I just saw that Mozy for the mac has officially released their 1.0 version (after a really really really long time in beta) and I figure that’s as good an excuse as any to do a quick post on my experience with the service. I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with Mozy. Conceptually I think it’s great – it’s a low-level background process that periodically backs up whatever files you’ve selected to an online storage space. The cost is reasonable ($5/month) and (as I discovered when a recent hard-drive failed DURING a clone operation, destroying both the original data AND the safe copy) having an offsite backup of one’s data is generally a Very Good Idea.
But on the other hand my experience during the Mozy beta period (nearly a year long… is it really fair to charge people full price for a piece of software that lives in beta that long?) was hardly a pleasant experience. The file uploader was extraordinarily flaky, failing so often that it felt like I was constantly babysitting the thing. Part of the issue may have been the amount of data I’m (still) trying to get uploaded to the server – about 300 GB. But hey, that’s the whole reason why I went with Mozy and their ‘unlimited’ storage offer. If you’re planning to upload that much stuff, figure it’s going to take a few MONTHS to get up there. If you’re lucky.
In terms of the recovery process, things aren’t that much better. When I needed to download a good chunk of data back down from the server (19GB of stuff that had been on the laptop whose drive crashed&burned) Mozy conveniently (not) provided me with 46 separate .dmg files to download and then re-assemble by hand. That wasn’t pleasant.
One final gripe – a nitpick really. The little ‘status’ window – the one that Mozy pops up to tell you what’s going on with your backup – it features a big “Your Files are Backed Up” at the top of the window, even if your backup didn’t yet complete. Sorry, but my files aren’t backed up yet… so don’t claim that they are!
Bottom line, of course, is that Mozy did do the job when I needed it, so I can’t complain too much. I just wish it was a little cleaner and more user-friendly, particularly when it comes to backing up larger chunks of data. Actually, what I really wish they offered was a way to do the initial backup to their server using a nice fast FTP upload. It’s pretty clear that they don’t want to do that because the annoyance factor prevents people from backing up as much to their servers, but do you really want to manage your users by keeping them on the edge of frustration?
At any rate, I guess I’m going to continue with it for a while longer and hope that the released version has now managed to iron out a few of the kinks I’d experienced. The year’s worth of service I pre-paid expires in July and by then I should have a better idea if I’m going to continue with this or look for something else.
Update: After much pain and suffering, I finally booted Mozy to the curb and am happily running Backblaze. See here for more.
Ron: I just happened to be listening to an old TWIP podcast and ran across this article. Since your pre-paid service ran out in July, what are your thoughts about Mozy since their 1.0? Did you stick with them, did service/software improve, etc? Also, do you backup your Aperture library to Mozy?
Mozy gave me an extra month of service after several complaints so it hasn’t yet run out. Generally it seems to be working better, primarily because I gave up on trying to back up an external drive and only am backing up internal ones. Something weird there but I got tired of trying to debug it. But the backup speed is still slow and… on my big machine I still don’t have everything backed up yet! (Granted, I’m trying to upload about 500GB of stuff, ultimately – about 400GB is up there now). My Aperture library is the bulk of that 500GB, BTW.
Will I renew? Yeah, probably. At least for another year. Mozy isn’t everything I want but for the amount of stuff I want to upload it seems like it’s a better solution in terms of price/performance than anything else out there?
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Incidentally, I’ve bailed out on Mozy – too buggy/unreliable/annoying for me. I’m now using Backblaze and loving it!
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