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Wi-Fi Router Charts

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Mesh System Charts

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As mentioned before, Mozy has some nice features and some trade-offs. One of its nice features is the fact that it installs a virtual drive icon (Figure 4) that shows you all of the files you have backed up on Mozy's servers. A benefit of this feature is the ability to search for deleted or corrupted files using the Search function in Windows.

Although you can't do anything with the search results—such as restoring the file from the results list or opening the containing folder—you can still find files that were accidentally deleted so that you can restore them.

Virtual drive

Figure 4: Mozy Virtual Drive icon in Windows Explorer

Figure 5 shows the entire list of configuration options.

Configuration options
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Figure 5: Configuration options for MozyHome

The Bandwidth Throttle and Backup Speed options provide an easy way to ensure that you won't even notice Mozy operating. Mozy does not seem to put much of a strain on system resources even in the most aggressive settings (see Performance section), but it's still handy to have sliders that let you adjust the impact on performace if it becomes bothersome.

The only other configuration settings Mozy has are for scheduling backups. The settings, as seen in Figure 6, are fairly simplistic. It's important to note that there's no way to run continuous backups whenever files change. Mozy will back up your data, at most, 12 times per day, and then only if the computer has been idle for at least a minute.

The only way to force Mozy to perform a backup when the computer is not idle is to initiate a manual backup from the Mozy agent or to schedule a daily or weekly backup. It would be nice to see an option to backup files whenever they change, or at least to schedule hourly backups, although Mozy probably doesn't want that much strain on their servers.

Schedule options
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Figure 6: Backup scheduling options


Now for the disappointing aspects of Mozy, at least from an advanced user's perspective.

MozyHome does not support backing up network drives or removable storage. The network drive limitation makes sense, since MozyHome is billed per computer. If you could back up network drives, there would be no reason to pay for multiple computers. Mozy's lack of support for external drives (unless the computer recognizes them as fixed storage) makes sense when you consider that most people probably only use external drives as temporary or backup storage in any case.

One confusing aspect of Mozy is that the backup set information as displayed is not particularly helpful. With its focus on simplicity, Mozy organizes files in "sets", which are organized by file type. Referring back to Figure 2, the data displayed beside each backup set refers to the total possible size of the set. But if you select only some of the files in a set to be backed up, the Backup Set Size number doesn't change.

Let's say you're a photographer who wants to back up some critical pictures, but also wants to throw in some other files that aren't as critical, but that you would rather not lose. You'll obviously include the pictures no matter how much space they take up, but you notice that the total backup size is around 9 GB, which will take a long time in the initial backup stage. You want to trim that down, but how can you decide which files or backup sets to remove if you don't know how much space they're actually using in the final size count? The only apparent way to figure out actual usage for a backup set that is only partially selected is to navigate through the file structure and add up the individual file sizes.

There is also no obvious way to force a new full backup after your initial one. Given the small size of the "pipe" between your computer(s) and Mozy's servers, this isn't something you would want to do very often. But if you made major changes, say a full system restore, and wanted to start from scratch, you would probably take the hit of the time it takes to do an initial full backup.

Finally, while Mozy has no limit on the number of different versions it keeps of the same file, it discards any versions over 30 days old, with no ability for user intervention or control.

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