review: mozy – free online backup

After having used it for a few weeks I really ought to mention Mozy [1], partly to try and get some extra storage space, but mostly because it’s a very interesting service for both Windows and Mac OS X users. I’ve only used the Beta release Mac client, but running it on my 1GHz G4 Powerbook has been relatively painless. About 2 times out of 30 backup runs I’ve noticed it was active, but the rest of the time I’ve been pleasantly surprised at just how up-to-date it’s kept my files – far more recent than any manual system I’ve ever used.

You can choose to use their own encryption key which will allow you to buy DVD’s of data from them should you have an absolute catastrophe, or enter your own which disables the DVD option but means your data remains private. The free account offers 2GB of storage, and so far I’ve only found 1GB of data that I really wouldn’t want to be without, and the initial upload can take some time depending upon your bandwidth, but I’ve set the client to run after 5 minutes of inactivity which means that the updates are small and fast. It typically updates between 1 and 4 times per day (hmm, am I online too much ?) and has a web based restoration service which allows you to browse through some recent snapshots (timestamped for the server time zone, unfortunately).

I’m seriously considering the paid for service (4.95 USD/mo) which allows unlimited storage space, as this would allow me to put all of my RAW image files a long way offsite for 26.33 GBP/yr (at today’s exchange rate, buying two years at once). The question I’ve asked myself is: “If you have 100GB of image files, how much would you be prepared to pay to recover from a total hard drive failure ?” Of course, downloading that much might break your ISP usage allowance for one month…

[1] If you use this link to sign up, you will get an extra 250MB of storage space, as will I. See, it’s not totally selfish.

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  1. Jennifer

    For online backup news, information and articles, there is an excellent website:

    This site lists more than 400 online backup companies and ranks the top 25 on a monthly basis.

    Any one can add their company in the directory. Just click on the “Search” button found at the top.

    Check out Mozy’s rankings!


  2. Well, that’s the hardest comment to moderate yet: it reads like spam, and the site looks like a search engine grabber ad revenue generator, but it does have relevant content.

    Of course, digg had some more to say about Mozy, including this Windows based review of someone doing exactly what I intend to do:

    and in the comments there’s one that looks very much like the above…

    and a problem with Mozy here:

    Still, it’s relevant-ish: no clue on that site how the rankings are computed, which makes them a little bit odd.

  3. – is a paid for listing review process.

    If you are serious about backing 100GB of data then you should look at Simply Offsite – we offer a service that lets you pre-load your data on the servers to avoid the (days, weeks, months) that it would take to backup that amount of data online.

    Take a look for a rough estimate of how long it would take you to backup your data.

  4. Goorsha is well respected informational website for online backup and storage.

    It is not a “paid for listing review process” as Mike claims in the above comment. Posting such kind of misleading info, without any proof, is not professional.

  5. Hi Gorsha,

    I’m sorry but I have to disagree with you there: you need to provide proof of where is respected and why before claiming such things or you’re the one that is unprofessional; simply assuming that because you say it’s well respected that it is does not make your point any more valid than Mikes. Are there such things are peer-reviewed online backup information journals ? No, I didn’t think so.

    Saying that the site is a paid for review site is not a problem to me – it either is or it isn’t. This site isn’t a paid for review service because it’s my personal server. If the .info site isn’t paid for by reviews, then why not just say how it’s paid for ? Most magazines are paid for by reviews and adverts, so why are you getting defensive ? What is there to be ashamed of ?

    The fact that the initial post ever saw the light of day was purely because I was feeling in a generous mood that day – it reads like spam, and now the fact that another semi-aggressive post appears from a different name simply looks like an attempt to gain Google rankings.

    Feel free to explain your position – I’m happy to put the record straight (for the Google records, of course).


  6. To my surprise I received a call from Mamush Heayie (the editor of BackupReview Info), about my comment. I was apparently incorrect about being a pay per listing site.

    My original comment was based on a miss-interpreted unsolicited email from Mamush in early 2006. I have honestly been under the impression that reviews were based on sponsorship and ad purchases and not truly unbiased reviews.

    I do still question the value or legitimacy of the site as the review process is not defined, sample sizes are not given, the amounts and types of data backed up are not specified. In short there is a real lack of numbers, critical thinking and in general a lack of useful information.

    I would expect to see reviews based on (with data) the ability to backup large amounts of data, recover from corrupt data, failed equipment, deleted data, the ease of restoring data, application specific support etc. etc., for all intents and purposes, looks and acts more like a link farm aimed at generating ad revenue then a true backup review site.

    As for Jennifer… she has over 240 posts 😯 extolling the virtues of Goorsha on the other hand only has 9.

    Me… I have 3 for simply offsite

  7. I had the same questions about and contacted them a few months ago. This is what they said:

    > I QUOTE < Our ranking is based on a number of factors: 1) General Guidelines: 2) News Releases: Any news release that was announced in the month preceding the ranking 3) Mystery Shoppers: We visit sites, contact sales, ask questions 4) Research: We read other sources about companies, including reviews 5) Testers: We have people using the services of several online backup companies We hope that this email has answered your question. Please contact us if you have further questions. > END OF QUOTE < Unless people are complaining why they were not picked as the top 25, this process is fair and legitimate. Have a look at the site, and the sponsor banner is Ewedrive and it is not listed in the top 25. I read this site on a daily basis and I have learned a lot from its postings. It is sometimes easier to criticize other people's work. If anyone is not happy with what can provide, then the best thing to do is to start a new similar site and show all of us that you can do a better job.

  8. There are a lot of great online backup services. Mozy is a pretty good application; however it is certainly not the best. Worse, Mozy has been acquired by EMC, the free service will be gone very soon as EMC never sells cheap stuff. For a more detailed review of online backup service, please visit:

  9. Mozy ‘Free’ and ‘Personal’ have some serious flaws which make them unsuitable for all but the most trivial of applications. For instance, backup files are deleted 30 days after the original was deleted – even if the original was deleted by mistake:!: You have to look to Mozy ‘Pro’ in order to get true file archiving and versioning, and then the cost skyrockets. I’ve posted links to the relevant sources on my blog:

  10. David Jones

    You should check out a site . They are an online backup company who
    offers all the usual services, but with an unusual additional service.  Use
    their backup software to copy your data to a USB drive or a DVD, send it to them
    and they upload it to their servers straight away.  This means you do not
    have to spend days uploading your data.  I sent them 43GB of data on a
    disk, I was then backing up the changes the day after.  I have been using
    them for about 6 months now and would fully recommend their services.  I
    only pay £4.99 for a 50GB account.