Mozy Review: A Stellar Online Backup Service

Mozy logo

Mozy logo

Web designers of all kinds keep tons of content on their hard drives and only realize the error of their ways after it is too late and a serious hardware failure wipes everything out.  Unfortunately, this would be the worst possible moment to mention that 99.9% uptime guarantees by hosts still leave room for roughly 45 minutes of downtime each and every month.  This is why backups are so very vital, but they are just pesky.  At least, that is the contention offered up by online backup service Mozy, but it does seem rather logical.

The Proposition

Mozy is a slightly silly name for a very serious backup service, and virtually all backups should be taken very seriously.   After all, how well could one handle their website(s) without all of their software and files?  How much time would they waste trying to catch up to where they were before some mechanical failure knocked them off course.

What Is Mozy?

Select which files to backup

Select which files to backup

Mozy is a set it and forget it online backup solution.  Files can be selectively backed up by drive, folder, or individually, and backups can be scheduled to happen whenever it is convenient.  This means that as long as a computer is online, it can be backed up.  This does require leaving computers on for the purposes of backing up, which may or may not be green, but it is also possible to backup while using the computer as Mozy can backup open files.

In fact, Mozy can back up any kind of file, and it does so intelligently.  This means both incremental backups and intelligent bandwidth throttling.  Incremental backups simply means that Mozy does not always backup the entirety of a file, but usually just looks for whatever has changed on the file recently.  This delta- or incremental style of backup not only makes backing files up easier and quicker, it allows users to restore files to a specified version based on the date.  This eliminates the risk of file corruption and/or gross malfeasance, but such protection only lasts for 30 days.

Intelligent bandwidth throttling lets users control just how much of the upstream performance the backup process is using.  Remember that using upstream speeds dramatically impacts downstream performance on most forms of backups, so it might be best to set Mozy to only use a small portion of a connection’s total upstream performance when the connection is use.  A throttle scheduler makes intelligent use of bandwidth possible, but our tests seem to indicate that the online backup system does a fairly good job of not hogging bandwidth.

Where Are the Files Stored?

Mozy stores user files in a hardened facility that is supposedly hack-proof.  All documents are encrypted and stored behind a military-grade firewall and industrial-class network.  This means that basically only a small handful of hackers on the planet even have the slightest chance of hacking into the highly secured sever farm, and it would take an act of god and/or an act of war to destroy Mozy’s server farm.  In fact, even that might not be enough.  The bottom line is that data that Mozy stores is very secure.

IBM 360

How Much is This Going to Cost?

Mozy comes in four flavors, but in only two names: MozyHome and MozyPro.  That is a little confusing on the surface, but here is how it breaks down: MozyHome has a free plan and a monthly plan and MozyPro has both a desktop and a server licensing scheme.  MozyHome’s home plan costs $5.99 per month. All of Mozy’s plans offer toll-free chat-based support, but MozyPro plans offer 24/7 telephone support as well as support for Mac OS clients.  This extra support does come at a cost as storage for MozyPro accounts costs fifty cents per gigabit each month, and then there are the license fees.

The big question is whether or not Mozy is worth it.  For $5.99 you can backup your important data.  The professional plans may not seem like that are such a great deal, but the support option is nice to have.  Ultimately, the question is what are the costs and risks associated with not using a service such as Mozy.  Each situation is going to be different but we would be hard pressed to come up with a long list of businesses that could just shrug off a serious data loss.  For that reason alone it is highly recommended that everyone use Mozy’s free service to backup their most critical files.  If they find their needs to grow, then they can’t go wrong by looking into what Mozy has to offer.