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BT has entered the online data storage market with an offering that gives crash-conscious consumers up to 20Gb of remote backup space for documents, media and other files.
Digital Vault encrypts users' data at a secure centre to safeguard against loss or theft but allows consumers to grant access permissions to friends.
An entry-level 2Gb package has been made available at no cost but asks users to manually upload their files. A 20Gb service costs £4.99 per month and includes extra software features.
According to the telecoms giant:
"BT Digital Vault Backup Manager will automatically backup any new or updated documents on your system, so once it’s set up, you won’t have to lift a finger to make sure your files are protected."
The new service includes a tie-in with BT's consumer broadband service, with cross-promotion incentives being offered to Total Broadband customers. Backup Manager currently only runs on Windows machines.
E-consultancy's Chris Lake commented on the story in today's Guardian, pointing out that services like YouTube and Flickr mean more people are storing their digital content online, rather than on the desktop.
Is BT trying to compete with these services? If it is then Digital Vault needs to be more than a vault - the beauty of YouTube and Flickr is in the sharing, the tagging and the community engagement.