This is definitely cool, as they say. It’s called the BackupKey, from TurnKey Technology. It is a pocket-size hard drive that connects to a USB port and requires no software.

We’ve written about so many backup programs and devices that we’re in danger of someday doing back-to-back backup columns, but what certainly got our attention about this one is there’s no software. That’s right: nothing to load. Plug the little drive into the USB port on your Windows computer and after a few seconds’ delay, a box pops up asking you if you want to back up your files using this device. Sure, we said. That’s why we’re here.

From that mouse-click forward, everything went as smoothly as an ice cube on a hot stove pipe. And it was just as quick. It automatically backs up your bookmarks, e-mail, music and shared documents. Recovery was simple, and a menu of choices allowed us to de-select files we didn’t want to bother backing up. We could also add new folders, even those on a network.

We made some changes to a shared folder on our network. With the BackupKey plugged into a second computer, we clicked “backup.” It automatically added the new document from the network.

You can plug this little hard drive into 10 to 12 computers and it will keep the data from each computer neat and tidy in separate folders.

BackupKey comes in 80- and 120-gigabyte sizes, $200 and $250 list prices, respectively. You can find it at


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