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Backblaze unveils online backup for businesses

Online-backup company Backblaze is betting it will find profits in a new low-cost version of its Web storage service for businesses, entering an increasingly crowded market.

Online-backup company Backblaze (Windows | Mac) announced on Tuesday that it has opened its service up to businesses. Backblaze will charge companies a flat fee of $50 per computer per year.

Backblaze's service mimics other, more popular services like Mozy (Windows | Mac) and Carbonite (Windows). Users need only to download its uploading software to their computers and create an account. Once complete, Backblaze starts backing up the contents of the user's computer to its data center.

Backblaze backs up all files on the computer, except for the operating system, temporary files, apps, or files over 4GB in size. Uploading is encrypted throughout the process and works with Windows PCs and Intel-based Macs.

If trouble strikes and a user loses some or all of his files, he can simply go back to Backblaze's site and download the required files. Backblaze already has a consumer-oriented service that costs $5 per computer per month for unlimited storage.

As compelling as its service might be, Backblaze is competing in a crowded space. Both Mozy and Carbonite are doing a fine job of attracting customers. But by using a flat rate, Backblaze is hoping to set itself apart from competing services that charge based on the amount of data that's uploaded. Mozy, for example, charges companies a standard fee of $3.95 plus $0.50 per gigabyte per month for its service.

While online data storage is becoming more commonplace, it is still a risk. For its part, Backblaze said: "Backblaze goes to great lengths to ensure data is safe and to ensure customers are happy. While we would certainly give a business a refund if data was lost (simply out of good customer service)...we don't believe anything can actually cover for the value of the lost data."

Check out Webware's hands-on review: "Backblaze: Possibly world's easiest online backup"

Updated at 1:15 p.m. PST with comment from Backblaze.