IT experts are always on the lookout for new and improved methods of storing digital data. One of the most recent offerings to reach consumers, known as Space Monkey, utilizes peer-to-peer backup technology to ensure data redundancy across multiple devices. While the hardware does require an initial purchase as well as a monthly subscription fee, the innovative technology is sure to appeal to those who want to safeguard their personal data without having to invest time and money into RAID setups or other means of redundant storage.
How it Works
The concept of Space Monkey is really quite simple. The device comes equipped with an internal hard drive that features 1 TB of available storage space as well as an additional 1 TB of hidden storage space. Herein lays the driving force behind Space Monkey: the hidden storage space is reserved for storing the files of other Space Monkey users via a common peer-to-peer connection.
Obviously this raises some concerns about security, the research and development team at Space Monkey has that covered, too. Users are not actually storing complete files for other users, but only bits and pieces of one particular file. Anytime a file is saved to the Space Monkey system, the file is encrypted, separated into multiple parts and distributed across as many as 40 different user drives.
After saving a file to the Space Monkey system, users can then access their individual files from any Internet connection. A downloadable app provides access via PC or mobile device, including Mac, Windows, iOS and Android platforms, and login password protection safeguards your account from prying eyes.
As mentioned earlier, Space Monkey does require a small initial investment as well as a recurring monthly fee. The device itself can be purchased for a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $199, which provides you with a 1 TB drive for local storage. In addition, the peer-to-peer backup service, which really provides the bulk of the entire product package, will cost $49 per year. Users that are new to Space Monkey will be able to enjoy a complementary one-year service subscription for free, so users can test out its full range of capabilities before investing in the long-term. Moreover, when you compare the pricing scheme to some of their competitors, Space Monkey is the clear winner.
The service's co-founder, Clint Gordon-Carroll referred to Space Monkey as "our way of disrupting the cloud." They cite concerns with power usage, system cooling and hardware costs as some of the primary reasons why users will begin to embrace Space Monkey over time. Considering the enormous success of their online Kickstarter campaign, as well as recognition at San Francisco's LAUNCH Festival in 2012, it appears consumers are ready to make the transition to peer-to-peer backup and storage solutions.
Alen Peacock, the other co-founder of Space Monkey, summed up the service in a recent phone interview with The Verge. He stated: "The internet as originally envisioned is very different from what we have now. We wanted to get back to those core principles of how do you make a system that’s decentralized and democratized that everyone participates in.”
Space Monkey Uses P2P Solution for Backing up Data
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