By Craig Buckler

Backup Files via Email Using

By Craig Buckler

Here’s an idea that seems so obvious it’s surprising no one’s done it before (cue comments from a dozen SitePoint readers using a similar service!) simply backs-up any files sent to There are no downloads, installations or configurations required. All you need is an email address and application — whether that’s on your PC, mobile, tablet or a webmail client. You don’t even need to sign-up since a BackupElf account is created for you.Despite the fragility of digital data, it still amazes me how few people have a backup plan. IT experts often forget that hard disks fail, so how do novices cope? will appeal to users who require an easy, ad-hoc, no-frills back-up solution. The service encrypts, categorizes, and indexes every attachment it receives. Files are stored safely and securely so it’s easy to find a backup on the website many years after it was sent. I expect many people will use BackupElf to transfer files between devices without the usual USB/Bluetooth link-up shenanigans.A 100MB account is provided free of charge but plans with additional space are available from $4.95 per month. 60GB business plans can also be purchased for multiple was founded by brothers Adam and Matthew Toren. They have an ambitious target to create a $100-million company with nothing but their talent, connections, persistence and $5,000 of their own invested capital:

By limiting ourselves to only $5K in initial funding, we’re forced to be creative in how we make this work. Sure, we hope for and anticipate success, but also for the type of success story that could inspire millions of future entrepreneurs.

The brother’s previous projects include and the book Kidpreneurs: Young Entrepreneurs With Big Ideas!BackupElf launches on October 5, 2010 and should be live by the time you read this post. For more information, head over to or view the 60-second introductory video…

What do you think about BackupElf? Is it a good idea? Would you use it? Can it succeed and become a $100-million company?

  • Tom

    Every hotamail/live user gets SKYDRIVE – free 25GB drive on MS servers, so why someone would pay $20/m for 10GB with BackupElf ??? There is so many great backup services for around $50/year and many of them don’t require users to install anything…you simply drag and drop files “to browser”. I wish them (BackupElf) everything the best and hope they will find users for the service they offer.

  • purpleduck

    I don’t see how this is any better or easier than Backup should require as little interaction as possible. I doubt that I would remember to email every important document (and revisions).

    • iamoutofjuice

      At the heart of it, it appears to be as simple as you can get from start to finish. Nothing to install, learn, or configure. Which for some people is a pretty big difference from Dropbox.

      I believe you can also setup your email client to automatically CC or BCC an email address. Which isn’t optimal, but it would work.

      But really, it just sounds more convenient than something that has to be installed.

    • Dropbox is great, but I suspect people will still find a use for BackupElf. For example, the Dropbox client isn’t available on Nokia mobiles, so BackupElf could be a quick solution.

  • This the facilty that i use i use the 400gig option for $23.96
    What is your time duration to become a $100-million company ???
    Admin @

  • webtechdiva

    Craig, I like this! Just tested it out. I didn’t sign up for an account but just sent an email from my iphone (a photo I just took with my iphone) to It sent me an email with a confirmation/user/pw. I logged in. It identified what I sent as an image and neatly stored it in my ‘image’ folder. I’m a fan and will play around with this a bit more. Truly is SIMPLE and I like simple and it seems to serve a purpose.

  • SimpleGirlFlash

    I like the idea of sending in my backups using email only. Nothing to set up. Nothing to install. And I don’t even have to create an account with It’s created for me! After I sent in an email with my attachments to–I got one back from them telling me my files were saved successfully! Talk about quality assurance! The whole backup process was so easy from start to finish.

    My reason for wanting a backup solution that I can use anytime- from any computer or mobile device is simple: I don’t want to lose my files (again). I don’t even want to RISK losing my files (anymore). AND I DON’T WANT TO SET ANYTHING UP either- especially if I want to backup files from different computers.

    If any of you have left your personal computer at your parents house only to return to an “I’m sorry- it froze and I asked so and so’s son to fix it- He’s really good with computers, but he said he had to wipe the drive cleans” then you know how maddening and frustrating it is to not have had a backup solution. is my backup solution and I’ve already started sending them important files to save. I won’t get my Undergraduate work back, but now I know I’ll never lose my files going forward–not to mention I’ll even be able to find them easily because they auto-categorize my attachments! It’s so organized!

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