Symantec Launches Norton Online Backup 2.0

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Version 2.0 of Norton Online Backup service was officially launched last week. According to Symantec, the new version now supports the Mac platform, as well as offering major usability and performance enhancements. The company says current subscribers will see their Norton Online Backup updated automatically within a few weeks.


Now, Symantec is hardly the oldest or even the most innovative provider on the block when it comes to online backup. What it does have in its favor, though, is a brand that is well recognized around the globe. For all the inherent benefits of online backup, it could be a stretch to convince management or the CEO of your SMB about relying on lesser-known brands like Mozy or SugarSync for the company's backup regime. On the other hand, the fact that Norton Online Backup is offered by Symantec should go a long way in paving the way toward the adoption of an online backup strategy.


Since I don't use Norton 360 myself, I admit I was surprised by the revelation that millions of consumers already use the Norton backup service as part of this security suite. Shedding some light on how it supported these users, Symantec in its press release noted that it has "partnered with 5 of the top 6 OEMs worldwide to provide online backup service."


I glanced through the list of new features and want to highlight a couple of them that SMBs will be interested in.


E-mail any backed-up file via download links sent through the redesigned Web dashboard


You can hardly be blamed if you have ever thought that resorting to FTP for bulk file transfers is old-fashioned. I still remember a time where a large computer maker was forced to create a custom portal just for vendors and partners to upload and download large artwork files. Well, the availability of tools facilitating direct HTTP downloads means that this is no longer the case.


There are already several online backup providers who offer such a service, and Norton Online Backup now joins their ranks. Essentially, users are allowed to create a unique download link via the Web interface for any file stored by the service. These links can then be e-mailed to a colleague or partner, who can download them simply by clicking on the link.


90-day file versioning saves previous versions of backed-up files for up to 90-days


Not all online backup services provide this feature. Some of them store a finite (normally three to five) number of revisions per file. Providing 90 days worth of versioning appears to be a bold move by Symantec, though it is unclear if this can backfire should undesired modifications to files escape notice for more than 90 days.


For companies interested in Norton Online Backup, Symantec says that the suggested retail price is US$49.99 per year. This includes 25 GB of online storage for protecting up to five computers. Additional storage space can be purchased incrementally at any time, for which it would be best for you to visit the Norton Online Backup product page.