Online backup services expand to meet consumer demand

Make room: The file-storage marketplace is about to get even bigger and that’s good news for consumers.

Major companies, including Google and Microsoft, are set to expand their services for online file storage and backup. Indeed, as consumer demand reaches an all-time high, tech companies are in fast development to emerge as the go-to choice.

Trusting Online Backup

Increasingly, both businesses and consumers have been trusting the Internet as a secondary backup for their files. For some, it’s already emerged as the primary solution. The reason being? Space and reliability.

Files lost can be a nightmare. However, saving every bit of data locally can cause machines to buckle under the bulk. The solution? A third-party provider.

Third-party providers, such as Dropbox, enable swift upload, distribution, and sharing of complex files across a wide network. With online backup and storage, collaboration becomes all the more simple to achieve and upload times crunch down to seconds.

What has also become apparent over recent years is that public trust in security and encryption services has increased as well. The result? Consumer confidence. And with that confidence, not much else stands in the way of choosing the Internet for reliable backup.

Google “GDrive”

As usual, Google’s plans have turned heads in the industry. With its “GDrive” entry into the market, it’s a clear sign that online file storage is here to stay. Like cloud computing, it’s the new way of managing data.

While Google’s own version of GDrive is yet to be launched (plans are tentative for end of 2010), Memeo Connect 2.0 is unofficially dubbed just that: “GDrive.”

Synced up with Google Apps, Connect 2.0 enables users to access their Google documents and files from their desktop. You needn’t be online to do so and once you do go online, it instantly syncs with Google Apps to make all your changes available there.

Market Price

In beta, Memeo’s “GDrive” is currently free, but the final version will cost $9 per user per year.

Though other services such as Dropbox offer more space for free, Memeo’s seamless synchronization with Google Apps is a big selling point. And at less than $10 per year, many subscribers will think the price a bargain, given the tool’s capabilities.

This leads to the question though: How much will consumers pay for such services?

Don’t fear. In a competitive marketplace, plans should continue to be priced reasonably. With so many providers, the last thing a company would want to do is price itself out of the market – especially with cloud storage looking to be the way of the future.

An Expansive Future

Indeed, a recent Wall Street Journal article predicts that this is just the beginning. Online file storage can only get bigger as the traditional model of local files grows outdated and unnecessarily bulky. Why overload your own hard drive when there’s a simpler solution? (Even if it comes as a paid subscription.)

Memeo’s Connect 2.0 is making a splash right now. Google’s own version is readying for launch, as is Windows Sync Live, and Wikipedia lists over 25 current providers of online backup service, including Dropbox, Gladinet, SugarSync, and Mozy.

With space virtually unlimited, who knows how big the market can get. And as with most products, the more competition, the better it is for the consumer: More options, more innovation, more space.