Blog Post

Comcast Gives the Gift of Storage: Does Anyone Want That?

Like the aunt who always gave you underwear at Christmas, Comcast (s cscma) is offering an unwanted (although useful) service for customers. It’s giving its users access to automatic online storage through a partnership with Mozy (s emc). Qwest (s q) and Verizon (s vz) also have a similar online backup services, but it’s not clear how many consumers want a storage service from their ISP.

Like ISP email addresses, how many people really will use such a service on a regular basis? Based on an admittedly unscientific poll of our readers a month ago, only 10 percent of readers wanted storage services from their ISP. Here is Comcast’s pricing for backup:

  • 2 GB free with broadband subscription
  • 50 GB for $4.99 a month or $49.99 per year
  • 200 GB for$9.99 a month or $99.99 per year

Comcast helpfully tells people that with 2 GB of storage, a person could store one of the following: 200 high-resolution photos, 480 music files, one standard definition movie file or 10,000 average MS Word documents. Readers, what’s your take?

Related GigaOM Pro content (sub req’d):

Who Owns Your Data in the Cloud?

Image courtesy of Flickr User MarcinMoga

16 Responses to “Comcast Gives the Gift of Storage: Does Anyone Want That?”

  1. Online storage is useful, but its probably the tech savvy minority that don’t trust their personal systems not to die and lose all their data.
    Their pricing is an issue though. I’m a Comcast customer but you can go to say (Hitachi subsidiary) and $4.99/month gives you unlimited data backup volume.

    We use corporate remote laptop backup software and have used multiple suppliers – all giving unlimited data volume for a monthly price around their limited price offering.

    Their other issue is if I want to switch to Verizon FIOS, I don’t want to lose all my backup history. They would need to make it independent of their cable service and flat rate for me to buy in.

  2. Just accessed my Comcast account to determine whether this storage ‘service’ is available. The only thing I saw was “Looking for a safe place to store your important documents, backup photos and music? Need to access files remotely? Your larger-than-ever Comcast File Manager will now let you store one gigabyte of information — that’s 40 times more than before!”

    One gigabyte?

    No other offer has been made to me by Comcast.

  3. Thanks, but no thanks.
    My Time Machine is functioning, and my external hard drive system to make periodic backups is functioning. Important / irreplaceable photos are backed up to DVDs.
    Mozy might be a solution for those who require access in another location, but will it remain accessible forever?

      • Then, if your house burned down, you would be starting over from scratch. Personally, I don’t engage in activities that might cause a fire.

        If I were paranoid, I would carry my HDDs with me when I leave the house and/or put copies in a safe deposit vault at the bank (or in a weather-proofed vault in a hole in the ground in the back yard).

  4. There is nothing special about this deal. It sounds like a marketing strategy implemented by either Mozy approaching Comcast (and probably other ISPs in the future) or Comcast approaching Mozy to make it look like they are offering more services to their customer when they are really not. I might consider it if the price was discounted %25-50% from Mozy’s regular prices. However, I really prefer the Dropbox approach to online backup and file sharing which is simpler and more flexible. I was disappointed when I tested Mozy within the past four months.

  5. Right. Because I want to trust Comcast, who can’t build a DVR worth a damn or prevent their on demand service from going down, with backing up my important files. Even if it is Mozy, inserting Comcast in the middle is sure to screw the process up somehow.

  6. With (my company) each user gets 10GB free storage, plus hotlinks, file version history, collaboration tools and more. The new version coming out next week has fantastic new sharing tools. Using an ISP for your online storage needs is asking for trouble!

    • @Zatz: Everything does, why would this be different?

      If it DIDN’T, then that would actually be worthwhile. I don’t want to think about the three months of bandwidth cap it would take to backup my machine. And that’s doing NOTHING else. Not bloody likely, not with me, and certainly not with the other members of the family.

      • It would be worthwhile, I agree. But it would probably also be anticomeptitive giving themselves an unfair advantage over someone like a Jungledisk. My theory on why AT&T had to let Sling’s video app through as they sell their own video service.

  7. This is [within a few dollars] the pricing model for most consumer online backup companies. This is certainly no ‘gift’ from Comcast. I hope this isn’t xfinity: phase 1.

  8. I just checked the pricing on This offer is no big deal. Anyone can get 2GB for free and they only charge $4.95/mth for unlimited storage or $54.45/yr.

    If you need 50GB or less and are willing to pay by the year, Comcast saves you a whopping $4.46 over what anyone can pay directly to Mozy.

    So why is this news?