capsule review

Memopal

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Memopal

If you love the free 2GB online storage plans offered by Mozy, Fabrik, and others, you'll wax ecstatic over Memopal's free 3GB plan. An extra gigabyte? I've always assumed that a Rhodes Scholar somewhere had figured out that 2GB account is just enough to get you hooked on online backup, yet not quite enough for most folks to fit everything. The extra space makes a world of difference.

An extra gigabyte isn't all that Memopal Online Backup has going for it. It's easy to use, and a bit prettier (if busier) than its aforementioned competitors. You have must live with a rather conspicuous "Buy" button at the top of the main program dialog, but that's a small price since you'll rarely visit there. Speaking of price, the next level of service is 200GB for $49 per year, which is more than competitive. The company even claims it has servers on multiple continents for locational redundancy; i.e., if one location goes down, your data is still safe.

The language used by Memopal is often interesting. It notifies you that it's "Crawling" when it's inspecting and cataloging the folders you or the program has decided to back up. And when it's finished backing up, you see a system tray notification that the backup was "taken." I suppose that makes sense if you consider the backup a snapshot of your data. What's far more interesting is that Memopal can be used on up to 10 PCs-as long as you don't run over your account limit.

Browsing backups and restoring files via your local PC (you may also access them via Web browser from any PC) is a bit different than it is with most programs. Memopal creates a My Memopal icon under Other in Windows Explorer which is actually a secure Webdav connection rendered as a Web folder. As a Web folder, you'll notice that the location of files appears as a URL. It's no more difficult than with Memopal's competitors. However, all the URLs might be a tad disconcerting at first for less tech-savvy customers, so I thought I'd mention it.

In my two days of testing, Memopal worked great for me. It has the usual options, such as throttling to let you raise or lower the computer time and resources it takes to perform backups. The only thing I missed--and I didn't miss it much--was a local backup option. All in all, I have a new favorite online backup service. 3GB, multiple PCs, Internet file access: Get yourself an account and use it.

Note: The vendor offers pricing plans beyond the 200GB of personal-use storage per year quoted here.

--Jon L. Jacobi

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Memopal

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