You’ve seen us tackle the Carbonite Backup software – Emory Rowland found Carbonite effective and simple to use – but Carbonite isn’t the only star in the file backup galaxy. There’s also Mozy (mozy.com), the reasonably-priced and award-winning easy download that lets you back up your files in similar fashion. So how does Mozy stack up? Is it worth the price? Let’s take a Mozy on down (pun intended) to their site to see what we find.
Mozy Online Backup Pricing
Of course, why not start with the most pressing issue: pricing. How much will this set you back? You’ve already heard me refer to Mozy as reasonably-priced, but what exactly constitutes reasonably-priced in the world of data backup?
I signed up for the $4.95/month option, but there are other ways to tackle it: you can go for a full year at $54.45 or two years at $103.95.
Not too shabby – just a few Washingtons over Carbonite’s $54.95/year package. Carbonite does offer the 15 day free trial. What’s Mozy’s response? Offering up to 2 GB of backup for free. Tough to make a call between the two at this point.
I personally chose the $4.95/month option and enjoyed their quick, easy download. I was able to get to the “Account Created” screen only a few pages away from the main page and it took just one click to get started by downloading the software onto my computer:
I selected the button that nearly says “Download for the Win” and got started in a flash.
Installing Mozy Online Backup
This being my first experience with using online backup software, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the installation process. Did Mozy need to get into every folder in my computer, throwing its tentacles around my every file? Did it need to plug in to my passwords?
As it turned out, the installation wasn’t quite so scary, and it installed much like any other program or game would install itself on my computer. It wasn’t long before I was looking at the opt-in screen and was ready to type in the username I had already supplied when I downloaded the software.
At this stage, it was difficult to tell if the potential lag was due to my computer’s own problems or due to the Mozy software itself. I’m going to give Mozy the benefit of the doubt since it looked like it was my computer that locked up and slowed Mozy down in the process.
The one thing that Mozy did seem a little slow on was logging me in. I saw a lot of this:
Should Mozy take this kind of time to log in automatically every time you start up your computer, it wouldn’t be the greatest pleasure in the world.
Backing Up with Mozy
With very few problems so far, it was time to examine the meat and potatoes: after all, Mozy’s here to backup files, not dazzle me with pleasant downloading experiences. So how did Mozy fare in this stage of the game, especially for an admitted backup-software rookie?
First, it wanted me to start off with a bang – backing up all of the files that I presumably did not back up in the dark days before I downloaded Mozy. This was a nice little ice breaker, except that I wasn’t exactly sure what to do.
As I would find out, Mozy was actually good at finding things like “Word processing documents,” bringing much of the files together to one place so I could have them all backed up if I needed to. Even so, I trepidaciously moved on without allowing it to do any backing up yet.
From there, Mozy would reveal its Home bar, which is a bit graphically challenged and utilitarian in nature but actually does seem to provide some good options.
As you can see, some of the toolbar options – like Schedule, for example – are actually exactly what the doctor ordered from a backup system. You can customize your backups to reflect the amount of work you do on your computer – it might help to be mindful of the kind of lag this can create on your computer, however.
An interesting function of Mozy was a customization of your backup process that lets you choose how much your backing up actually effects your computer’s performance. Want to get it all done at once while you’re sleeping? Set it that way. Working while you’re backing up? Set it to allow your computer to run faster.
It wasn’t long before this rookie figured everything out and backed up his first file – admittedly, I didn’t give Mozy a big challenge here (1.3 KB is about as small as files get), but it did run smoothly.
After backing up my minuscule file, I was able to go ahead and find where to restore it should I need to restore it. Quick, painless, and fairly easy.
Conclusions on Mozy Online Backup
Overall, Mozy seems to be a Spartan, no-frills program that doesn’t try to take up more of your computer’s memory than it has to. For about 5 bucks a month – and around 50 bucks for the full year – it could be well worth your money if it saves even just a few of your important files.
- Quick download, fairly easy to figure out the first time
- Lets you browse your files with the standard browsing or by their customized file folders
- Choice between a faster computer and a quicker backup
- As stated, the price is reasonable
- Doesn’t exactly guide you through your first file backup
- Can be a bit difficult to find your files at first
Overall, I’d say the positives outweighed the negatives. If you want your online backup to be fun, you should probably be playing a computer game instead.