Backup service for mobile devices

New wireless-based backup tool in Taiwan lets cell phone owners beam their data to safety, even when on the move.

Mobile phone users who store important information on their mobile phones can breathe easier now when their devices are stolen or lost. A US company has come up with a new tool designed to protect data stored in mobile gadgets.

Mobile protection services provider Asurion Asia-Pacific last week introduced its Handset Protection Service, which it said was built to protect not just a subscriber's cell phone but data and other digital media stored in the device.

According to a press release, the service currently extends to mobile subscribers in Taiwan only and is offered at NT$149 (approximately US$4) per month.

As part of the service package, customers can also insure their handset against loss, theft and damage for up to NT$35,000 (US$1,000). The deal sweetener for many, however, will be the ability to archive information stored on their handsets without sacrificing mobility, due partly to Asurion's wireless Databackup feature.

The software enables automatic over-the-air backup of the subscriber's digital media, such as business documents, contacts, SMS, photos and videos, to a remote server for safekeeping. So, if a subscriber loses or changes his phone, data stored on the previous phone is still available and can be transferred to his new device.

According to Nashville-based Asurion, Databackup works with nearly all mobile phone models and periodically backs up data with or without any user intervention. Subscribers can access the data stored on Asurion's servers using either a mobile phone or Web-enabled device, such as a PDA or notebook computer.

While the Databackup service is currently limited to Taiwan, an Asurion spokesperson revealed that the company may consider bringing the program to other parts of Asia, with Korea and Japan as possible destinations.

Farihan Bahrin is a freelance IT writer based in Singapore.