Mozy – A Backup Service Reviewed

Note: In honor of Data Back Up Day (the 1st of every month), I am republishing this article that originally appeared on this blog on 21 Dec 2008.  To the bottom, I have added a new update that discusses my feelings about Mozy over the last year and a half.  Remember, keep your data safe!

I was inspired today after I read Dick Eastman’s blog article (The link for that article is at the bottom of this blog entry).  I realized that I really needed to look into other ways to back up my genealogy.  So, I figured I would try the website that he recommends: Mozy.

You all know that I am a huge fan of backing up your genealogy files – and luckily, I’ve been able to keep it all to a 2GB thumb drive (I use 2 different thumb drives – one for my genealogy and pictures and one for all of my school stuff).
So I headed on over to Mozy.com to see what they have to offer.  Since I am a poor college student, I immediately began searching for a free offer.  Luckily, they have a free service where you can upload 2GB of information.  This is what I am using and it compliments my 2GB thumb drive system perfectly.
I was surprised to read that for only $4.95 a month you could get unlimited storage.  If you think about it – this is SUPER CHEAP!  In a year that is about $60.  With that $60 you can save yourself a ton of headaches, crying spurts, and hair appointments to cover that new bald spot that you gained from pulling your hair out.  You’ll have piece of mind knowing that if tomorrow your computer decides to crash or if a virus gets your computer – all of your important files are safe and sound.  You’ll be able to restore everything.
So, the way Mozy works is that you download the program on your computer.  Then, you just tell it what files you want it to backup, when you want it to backup - and your done.  It is pretty easy to use and very user-friendly.  I’ve never used this service before today, and I figured it out rather easily.
However, (and this is such a small “however”), it will only backup files that are on “fixed” drives. For those of you who don’t know what fixed drives are, they are drives that can’t be disconnected from your computer (So, your thumb drive is not a fixed drive but your C drive is). This was a very small inconvenience that took only seconds of my time to fix: I simply copied the folders that I wanted to my desktop – and now I can easily back up all my genealogy files!
Link to Dick Eastman’s “Backups: A Testimonial” blog entry: http://blog.eogn.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/2008/12/backups-a-testi.html
Update:
Miriam made a great comment on this blog today.  She said that Carbonite charges only $50 a year.  Plus, Mozy apparently charges you to send a DVD with all of your data on it, should your computer ever crash.  Great point Miriam, and thanks for pointing that out!  And as for your question Miriam, I don’t believe that Mozy will backup external hard drives.  But please, don’t take my word on it since I am just now trying Mozy out.  It might be best to check some of the review sites like CNET to get a better answer.
Update (30 Jul 2010):  I have had Mozy for a long time now – and I LOVE it.  I’ve since upgraded to the paid version and I back up every picture and database to it.  It works great and I’ve never had a problem with it.  There are people who are dedicated to both of the major companies, Mozy and Carbonite.  I think it is similar to searching for the perfect genealogy program – it comes down to preference.
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10 Responses to Mozy – A Backup Service Reviewed

  1. Mozy does charge $85 to send you all your info on DVDs if your hard drive crashes.

    Carbonite is $50 a year, and you can access your backups anytime. They do not charge for you to download your info if your hard drive crashes.

    One thing I’m unsure of: will Mozy’s subscription service back up your external drives? Carbonite does not.

  2. I started using Mozy’s free service over a year ago, but during the summer I made the jump to the subscription service. I have no problem backing up any of the drives attached to my computer, including my 2 externals.

    You do not have to pay to download your backups. I did this by accident one time.

    After watching my husband suffer time after time for not backing up his data (and he should know better, as a computer professional), I feel that $59/yr is a small price to pay for piece of mind!

  3. You can download your data from Mozy to recover your data. It’s a slow process to do so, so being able to purchase backup CDs is helpful.

  4. Good to keep reminding people to back up their data! Folks might be interested in the following articles:

    [A scheme for backing up all of your family history data]:

    http://sean.famthings.com/2008/08/27/10-essential-steps-to-protecting-your-family-history-data/

    [A survey of various online back services]:

    http://stuff.seans.com/2008/07/25/windows-backup-products-part-2-%E2%80%93-imaging-synchronization-online/

  5. Here are clickable links for the blog posts that I mentioned:

    Windows Backup Products, Part 2

    10 Essential Steps to Protecting Your Family History Data

  6. Who cares what Dick “I promote my advertisers” Eastman says. I would not trust him.

  7. I’m in the process of backing up about 160 GB of data now to Carbonite. So far, about 106 GB has backed up in 2 weeks. I’m still on the trial, but will pay for the year subscription in a couple of days. No complaints so far.

  8. After 1 1/2 years with mozy I got another computer. I thought I would would use mozy to move the files. Guess what, it didn’t backup all my files. I lost my saved setting files for legacy family tree, not all of my project files for Passage Express were there & who knows what files I told it to backup were not there. All I have to say is buyer beware, I would still use an external hard drive for backups even if you use an online backup service.

  9. I have been using Mozy for over two years now. And I wouldn’t change for the world!

    You can download your backup at any time for free. You do NOT have just the option to order the CD backup to repair your files!!!

    Also, you can backup your external hard drives as well, with no difficulty. [I have 2 external hard drives which are automatically backed up.]

    Mozy runs in the back ground at all times, and you never know when it is “doing its thing”.

    I have had to rely on Mozy twice now for backup retrieval, and it’s been a breeze to obtain all information.

    Mozy costs $55 a year, and that is for unlimited backup. [My entire computer hard drive, and both external drives are on Mozy.]

    However, let me say, you would be unwise NOT to check frequently on any service you utilized to make sure that you everything you have requested is being backed up. And you would be even more unwise to rely solely on an online backup service!

    I use Mozy, backup within the system, and once a month burn to CD those files that I would be devestated without!

    For short term backup, I utilize a thumb drive [when working with a client, etc.]

    All in all, never trust a single backup. Make sure you have multiple backups. [Belive me, been there... lost it all... paid dearly to get it back!!!]
    Cyndi Beane Henry´s last blog post ..SNGF Come Sunday Morning

  10. I’m partial to Dropbox myself. But I have my Mac set for hourly incremental backups to an external drive, plus my flash drive and a hard drive I keep for a bank set of data every quarter or so.
    Sassy Jane´s last blog post ..Follow Friday – OLD GERMAN PROFESSIONS- OCCUPATIONS and ILLNESSES

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