Berkeley Data Systems has opened up its Mac Mozy public beta test of its unlimited online back-up service for Mac users worldwide.

The service – which is funded by Novell co-founder Drew Major and others – offers unlimited online back-up for $4.95 per month. Assets are encrypted and archives as part of the fee.

Users can choose between a Mozy encryption key and a private encryption key.

"The public beta was built by Mac engineers who understand the needs of the Mac community," said Josh Coates, founder and CEO of Berkeley Data. "With over 1,000 participants in our limited beta, we're excited to be the first to embrace the Mac community with this unlimited online backup service."

Mac Mozy uses Spotlight Search so users can select the types of files they want to back-up. The service requires a software installation of an application which runs quietly in the background. Back-up speeds vary depending on the upload speed of the consumer's internet connection.

Incremental back-ups and block level differentials are included, which means subsequent back-ups complete at a much faster rate than the initial backup. Mozy's servers also retain the most recent version of a file as well as 30 days worth of previously modified file versions.

Customers may retrieve files or versions of the files online or by requesting a DVD restore.

Mozy for Windows has over 180,000 customers, the company said.