Backup evolution

The need for safeguarding personal information has largely evolved from the birth of the IBM PC back in 1981. The storage capacity has multiplied by 10.000.000 (ten million), growing from the 160KB floppy disks to the several TB of today’s USB disks. Also the Operating System and application software have grown, and the pictures are now digital, as well as movies, video and music. Also mail and archives are fully digital as opposed to paper based. The information that we keep on PCs is vital and fundamental, so its loss may be extremelly serious and dramatic for any family, and even lethal for a small company.

External storage devices have multiplied, reaching very high capacities, and have enormously reduced its price. Many of today’s users have never seen a diskette or a tape, for they have been replaced with external drives and pen drives for the last 20 years, being totally commonplace, including SD cards. External memory is offering huge capacity for a very low price.

Broad access to Internet, 3g/4g and WIFI, along with a large increase of the bandwidth available, have facilitated the existence of cloud storage services, virtual folders like Dropbox, One Drive or Google Drive, or virtual remote disks like Bitcasa, being able to offer storage at a variable and very reduced cost.

Amid these deep changes, it’s shocking to realize how little evolution has taken place to the software, the logic, the process of backing up. In the XXI century, exactly like the in last 30 years, the user must select the files and folders to safeguard, incurring the risk of leaving out some important ones, and has to plan for some days and times for the software to copy the information, every selected item in cases, maybe only the items changed from the last backup. A thorough and precise selection. And people hate having to do this, and people don’t want to pay for having to do this.

Less than 20% of currently working PCs are backing up regularly. The other 80% are incurring in a risk of losing information. And the reason why this 80% are not doing much to solve this issue is that the solutions available today imply too much effort, far too much thinking, and too much expense than what these users are willing to assume.

eBay has 128 million users, Dropbox 300 million, 140 million people use Amazon every week, over 250 million have their profiles in LinkedIn, and Facebook may have more than 1 billion active users! None of today’s leading companies in backup solutions have more than 5 million users. Do you ask yourself why?

The users perceive that the problems created by today’s backup solutions are worse than the problem they pretend to solve.

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