerns, if you have any after reading this review.
- Do your own research!