Cloud backup service arrives: Backupify

If you work in the cloud (and who doesn’t these days?), then Backupify is for you. I stumbled on to the site last week and it’s very close to what I’ve been looking for.

Backupify lets you select from a list of cloud service, login, and set a backup schedule. It works with the big-name services like Google Docs, Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, and WordPress. It even works with some lesser-known (to non-geeks) services like Basecamp and FriendFeed.

The service runs on top of Amazon’s S3 storage service and even lets you use your own S3 account for greater privacy.

In my early testing Backupify worked well enough, though not all of my selected services have been backed up after a week with Backupify. I like the status emails and the ability to look through your backup history and archive.

Unlike desktop backup services like Carbonite, Backupify does not yet encrypt your backup data (though their feedback page says it’s planned) and there’s no standard way for you to log in to your various accounts.

This isn’t the fault of Backupify. Online identity and authentication are an industry-wide problem and, despite some good efforts, there’s no fix in sight. I’m always wary of sites that need my username and password in order to access my data from another site, and Backupify requires this for some of the supported services. For example, I was able to use Google Docs’ oAuth support but Gmail required my login credentials. An ideal cloud backup service wouldn’t need to ask for my info.

Finally, as much as I like Backupify so far, I wish it’s features were part of my primary online backup service, Carbonite.

UPDATE: It appears that Backupify is running a free account promotion through January 31, 2010. All accounts are free forever, with unlimited storage. Even if you decide not to use it, why not go grab a free account now?