When it comes to backing up your data—be it of a business or personal nature—you cant be too thorough. Backup options such as CDs or DVDs, external hard drives, NAS appliances, or USB sticks offer a partial solution, but these local storage solutions leave your backup data vulnerable to any number of local disasters.
Online storage services, such as Data Deposit Box (www.DataDepositBox.com), from Acpana Business Systems, can help patch the gaps in your backup plans by storing your data safely off-site.
I tested Data Deposit Box over a two week period on two Windows XP desk-tops, a Windows XP notebook, and another notebook running Windows Vista, and the service has impressed me enough during this review period to win me over as a customer.
The cost for Data Deposit Box—two dollars per month for each gigabyte I store—runs a bit higher on a dollar per gigabyte scale than other online storage providers out there, but these options tend to charge per computer, which can get pricey if youre backing up multiple systems.
Data Deposit Box accounts may be shared by multiple users running multiple computers, and the account holder may choose whether to extend full or restricted access to those using the account.
To compare, Mozy.com offers non-commercial users two GB per month for free, and "unlimited" storage for $4.95 per month.
For business users, Mozy.com charges, $3.95 per month per machine plus $0.50 per gigabyte per month. Carbonite.com will sell you unlimited backup space for your PC for a year for $49.95. MediaMax.com will give you 25 gigs of storage free, 100 gigs for $4.95/month, or a terabyte for $29.95/month.
Stacked up against these pricing structures, Data Deposit Box may be a bad choice for backing up or sharing your gigabytes of multimedia files—consider another service for that—but Data Deposit Box is ideal for small business networks or individual professionals with multiple PCs.
The Data Deposit Box backup client software is only available for Windows 95 and later, so the service wont fit well with Macintosh or Linux systems.
Getting started with Data Deposit Box is easy to do—I simply visited the services Web site at www.datadepositbox.com, signed up for the service, then downloaded and in-stalled a client application on my test machine.
The Backup client updates itself automatically, each time it connects.
All four of the Windows machines with which I tested were running Check Point Softwares ZoneAlarm fire-wall/security suite, and I had to make sure that the Data Deposit Box client was authorized to communicate through this firewall.
Also, I had to establish that the backup client was clear to launch itself upon startup of my test systems. On my Vista machine, this meant acting on the "Programs waiting for startup approval" notice that appeared on Vistas tray following installation of the backup client.