At last – an easy backup solution

by on 10th of December, 2007 in Software & Online Tools

phd-data-backup.jpgWhen I was writing up my PhD thesis I was paranoid about data backup. Years of hard work – pictures, data-files, notes, publication lists not to mention the thesis manuscript itself – all stored on one hard drive. Copying onto CDs or detachable hard drives was fine, but what if I lost those, or they became corrupt?, or what if my house burnt down? – all my work would be gone.

Told you I was paranoid about it.

Anyway, none of that happened, but it is good practice to be at least a little paranoid about keeping your data safe. Online backups always seemed to be a good idea to me since they are an easy way to get a backup off site – giving you one less problem to worry about if your house burns down. But online backups are expensive, aren’t they?

Well not any more it seems, Mozy is a new online backup service that offers 2 Gb of back-up space for free. Not only that, it also offers the following:

  • Encryption of your files both during transfer and storage, so no one else can read them
  • Scheduling, so you can do automatic daily backups
  • Outlook backup to protect your email (if you use Outlook)
  • Incremental backups – after the initial backup, only files that have been changed are backed up, making the backup process very quick

As well as the free service Mozy has two pay options that offer greater versatility. MozyHome offers unlimited backups for only $4.95/month for home users and MozyPro is a feature-packed enterprise-level option for companies offering storage at $0.50/Gb.

Photo: Beeb-gzb

6 thoughts on “At last – an easy backup solution”

  1. Blaine says:

    I know there are a lot of automatic backup options out there, but I’ve been using Mozy for over a year and I’ve been very happy with the service. Luckily I haven’t had to use it, but since I worry about data loss as much as you do, it is well worth the peace of mind!

  2. Hsien Lei says:

    I’d like to try one of these services (Amazon has something similar) but my broadband speed isn’t great so I wonder how many weeks it would take for me to back everything up. Grrr.

  3. Mr. Gunn says:

    Another thing to be very careful of is that they won’t go through and delete media files. I’ve read some the terms of service for some companies in the past(don’t remember which) and they pretty much retained the right to delete anything with a .mp3, .wav, etc extension.

    Another thing they do is restrict the number of computers from which you can access your backup. All this is supposed to shield them from over-litigious recording industry types, but it can make for a pretty poor experience for an end-user.

  4. Jacob says:

    Our building actually caught fire last night!

    Fortunately, it was quickly contained with no significant damages. When we got the phone call, though–not knowing the extent–we panicked a bit due to our lack of off-site backups: if the building and computers went down, so did all our data.

  5. Simon G says:

    I was looking around for something like this a few months ago, and was trying to decide between Mozy and Amazon’s S3.

    I decided that I’d rather trust a gigantic company like Amazon to not disappear overnight. They do charge you for data storage and transfer, but I’ve got about 10GB there at the moment which costs me all of $2.30 a month.

    There’s a cool little 3rd party app (shareware) called JungleDisk which provides a nice wrapper around everything.

    @Hsien – it took me about a day to backup around 5GB to S3, and MUCH longer to do the same on Mozy – not sure why.

    –Simon

Leave a Reply