Symantec acquires 'cloud' storage company, charges buckets

Originally signing a deal in February of this year, Symantec has completed its acquisition of online backup and storage service SwapDrive and related properties for a reported $125 million.

Online backup service Swapdrive is now labeled with a prominent Symantec logo and states "Now part of Symantec!" along with SwapDrive affiliates (and former acquisition targets themselves) backup.com and whalemail.com.

According to Symantec, its Norton brand will integrate the newly-acquired online backup service into "a comprehensive solution to help secure and manage all of [their customers'] digital information, across all of their devices."

SwapDrive and Backup.com currently offer service packages to individuals and small- to mid-sized businesses on a month-to-month or annual basis. Features of the personal service with Backup include: automatic online, offsite, secure backups with "one touch" setup, web-based file access and restore, 256-bit AES encryption of all data, redundant secure data vaults, Delta-Block incremental backups, and file recovery that can take place online or via a CD/DVD sent by mail.

The aspect of these services that has already been harshly criticized is the accompanying price tag. Through Backup.com, a 50 GB backup package costs $449.50 annually for each individual. Small businesses can expect to pay upwards of $2,500 for a 300 GB backup package. With SwapDrive, the prices are even steeper: For the single user, $500 annually buys a mere 2 GB of online storage; multi-user/business accounts pay $2,800 yearly for only 10 GB.

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