Simplifying Electronic Back Ups

Two years ago my husband’s computer crashed.  Needless to say, he lost many files.  Yet, this is not to say that he wasn’t backing up his files regularly.  That’s the calamity of a computer crashing, you can be “good” and back-up regularly, yet if the computer crashes between those times, you’ll lose files –maybe not a lot, but it can still be an important one.  This happens with any computer, since at the time, his computer was relatively new.  This continues to stay with me, even fueling my concern about protecting my own data.

I use multiple tools for backing up my electronic data, at varying intervals – from the external hard drive that lives in the safe and I end up pulling it out a few times a year to the DVD+RW disks I aim to use once a month.  Notice I said “aim” – I’m not always as consistent as I want to be since it’s time consuming.  I talked about Dropbox last month and I do use that, but it only holds so much and I’m too frugal to pay for more!

That’s where Mozy comes in.  Mozy is designed as a file back-up service where you can choose the specific files you want backed up as well as the frequency at which you want it to back those files up.  I appreciate that there’s a free version for 2GB, though I do find their prices to be quite reasonable for more space.  They work with Mac or PC and their website says they’ve got high-grade encryption.

I’ve been using Mozy long enough that I’m using the second version.  I’m grateful that there’s been some improvements as I’d had some trouble with parts of Mozy before this.  Despite how inevitable change is, I still sometimes resist that very change.  There’s features I miss from the old version though too.

Choosing the files to have Mozy back up is easy.  For me, the files I choose are the ones that change most frequently.  Remember how if the computer crashes between back-ups, you’ve lost that information, well, I selected files that I would hate to lose and those I am modifying.  One of those things is my e-mail.

Speaking of e-mail, last week I talked about dealing with e-mail and one of the first things that Mozy lists is how many e-mails it can back up: 250,000 text e-mails with the 2GB version and 6,250,000 with the regular MozyHome version.

It’s simple to choose when you want Mozy to back everything up.  It’s also a fast process.  In the first version, the speed could be a huge issue, but I’ve been thrilled with the speed now.  I like that I set the interval, once a day, and can choose a time of day that it does the back up.  It’s so automatic that I don’t need to think about it or set aside time to do something with.

I miss the ability to open a little window and see how much time is left before the back up is complete, though this is hardly ever long enough to warrant that feature.  They still struggle with warnings.  It was bad in the last version – to the extent that I had several days when it didn’t back up, and I didn’t know until I was looking into something else.  I’ve only had one day with the latest version where I had a warning.  It was obvious; I saw it on the day that it happened.  Unfortunately, I’m not sure what the warning was for, though I think it was for the computer not backing up.

Although I’ve never had to use the feature, Mozy says that it’s easy to get the information from one computer to another.  As I looked around to see what other people were saying, certainly some dissatisfied customers had problems with Mozy’s service and getting their lost files.

Mozy is also not the typical cloud computing that I talk about, although the information is not stored on your computer, it’s not accessible from all the devices that can access the Internet.  Nevertheless it’s useful to have back ups in more than one place, and to have files automatically backed up so that you can reduce the amount you might lose in case calamity strikes and your computer crashes.  I do appreciate having another set of back ups for my electronic information, especially one that I don’t need to think about much.

Posted in Cloud Computing and tagged , , .

One Comment

  1. I read your article with interest, but the fact is that allthough mozy is a good system (others will disagree, but i’ve never had an issue restoring etc) that EMC just made the system unaffordable for those of use that back up about 200 GB of data, it is very very easy to generate this amount of data with pictures and digital video (pictures of the kids), it is unjustifiable that emc raised the prices three fold in the last few months.

    Whilst I am in no doubt that others who currently say they are on unlimited data plans will see those companys (crashplan, backblaze etc) start to charge more for data, mozy got their data tiers horridly wrong.

    I used to pay $59 dollars for unlimited storage in one foul swoop this increased to nearly $200, this is totally unacceptable.

    mozy is great if you back up to 50 gig of data any more than that and it gets costly. And currently there are more cost effective solutions to acheive the same thing. How long that will last however, is anyones guess.

Comments are closed.