Safeguard says users of the Interactive Backup online storage service can back up information automatically over the Internet to a remote storage facility the company maintains in Pittsburgh. The company charges $29.95 for the software and $9.95 a month for unlimited storage.
In the market for backup storage, Safeguard joins a company called Atrieva, which offers a similar online storage service but is mainly distributed online and through ISPs. Safeguard will be sold in retail stores.
Online storage services will be competing to take away sales from hardware storage devices such as Iomega's Zip drive and SyQuest's EzFlyer by appealing to market segments where a hardware device is less convenient. Notebook users, for instance, can back up files from any location without carrying a separate drive and cartridge. Other users include graphics professionals who don't want to keep track of large numbers of disks but need to routinely save critical work files.
Instead of storing data on removable cartridges, Interactive Backup users tell the software which files need backing up and when the files should be automatically saved. The modem then transmits the compressed and encrypted data to Safeguard's data center. When users need to access lost data, they click on a button and the information is automatically restored.
The company says data is securely stored because it is sent using "military grade" key encryption technology. Once at Safeguard, redundant copies of data are stored in a secured building.
Safeguard's software runs on Windows 95 or Windows NT machines. The software is being sold at retail locations such as Best Buy and CompUSA, as well as through catalog retailers such as PC Connection and PCZone.