Mozy.com header

Backups. We love and hate them. We love having backups when something goes terribly wrong—a harddrive fails, you spill a drink on your notebook, fire, flood, tornado, etc. But many of us, myself included, hate the hassle of making regular backups.

In comes Mozy. Mozy is a remote, online backup system that helps Windows and Mac users make automatic backups. It’s so automatic, once you get it set up, you may just forget you’re even doing backups. No, really.

Note: This isn’t a paid post. I just really find Mozy useful and I want to share this great service with you. If you sign up at Mozy and use my referral code – MPED5A , I do get an extra 512MB of storage free, but then again, so do you, so win-win. That means you get 2.5GB of storage free.

Why Use Mozy?

Making backups to another computer via a network, backing up by tape/disc/DVD/external harddrives all work—unless you have a natural disaster or a fire. Whatever you stored your backed up files to may be gone as well.

An off-site backup needs to be done regularly. Mozy gives you an automatic, secure way of doing remote backups.

  • 2GB free storage with MozyHome (get 2.5GB storage space free)
  • Secure/encrypted transfer
  • Automatic/scheduled backups
  • Incremental backups
  • Backs up open/locked files

Secure

Mozy encrypts your files before it even starts to transfer them. Mozy encrypts your files using 448-bit Blowfish encryption, then transfers them to their servers using 128-bit Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption. You can even use your own private key for encryption.

Easily Restore Lost Files

The great thing is that Mozy lets you retrieve a copy of your lost/corrupted files in 3 ways:

  1. Their client software lets you browse/restore your backed up files like a virtual harddrive through Windows Explorer
  2. Restore online from your browser through your account on Mozy.com
  3. Request a DVD be mailed to you

Storage Space

MozyHome offers 2GB of free storage for personal backup. If you want to backup more than 2GB, you can buy unlimited storage space for just $4.95/month. If you sign up for MozyHome and make your first backup before Oct 31 Nov 30 using the referral code MPED5A during registration, you get an extra 512MB of storage free (if you sign up after Oct 31 Nov 30, it’s only 256MB). You can also sign up using this link to get the extra storage.

Mozy also provides Pro and Enterprise packages for businesses and organizations at low monthly rates. MozyPro is currently $3.95/month + $.50 per GB and provides a few more features than MozyHome. This is a very small price to pay for not having to worry about losing files for that project you’ve been working on for the last month.

Automatic Remote Backup

Mozy client software displaying a notice of a successful backup

With the free 2GB account (MozyHome), you get their program that installs on Windows (Vista, XP, 2000)/Mac OS X. With this you can:

  • Choose your backup based on type of file, directories, or individual files
  • Schedule when to run your backup
  • Set how much of your bandwidth you want to devote to the backup when it runs
  • Restore your files—1 at a time, as directories, or the entire backup set

Incremental Backups

The idea of uploading 2GB worth of files every night is not appealing. Mozy’s backups are incremental, so it monitors which files you used since the last backup, then only uploads the changed files. In fact, it only backs up the parts of the files that have changed.

Running my backup the first time took a while to complete, especially my upload speed stinks. However, once Mozy did its initial backup, even when I make big changes to the files in my backup set, it takes no more than an hour or 2 to upload each night.

Open Files

Mozy will even backup files without you having to close them off first. You may have a file open in an editor, but Mozy will back it up anyway when it runs its backup.

Caveats

There are a few things that MozyHome and Mozy in general can’t do.

  • Only 2GB of storage for MozyHome users (but for $4.95/month you get unlimited space).
  • Bare metal backups—full system backups/restores are not recommended or supported. This would include operating system files and program settings. Mozy does allow for certain settings to be backed up, such as Firefox bookmarks/profiles.
  • MozyHome doesn’t allow network drives to be backed up. Only fixed drives will be backed up, so external drives will be removed from the backup set if unplugged. MozyPro/Enterprise allows network drives to be backed up.
  • No filesharing with other people—you can access your own files from anywhere, but you can’t provide links to others.

Special Offer

If you sign up with Mozy before Oct 31 Nov 30 using the following link, you’ll get an extra 512MB of storage space (256MB if you sign up after Oct 31 Nov 30):

Get MozyHome + extra storage

You can also get the extra storage by going to Mozy.com and entering the following code during registration:

MPED5A

What Do You Use?

Do you use any other online backup solutions? Leave us a comment and tell us about them.

Similar Posts: