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SanDisk USB drives offer automatic online backup

Cruzer Titanium Plus drives launching in March

SanDisk has launched a USB flash drive that automatically copies files to an online backup service when plugged into any PC with an internet connection.

The new Cruzer Titanium Plus flash drive is priced at $59.99 (£30) with 4GB of memory. It will be available in March in the US, the company said, although no details of a UK launch have been announced. The online backup capability is priced at $29.99 (£15) per year. The first six months of the service are offered without charge, said a SanDisk spokesman.

The new flash-memory product replaces SanDisk's older Cruzer Titanium line, according to SanDisk officials.

The files will be copied to BeInSync's online backup service under an arrangement with SanDisk. The backup service will store up to 4GB for each product, effectively mirroring the capacity of the USB drive, said Motti Vaknin, CEO of the service provider. BeInSync employs Amazon's hosted Simple Storage Service (S3) infrastructure to store all collected online data, Vaknin said.

The backup service currently supports PCs running Microsoft Windows 2000 (Service Pack 4), Windows XP and Windows Vista. SanDisk has no plans to provide online backup support to Macintosh- and Linux-based systems, the SanDisk spokesman said.

The BeInSync service will automatically store copies of documents, photos, digital music and videos. During the backup process, a small icon will appear in the system tray showing the progress of the effort, the spokesman noted.

Any new or changed files copied to the USB flash drive while a PC is offline will be backed up during the next connection. Any files deleted from the flash memory product will be kept online for approximately 30 days - as long as the amount of files backed up from the device and deleted files do not exceed available capacity online.

The spokesman said that SanDisk has no immediate plans to extend the online backup service to its other USB flash-drive products.


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