Mozy Backup – All In

Mozy LogoAbout 10 days ago I took the plunge and subscribed to the full (Unlimited) version of Mozy Online Backup. Since I’m using it for my iMac I’m using the MacMozy software.

MacMozy was 100% reliable for the entire month of September and the software seems about ready to leave beta (my opinion, no release date from Mozy). All my test restores have also been perfect. I signed up for a one-year subscription to save a little money. If I cancel Mozy will refund a pro-rated amount (based on the full $4.95/mth), partial months aren’t refunded. So while I hate paying for beta software I decided I wanted the offsite backup and Mozy was the best choice for me.

Mozy offers “unlimited” backups, there isn’t an arbitrary cap based on file size or number of files. But reality does step in and just like in anything else, there are limits. The drive has to be seen by the OS as a fixed drive in order to be backed up. My external USB/Firewire drives on my Mac can be backed up with Mozy and it sees thumbdrives (although I haven’t backed any up). Network attached drives can’t be backed up. Mozy’s FAQ states things may slow down with lots of files and they mention 200,000 files as having be done successfully. I’ve backed up 105,000+ files without seeing any performance problems beyond the one I mention below (backup sets).

It took about a week to get my 28GB uploaded to Mozy. I throttled the bandwidth to 512Kb/s which is 2/3 of my rated upload speed. I found that maxing out the upload for hours at a time (with Mozy or anything else) can sometimes be unreliable with my broadband connection. With the bandwidth throttling the upload would run for over a day and end normally.

I did the initial backup in chunks and I started with the data I really needed backed up. The reason for doing it in chunks is because I didn’t want to wait the full week I expected the backup to take before it could backup those initial files again. I did about 4GB a day. This allowed me to back up both changes and the new files in about a day.

Because I now have so many disk partitions (Boot Camp, external drives) I found that the Backup Sets feature in Mozy would take a long time to scan everything before starting the actual backup. The whole Backup Set philosophy never sat well with me, even in other backup products. I’d rather know exactly what directories are being backed up. So I unchecked all the Backup sets and picked everything in “Files and Folders”. This significantly reduced the time between the backup launching and when files are actually being sent to Mozy.

The only data I’m not backing up is my iTunes library. At 120GB and my Comcast broadband it’s not realistic to back that up over the Internet using anything.

Click one of the tags to read more about Mozy or other backup solutions I’ve tried. Mozy offers a free 2GB account so you can try it without paying anything or providing a credit card. You can support this site and my software addiction by using this link to Mozy (aff) to sign up. You can get an additional 256MB of storage for both of us by using referral code E62DWM. (I still use the free account for my laptop.)