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Data Bank

A quick look at a new service that allows companies to backup data to an off-site workstation.

There's a wonderful sense of security that comes from backing up your computer files to magnetic tapes. Should your hard drive die or your network crash, your data are safely stored and easily accessible. That is, until your business burns down and your magnetic tapes resemble something lying at the bottom of a Weber grill after Labor Day.

What's a CEO to do? One solution is to trade in those magnetic tapes for off-site data storage. Every month, for $9.95 (the first month is free), Surefind, an on-line data-backup and -recovery service in Pittsburgh, lets you automatically back up 20 MB of data to its optical laser platters, which are kept in secure vaults throughout the country. (Surefind won't give out the location of the vaults but implies they're of the sort that David Copperfield would have trouble escaping from.)

To start using the service, you have to install the company's Windows-based software, which can be obtained directly from Surefind or from its Web site at During the 30-day free trial, you are allowed unlimited backup and/or recovery of 100 MB of data, after which you simply schedule automatic uploads, by day and time, over the Internet. For security purposes, the files are password protected and encrypted. Should any data get lost, Surefind will spend up to $100,000 to re-create the missing files.

Last updated: Dec 15, 1996

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