Dell has made free online storage standard for all its new Inspiron and XPS computers, the first time a top-tier PC manufacturer has bundled the service with consumer systems.

A one-year deal, Dell DataSafe Online, provides 3 Gbyte of storage for all new Inspiron desktops and notebooks, and 10 Gbyte with new XPS machines.

After-purchase options let users upgrade to 10 GBbyte, 20 Gbyte or 30 Gbyte, and extend the subscription.

Dell first broached the DataSafe idea at January's Consumer Electronics Show, when it said the service would help users migrate data from older systems to new Dell-built PCs.

Users were to upload files and settings to Dell's servers, and the company would then transfer the data to the new computer before it was shipped. But the PC giant made no mention of the feature this week.

Dell said customers could use pre-installed software on the Inspiron or XPS computer to select files or folders for storing online, and choose a back-up schedule. The data is encrypted and online storage accounts are password protected, Dell added.