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Toshiba adds cloud-based backup option to consumer drives

Upgrades Toshiba Canvio Basics and Canvio 3.0 drive lines to add support for USB 3.0 standard

Toshiba Monday announced it is adding a cloud storage backup service as an option to its Canvio line of external hard drives .

The company also upgraded the Canvio Basics and Canvio 3.0 lines to support the 6 Gbs USB 3.0 standard. The older versions support the 480 Mbps USB 2.0 standard.

The Canvio 3.0 hard drive, which comes in 500GB, 750GB and 1TB capacities, offers an optional user interface that lets users direct data to the cloud for storage.

The Canvio 3.0 drives are pre-loaded with NTI's BackupNow EZ software that provides for fully-customizable cloud and drive backup schemes.

After plugging the drive into a USB port, users can create a cloud account with the Microsoft Azure -based BackupNow EZ. The optional service allows users to back up specific folders, certain file types and/or complete system backups to hosted systems.

The backup software also scans the user's system and recommends which files to back up to hosted stsrems, and which are best stored on the disk drive.

"All the consumer has to do is click, 'OK'," said Manuel Camarena, director of business development, for Toshiba America Information Systems.

Camarena said more customers are seeking more granular control of drives, so they can customize backup times, set up low usable capacity alerts and encrypt data prior to its transport to the cloud.

"It's a complete system backup to the hard drive, including the OS. And, it's a bootable drive so if your computer breaks down, you can boot to drive and select a point and time and when to restart and your computer puts everything back," Camarena said.

The drives also come with internal Toshiba's Shock Sensor and Ramp Loading Technology to protect it during daily movement from a pocket, desk, or bag.

The cloud service comes with a 30-day free trial.

The Canvio 3.0 drive has a starting price of $89.99 for a 500GB model. The 1TB model sells for $139.00. The 5000GB Canvio Basics drive sells for $79.99 and the 1TB verion sells for $129.99.

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian , or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is [email protected] .

Read more about storage in Computerworld's Storage Topic Center.

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