Review of Data Deposit Box Online Backup

     Company background
The first program for Data Deposit Box was setup by Tim Jewell and Rob Schenkel. In 2002, Tim and Rob teamed up with Jamie Brenzel to create Acpana Business Systems Inc. In 2003, they unleashed Data Deposit Box to the general public. They are home office in Toronto, Canada and have a US office in New York.
They offer only one plan which gives straightforward, low pricing and makes Data Deposit Box very attractive to both individuals and businesses needing a easy, slick archive solution.

Security Options
Data Deposit Box use the toughest security we have seen. Your data is protected with Blowfish 448bit encryption both during transport and when held in their data centers - that equals bank and military grade protection! As well as that, your data are transferred using a special protocol designed specifically for internet backup.
Additionally you have your own login details which create a unique encryption key and ensure that no one - not even the administrators at Data Deposit Box - can access your files.
On the physical side, your data is stored in a carrier grade (that's the highest version) data center with redundant hardware at every level, fire suppression systems and 24x7 human guards.

Backup Features
Data Deposit Box hold a patent on their Continuous Backup System which waits for files to be altered, removes the alterations, compresses them , encrypts them and securely moves them to their data centers. This permits quicker backups and permits open files such as Outlook to be backed up without closing the program first.
File versioning is available: By default 3 versions of all files is kept, but this can be amended to a maximum of twenty eight if so required. But, each version - which just contains the differences from the last version - does count towards your storage allowance.
When first installed, Data Deposit Box automatically selects several folders in your local profile: My Documents, Desktop, Favorites, and whichever email program you are using. You can easily alter, add or delete folders from the archive list by way of the client software.

Restore Abilities
Restores are really easy, just right-click the Data Deposit Box icon in the system tray and click Restore. Now navigate to the data you wish to retrieve, right-click and select restore.
Previous versions of files can be retrieved via the web portal.

Control and Analysis
There is a clever function called: 'Backup and Resume': Backups automatically pause when the keyboard or mouse is used to give more processor speed and internet bandwidth. When the keyboard and mouse are unused for a while, the backup starts from where it left off.

The client program interface is decidedly dated - almost to the point of retro - and looks very corporate. Yet, it operates well, isn't resource hungry and provides you all the information you need.
The online site is rather slicker however also feels very corporate. Nevertheless, it does give a wealth of information and configuration options. There is even a Corporate Administration section where you can setup all the people you would like to use the service.
The reporting section displays exactly what has been archived and when. The My Data area provides a straightforward tree navigation system to find any of your archived information along with a search function in case you can't remember where a particular file is hiding.

Device Support
At the moment there is support for MACs and PCs via the client. Any online enabled device can access the backed up files yet the devices are unable to be backed up themselves.

The more you archive, the more you have to pay.

File Sharing and Collaboration
Private file sharing is enabled on the web site and can be configured on single files or entire folders. Each share can be allocated a unique password and this can be emailed out along with a unique web address to give access to the specific files and folders you wish shared. There is additionally an internet photo album feature that can be shared in the same way. Either way, files can be viewed and downloaded but not altered.
Public file sharing and file collaboration is unavailable.

Synchronization is only available from the desktop software to the online portal. Not between devices.

Web 2.0 Integration

Customer Support
Telephone support is available during standard business hours. There is no live chat, forum or blog. Yet you can get hold of support by way of email or by filling in the internet form. They seem very keen on self-help and provide a detailed knowledgebase / FAQs section. There are also testimonials, tutorials, a demo and webinars available.
There is no free version, however, there is a 15 day trial.

Ease of Use
Both the internet and client interfaces are straightforward to navigate around and use. Once setup, you really do not see the client software working apart from the icon in the system tray gently blinking to let you know a backup is happeneing. There are loads of options available, however, everything is well laid out and looks great - if a bit retro.

- Initial setup: free
- Monthly Cost: $2 / Gb / mth
- Initial allowed storage amount: unlimited
- Cost of additional storage: $2 / Gb / Mth
- Cost of additional devices / PCs / users: unlimited
- Referral Program: Yes. $10 is credited to your account and the account of the people you refer once they pay their first invoice.
- E-billing facility: Yes
- Hidden cost: File versions add towards your storage usage, so only set versioning to the amount you actually need.

All-in-all Data Deposit Box is a solid, extremely secure web backup service. The client's appearance is a touch dated however it has that 'built to last' quality which gives the idea that this service will never disapoint you and will last forever. The archive features are great, although the lack of an ability to schedule backups is a bit strange. During testing, the first backup of 2Gb of data took a long time: Over 4 hours, however this has to be weighed against the point that there was nearly no CPU or bandwidth overhead since the client stops whenever you use the PC.
The pricing is reasonable if you have a limited amount of data that requires protecting on several computers. If you have lots of data then this utility could get quite costly. Also you will need to monitor data expansion if you would like to control costs.
The private sharing and photo album functionality are nice touches yet it would be an improvement to see this expanded by partnering with web document services like Google Docs and Zoho as well as photo editing services.
As a final word I would say that Data Deposit Box is a excellent solution if you have a small amount of data spread across multiple computers. If you have a lot of data then there are cheaper solutions available.

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Posted on 2010-08-07, By: *

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Note: The content of this article solely conveys the opinion of its author.

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