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SOS Online Backup launches cloud backup for Facebook, devices

Service will store data from mobile devices and desktop computers; will extend service to Twitter, Gmail by year's end

SOS Online Backup today announced a cloud-based backup service for mobile devices, desktop systems -- and Facebook.

The company said it expects to start backing up Twitter and Gmail data in December.

The new SOS Online Backup Home 5.0 product, which allows users to back up data on five or fewer personal computers under a single license, includes SOS Social Backup, a new Facebook app that stores social media data, such "friend" contact information, photo albums and message threads.

"In case your account becomes corrupted, not to mention when you want to shut down your Facebook account and move to Google+ or LinkedIn, you can take all your contacts and photos with you," said SOS Online Backup CEO Ken Shaw.

The new version of the backup service also supports Windows-, Android-, and iOS-based mobile devices.

SOS Online offers up to 5GB of storage capacity for free, and charges a base price of $79.95 per year for 50GB.

While SOS Online Backup does not have the notoriety of rivals like Mozy and Carbonite, the company did release its first product in 2006, the same as those firms.

The company employs 150 workers and runs 11 data centers around the world, Shaw said.

Perhaps the biggest differentiator that the company pitches is that is offers "file versioning" in the cloud, or the ability to get multiple versions of a file based on when changes were made to it. Users are able to roll back in time to as many versions as they want, similar to what users can do locally on Apple's Time Machine backup utility.

"For businesses this is extremely powerful," Shaw said. "Regulations like [the Sarbanes-Oxley Act] require companies in some industries to keep archives for up to seven years. Those features are free with us."

SOS Online Backup Home 5.0 works by automatically backing up whatever device or application it is pointed to every few days.

Logging into the service is not required for backup, according to Shaw. An email message lets users know when their Facebook accounts, smart phones, laptop or desktop systems have been backed up.

SOS Online charges $79.95 a year for 50GB of storage, which includes a license for up to five PCs. A one-year 100GB license costs $99.95. A two-year 100GB license costs $149.95 and a three-year license is priced at $199.95.

"Data protection coverage is king. First its about accessibility. Wherever I am can I get to all my data on a PC or Mac. Then, the second value proposition is protecting that data, or backing up the data accumulating on the devices. We're doing both," Shaw said.

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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