By Paul Niemeyer
June 2, 2013
Mozy Home is a good cloud storage program that is reasonably fast, very reliable and available free, up to 2 GB. Mozy Home is, however, resource intensive, which makes an impractical option for users who will back up large volumes of data during usage periods. Mozy Home is also likely not worth it for paying users who need to expand the service beyond the default 50GB allocation; there are services available at lesser prices that provide unlimited data storage.
Who is Mozy Home for?
Mozy Home is best suited to users who only need to back up a relatively small amount of data. The service is perfect if you back up less than 5 GB and a viable option up to about 50 GB, but it begins to display warts as you move beyond that.
The intent of Mozy Home is to provide backup of critical data, primarily to users who aren’t necessarily comfortable with the concept of cloud storage and services. If you are, then you’ll likely find Mozy Home frustrating and lacking features. Although they’ve improved in the past, e.g. adding file syncing capability with Mozy Stash. However, I find myself asking why not using a cloud storage service (like my favorite JustCloud) that can do all of that but cheaper and better?
Owned by EMC Corporation and based in Seattle, Washington, Mozy is a company that specializes in cloud-based storage and services for both Mac and Windows users. When Mozy launched in 2005, the Home product was quite innovative, novel and remarkably affordable.
As the industry caught up to Mozy, however, the company made choices, such as eliminating its unlimited plan, that forced it to take a backseat to companies that were instead adding additional features. Nevertheless, Mozy is a proven service provider, and if its default Home service meets your needs, then it’s a brand you can rely on.
Backing Files Up
Mozy Home installs onto your Windows or Mac system and integrates itself via context-sensitive options. What’s nice about this approach is that it’s seamless with the OS. You can tag files for backup as easily as you can cut, copy and paste them. For instance, highlight a file or a group of files, right-click and then select Add to Mozy Home Backups from the context menu.
You can also opt to open the Mozy Home client, which provides you with a finer level of control. For example, the client allows you to define backup sets, which you can then use to back up and restore groups of files with a single button click.
Use Backup Set to Manage Your Data
Once you’ve tagged files for backup, Mozy Home will, by default, process pending backups automatically, whenever CPU activity is below 60 percent. You can also adjust the threshold or disable automatic processing altogether. There are two alternatives to automatic processing: manual backup and scheduled backup. It’s also possible for you to use a combination of strategies.
To perform a restore, you can use the Web interface or the local client. Both options have similar feature sets, but Mozy has developed the Web interface to be very user-friendly while the desktop client provides a greater level of granular control.
Whichever mechanism you choose, you’ll have the option to retrieve your files as either Backup Sets, if you’ve previously defined them, or as a File System. There’s also an option to receive the files on DVD via FedEx, but that option costs an additional fee.
A backup set is convenient, for instance, for restoring your music library or family photo gallery individually – so you don’t have to wait days for everything to be restored. The file system option, on the other hand, is convenient for recovering from catastrophe, such as hard disk failure, or a reinstall of the OS.
Mozy Home allows you to use the site free of charge, up to 2 GB. You can also increase your free allotment 250 MB at a time by referring other users to the service. Mozy Home lets you throttle your backups, so that they don’t interfere with other network use, and you can define a secondary backup location, so that Mozy backs up every file to two locations.
Also, Mozy provides file versioning which will help you recover files that you accidentally deleted or that you might have saved at an inappropriate time.
Unfortunately, if you want to back up to a network-attached storage device, you’ll have to upgrade to Mozy Pro.
- Throttle backups to save network speed
- Gain free storage by referring friends
- File versioning
I’ve awarded Mozy Home 3.5 out of five possible stars. It’s a dependable product with no apparent bugs, and if you have only a small amount of critical data, you can take full advantage of the basic service without cost. Mozy Home is also reasonably fast, but where it comes up short is in its resource utilization, which is one of the primary reasons we can’t recommend it.
If you’re a user who backs up large volumes frequently, then it’s only really practical to schedule Mozy Home for overnight backup due to how resource hungry it is.