HP Fills Out Backup Plan

By David Needle | Posted July 28, 2005

HP's called for back up. Computer back up, that is.

The computer maker will resell an online backup service at its e-commerce Web site. The service, from Spare Backup, is fully automated and designed for consumers and small businesses.

For $15.99 a month, Spare Backup automatically recognizes all types of files on a customer's hard drive, including those from Outlook, Word and Excel, as well as digital photos MP3s. The standard monthly fee includes up to 5GB of storage, with more storage available for more money.

Each file, along with the data needed to preserve its unique look and feel, is then replicated, encrypted twice and transported over the customer's broadband connection every weeknight.

From there, the backup files are stored in Spare Backup's twin secure data centers, where the customer can access them from any high-speed Internet-connected computer. Using data-mapping techniques, Spare Backup looks for new files during each backup so it does not waste time or resources backing up the entire drive each night.

"Most individuals don't back up for three reasons: they don't know how, they forget to do it or don't do it consistently, or simply don't have the resources like an IT department to handle it," said Cery Perle, Spare Backup's chief executive officer. "How much is your music collection or your photos or your documents worth? We provide an easy way to back up without having to think about it or schedule the time to do it."

Road warriors may find Spare Backup useful for more than emergency recovery. Since the back-up files are readily available from any broadband connection and Web browser, you can selectively retrieve any of the stored files from a remote computer, say from a hotel business center for example.

HP also plans to offer two months of free service as part of a promotion to customers who purchase selected hardware and peripherals through the HP site. HP will offer discounted plans for six months, one-year and two years prepaid service.

Spare Backup has been available for about two months. The deal with HP comes on the heels of an agreement with CompUSA to have the computer superstore carry a version of the service ready to activate on CD that comes with six months of backup prepaid at a discounted rate. Perle says the company plans to add significant features to its software in the coming month.

Adapted from Internetnews.com.

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