EMC-owned online backup provider Mozy has dumped its "unlimited" backup pricing for personal users in favour of a tiered model based on the volume of data stored and the number of computers connected, sparking a backlash.
Mozy previously charged $US5 a month for "unlimited" backup, but now will charge $US6 a month for backup of up to 50GB total from one machine, or $US9.99 a month for 125GB total from up to three machines.
Additional computers or 20GB storage blocks can be added for $US2 a month.
Existing users can maintain their current plans until the paid-for period expires, at which point they have to migrate to one of the newer options.
In a post on its site, Mozy said that an increase in video and photo storage, especially with higher-resolution devices, meant that "the online backup industry must adapt".
It also hinted at plans to soon offer a Dropbox-style service where customers would be able to more easily access files online and shift them between PCs, a move that would inevitably see Mozy's own bandwidth charges rise dramatically.
"Rather than claiming to offer 'unlimited' backup while imposing bandwidth or file limitations, we want you, our users, to decide what you want backed up and in return Mozy will provide you the best possible service level, with no hidden restrictions," a support document on Mozy's site read in part.
Mozy said it did not plan to change pricing on its "pro" plans, which already incorporate volume-based pricing.
While Australians have long had to deal with bandwidth caps on their Internet services, US providers have frequently offered "unlimited" deals, and that has helped drive uptake of backup services.
The move towards capping downloads by ISPs in the US may have made it seem more tenable for Mozy to try limiting its own service, but the consumer response so far has not been positive.
"My Mozy bill will go from $100 to $265 a year with their new pricing plan. As a commodity service, I will switch as soon as my year us up", one Twitter user wrote.
Rival providers Backblaze and CrashPlan have launched discount offers to try and woo Mozy customers.
While rival Carbonite launched specific Australian pricing in 2008, Mozy hasn't followed suit, delaying plans last year because of government concerns over the location of stored data.