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Choose premade Backup Sets, roll your own sets, or specify certain files and folders.
It’s a fact of tech life: Every hard drive will someday die. And offsite backups can be safer than backing up to an external hard drive plugged into your Mac—what if your house burns down? MozyHome offers low-cost online backup with unlimited storage, and it’s practically as simple to use as Leopard’s built-in Time Machine.
Getting started is incredibly easy—just sign up at www.mozy.com and download and install the Mac client. The Backup Sets list contains common things you might want to back up (email in Apple Mail, your Address Book, application preferences, your Movies folder, and so on), and you can edit these or add your own backup sets for more precision. Or use the file browser to back up whole folders.
The interface is easy to use, and as you select things to back up, Mozy tallies the total number of files and their cumulative size. The preferences let you choose automatic or scheduled backups and even limit the amount of bandwidth Mozy uses.
Depending on the size of your backup queue, the initial backup will, quite understandably, take forever. Don’t pay too much attention to the “Time to finish” estimate—ours would range from 12 days to 5 days to 2 days, back to 12 days within the span of a few minutes. (Mozy estimates it can upload 2GB to 4GB a day over a regular DSL line, up to 9GB on a very high-bandwidth connection.) If Mozy is interrupted when backing up, it’ll just resume the next time you’re online.
Thankfully, subsequent backups go much quicker. Mozy scans your hard drive for changes and only backs up new or changed files. It works in the background—we didn’t even notice the subsequent backups as they happened. Your files are protected during the transfer by 128-bit secure-sockets layer encryption, and Mozy uses 448-bit Blowfish encryption to keep your data secure when it’s stored on their servers.
Click the menubar icon and select Restore Files to launch the Mozy Restore client, in order to browse your backed-up files and restore them to your local machine, where they’re decrypted and ready to go. You can also restore files through the Web interface at Mozy.com or even order DVDs of your data (for a $29.95 plus 50-cents-per-gigabyte processing fee, and the FedEx Next Day shipping rate).
But this is a backup, not an archive—if you delete a file locally, it’s removed from your backup after 30 days. So it’s not a place to, say, offload files you want to delete from your laptop but still retain a copy of.
This review is part of a larger feature which compares five different online backup services.
For a fair price, you can keep a secure offsite backup of your most important files, without worrying about storage limits. If you pay for a year or more at once, you even get a discount. What’s not to love?