The other night, I was lying in bed thinking about how I don’t have a job, which got me thinking about resumes, which got me thinking about how many times I’ve had to write up my resume throughout the course of my life due to the reinstallation of Windows or buying a new computer or just plain deleting the file by accident, which got me thinking about how tired I am of losing data. Knowing that I wouldn’t fall asleep until I either got my brewing idea out on paper, or at the very least researched if there was a viable solution that already existed, I got out of bed and started Googling.
Within 2 minutes, I found my saviour: mozy.com. I read a few reviews of their service, all of which were nothing but endless praise – apparently everyone seems to love them. They have software that runs in the background and only when the computer is idle, and encrypt all of your files before they even leave your computer as well. That was enough for me; I opened up Mozy’s website and started the application process.
What they offer
2GB of free storage for any data you wish to backup. They have a small application that runs in the background of your computer and (configured correctly) will upload any updated files to the Mozy servers almost instantly. The application also encrypts all your data with a very high encryption level (448-bit Blowfish, for those technical folks out there) before it leaves your computer so you don’t have to worry about someone gaining access to your tax information.
For those of you not-so-technical people, the software is incredibly easy to set up, so you have nothing to worry about. In fact, for most people, every single default setting will be more than adequate to store all of your documents, as well as a good chunk of your digital photo collection. The standard settings essentially backup your entire My Documents folder and all of its subfolders, however, when it gets to the screen where it shows what it would like to backup, it may give an error if the total size of these folders go over the 2GB limit. At this point you can de-select certain folders if you don’t require them to be backed up.
The other great thing about this software is the way it does the backups and how it saves time. Once you go through the wizard and select what files are important enough to store offsite, the first backup can take quite a bit of time (depending on the size of the files and your internet connection, this can be upwards of a few days). This may seem like a lot of time, especially since it means that you really shouldn’t shut your computer off in the middle of the process (the documentation for the backup client says you can but I wouldn’t necessarily risk it). Once it’s done the first full backup, every single subsequent backup will only be backing up the changes to the file, rather than the whole thing. For example, if you selected to backup a file that simply had the sentence “Johnny was a boy” in your initial backup, but 2 weeks later changed the file to say “Johnny was a big boy,” it wouldn’t re-upload the whole file again, but rather just upload the word “big,” which obviously takes a lot less time.
All in all, I had my account created, the software setup and my first backup underway all within a 10 minute period. The account creation was simple, non-intrusive, and straightforward, and the software is very self-explanatory, even for the most computer illiterate of us – you click next a few times, enter your user name and password, next a few more times, verify that the files it wants to backup are the files you want to backup, and next a few more times. Presto finito, you’re on your way to having your documents stored online just in case disaster strikes and your computer ignites into flames.