For a while now I’ve been relying on Dropbox to backup all my day-to-day personal and work-related stuff to the cloud and have these files available everywhere I go. The synchronization experience has been impressively seamless and the 2GB of free storage offered have been enough to keep me from looking at alternatives. But there are quite a few other online backup solutions out there -- SugarSync, Carbonite, Mozy, to name a few -- and newcomer MiMedia is breaking into the space with an interesting proposition.
The company hopes users will move their entire collection of data online, including photos, videos and music, with the promise that they’ll be stored safely in multiple data centers. To this end MiMedia offers tiered pricing plans that go from $5 a month ($50 yearly) for 25GB of storage, all the way up to $140 a month or $1,300 a year for 2TB. However, depending on your Internet connection speed and the amount of data you want to back up, it could take days for that first upload to complete. To get around this problem MiMedia will optionally ship you a free USB Shuttle Drive with up to 1TB of storage capacity in a small box that includes a self-addressed return label. That way you can plug the drive in, securely back up your files with “NSA level encryption”, send it back in the pre-paid box, et voila. The next day you’ll get an email letting you know that all your files have been securely transferred to your online account.
From then on your broadband connection can handle backing up new files, along with changes to existing ones in real time. As you’d expect, MiMedia offers a web-based interface to access your data from any time any place – there’s also an iPhone app available. Files are presented logically by media type in a single, clean user interface where you can click a button to play videos, watch pictures, listen to your music, or share (DRM-less) content with others.
It’s an interesting option in the increasingly popular online file storage, sharing and syncing market. Pricing does seem a little steep compared to some of its rivals, though. Right now Mozy offers unlimited storage at $5 a month, while Dropbox’s large capacity plans can be a bit more expensive but they also offer a free 2GB option.