June 04, 2012, 10:33 AM — Dolly Drive launched in 2010 as a crazy idea: why not back up your Mac with Time Machine over the Internet?! The firm proved over time that it wasn't as odd an idea as it first seemed. It's a rather simple solution that hides the underlying management complexity. Its software simulates a disk that Mac OS X believes is a networked volume available for Time Machine backups. Apple's backup processes handle transfers and restores.
However, it competes with hosted Internet backup options such as CrashPlan ( Macworld rated 4.5 out of 5 mice ) and Jungle Disk. These services provide their own backup software interface and back-end handling, rather than relying on OS X's Time Machine, and often have substantially more granular settings for which files are backed up and at what frequency. Backup-only services can be far cheaper. CrashPlan's single-computer unlimited backup price is $5 per month, while Dolly Drive includes just 50GB for a single-user account intended for a single computer. (See Which online backup service is right for you? for more info about online backup services.)
Dolly Drive has expanded its basic features, and winds up now being a one-stop solution for local and Internet-hosted backups, synchronization, and remote Finder-mountable disk storage, with a disk cloning utility thrown in—if you're the right fit for its choices. The recent 2.2 software update added sync and a mountable volume. This makes its pricing more reasonable if you want an array of services from a single company. For example, Dropbox charges $10 per month for 50GB of storage. Dolly Drive offers individual plans with up to 2TB and family plans with up to 8TB of storage.
While I tested each of Dolly Drive's features, this article focuses on suitable replacements or alternatives to MobileMe's Finder-mountable Internet-hosted iDisk storage, which disappears on June 30, 2012.