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Security Reviews

Introduction

13 April 2008: Miscellaneous minor edits.

Mozy logo

At a Glance
Product MozyHome Online Backup
Summary Simple yet customizable online backup at an affordable price
Pros • Good balance of features and simplicity
• Inexpensive
• Unlimited storage and transfers
Cons • Slow uploads to Mozy no matter how fast your upstream is
• Backups run as batch operations, not continuously
• Restores take longer than expected and files are hard to identify

Data backup is one of the most important aspects of IT, yet so few people think about it until it's too late. To solve this problem, Mozy created an online backup package as automatic and unobtrusive as possible. As with all consumer solutions, it has its strengths and weaknesses. Companies like Mozy have to balance easy-of-use with configurability, and decide what their program does best, all while trying to make money.

While there are many backup options available, rarely have there been any as simple to use as MozyHome. The MozyHome service is designed to automatically back up data files from your computer to Mozy's online servers. The only potential problem with Mozy's extreme ease-of-use is that it is only intended to back up data files, not entire systems. It is not meant to be a comprehensive backup solution for every situation, merely a way to recover home user-type files such as Word documents and mp3s.

This review will focus on MozyHome, although there are Free and two levels of business-focused service available (MozyPro and MozyEnterprise). Mozy is also available from eFileCabinet as its new Concentsus Online Backup service [related article].

Setup

Because Mozy is intended to be easy to use, setup can be quite simple. All you really have to do is select whether you want to use Mozy's encryption key or your own encryption key (Figure 1), select the data to back up, and select the performance options you want. After that, Mozy can take care of the rest, or you can configure advanced options.

Encryption settings
Click to enlarge image

Figure 1: Selecting the encryption key

Although Mozy recommends using their key, so that they can recover your files for you, security-conscious users might realize that this means they can access your files. Although their terms of use and privacy policy say that they won't, it is possible that they can; and, of course they would have to access them if required by law enforcement officials.

After the encryption key option is set, Mozy will ask you which backup sets you want to back up (Figure 2). There are more backup sets available depending on the types of data Mozy finds on your computer, and you can create custom backup sets later.

Backup sets
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Figure 2: Selecting backup sets to include

Once your backup is configured, the only thing left to do is set the backup performance option (Figure 3). The effects of this option will be discussed in the Performance section.

Performance setup
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Figure 3: Choosing backup performance options during setup

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