Sunday, August 16, 2009

Free Online Backup Review - Mozy MozyHome

A while back in my Ultimate Backup Solution post I mentioned that cloud (online) backups services were notorious for being too slow for any appreciable amount of data and, due to the service fees, too expensive relative to other backup alternatives.

A friend of mine soon after referred me to a service called Mozy Backup. Strange enough name, but hold on, they're advertising 2GB backups for FREE? Sounds too good to be true. 2GB isn't that much space, but if you were to distill all of your digital files, removing pictures and movies, leaving just the bare essentials like financial documents, it will definitely be under 2GB. Sure enough, mine weighed in at about 1.3GB. More than most I'm sure, but I'm a digital pack rat.


1. Visit Mozy and create a free account.
2. Download and install MozyHome
3. Select what folders you want to back up and configure other settings like frequency, what happens if a file is deleted etc.
4. Do nothing

The MozyHome desktop program makes it completely effortless to do backups as frequent as you want. If you only take advantage of the free 2GBs, it becomes a perfect application for backing up your temporary work/project directory where critical, in-progress things are stored that have yet to be archived because they're currently being worked on. Accidentally delete a file, find it corrupt, have a drive die... Mozy to the rescue!

The initial manual backup that I conducted, where all of my files had to be transfered, took a decent amount of time, but relatively short by industry standards. I was particularly impressed with the fact that I didn't notice performance glitches in other programs while Mozy was doing its thing. After the initial backup, when few or no files changed the checkup process was extremely quick sometimes less than a minute. Just for curiosity sake I added a few PDF files to my folder and observed the slight increase in backup time. Below are some raw numbers for you to crunch.

Test Data
8/8/09 Manual Backup 1.3GB 01:33:22 935 files transferred
8/9/09 Automatic Backup 00:00:35 0 files transferred
8/10/09 Automatic Backup 00:02:30 0 files transferred
8/15/09 Automatic Backup 3.3MB 00:02:11 12 files transferred
8/16/09 Automatic Backup 00:00:40 0 files transferred
Overall I think Mozy turned out to be a great find. I was unimpressed with online backup services in past but Mozy seems promising. I think one of the most attractive things about the service beyond the 2GB is the very simple and cheap pricing of $4.95/month!!! That's not a lot of pocket change for peace of mind with your digital life. I think my 68GB of pictures is a perfect candidate to start with!

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