You need this free online backup service

// October 30th, 2008 // Windows

Reposted from November 7, 2007

I’ve been thinking over recent months about backing up some things on my computer that I’d prefer not to lose. Things like the “My Documents” folder, web browser favorites (and bookmarks), the single-file backup of the server that served what you’re reading right now…you know, stuff I should have a backup of.

Until now, I’ve relied entirely on an external USB hard drive that always has a fairly current image of the entire computer. While it provides some level of protection, it doesn’t do anything for the odd “act of god” that can happen now and again. I’ve wanted online backup that’s reliable, but also cost-friendly for home use. I believe I’ve found exactly that…

The name is lame. Mozy. It sounds like it might do a lazy job of just mozying around until it decides to backup my bytes. Good thing I didn’t stop when I first read the name, or I would have missed out on an amazing service.

A relatively small download and quick install and I was ready to begin backing up my files. It went ahead and picked out what it thought was best. Not bad, but it exceeded the 2GB of gratis storage you’re given. I hadn’t even gotten this service out of Park and into Drive yet…so, I cut out “My Pictures” and the backup set dropped to a reasonable 59MB. A minimal interface packed cleanly into a small window is central command for Mozy. I clicked a button and it began “encoding” my files. After a minute or two, it began to upload those files to the Mozy service. A few minutes after that it was done.

Restoring is the most important part of any backup system. Having a backup of data you can’t restore won’t do you any good. It’ll probably just make a bad situation feel really bad. Mozy seems to have a handle on this concept and they have taken some good approaches to getting your data back to you. You have four data delivery choices:

  1. Right-click Restore – Integrates with Windows Explorer. You locate the place you’d like to restore files to, right-click and choose the “Restore Files in Folder” option.
  2. Virtual Drive Restore – Integrates with Windows Explorer. Access your backup files via a virtual drive mounted in your computer. It looks and acts like a hard drive.
  3. Web-based Restore – Very robust interface for navigating your backup set and restoring individual files or entire folders.
  4. DVD Restore – For a fee the folks that run Mozy will burn DVDs and FedEx Priority Overnight them to you.

The only limit to this wonderful service is a very generous 2GB storage limit for free accounts. The 2GB storage limit can be converted to unlimited storage for $4.95/month (USD). This makes it one of the least expensive online backup services I’ve ever seen.

Sign-up for Mozy Home (Free)

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