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Online backup with Mozy

posted 22 Jan 2010, 05:29 by James Gibbard   [ updated 15 Jun 2010, 12:29 ]
While working in a small computer repair shop I regularly saw cases where people lost every digital picture, document and file they owned. Whether it was due to hard drive failure or a particularly nasty virus, it was very rare to find that they kept an up to date backup of thier files. 

Realizing how priceless my digital files are I've been doing a weekly back up to an external hard drive for several years. Recently I discovered that the hard drive on which I store the back ups of both my desktop and laptop on, had itself suffered from hardware failure. I decided that I needed a more robust back system.

After reading lifehacker's hive five about online backup services I decided to go with Mozy. My decision was mainly based on the fact that Mozy is owned by a large and respected backup company and therefore less likely to disappear after a few months like many internet companies.

For home users there are two account types, a free account with 2GB of storage and a paid account with unlimited storage.

The Mozy software allows you to be very specific in what you back up, therefore if you are only worried about keeping remote copies of all your word documents this can be easily configured in the options. 

At first I started using the free account to back up documents but not pictures and music. I quickly forgot that it was running until an important word document I was working on became corrupted. Mozy attaches a virtual hard drive to your computer that when browsed shows all current files as well as files that have been deleted up to 30 days ago. It is also possibe to see all revisions of each file over the past 30 days. Restoring a file is as simple as right clicking and selecting restore. Since then I have upgraded to the unlimited paid account so that I can back up all everything.

The obvious disadvantage with  an online back up is that your files need to be uploaded over the internet. Despite having a relatively fast connection this still took nearly a week. Mozy does a good job of doing this in the background so that it does not disrupt your computer use. 

Download Mozy for here