SOS Online Backup - Support

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Frequently Asked Questions - Quick List

  • Data Transfer Costs?
  • pst outlook - open file backup
  • Is there a limit to the number of folders or files in a backup?
  • What is the SOS Online Backup Service?
  • I''''ve forgotten my password - what should I do?
  • how do I access my files remotely such as from an internet cafe
  • How is data secured at the SOS server?
  • Type of Backup Performed
  • Is this available for apple macs or is it just pc based?
  • Is there a backup cost per GB?
  • What happens to my data if I stop subscribing?
  • How do I know how much storage I will need. I want to back up my whole drive c: which has 10gb used.
  • Cannot uninstall SOS - dbconfig.mdb in use
  • Locating Outlook files to backup
  • Can I map a windows drive to my data storage area?
  • Do Restores Cost Anything?
  • Data Privacy
  • upgrading an account
  • How many PCs can I install SOS on for same account?
  • Individual Privacy - do we advertise or sell your information?
  • Comparing SOS with the competition
  • Multiple Computer Setup & Support
  • Continous Backup and Open Files?
  • Performance and length of time to backup

    Question: Data Transfer Costs?

    Are there any additional costs to the monthly fee?

    EG: If I purchased a 250mb plan and I backed up 250mb a day each day for the month I could potentially transfer 7.5GB to your servers.

    Would I only be charged at $5.83/month even though most 'hosting' providers would charge me a lot more due to the high transfer amounts.

    Hi Nathan,

    great question! Absolutely not is the answer. We at SOS keep everything simple for you. You're just charged on how big files are on your computer. You don't have to understand our compression, or our encryption, or the cost of data transfer - you just backup your files.

    More importantly - as Neil Rubenking notes in his PC Magazine article reviewing SOS (in which he gives us Editor's Choice! ) - you can actually store an unlimited number of versions for any file in our system and we will still only bill you for the amount of space that file takes up on your computer. In his words - "thats pretty amazing!".

    Hope this helps -


    Dan - SOS Support

    [--- UPDATED: 5/21/2006 5:36:28 PM BY AGENT: Administrator ---]

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    Question: pst outlook - open file backup

    Do you allow backup of PST files that are open by a user?


    Yes we do support backing up of open files right out of the box - whereas most other backup companies will want to charge you a license fee for every workstation where you want to have open file backup functionality. Open File Backup is support in v1.3.0.6 +


    Dan - SOS Support

    [--- UPDATED: 5/21/2006 5:34:43 PM BY AGENT: Administrator ---]

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    Question: Is there a limit to the number of folders or files in a backup?

    I have a customer that has a LOT of folders on their computer, in which there are maybe a dozen files in each. There may be a thousand folders that will need to be backed up. Is there a limit on this?

    There are no limits on the number of files or folders that you may backup using the system. We know of people backing up hundreds of thousands of files using SOS - to backup tens and hundreds of GB of data.

    So go right ahead - throw SOS at it!


    Dan - SOS Support

    [--- UPDATED: 5/21/2006 5:24:41 PM BY AGENT: Administrator ---]

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    Question: What is the SOS Online Backup Service?
    What is the SOS Online Backup Service?


    The SOS Online Backup Service is a brand-new software service that finally delivers pure-software backup. No CDs to change each day, no tapes to swap out, no lost backups due to media failure (did you know that up to 60% of tape-based backups become corrupt or fail?).

    SOS comes on each night, selects the files you've told it to protect, encrypts them, compresses them, and transfers them using SOS's UltraSafe technology to remote data-centres.

    From there - you can recover your data anywhere in the world! Even better - you can recover any version of any file that you've got under protection.

    SOS brings big-business IT best-practice to you the little guy. Your data is Safe OffSite.

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    Question: I''''ve forgotten my password - what should I do?
    I've forgotton my password to my SOS account - and now I want to setup SOS on another computer so I can recover my files - what should I do?


    The answer to this question depends on the type of security you adopted when you created your SOS user account.

    SOS provides two levels of security - SOS UltraSafe - and standard security. Under ultra-safe security - your files are protected behind three layers of encryption - and even the SOS system engineers who designed the product cannot access your information. Unfortunately - if you have ultra-safe enabled, and you have forgotten your password - your files are unrecoverable - which is why we warned you about writing your password down when you first signed up.

    If on the other hand you did NOT select UltraSafe when you first signed up for your SOS user account - then you can log a support job asking one of the SOS Support engineers to reset your password and your new password will be emailed to you.

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    Question: how do I access my files remotely such as from an internet cafe
    your web site claims that this is one of the benefits, I simply cannot find a way to access my files. Can you please advise


    Hi Andrew,

    Remote access is done through the SOS Windows Client. Simply download the software onto the computer you need access to your files from - and use the software to recover your files.

    We have a web interface that will be launched in the next several weeks that will allow you to access your files through a web browser.

    [--- UPDATED: 10/5/2005 2:08:01 AM BY AGENT: Administrator ---]

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    Question: How is data secured at the SOS server?
    How do you protect data on your secure server? Can it be accessed by an unauthorised person (either onsite or offsite)? Is it sored on one hard drive/server or multiple? How do you backup the data? Do you use tapes, hard drives, online?


    Whether your data can be accessed by an unauthorised person depends on the level of security you select when you sign up. If you select UltraSafe security - then your data is stored so that not even SOS Engineers can access that data.

    The downside to this of course is that if you forget your password - then there will be no way of recovering the data that you have stored in the system.

    SOS has multiple data-centers and the data is stored on multiple hard-disks at these locations.

    [--- UPDATED: 10/5/2005 12:18:53 AM BY AGENT: Administrator ---]

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    Question: Type of Backup Performed
    Windows NTbackup provides the following backup types - Normal, Copy, Differential, Incremental and Daily. It also provides for file and folder inclusion and exclusion lists.

    What backup types does SOS support? How sophisticated are the selection criteria?


    The backup performed by SOS is a full backup, followed by differential backup - and its performed on whatever periodicity you select (daily, weekly, or monthly).

    Given that SOS performs backups over the internet - the type of backup performed is deliberately designed to minimise the amount of data transferred. This done by doing two levels of differential backup.

    If you have selected for SOS to backup 100 files - on the first day, all 100 files will be compressed, encrypted, and transferred to the SOS Backup Server storage grid.

    On the second day - SOS will detect which files have been changed. It will then take that set of files - and actually go inside each file to determine which binary digits - or which ones and zeros - have changed since the last time a backup ran. It then only transfers this data to the backup grid.

    This means two things. Firstly - your daily transfer is very small. In many tests - we have seen the daily incremental transfer being in the order of .01% of the backup size. Secondly - it means that an unlimited number of daily versions is kept for each of your files as you backup.

    You can choose to backup files, folders, and drives with SOS. When recovering data - SOS allows you to manage backups from multiple workstations all within the same interface - so if you're a network administrator - you can recover all of the files from multiple workstations on your network from one interface.

    [--- UPDATED: 10/24/2005 11:27:37 AM BY AGENT: Administrator ---]

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    Question: Is this available for apple macs or is it just pc based?
    As in Title, would like to know if this is available for macs? Also what if you need more than 400mb of space. What we would like is something where we can back up our email as it is a very important tool for the sales department and if it crashes we can lose some of this information... any ideas?



    Hi coroneo,

    The software is only available for PC at the moment. Do you run virtual PC or anything like that which would allow you to run our software?

    We will be porting the software to Mac in the coming months. Please check back with us again soon.

    We will be releasing pricing for larger accounts this week - the original accounts were launched on an introductory basis.

    [--- UPDATED: 10/24/2005 11:35:36 AM BY AGENT: Administrator ---]

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    Question: Is there a backup cost per GB?
    I would like to know what are the backup costs for personal use. Is there a cost per GB stored?

    Thank you,



    The costs are listed on the website when you click through under either Consumer accounts or Business accounts (on the "Get the Software" page).

    There isn't a pro-rated cost per GB stored - but rather there are different plans available that you can purchase. The plans start as low as $3.30 AUD per month.

    [--- UPDATED: 2/9/2006 7:11:05 AM BY AGENT: Administrator ---]

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    Question: What happens to my data if I stop subscribing?
    Hi, As in the Title, I'm interested to know what happens if for some reason I stop subscribing to the service. Do you delete immediately a subscription is cancelled or otherwise becomes inactive? Or do you keep my data for a while, if so how long? Do you have any sort of process in place to keep everyone's data (maybe in escrow) if your own company should cease to operate (for whatever reason).

    Thank You, Errol Martin.


    Hi Errol,

    we hold your data for 30 days after you cancel your account, in case you want to re-activate it. After that, your data is deleted. Having said that though, your data is unintellible to us, and we can't access your data - so even during that 30 day period your data is secure.

    If in the case that SOS ceases to operate, we will inform all customers with active accounts at that time how they will be able to access their data.


    SOS Support

    [--- UPDATED: 5/23/2006 12:42:14 PM BY AGENT: Administrator ---]

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    Question: How do I know how much storage I will need. I want to back up my whole drive c: which has 10gb used.
    I see your plan options for consumers go up to only 1gb in size. I know the data is compressed before going to your site. However I wish to back up my entire c: drive which is almost 10gb in size. How will I know how much it will be compressed to and which plan I will need to purchase. Also I have a laptop if my laptop is stolen and I get a new one will I be able to rebuild my new laptop with this software like with Norton ghost and put my new laptop back to the same state as the old one was.


    Hi John,

    You need an account that will backup as much data as you've got. We charge you based on the size of the raw uncompressed files on your computer - not based on the amount fo space they take up after we compress them. We do it this way - because we don't think its reasonable to expect people like yourself to have to understand our compression system - or our encryption etc. You could modify a 2 mb file every day forever - transferring it to us every day - and we'd only ever bill you 2 mb.

    Our plans go up to 100 GB - so you should find a plan there to suit your needs.

    Hope this helps -


    Dan - SOS Support

    [--- UPDATED: 5/21/2006 10:49:24 PM BY AGENT: Administrator ---]

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    Question: Cannot uninstall SOS - dbconfig.mdb in use

    my email is -

    [--- UPDATED: 4/28/2006 5:43:27 PM BY USER ---]

    i cannot unistall v1.2 error 1306 v backup1.2\dbconfigfg.mdb
    using win xp sp2

    Hi John,

    Yes - this is a common problem with all versions of the software prior to v1.3.0.7. The latest release fixes this.

    The problem is actually quite simple. You have SOS still running - and it is using a file that the Windows uninstaller is trying to remove. If you right-click the SOS icon down in the system taskbar at the bottom right of your screen, and click "Close SOS" this will close the SOS Upload Agent - which is what 9 times out of 10 causes this problem.

    As an added step - you could make sure that "sosuploadagent.exe" nolonger appears in your processes list - which you can view by click start > run > typing "taskmgr" and hitting enter > clicking the processes tab.

    Hope this helps -

    Dan - SOS Support

    [--- UPDATED: 5/21/2006 5:30:02 PM BY AGENT: Administrator ---]

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    Question: Locating Outlook files to backup

    How do I locate the following files in Microsoft Outlook for backup: calendar, contacts, email folders. I retain a large amount of work files in form of attachments that exist only in my Outlook email folders, and I need to be sure and select them for backup.

    Your outlook data objects, like the calendar and the contacts etc are actually stored in one large file called a PST file.

    SOS can search your computer for you for PST files.

    In the protect files & folders wizard (step 1 of the SoSimple interface) select "Find Common Files" and click "next". On the next screen, in the drop down menu list next to "file extension" select "Microsoft Outlook Email Files". Make sure you have selected the hard disk you would like SOS to search (it will select C:\ by default) and then click "search".

    As SOS finds PST files on your hard drive, it will display them in a list. If you would like to add these files to your backup set, click the checkbox to the left of each filename for each file you want to add to your backup set, and then click the "protect" button at the bottom of the screen. The next time you run a backup - that file should be included in the backup.

    Note - that when you're backing up outlook files - you often want to enable open file backups - because Outlook is often open when you want the backup to run. If you don't - and outlook is open - the outlook file may be skipped. To turn on open file backup, click the "settings" tab, then "options", and then click the first option item - which depending on your version will read "Default Recovery Path" - or some derivation thereof. At the bottom of this form, you can check to enable open file backups.

    Hope this helps -



    [--- UPDATED: 5/21/2006 5:02:40 PM BY AGENT: Administrator ---]

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    Question: Can I map a windows drive to my data storage area?
    Can I map a windows drive to your storage area?


    Hi Mark,

    Because of our focus on security - we do not let you map a network drive to our storage area. That transport is fundamentally unsecure - so data recovery is done either through the SOS Windows Client - which uses 2 layers of data encryption - or through a webbrowser over SSL.


    SOS Support

    [--- UPDATED: 5/19/2006 11:59:14 AM BY AGENT: Administrator ---]

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    Question: Do Restores Cost Anything?

    I just purchased your service today, and am still in the trial phase.

    I only bought 1 GB as my current backups are able to be backed up on a 512 mb jump drive. Obviously your software doesn't compress as 1GB is no where near enough space. I need to know how to upgrade to 5GB or 10 GB and have that billed to my credit card rather than the rate for the 1 GB.

    Also, how many restores are allowed per month. I like to test my backups by restoring them to a remote pc, to make sure they're backing up properly.


    Linda Phelan

    Hi Linda,

    you can upgrade your account just by emailing

    As for compressing your backups - you're right - we charge you for the amount of raw uncompressed data you want to backup - because we don't think you should have to understand the way we do compression and encryption. To keep it as transparent as possible - we just charge you for the raw uncompressed file size you're backing up.

    You can restore an unlimited amount of times. We really want to keep billing simple - just how much space your files take up. You don't have to worry about compression, encryption, transfers, bandwidth, restores - or anything!

    Hope this helps -


    Dan - SOS Support

    [--- UPDATED: 5/26/2006 3:23:29 PM BY AGENT: Administrator ---]

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    Question: Data Privacy
    I am interested to know about the data security both at PC Client end, during the transport via internet, and in the SOS secure server i.e.

    How is the data encrpted at the PC before the transmission, in the transmission from the PC to SOS Server via the public internet, and when it is stored in the SOS Server?


    Your data is duplicated upon entering our data center - and stored simultaneously in two different places. That data is then backed up offsite through the day every few hours.

    Your data is secured by first being encrypted on your own workstation - prior to even being transferred over the network. Your data is stored on storage servers behind two firewalls to protect that data from external intrusion. Note however that even if there was unauthorised access to one of our servers - your data will still be encrypted - and thus inaccessible to unauthorised individuals.

    [--- UPDATED: 5/26/2006 8:22:23 PM BY AGENT: Administrator ---]

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    Question: upgrading an account
    I am currently using the free account and would like to upgrade to more space. How do I do that??

    Solution: Alternatively you can go to

    [--- UPDATED: 23/08/2006 12:09:59 PM BY AGENT: Administrator ---]


    easy - just email with the plan you would like to upgrade to.

    An easier way is just to go to and create a new account (with a different username).

    Thanks -


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    Question: How many PCs can I install SOS on for same account?
    How many PCs can I install SOS on for the one account I purchase?


    Solution: You can install SOS on any number of computers. We don't believe in restricting you like our competitors. Most online backup services will charge you extra fees for every seat you want to run their online backup system on (eg. Xdrive) - or for those machines you want open-file copy enabled on (eg. Novastor) - wheras with SOS - you can install it on as many machines as you like - and open-file copy is enabled out of the box.

    [--- UPDATED: 5/30/2006 1:53:45 PM BY AGENT: Administrator ---]

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    Question: Individual Privacy - do we advertise or sell your information?
    Does SOS collect any personal information (email, address, age etc.) for the purpose of reselling to other companies during data backups or account creation?


    Absolutely not. Thats a big differentiator between us and a major competitor who will rename nameless (but if you've read the PC Mag article you know who we're talking about!).

    SOS keeps your personal information solely for the purpose of communicating with you. We do NOT advertise. You're paying for the best online backup out there that there is - we don't need to supplment our income with advertising revenue.

    At the end of the day - a companies master is where their paycheque comes from. The competition gets their money from advertisers - and thats who they're loyal to. SOS gets its revenue from serious backup customers - and thats who we're dedicated to.


    Dan - SOS Support

    [--- UPDATED: 6/2/2006 1:23:30 PM BY AGENT: Administrator ---]

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    Question: Comparing SOS with the competition
    We are in the middle of converting to a new medical management system in our ofice. I've been convinvced we need off-site backup and have been investigating several companies. I've been primarily speaking with Live Vault which has now merged with Iron Mountain. We are currently going to need about 25-30 GB of storage, but when we add medical records, that should triple. Iron Mountain is about 2.5 times more than your service. Can you comment on the differences between you and them? I need to make a decision fairly quickly so any information you could give would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you
    Merrick Bromberg


    Hi Merrick,

    great question! Live Vault is a great company - and have a good product. As a company - they specialised in server backup - and were acquired by Iron Mountain as part of Iron Mountain's push into digital backup to augment their physical backup business. Prior to purchasing Live Vault - Iron Mountain purchased Connected, which sold the Connected Dataprotector product - an online backup system designed for workstations and laptops.

    We are somewhere in between the two. SOS was designed to comply with US DoD standards for compression and encryption - and indeed SOS's large corporate business comes from our focus on that side of the technology. On the flip-side - the SOS retail business unit focussed on building down that functionality so it was easy to use for consumers - resultin in our being awarded the PC Magazine Editor's Choice award ( )

    SOS is a fully scalable system. You can backup 50 mb on a laptop - or over 100 GB on a fileserver or database server - its up to you. We are a lot cheaper than Live Vault - but have all of the key features (like continuous backup, and open file backup - neither of which Connected or most other online backup companies have).

    Our motto: Big business IT best-practice for the little guy.

    Hope this helps!

    [--- UPDATED: 6/7/2006 12:30:10 AM BY AGENT: Administrator ---]

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    Question: Multiple Computer Setup & Support
    I am not sure how to setup your client software on multiple machines. For some reason, when I installed the client on a second pc and selected files to backup, it didnt work.

    Step 1, Selecting the files I need backed up by Right-Click and Select Protect,

    Step 2, Accept Dialogue Box, confirming I want to backup the selected files.

    Step 3, Try Running Backup now, But no files get selected.

    What am I doing wrong? The first machine works fine, However, I dont know how to sync the history so it doesnt keep uploading the same files.

    Thanks for your help.


    You should be able to do exactly what you said you're doing.

    Is the 2nd machine a different sort of configuration than the 1st machine?

    Have you tried protecting files using an alternative protection method? eg. using the explorer view or the drag 'n drop view?

    [--- UPDATED: 7/8/2006 4:35:50 AM BY AGENT: Administrator ---]

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    Question: Continous Backup and Open Files?
    Do all of your services offer continuous backup and support for open files? Can all your services run on Windows Server 2K3? Where is the pricing for Server Backup? Can Quickbooks Database Files and Access Database files both be backed up (continuously) while they are open?


    Yes thats right.

    Yes - we do support windows server 2k3.

    Quickbooks and Access database files can be backed up. Whether they'll be backed up continuously depends on how the database writes changes to the disk. If windows registers that the file is modified - it will trigger a backup. Some databases cache changes for a period before flushing the cache to disk (eg. SQL Server).

    You can always set an hourly scheduled backup to get around this.

    [--- UPDATED: 7/14/2006 4:58:00 AM BY AGENT: Administrator ---]

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    Question: Performance and length of time to backup
    How long does it typically take to backup data? For example if I wanted to backup a 10GB directory, how long would that take. I know alot depends on the speed at which you are connected to the internet, but could you provide some examples based on the various connection speeds out there.

    Thanks in advance,


    Hi Joe,

    ok - well - the way to look at it is to take your UPSTREAM bandwidth - and turn that into a speed of megabytes per hour.

    For example - in the US - a 2 megaBIT link is quite common (for cable customers). This translates into 250 kiloBYTES per second (2000 / 8 to go from bits to bytes). so 250 KB/s is 15 MB per minute or about 900 MB per hour. Note though that that is theoretical throughput. So its about 10 hours on this connection.

    For a DSL link - sometimes the link can be asymmetric - by which I mean your uplink might be slower than your downlink. In Australia for example - its common to have 1 Mbit down and 512 kbit up - which is about 1/4 of the speed of the 2 Mbit symmetric link discussed above. So on this link - it would take 40 hours.

    Two big points to note though:

    1. this big push only happens once - when you first backup. After that - only the 1's and 0's that change are actually transferred;

    2. how long the "big push" (or "baseline transfer") takes really depends on the data you have. We compress your data before pushing it. Some data compresses better than others. For eg - databases and spreadsheets will go to about 10% of their size using our customer compression techniques. Office documents in general to about 25%

    So its possible that your 10 GB will actually compress to 2 - 3 GB - in which case it'll be up in a matter of hours.

    Typically - we recommend customers do their full baseline backup on a friday night.

    Also - we're about to release a "physical media upload" tool - where we'll ship you a HDD - and you can do your backup to that - send us the HDD back - and we'll do the upload for you.

    Hope this helps -

    SOS Support

    [--- UPDATED: 31/08/2006 8:21:08 PM BY AGENT: Administrator ---]

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