Online Backups—Mozy… 2


I finally downloaded Mozy tonight and am running it on my computers.  The installation took about 5 minutes or so (prolonged because it had to roll back a failed install that I didn’t know I had).  Then I was prompted with a configuration window.

Mozy did a pretty good job of picking out my files.  Originally it had me at about 13.9% over my quota (of 2 GB), but I was able to trim that down easily.  Mozy picked up my music files, which I really don’t need to backup, so I unchecked those.  Later on, I did a configuration and added some files that I wanted to backup.

The initial backup took about 3 hours (467.5 MB) and almost as soon as it was finished the first of the scheduled backups started.  The second backup took about 9 minutes to complete.  My next backup was scheduled for 7 hours and 43 minutes later, but I ran it early to get the new configuration in play.

The subsequent backups only take about 10 to 20 minutes.  Occasionally if you have a lot of new files, they may run longer.  And if nothing has changed, then they take a considerably shorter time (although they still run through the motions of creating a snapshot and then checking for files to backup).

The signup was easy also.  I filled out the form, picked my password, and Mozy sent me a confirmation e-mail.  I sent an e-mail to their support address about a question on Linux, and was replied back to within an hour.  Overall I’m impressed so far with the service—although I would love to see a client for Linux, as they need to backup also.

When you set up your backups, you have the option of a 448-bit blowfish encryption or a 256-bit AES key.  I chose the 448-bit key as it’s more secure than the 256-bit one.

A drawback to Mozy that I’m discovering is this.  If you’re running any video player at the time of the backup, it fails to create the shadow copy snapshot. This isn’t unexpected as the video file (temporary or otherwise) will be constantly changing, which would mean that the backup is constantly updating the snapshot.  I’m adding this as more of a warning to the potential users, you’ll want to either stop the video (pause or close) or cancel the backup if it falls into the same timeframe.

I’ve had this happen twice now, and the Mozy support site doesn’t mention anything about this as a potential cause.  The first time was while watching NASA TV through Internet Explorer (using the Windows Media Player plugin), and the second time was watching the CBS Evening News through Media Center.

So, if you run into Snapshot Error 0, before following the steps in the support site consider whether or not you were doing something like video or game playing, which would constantly update the snapshot.  Another cause for the snapshot error is if you’re using Microsoft Outlook, and have Mozy configured to backup your pst files.  So, make sure Outlook is closed whenever you’re ready to run the backup.

After running Mozy for a week, I can see why it’s ranked high on everyone’s backup list.  It’s smooth, and stays out of the way.  With 2 GB free storage, you can use it to back up the most important files.  And with it’s encryption specifications, you can be assured that no one will get your files.

Next, I’m going to look at iDrive.  It looks similar to Mozy and will compare realistically.  There seem to be some features that are better and some that aren’t quite as good as Mozy.

Have a great day:)

Patrick.


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