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As someone that works from home, I don’t have the luxury of leveraging corporate directories that get backed up automatically by my company’s IT department, so it’s been up to me to be sure my sensitive business files are safe.
I have lost my share of digital photos, Quicken files, important email, and Word Documents over the years due to hardware failure on my home and business PCs. Backup solutions have been omnipresent for me but either the backup frequency was not regular enough to catch everything before a failure or I neglected to schedule it at all and did manual backup jobs periodically.
I ran across Mozy (my new favorite service) while speaking to a friend about what he does for system backups. The beauty of Mozy is that it is a service that runs in your Windows System Tray, waking up at preset intervals (mine is set to 10 minutes), and backing up your files to their remote server. No hardware is required on your end. This is a big bonus for me since I can avoid the cost of the drive purchase, the electricity cost (albeit small), and hassle of failing backup drives.
I notice no system degradation due to the service since it will not trigger a backup at the prescribed interval if your system is in use. Mozy also is smart enough to not upload files to their server if they already have the identical file from other users across their customer base. So if you’ve saved a YouTube video to your drive and it is in a directory that you are asking Mozy to monitor for backups, Mozy will not bother to upload it to their servers if someone else has already backed it up. This saves backup time and bandwidth.
Mozy seems to handle Outlook files, which can get massive, in an intelligent way – uploading only changes since the last backup.
For security, Mozy utilizes 128-bit SSL encryption for transmission and 448-bit Blowfish encryption on Berkley Data Systems Servers for storage. You can also opt for a private key so that even Mozy can’t decrypt your files.
The only drawback I can see from the service is that it takes days to perform the first backup of all your files. Since transmission is happening at network speeds and not hardware bus speeds like a backup drive would have, it takes a while. Once that is done however, incremental updates are all that is done.
Unlimited data backup is $4.95 a month, so if you assume you save on the cost of a backup drive, it is almost a wash. I highly recommend it and you can read more at the Mozy site.