Is Backify (512GB backup for free) also for real?

UPDATE 16 Nov 2011:
Message from Backify:

Dear Peter Forret,
First of all, we would like to thank you for using Backify. We hope you really liked our service and enjoyed using it. We regret to inform you that we can not provide free backup services anymore. All free Backify accounts will be closed onĀ November 22, 2011. In order to prevent your account from deletion, pleaseĀ login into your account and update your Billing Details.

Message from LiveDrive:

We would also like to advise you that we have received a number of complaints about BACKIFY.COM from their customers and from industry organizations. We would like to advise you not to provide any credit card information to BACKIFY.COM. If you have provided credit card information to BACKIFY.COM then we would suggest contacting your card provider and informing them that your card may be used fraudulently. If BACKIFY.COM have charged your card for services not provided you should contact your card provider and ask them to initiate a chargeback procedure.

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I just read the announcement today of a very strong data backup offer: backify.com lets you use 512GB of backup space for free. If you compare that to the competition: Dropbox and Mozy give you 2GB for free, OpenDrive, SugarSync and Box.net have a 5GB free account, although the latter has upped this to 50GB recently, when Apple also announced its 5GB free iCloud offering. Microsoft Live SkyDrive used to be the biggest free offer: 25GB (but no way to upgrade). So how can one company offer more than 20 times that space, and still not charge?

There are a couple of things that made me doubtful.

  • Too good to be true: a previously unknown company (Google will try to correct a search on their name to Backupify, because the first mentioning of the company was yesterday) comes and offers you something HUGE for FREE. Hmmm. Where’s the catch?
  • Business model doesn’t make sense: if you offer any John Doe 512 GB, you can count on a lot of data coming in. There will always be some guys that will try to use all of it. You need thousands of terabytes, and those don’t come for free. You could use Amazon S3 or Microsoft Azure, but they will charge you $0.10 to $0.15 per month/GB. There is a freemium model for storage, but the sweet spot seems to be: anything above 5 – 25 GB should be paid for.
  • No believable team: maybe this company has developed a new, revolutionary technology to make storage 10 times cheaper, but then they would show off their exceptional team. There would be a CTO or Chief Scientist with 30+ experience in data storage and some exotic patents in ‘redundant sub-particle holographic storage‘ or so. Here: nothing.
  • Look and feel: their page looks like it was made with a standard template and cheap stock photography. Like they couldn’t afford a decent web agency.
  • Empty company blog: that was a big red flag: they point to an empty blogspot as their ‘company blog’. This definitely smells like a scam.

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