It's not that Mozy hasn't been a great cloud-based backup service, especially for beginners. But the sudden price jump is catching many off-guard, especially users of the unlimited plan. Here's where else you can look if you've got a good bit of data to back up.
Image via The Planet.
Let's run through the options that our readers have commented on, emailed about, or have otherwise come to our attention. We'll also share the costs for a few different levels of backup, and detail any bandwidth restrictions. As Adam discovered in his look at his Mozy account, the computer he was backing up the least was using 226 GB, so it's good to think beyond just what you've got right now on a single hard drive.
Looking at all the options, and listening to our readers, BackBlaze seems the most likely to satisfy Mozy users experiencing sticker shock. Their pricing is similar, and they're remarkably open about how their business works and what you're getting.
It's $5 per month for unlimited backup for one computer, or you can buy a year's worth of backup for $50. Their software for Windows and Mac automatically backs up the stuff you'd need if your computer ever went kaput, leaving out the OS, application, and cache/temp files. There are no bandwidth throttles or other caps, and they've been providing this backup since 2007.
BackBlaze's CEO, Gleb Budman, told us that they can keep their unlimited backup plans rolling because of an "incredibly efficient cloud storage system." BackBlaze maintains a data center where they also back up business accounts, and they've open-sourced their "Storage Pods" for other businesses to capitalize on. In other words, home backup seems like something like a "loss leader" to garner interest in BackBlaze's other services—except they might not actually lose on $5 per month.
Carbonite has long served as Mozy's most direct competition, offering a similar unlimited backup service and covering much of the same ground. They don't offer a 2 GB free plan, though, which might have made them a less familiar name among enthusiasts of all things free (ahem).
A Carbonite representative told us that the service "will continue to provide consumers with unlimted backup for a flat fee because doing so keeps things very simple for our customers."
Their basic pricing model, for Windows and Mac systems.
- 1 year - $54.95 (per computer) (about $4.58/month)
- 2 years - $99.95 (per computer) (about $4.16/month)
- 3 years - $129.95 (per computer) (about $3.61/month)
Their bandwidth capping seems pretty fair for the average home user, but in case you've got a whole lot of file-swapping going on, here's their rules:
- The first 35GB of data can achieve upload speeds of up to 2 mbps (megabits per second).
- Between 35GB - 200GB of data can have the upload speeds reach up to 512 kbps (kilobits per second).
- 200GB or more of data can be uploaded at up to 100 kbps (kilobits per second).
Got a friend with loads of extra storage space to spare? Have another always-on computer you'd like to back up to? CrashPlan backs up to those locations for free, and also offers a fairly cheap unlimited backup plan.
CrashPlan has a 10 GB plan for $24.99 per year, but that's more like a big Dropbox than actual backup. Their system-friendly plans:
- CrashPlan+ Unlimited: $49.99/YR (about $4.17 per month).
- CrashPlan+ Family Unlimited: $119.99/YR for 2-10 computers (about $9.99 per month).
CrashPlan is also courting Mozy switchers directly: This link, pitched on their Twitter account and elsewhere, gets you 15 percent off your purchases.
Beyond those three fairly direct competitors, we've heard from fans of other services that seem worth checking out.
• LiveDrive has 25 percent off for Mozy users, and offers pretty good pricing for unlimited backup: $6.95 per month or $66.53 per year for a standard backup package, or $16.95 per month or $170.53 per year for a package that includes "briefcase" access to your files from anywhere, including virtual drive mounting. Both packages have pay-ahead discounts.
• Mark Finzel wrote in to recommend TrendMicro's SafeSync:
It seems that it's so new there aren't a ton of reviews or information out there, but as I said it seems very solid. I haven't had any issues with it and it's now successfully backed up and synced about 80GB on 2 computers in my home.
1. Price & no limits - $59.99/yr for unlimited online storage and unlimited computers
2. Storage format / remote drive - it gives you a drive mapped to your computer that you can see your files. They're stored as-is so you can find individual files easily (one thing I don't like about other backup solutions like CrashPlan is it's stored in a proprietary format)
3. You can control bandwidth used and pause syncing when needed. Also, no bandwidth throttling at least as far as I can tell (I've transferred about 80GB so far)
• JungleDisk, a backup service tied to Amazon's per-GB S3 cloud storage service, is always an option. JungleDisk charges $3 per month and $0.15 per GB after the first 5 GB, so the price scales with your needs. If you were Adam Pash and ended up using 226 GB at Mozy, you'd be paying about $36 per month, though—so it's really for those who can and do keep a reign on what they really need backed up.
• Backup obsessive (and long-time Lifehacker confidante) How-To Geek points out that those using DreamHost as their web site host can back up 50 GB of personal data on their backup servers, with some caveats. Handy!
• Reader Scott, a.k.a. Storage Monkey, has a pointed, detailed look at the Mozy alternatives. He favors CrashPlan+, in part because it offers Linux clients (and even Solaris clients), but also the "back up to a friend's house" backup-backup plan.If you're a Mozy customer who can't swing the new costs, where have you turned for unlimited or large-sized, off-site backup? Tell us about your favorites in the comments.
Send an email to Kevin Purdy, the author of this post, at email@example.com.
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Wednesday, February 2, 2011
The Best, Most Affordable Alternatives to Mozy for Unlimited Backups [Online Backup]