Read A Long Article That Compares 17 Services
The folks at PC World have an article comparing 17 different online backup services. If online backup is a concern check it out. There are some cool services out there.

Or Check Out These Guys – Who AREN’T In PC World
If getting your data backed up for a low price is your issue, then skip the article and go to For those of you busy studying back in the ’80s (or who maybe weren’t born yet), carbonite was the material Han Solo was encased in at the end of The Empire Strikes Back.

Simple, Cheap, Encrypted
Carbonite’s philosophy is to do one thing, backup, as simply and cheaply as possible. So for $50 a year you get unlimited backup capacity for your Windows XP PC (they’re working on a Mac client). They use 1024 bit DES encryption over SSL to protect your data.

How Many Acre-Feet of Storage Do You Want?
Carbonite’s founders surveyed three hundred PC users before starting the company. Almost 80% had no idea how much data they had – similar to what I’ve observed in corporate data centers. 50% didn’t know what a gigabyte was. So they concluded that a service based on selling gigabytes wouldn’t work because customers wouldn’t know what to buy.

One Page User Manual
Since the product only does one (ok, two) things, backup and restore, the UI is real simple too. Install the software, open your account, then right-click on a file or folder and there is a menu option to back it up. Restore? Go to the website, log in, and click the Restore button in the upper right corner. Animated tutorials explain it.

The product works in the background. Add a new file to a folder you’ve specified for back and once the machine hasn’t been touched for a couple of minutes the backup begins. If your internet connection is used for multiple services, like another PC or VOIP, you can reduce the priority so Carbonite shares the bandwidth.

Infrastructure Bits
Carbonite isn’t all that forthcoming about their technology, which is a little odd since it’s the business model that has the Mojo. They have a lot more data coming in than going out, so they have big pipes into their two data centers, feeding a fast disk buffer, that fans out to big slow drives in 5U server boxes. RAID-6 protection. No name brand storage, naturally, at these prices. Designed to be massively scalable.

Let’s See, 20 Million Customers at $50 Each Would Be . . .
The US has about 150 million PCs. If gets 12-15% of them to sign up, they’ll have a nice little business. And remember: you heard it from first.