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Mozy Stash, which was introduced as a public beta on Wednesday, is an add-on product that makes it possible to designate selected files for synchronization across computers and devices, in addition to backing up a broader set of files on a user's PC.
This move puts Mozy in completion with file sync and file collaboration services including Dropbox and Box. It's a niche that seems to be attracting a lot of new competitors, like YouSendIt, which until recently contented itself with serving as an alternative to email for large file attachments.
However, the market for online backup services is also extremely competitive.
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"This is a way of differentiating from some of the major players in backup by adding the personal synch capabilities," said Gytis Barzdukas, Mozy’s director of product management. Stash will let you sync across your iPad, iPhone, Kindle Fire or other Android device, as well as your PCs and laptops. The advantage the company hopes to gain over other synchronization products is that customers will get sync and backup in one product, rather than two.
Services like Dropbox provide some backup capability, in the sense that at the same time they sync between devices, they also retain a copy of a file in online storage. However, "they don't have passive data backup," where files are automatically backed up on a regular schedule to make sure nothing is missed, Barzdukas said.
Last summer, Mozy introduced the ability to access a backup data set from a mobile device and that can be useful for retrieving "a file from last year or last quarter," Barzdukas said. For example, that would be a good way to track down an old presentation or a spreadsheet full of budget numbers that you need to refer to during a meeting away from your office. Stash is different in that allows you to designate files that should be automatically copied onto a set of target devices, he said.
Files tagged for synchronization count against the same quota as your backup files, Barzdukas said. Stash is available for all account types, including the free account that is limited to 2 megabytes of storage. Paying customers pay by the gigabyte, and Barzdukas said Mozy plans to charge a "slight premium" for adding Stash to an account, once it is commercially available.
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