NomaDesk Unveils Affordable Online File-Sharing, Backup

Business owners looking for a way to get a handle on the growing amounts of data they and their employees produce have a new Web-based file-sharing and data backup solution at their disposal. NomaDesk has launched an on-demand service of the same name that allows business teams to store, synchronize and share data via online file servers.

Like other online backup services such as MozyPro and Carbonite, NomaDesk ensures that critical files are safely stowed off-site should a customer’s hard drive crash or if the PC where the files reside gets stolen. But NomaDesk goes further, allowing an unlimited number of authorized guests to access a company’s online fileserver for easy file sharing and collaboration, while also letting them automatically synchronize stored files across multiple devices including desktops, laptops, PDAs and smartphones.

The company set out to make NomaDesk—the name is shorthand for “nomadic desktop”—as seamless to use as possible. “We wanted to deliver a solution with zero learning curve,” said NomaDesk CEO Filip Tack. The software works on Windows and Mac PCs as well as netbooks and the iPhone. To use the service, customers simply download and install the software then drag files onto the fileserver icon that gets added to Windows Explorer or the Mac Finder. Files are automatically secured with 256-bit encryption, and they’re backed up on the NomaDesk central server — as well as the desktops or laptops of team members.

You can invite an unlimited number of guests to share a fileserver, and each server can store an unlimited number of files (within fair-use guidelines; NomaDesk reserves the right to limit customers that seem to be uploading an inordinate amount of video or other larger media files).

Access-permission rights are set at the fileserver level, not at the folder or individual file level. That means all the files in a fileserver are accessible to all guests, so in practice a company might want to maintain one fileserver for files accessible to all employees, a separate fileserver for files to be seen by managers only, and perhaps another fileserver for files to be accessed by clients.

In addition to the backup, sharing and synchronization features, NomaDesk also offers a TheftGuard feature to protect files that reside on desktops, laptops, PDAs or smartphones from falling into the wrong hands. Should a PC equipped with NomaDesk be lost or stolen, the service can “shred” those local files remotely while the files stored on the server remain secure. NomaDesk even offers a file-sending service, similar to YouSendIt, for delivering files stored on NomaDesk via e-mail.

The company offers two service levels. Team Fileserver costs $15 per month per fileserver, and it’s designed for businesses that need to share and collaborate on documents. It supports unlimited synchronization, file sharing among an unlimited number of guests, secure storage and backup, adding files to a fileserver via e-mail, the sending of download links for files to anyone, TheftGuard protection and free, live tech support via phone or online chat.

The Personal Fileserver service costs $50 per year and is designed for individual customers primarily interested in synchronizing files among multiple PCs or devices. It supports up to five PCs and delivers all of the features of Team Fileserver except for file sharing and e-mailing of files to a fileserver.

You’ll find more storage and data backup information, products and services in our Small Business Essentials series, Storage Basics and Security Blanket.

Jamie Bsales is an award-winning technology writer and editor with nearly 14 years of experience covering the latest hardware, software and Internet products and services.

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