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Symantec’s SwapDrive: $500 a year for 2 GB?

I wasn’t convinced at first when an alert blog reader flagged an error in my previous posts about Symantec and SwapDrive: a comment from  “kataar” pointed out that yearly, SwapDrive actually charges $500 (five hundred) for 2 GB, not $50 (fifty).

That couldn’t possibly be right, I thought. I clicked the site, saw the same price list, read down the column for individual users–ah! 2 GB, $50. I was all ready to post a reply when I went back and checked it one more time, just to be sure. That’s when I noticed “Monthly” over the cost I was looking at. Under “Yearly” was, indeed, $500. For 2 GB of storage per year. For multi-user plans of up to 10 GB, the yearly cost is $2,800.

My bad. And thanks to kataar!

EMC, of course, is having a field day with this. Even comparing a relatively modest price of $49.50 a year (you’ll notice Mark Twomey made the same mistake I did), they are only too happy point out that you can get 2 GB of storage free from Mozy (I’ll let the irony of EMC gloating about another vendor’s pricing pass for now). Meanwhile, you can get up to 5 GB free from Windows SkyDrive, GMail will give you a 2 GB inbox for free, and Carbonite will let you back up unlimited capacity to its cloud for $49.95 per year.

I’ve heard of some of the older data hosting services, like certain specialized deals with Iron Mountain, costing in the neighborhood of SwapDrive’s quoted price, but I haven’t heard of too many in the consumer/SOHO/SMB space charging on that scale.

When I asked Symantec about the pricing, this was the response: “SwapDrive’s current online pricing will keep pace with the market and the value derived. Our service is more robust and redundant than many others offered in the market today.” The spokesperson added that 2 GB of online storage comes included with Norton 360 for an MSRP of $79.99.

I’d really like to learn more about exactly what makes SwapDrive hundreds of dollars more robust and redundant per year.  And what makes it worth $500 standalone but worth some percentage of $80 with Norton 360? That seems like a big swing to me.

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Although I am not the first one to cut Symantec a break, there are two totally different pricing schemes available for what is (apparently) the same product. Compare and has the pricing that Mark and I have mentioned in our blogs--which is 3-10x more expensive than Mozy. Swapdrive is 50x or more, depending on how much data you have. Makes you wonder what is going on at Symantec--that is a pretty major inconsistency. Scott
As Scott points out they appear to have two price lists. One for those who don't know any better and another for those who should no better. Oh and cheap shot on the pricing. ;-p EMC in affordable offering scandal!