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This Free Online Backup is Similar to Dropbox, But Cheaper

Free, but cheaper?  How come?  Let me explain.

Fastmule (www.fastmule.com) is an online file sync and backup service, which seems to offer facilities and features which are very similar to the better-known Dropbox service.  Install the software, and it creates a folder on your PC.  Anything that you put into this folder gets backed up to the cloud, and also copied to any other computers on which you've installed the client software.

Like Dropbox, Fastmule offers 2 GB of storage for free.  But if you want more, Fastmule's pricing is around $50 a year for unlimited storage, whereas Dropbox wants $200 a year for their top-of-the-range 100 GB account.

If you like the idea of cloud-based backup, check it out.  Personally, I'm a big fan of services such as this.  They provide a highly convenient way to ensure that all your important files are backed up.  Even more importantly, they also make it easy to restore your files onto a new PC in the event of a disaster.  Just install the client app on the new machine and wait for everything to arrive automatically.

Remember, however, that cloud-based storage carries a certain degree of risk, regardless of whether you trust your e-secrets to a relative unknown such as Fastmule or a high-profile setup like Microsoft's SkyDrive.  You never quite know who has access to your stuff.  If this is a concern, you could always use an encryption program such as TrueCrypt, and then use the online service to back up your encrypted container files.

To try FastMule, you'll need Windows XP or above (unlike Dropbox there's no Mac or Linux version).  The download is around 3 MB.




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