SpaceMonkey is a Utah-based startup. I saw them present at Launchup a little over a week ago. I was particularly interested in their presentation because online computer backup has been a particular sore point for me, as you can see here, here, and here. Offline backup is less of an issue. Apple’s Time Machine is great, and Carbon Copy Cloner is a dream come true once you understand what it does. Oh, and if you have a Mac.
Online backup is a different beast. There are three primary constraints:
Many backup solutions are simply too expensive if you have any sort of sizable amount of data, and when my household has three cameras that shoot 1080 HD video, we tend to end up with a lot of data, very fast. This large amount of data also causes issues when it comes to the size of your backup, because some backup providers simply don’t give you enough space, at any price. And even if you can get enough space at the right price, the solutions out there are too slow. If I can easily shoot 100 GB of home movies each month, but leaving my online backup running 24 hours a day only means I can back up 60 GB per month, then price and size don’t matter–I will never finish an initial backup.
To recap my experiences:
- Mozy – Right price, unlimited space, but too slow. And back when I tried them they also didn’t do external drives. Not sure if they’ve remedied that.
- Carbonite – Right price, unlimited space, didn’t support Macs now they do, but too slow.
- Amazon – Too complicated and too slow. Also not so cheap.
- Picasa (for photos and video) – Reasonably priced, and faster than some, but they don’t allow videos over 1.1GB to be uploaded. I have videos that are 4GB.
- Vimeo – $10/month for a Pro account, and they allow videos up to 5GB in size, and it’s fast, but they only allow you to upload 5GB per week. Most of my edited family videos are about an hour long, and around 2.4GB. That means I can upload two videos each week. I’ve been working on it for months but it’s going to be a while before I’ve got them all up there.
- Crashplan – This has proven to be the best solution so far. Unlimited space, low price, backs up external drives–it does everything I want except it’s too slow. Dang it. I really thought CP would do it for me.
Then along comes SpaceMonkey. Rather than me just connecting my computer to the Internet and backing things up, I first backup to an external drive, which SpaceMonkey provides. The hard drive is nothing special, but the software on it is. The software takes over, and starts distributing my files, in encrypted form, to other hard drives around the world. If I am using SpaceMonkey and so are 50 people in my neighborhood, they’ll end up with pieces of my files on their hard drives, and I’ll have pieces of their data on my hard drives. Because these massive amounts of data aren’t going to a single data center, or a small group of data centers, there isn’t a bandwidth bottleneck. The files can be sent directly from my SpaceMonkey drive to my neighbors. And the more people sign up for SpaceMonkey, the better the performance. And if you live in Provo, Utah or any other location with Google Fiber then hot diggity.
SpaceMonkey is also affordable. It’s cheaper than just about anything else out there. And although the drives they’re giving out only have 1TB on them, I talked with one of the founders at Launchup and he assured me they have the means to satisfy my desire for 5TB of online storage.
SpaceMonkey is a startup and is raising funds right now on Kickstarter. If you support their campaign, you can get a special deal when they start shipping product. But as of this posting there are only 3 days left for you to get in on the ground floor, so to speak. I’ve signed up. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.Liked it? Share it!