Mozy to the rescue

Several months ago I bought a new laptop for my side business. I’ve tried to figure out a backup solution that would work for my computer, click and after doing some research, I decided that I wanted an online backup solution that would work automatically in the background. I picked Mozy for several reasons. I got it installed, selected my directories I wanted to back-up, and let it go about its business.

Mozy has been great. It runs in the background and every so often updates the online storage with the latest files from my laptop. At under $5.00 a month, this is a solution that works nicely for me. I suppose, it is $5.00 of insurance because hopefully you’ll never need it, but it is $5.00 for peace of mind.

Like I said, I never expected I’d need it. Until last night. My computer had a catastrophic failure. I have no idea what happened. I hadn’t installed any new software or drivers or hardware for a couple of weeks (at least), but yesterday it failed to restore from hibernate. We ran several tests and it wasn’t able to fix itself.

Now, normally, I’d be panicking right now. This is the main computer in my house. It has all my writing for the book I’m working on. It has all the web work I’ve done including my backup files for my website. It has all my photographs and my music. I had over 60GB of data that was gone in an instant. But I’m not panicking, nor am I inhalint anti-anxiety meds. You see, I’ve got Mozy. And they’ve got my back.

Mozy is a great service. You download the Mozy client, and you tell it what directories you want to back-up. One folder I backed up was my “Users” folder in Windows, because that contains all my critical data.

Mozy gives you 2GB of backup free. If you want unlimited backup, it’s $4.99 per month (with discounts if you purchase larger blocks of time up-front). If you want to add a folder to the backup repository, but it isn’t already there, you can just right-click on the folder in Windows, and say “Add to Backup”.

When something goes wrong, you can either restore a specific file, an entire directory (including sub-directories), or in the case of a catastrophic loss you can request backup downloads, which get compiled in 3GB increments and which you can download from Mozy’s website. These backups are executable files that you can run to restore all your old files in their former locations. All of that is free (well, included in your monthly fee if you have more than 2GB of data).

If that solution doesn’t work for you, Mozy can even take your entire backup, burn it to DVD, and mail it to you. That is not a free option, but it is probalby the easiest option, and it is the option I chose for my data restoration. When I tried to restore my backup files, I was able to download several of the backups, but not all. I have high-speed internet (which, by the way, is required to use Mozy), but I think my ISP may have been throttling my speed after I tried downloading 15 GB + of data in a couple of hours. I didn’t have the paitence to keep waiting, so I decided that to restore all 60BG+ of my data, I’d request the DVD restore option.

Honestly, this option cost a lot more than I expected. They charge a base fee of $30 for setup, plus $.50 per GB for the media, plus $40 for shipping (Next Day Air, shipped via FedEx). So my restore of 60GB was just over $100.00. I understand the setup and media fees. I was dissappointed that the only shipping option was FedEx Next Day Air. There are many shipping options, and I wish Mozy had let me pick my price depending on how urgent my need was.

Now I await my restore DVDs. I am very happy that I selected Mozy’s service. Even though it cost me $100 to get my data back (because I dind’t want the free download), that is still a lot cheaper than what I would have paid to recover the files from my hard drive. And my music and images are worth the $100.00 restoration, because really, the photos are priceless.

If you don’t have a backup solution in place for your computer, I recommend you consider a solution like Mozy. It saved the day for me this week. When will it be your turn?

(By the way, I’ll write a new post after I’ve been able to restore my data, so I can tell you how easy/hard it was. Stay tuned!)

5 responses to “Mozy to the rescue”

  1. I’m curious to know what other services you checked out and why you decided not to go with them. I have been using Carbonite for the last year, and I really love it, too. It’s only $55 per year for unlimited backup, and it includes little colored dots (if you want them) on each file icon so that you know what is backed up and what isn’t.

    I haven’t had to restore anything using Carbonite yet, so I don’t know if it costs anything to restore the files–but as far as I know, it’s all included in that annual fee.

    After a nasty incident about 18 months ago where I lost a bunch of music (most of my really critical files were salvaged, luckily), I decided it was a good idea to use this kind of service. Thanks for letting me know about another option!

  2. im having a horrible experience with mozy. 4 days not and they have to restored one file and are mostly trying to get me to spend $400 to get DVDs sent.

  3. I’m curious about the throttling part, as I’ve never experienced it. Officially, my ISP is Roadrunner (Time-Warner) but I’ve used OpenDNS ( pretty much as long as I’ve had high-speed internet at my present location. The service is great, I’ve never experienced any throttling, and you can create your own web filters to protect your family! Best of all, it’s free! You should definitely check it out. Next time, you might be able to save $100.00.

  4. @Troy – Thanks, Troy. That is a great idea. I’ve heard of OpenDNS, but have never tried them out. Stay tuned, pretty soon I plan to post a blog entry talking about the restore process from Mozy. (I decided it was worth the $100!)

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