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Macworld 2011: Dolly Drive syncs Time Machine to the cloud, creates bootable backup


We're finding many useful solutions here at Macworld Expo, and among them is Dolly Drive. This new solution (they just launched this week) offers encrypted Time Machine sync to the cloud and even creates a bootable version of the local drive you've been using for Time Machine thus far. I spoke with Anthony about the product, how it works and what the future holds.

There are three interesting things about Dolly Drive. First, it allows Time Machine to behave just like Time Machine. The primary difference is that your backups live out in the cloud instead of locally. The benefits are obvious. Let's say you're at a meeting in the field, only to realize that an important file is corrupt or missing entirely. If it lives on an external drive back in your home or office, you're out of luck. Dolly Drive lets you restore it from the cloud, using Time Machine's familiar UI, getting you back in business.

Check for more and our video of Dolly Drive in action after the break.

Next, Dolly Drive offers the security of being able to back up from almost anywhere. The more paranoid among us needn't wait until they're home to back up their machines. In fact, Anthony told me that he was able to backup his computer while flying to San Francisco, thanks to in-air Wi-Fi. That's pretty cool.

The third interesting part is cloning. This is where Dolly Drive builds upon what Time Machine offers out-of-the box to extend its usefulness. Most of us have been using Time Machine to back up to a local drive (you do back up, right!?). Dolly Drive doesn't want to abandon that drive. In fact, the app will create a local duplicate, or even duplicate your OS, creating a bootable external. For those of us who've been using a second app like SuperDuper! to create a bootable supplement to Time Machine, the thought of getting it down to a single solution is pleasant.

For now, Dolly Drive is limited to Time Machine's hourly backup schedule. Anthony assures me that a future release will offer finer control over scheduling. Also, full and incremental backup and cloning will be configurable via schedules.

Lastly, here's how pricing works. There are three options, and each comes with a reward. For starters, you get 250 GB for US$10/mo. For every month that you maintain your account, you earn an additional 5 GB. If that doesn't suit you, opt for 5 GB per month at $5 per month (plus the 5 GB per month reward) or $7.50 per month for 100 GB (plus the 5 GB monthly reward). Sounds good? We think so, too.

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