Hong Kong-based systems integrator Netstar yesterday unveiled a remote storage service aimed at both corporate and individual users. Using the Internet and servers located in 17 countries, the StarBackup service will allow users to upload data from desktops and laptops and restore the data when necessary. Corporate services are already available, and talks are under way to provide individual subscribers soon. Interest had come from Internet service providers (ISP) and portals, especially those already offering electronic mail for a fee, said Netstar alliances and partnerships executive Conrad Ng Kwok-hui. 'ISPs, portal sites, see this service as a new way of generating new revenue in a very crowded market,' he said. The system uses technology developed by sister company Accellion, which has been working with Dell Asia Pacific to offer similar services to personal computer buyers. The Dell backup service is sold as an add-on to the PC manufacturer's global repair service. Netstar services director Paul John Siy said back-up to multiple locations depended on customer preference, with corporate clients likely to choose redundancy. 'The client can choose to say, I want to back up my main files to Hong Kong, and then one hour after I back up my files to the Hong Kong location, make sure there's a copy stored in Singapore or Malaysia. 'And then maybe after seven days of that file being in Malaysia, make a copy to a tape drive somewhere in Vietnam,' he said. Services later on could include compact discs of data being sent to clients whose systems had crashed, he said. Many small and medium-sized enterprises in the region either have no computer data back-up or back it up to tapes stored in the same office as the main system. Even at larger companies, desktop and laptop data is often not backed up at all. However, fear of putting confidential or commercially important information in the hands of outsiders may be a concern of companies looking at remote storage. Mr Siy said the service used 128-bit encryption for sending data and files were kept at Tier 1 datacentres, which had high security, but not in encrypted format.