Losing my data is one of my worst nightmare – I’m sure I’m not alone. Backing up used to require a lot of discipline (too much for me), so for years I ended up risking it all – not anymore. Mozy is an online backup service you set up once and can forget about… that is until disaster hits, i.e. you lose data. Well, with Mozy installed it’s no longer a disaster, you can conveniently pick the date you want to restore from, and voila’ – your precious data files are back!
Mozy is still beta, but a very stable, mature one. Since my previous post it has improved significantly. The key improvement is tracking byte-level changes, which results in a huge bandwith usage reduction. Let me explain: if you use Outlook, and just received an email, added a contact..etc, most programs out there, even my favorite FolderShare will copy the entire file, which in my case is about 180MB. With most high-speed Internet providers still limiting upstream, that in itself could be a significant burden. Mozy tracks byte-level changes, so it will only need a very small upload. It also handles files locked by a program (another shortcoming of FolderShare).
You can configure your backups to occur at a fix time (during the night), or dynamically after a period of low system resource usage. This is what I do, and the result is several backups a day, all in the background, which I don’t even notice.
If you don’t have a “lifesaver” yet, here’s the signup link for 2G free space, and by following it you’ve just increased both your space and mine. Yes, they have a referral program: after your first backup any new user you refer will add 256MB to both accounts.
Update (8/9): In a funny coincidence just hours after posting this Mozy came out with a new release, which is said to be twice as fast as the old one ….
Update (9/7): “Why Smart People Do Dumb Things” (Like Not Backup Their Hard Disk) – Guy Kawasaki.
Update (9/17): TechCrunch reviews Carbonite, and refers to Mozy as well.