I’m a huge believer that the more stuff you have on your mind the more stress you will have in your life. I’ve done everything in my power to automate my bills, outsource repetitive tasks, stop buying junk I don’t need, get rid of junk I already own, and be on a constant search for services that make my life simpler.
About 4 months ago a friend of mine recommended Mozy, an online backup service. He said the installation was super simple, and that he had forgotten he had it installed until he accidentally deleted a file and was able to restore it in a few seconds. The hair on my neck stood up as I thought about the backup solutions I’ve previously investigated – solutions involving software with genome-esque complexity, or setting Outlook reminders and handling the process manually each day/week/month/never (the latter in my case).
I’ve been on an ongoing search for an inexpensive, completely automated solution that will backup my PCs to a secure, remote location. My laptop only has 70GB of data including my MP3s, but backing it up remotely with the solutions I’ve seen would involve a hefty monthly storage fee (not to mention my desktop I use for video editing with the 500GB hard drive). The beauty of Mozy, and the reason I decided to try it, is the $5/month per computer for unlimited storage.
So I signed up and downloaded the .exe. I had it configured in a few minutes, including specifying the directories I wanted backed up. Then I configured the backups to run nightly. The initial upload took about a week, and now each night it makes a differential backup that completes well before I start work in the morning.
My impression after 7 weeks: genius. I’ve previously used an automated software solution to backup to an external hard drive, but ran into problems because the hard drive kept filling up, I have more than 1 computer to backup (creating the need for a centralized server which I never purchased), and it would have been a moot point had a natural disaster come along and razed my house.
I’ve restored a few files using Mozy just for kicks; the installer added a “Restore Files in Folder” option to my right click menu, and the files came through without a problem. I would like to be able to step backwards through versions of files, but I do understand that Mozy isn’t source control, and for $5/month they can only store so much of my data.
My next step after installing on my other PCs is to get the rest of my family using it (since I’m the designated tech support guy for my relatives). Now that I’ve used Mozy I can’t imagine owning a computer and not having automated backups in place.
For $55/year (1 month free when you pay for a year) it’s a cheap insurance policy. And as our internet connections become faster I can see a day where I purchase a new laptop and simply download all of my data from Mozy instead of transferring it from my old PC.
Oh, the freedom of simplicity.
[tags]backups, automated backups, mozy, online backups, microisv[/tags]