So I’ve got a lot of pictures. Couple hundred gigabytes worth. I’d been meaning to figure out some kind of complex backup solution for a while, but I never quite found the time.
I back everything up to an external hard drive, but those things eventually die. Plus, I archive some things to the external drive and wipe them off my main hard drive. So I definitely needed another, preferably off-site, location to store my data. After some searching, I opted for Mozy.
What I Wanted
First, let’s get a few things clear: what I wanted from an online storage solution.
Cheap. I don’t have a big booming business, so I don’t want to pay per the gigabyte. I’m sure those large, scaleable solutions are awesomely secure… but they’re prohibitively expensive for me.
Big. There are some free options (including Mozy) that let you back up a small amount of data – a couple gigabytes. That would be fine if I wanted to back up my office documents and college papers. But, I’ve got hi-resolution, RAW images (~20mb a piece) that need to be backed up. 2gb of storage wouldn’t even hold one days worth of shooting, so that’s useless to me. I wanted something ranging from a couple hundred gigabytes to a terabyte.
Automated. I’m forgetful and, at times, lazy. If I have to manually initiate a backup, chances are I won’t do it as often as I should. That could be disastrous… so I want something that’s effortless and runs, automatically, in the background.
What I Got from Mozy
I researched some alternatives, and I eventually decided on MozyHome package. Why? It fit my needs perfectly.
It’s certainly cheap. For a no-strings attached monthly package, I pay $4.95 a month. If I change I mind, I can cancel and not be locked into a contract, and $5/month is well within my budget.
It’s big. The service is advertised as “unlimited.” I’m sure you could hit a limit eventually where they would quietly suggest that you upgrade to a (much more expensive) pro account, but I haven’t reached that point yet. Some research showed that many users stored upwards of a terabyte on Mozy’s servers with no issues. I initially had about 250gb to store, and I don’t see that ballooning to more than 1 to 2 tb in the near future, so that’s fine by me.
It’s automatic. I already automatically back everything up to an external hard drive (more about my backup routine), so I set Mozy up to just watch and backup my external hard drive. The program runs quietly in the background, and twice daily it scans the drive for new information and sends it to the server. No effort required on my part.
After about a month, I’m generally happy with the service. I backed up my files completely, and they continue to back up daily. I’ve tested out the restoration procedure, and it’s up to snuff. That doesn’t mean it’s perfect, though, so here are two concerns…
Initial uploads suck. I didn’t decide to do this until I already had ~250gb of data to upload. That takes a long time. The upload ran almost constantly, and the initial upload finished after about two weeks. If I already a terabyte of info to store, I don’t know if this wouldda been feasible. My suggestion? Pick an online solution early.
Restoring 300gb? I don’t want to think about restoring all that data. It’s easy enough to go in and pick out one or two files to restore. But, if I had to download 300gb of information (my amount of stored data), that could take a week or two. I shudder to think about downloading a whole terabyte from the server. So… let’s hope I don’t have a catastrophic failure of my external hard drive.
This is, of course, my initial impression of Mozy. I’m a real, paid user; I’m not just writing this up based on stuff I read on the internet. That also means that my opinion might change, since this article will remain for months to come (and, unfortunately, there’s no way to edit it). So, if you want to know if I’m still happy with Mozy, check out any more recent experiences with online backups that I’ve posted to my blog.