Online backup solutions have been developed to enable both individuals and businesses to store their data away from their PCs, securely and easily accessible, whenever they are required. They take away the panic that ensues when a user finds that he has lost important files, either through human error, accidental damage, loss or theft of his computer, or any secondary devices, such as CDs and USBs, that he has used to back them up.
What does Dell DataSafe have to Offer?
Dell DataSafe is simple to install using its ‘one-step’ setup and ‘file selection wizard’, which was developed especially to make it easy for every user, even a novice. Once installed, it allows the user to backup manually, or to a schedule, which can be daily, weekly, or monthly, depending on his particular needs. Files are compressed and encrypted, using high level security, before and during transfer; they are kept safe and secure in storage, but are always available when needed.
How it Works
Dell’s DataSafe online software not only allows scheduling of backup, it also enables the user to select, quickly and efficiently, the files he wants backed up. There is a default plan which protects all data, or the user can modify the plan to back up selected files only. Each online backup generates a confirmation message, so that the user knows straightaway that his data is now safely stored. Backing up only files that have been changed in any way, prevents redundant files from taking up valuable storage space.
Individual files can be access remotely, from anywhere with an internet connection, and shared with family, friends, and colleagues via Dell’s DataSafe Online Web Portal. Files can be emailed by way of download links and, for extra security, they can be password-protected, too, ensuring that only those with authority will be permitted to see them.
Dell DataSafe Online automatically keeps previous versions of files whenever a backup occurs, so older files can be accessed if needed.
Data Restoration and Accessibility
Data is accessible worldwide from any computer that is connected to the internet. It is easy to retrieve from storage; the user simply has to sign in to his account in the usual way, select the files he needs, and the location to which he wants them restored, and click ‘restore’.
What Files can be Uploaded to Dell DataSafe?
Most file types can be uploaded to Dell DataSafe, from photos (3.5MB/image), music (4MB/song), Word documents (200KB/file), Excel documents (125KB/file), and Power Point documents (1MB/file). An MB is a megabyte, and a KB is a kilobyte.
Backup space with Dell DataSafe depends on the plan purchased. A free option is available, which is good for testing the service; it provides 2GB (gigabyte) which would be fine for someone who only has a few files to upload every now and again. 2GB does, however, provide enough space for 10,000 Word documents and over 500 songs, as well as room for other files, so it’s not ungenerous. Unfortunately, there is no plan available that provides an unlimited backup space option.
Dell DataSafe uses industry standard security of a type used by banks for online financial transactions. 128-bit SSL (Secured Socket Layer) is used to protect files during transfer, and 256-bit AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) keeps them safe in storage.
Price Plans for Dell DataSafe Storage Packages
Four ‘Storage Packages’ are available with Dell DataSafe. Users can choose to pay $29 a year for 10GB, $39 per year for 30GB, $49 per year for 50GB, and $59 per year for 100GB. No unlimited backup plan is offered. An option to pay monthly does not appear to exist, which may deter some users from choosing this provider.
Signing up for a free trial is not as easy as it should be, considering that most other online backups let the user sign up with a simple email address. Dell asks potential users to click on a purchase link to select the trial as a no-pay purchase, which seems a bit cumbersome and unnecessary. It does, however, provide a trial period of 30 days, as opposed to the usual 14 days that other services provide.
A number of different support options exist with Dell DataSafe. Users can access the Community forum to ask questions and find solutions to problems that have been posted by other users; they can access Dell Tech Concierge, at the alarming cost of $19.99 per month, PLUS tax; they can call Tech Support (for which they will need a ‘service tag’ or an ‘express service code’). Chat Online Tech Support is another option, and there is a Solution Station Premium Support phone line, for which the user pays but, as there is no indication of cost, it is most likely charged for by the minute. The only upside to this is that, if the problem cannot be resolved, the user will not have to pay.
At first sight, Dell DataSafe’s website looks clean and easy on the eye, but very little information is provided on the first page, and potential users will find themselves clicking in and out of a whole raft of pages, many of which will relate to Dell’s other products, such as desktops, laptops, and so on, so it is quite confusing.
Customer support is needlessly complicated, and it would seem that too many unnecessary options are offered, when a simple free telephone number or user-friendly contact form would do just as well.
Dell DataSafe does not have a continuous backup option, only manual and scheduled, which is something that may not appeal to many users; neither will the lack of an unlimited backup space option. The price plans are reasonable but there appears to be no facility to pay monthly rather than yearly, so this particular online backup will not suit all users.
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