BlackBerry Protect Preview - RIM introducing FREE remote backup, restore and locate service to BlackBerry owners!

By Kevin Michaluk on 12 Jul 2010 09:00 am EDT

BlackBerry Protect

Whether a big innovation or small, we tend to always get hyped up at when Research In Motion introduces a new product or service to BlackBerry users (what can we say.. we love BlackBerrys!). Today's official word of the coming of BlackBerry Protect, which will be available in limited beta later this week and open beta later this year via the App World test center, is totally deserving of some genuine excitement. BlackBerry Protect is a free service offering from RIM that allows BlackBerry smartphone customers to remotely backup, restore and locate their BlackBerry smartphone, from wherever they are via their destkop computer. CrackBerry readers will be familiar with SmrtGuard, an application we've raved about here since it was still in beta... you can think of BlackBerry Protect as free RIM-built version that mainly accomplishes the same things. Key BlackBerry Protect features include:

  • Remote Device Management: Locate on map; Activate lound ringer; Lock / password change; Lost and Found screen; Device wipe
  • OTA Backup and Restore: Contacts and Calendar; Memos and Tasks; Browser bookmarks; Text messages
  • Administration: Based on new BlackBerry user account system (BlackBerry ID); Web-based end user portal; operator call center access

I had a chance to get a sneak peek of BlackBerry Protect and and am definitely happy to see RIM bring this service offering to its (consumer/BIS) customers for FREE of charge. Bottom line is it works as advertised and as you'd expect - the features/capabilities of BlackBerry Protect sort of speak for themselves. While the OTA backup and restore features are nice (would have love to have had these for a long time now), it's the remote device management that will make you say THANK YOU RIM if and when you ever have to use it (like if you ever misplace your device). Definitely another compelling reason to be a BlackBerry owner. Keep reading for some more images and details!

BlackBerry Protect Preview and Walk Through

BlackBerry Protect is comprised of two parts that work together to provide the total experience: an on-device BlackBerry application that runs in the background where you can modify settings, and a dedicated web-portal where you can login to manage the remote features.

 Features  Details  Images
Desktop: Wipe Device
  • Protect important information by wiping the BlackBerry smartphone from the desktop
  • Erase from device and micro-SD cards
Remote Wipe
Desktop: Lock device
  • Help ensure that information is not compromised
  • Lock out unwanted people from using your BlackBerry smartphone
Remote Lock
Desktop: Display message
  • Send important information to the BlackBerry Smartphone
  • Leave phone number, email or other information (like the reward you're offering if the person who finds it actually returns it to you!)
Display a Message
Desktop: Loud ringer
  • If you've misplaced your BlackBerry smartphone in a room and can't find it and its on vibrate or silent, activate a loud ringer to track its whereabouts
Loud Ringer
Desktop: Locate device
  • See your device's location and pinpoint the current whereabouts of your lost or stolen BlackBerry smartphone
Backup data from device
  • Bandwidth efficient - can be done in WiFi only
  • Automatically disable scheduled backups when roaming
Restore data from device
  • Restore data to new BlackBerry smartphone after losing one 
  • Switching from one BlackBerry smartphone to another







  • Data is never in the air or on disk in the clear
  • State of the art encryption technology for storage of user data
  • Encryption keys are stored in a separate data center from the user data to prevent any possible compromise of data + keys

Hard to argue with all of the above when the price is right, right? All in all I think the BlackBerry Protect service is a more than welcome addition to what BlackBerry already has to offer. To existing BlackBerry owners it's a no brainer to put it to work, and for those looking at making their first smartphone purchase it's another compelling reason to go BlackBerry. One thing I'd still love to see the BlackBerry platform offer (be it via BlackBerry Protect, a third party app, or via all app devs themselves) is the ability for individual third party BlackBerry application settings to be backup up. When you customize app settings (something like BerryBuzz for example) it sucks to have to upgrade your OS or switch over to a new device as you lose all those settings. Or even more basic is the example of a BlackBerry theme. Once you get all of your homescreen folders setup and icons placed in the order you want, there's currently no way to save that theme setup. Switching to a different theme forces you to start fresh, as does switching to a different device. Mega annoying and something I'd love to have the ability to backup and restore.

BlackBerry Protect aside, what also excites me here is that this is all a strong indicator of where RIM is going. We saw RIM introduce remote backup of contacts with BlackBerry Messenger 5.0, and now with App World 2.0 and BlackBerry Protect RIM is tying this in-the-cloud storage with to the new BlackBerry ID account system, which really starts to make things less messy as a BlackBerry owner. We all know the way Apple works their magic with iTunes and the iTunes account. BlackBerry ID is RIM's way of bringing everything BlackBerry together for a customer, and hopefully they will quickly build on this with more service offerings that take advantage of it and the cloud (on investors calls RIM's Co-CEO Jim Balsillie has mentioned many times that RIM is going to be doing big things in media). I guess time will tell! 

Stay tuned to for more BlackBerry Protect information and details. We'll let you know more on its public availability as we hear it. In the meantime, we hope you're liking what you see!

Reader comments

BlackBerry Protect Preview - RIM introducing FREE remote backup, restore and locate service to BlackBerry owners!


Will like to know how much impact, if any, there will be on memory with this always running in the background.

Also, as a caution to everyone, especially when this first comes will now be storing your data "in the cloud". I am sure RIM will (hopefully) do this right, but for those in a corporate setting that consider using this in addition to the BES controls, this could be a privacy issue........

this is a BIS only feature, so, unless there are carriers that still offer a BIS+BES option (Alltel did, Verizon doesn't that I've been able to find) you won't be using this in addition to the BES controls, especially since this duplicates many of the BES controls already.

as far as storing the data "in the cloud" I'm torn on that idea, where it's all encrypted and secured, I don't necessarily mind it, as long as Google doesn't sprout the funds to buy RIM and start selling off access to the data on those backup servers.....

No wonder I keep seeing deals from SmartGuard, this product looks like it will make them obsolete.

I'm assuming this is the same as Blackberry Shield? (

Either way, I'm super excited about this!

I do have a gripe with how long it's taking RIM, though. This is a product that should have been developed years ago, and now it's going to be "available in limited beta later this week and open beta later this year via the App World test center"???

I mean really? When is it going to be AVAILABLE. I have no faith in any timeline RIM ever sets. I can't remember the last time I heard a timeline that they've actually met.

Hey, they're just using the "Nuclear" time frame. The nuclear field is just as bad. If they say it should take an hour to do, they really mean 3 hours!

will sift through the other 100 apps that cna do stuff like this. why it took so long for this to come about, we'll never know...

"Remote Device Management: Locate on map; Activate lound ringer; Lock / password change; Lost and Found screen; Device wip"

at least you guys could run a spell check and realize you meant "wipe" not wip.

I have been using the paid version of SmartGuard for the last year and a half but decided not to renew even though my subscription runs out in 3 days. I also noticed the 50% off promotions Smartguard was having and was very close to signing up for another year but really didn't see any benefit to using the paid version when the free version had all the features I thought to be most important. Considering that I have never been able to get the restore function on Smartguard to work properly anyway, I could care less if the free version doesn't have it. But now with Blackberry Protect offering virtually all the features of the free version of Smartguard plus remote backup and restore, I don't see a bright future ahead for Smartguard, at least with respect to the Blackberry platform.

Can't wait until this is out. This would save lots of time when it comes to restoring lost devices. Thanks RIM for this program and we all would be happy.

SmartGuard can't compete with this when BlackBerry Protect is free!
I'm excited to put this on my device!

There may be the "e" on wipe where it belongs, but there's an extra "n" in loud. :-)

"Remote Device Management: Locate on map; Activate lound ringer; Lock / password change; Lost and Found screen; Device wipe"

What a great app! I'm glad it's free, and I absolutely love the ability of being able to lock and wipe remotely. Great job RIM, keep developing this amazing apps for us!

Given that I can't use Smrtguard with my current email service (google apps mail) I would love to see this product introduced. I hope they go to public beta phase soon!

If so, that's the only noticeable (at this time) drawback. SmartGuard lets you do all these things from another cell phone. RIM should incorporate this as well.

I don't see this as a selling point or even necessity. Not many folks have two cell phones. You lose one, it's your main one, and you're SOL until you get to a computer.

everyone has a cell phone. With BuddyGuard etc you can use anyone's cell phone. You just need to send a text or email to your BB with the order for it to do what it needs to do. So, you lose your phone, you ask a friend or your wife etc. to use theirs for a minute.

Good job RIM!! They are definitely stepping up their game recently... nice to see quality OEM implementation of apps/software like this, and free too! Even though, I'd still pay $5-10 for something like this, if it works as well as described.

I will definitely be getting this when it comes out... It looks good and it has all the features one can want with the price everyone can agree on! Good job RIM!

So far from what I read I like what i hear. The price sounds good..I am just hoping that it will do what it says it will. We need RIM to come out strong and keep it strong with great services like these. We now need to show Apple why we are the best!!!

I was going to stay with Blackberry anyway, especially awaiting the 9800 rather than go with the IP4 or EVO, but now with this service it is yet another reason to stay with RIM. Good job to you RIM! Thank you!

I trust RIM to make one that works in europe. All other and similar apps are about 2000 miles off for where I acuatly am.

Track my phone as that would mean RIM can track anyone they wish to do so and whenever they want to.

Think about the government looking for you cause you owe say $1.00-$10.00 or more in income tax.. :)

Think about you being on a nice vacation and the FBI show up in your remote location in the wilderness of Japan to arrest you cause you missed payments on child support or unpaid fines.

The world is becoming more of a "Lets Track Everyone" from our borders to across the globe and i would not be surprised if it even reaches outspace.

Soon we will all need an implanted chip so that the government will be able to track you batroom time and sleep time and whatever else they want to track about anyone.

So when is this service being released? I have looked through app world and beta and can not find it. Is this something that will only be available on blackberry 6.0 or should it be available on 5.0 as well? Anyone that knows anything about this product is greatly appreciated. Everything I see online dates back to July 2010 saying it should be out by now.


I'm using SK Telecom in South Korea. Does anyone know where I can get the download for my vv 9700? I'm running 6.0 and protect isn't allowed for download in my country...

Help I want this program!

I had downloaded protect app but it is showing an error invalid user name or password but the same bb id is used by me to download this app from app world

This is the worst app ever!! I relied on it a few times and each time the server was it wouldn't work on my blackberry curve 3g ( on at&t, in case that matters)...causing me to not get emails nor texts (since i just got a new sim it wouldn't work!!) I left a droid htc vivid only to be reminded how horrible blackberriers are at working when you want them to!!! Grrrrrrr!!! uggggh!!!! i am debating on going over to the iphone...any warnings? i really would like a nice phone that actually receives data and transfers it...smartphone? thanks!