I’ve been leery about offsite storage for several reasons and the decision to decide who, what, and when, should be taken very seriously.
In the past I’ve always looked at reasons for not using offsite back up, instead of considering why I should use a service.
Every time I see an apparently great service “for free”, I immediately wonder how long it will be free and can I afford to pay the price. Such is the case with Mozy.
Mozy, one of the popular and well advertised tools for setting up “failsafe” off-site backups has changed its pricing and has dropped their unlimited backup plans.
Here’s the new price plan from the website:
“Updated Mozy Home Pricing
With our updated price plans, you can choose the service level consistent with your needs and subscribe on a monthly, annual, or biennial renewal schedule. Annual and biennial plans are discounted, with annual plans including a one-month-free discount, and biennial plans including a three-months-free discount. The new monthly pricing is summarized below.
|Storage||50 GB||125 GB|
|Machines||1||Up to 3|
Additional machines $2.00/mo
Additional 20 GB storage $2.00/mo
We defined these levels to accommodate our current customers. The 50 GB plan accommodates about three quarters of current MozyHome customers with only a $1/month price increase. The 125 GB plan will actually lower costs for most customers backing up three or more computers. Some customers may wish to add a second or third machine to their existing backup under the $9.99 plan.”
I decided to check out some other options and have listed them below. Be sure to check out what’s available before you make a decision:
Carbonite for Windows or Mac, is cheaper and, as long as I’ve been aware, has never offered a free basic account. They have a basic pricing plan for $54.95 ($4.58 a month) for a year of unlimited backup from a single computer.
Carbonite, like Mozy, also offers block-level incremental backup to speed up the backup process. You have the ability to access your files through a web-based interface when you are away from home, and you can use the Carbonite application to restore all or some of your files at any time.
However, they don’t provide a hard copy of your data upon request, so be prepared for some heavy downloading time if you’ve got a lot of data to be restored.
Version 4.0 tells you right up front that it doesn’t automatically select.exe, video, and files over 4GB for backup and when you add a folder holding them, it skips over them. You’ll needto go into the folder and add them.
Crash Plan has an interesting approach. You can download the software for free and use it to perform local backups on your computer and home network as well as perform a back up for friends as long they are using CrashPlan.
They don’t offer any free introductory plans for online storage, but their rate for an unlimited personal account parallels other providers and the software appears user friendly. If you’re not ready for a commitment to paying for an online backup service, it’s worth downloading just to automate your local backups. If your data goes kaput, you can restore it using the software or you can order a hard copy of your data.
This is a good one and can be used with Windows, Mac, and Lunux. You get 2GB Free and 50GM pro for $9.99 a month.
When you install Dropbox, a folder, appropriately called “My Dropbox”, is placed in the Documents area of your computer. Anything you put into this folder will be synced with your Dropbox account.
You can share files with family and friends (great if you’re a genealogist) by making the folder public. You can also restore a previous version of your file since Dropbox keeps a change log for 30 days..
All your files are also accessible via the Dropbox web site for those times you’re at a computer that doesn’t have Dropbox installed and want to access a document.
Dropbox doesn’t have an unlimited option but, if all you want to back up is your most important documents, it works as off-site backup and provides data redundancy on every computer you where you wish to make an installation.
Jungle Disk also runs on Windows, Mac,and Linux. It runs on a fee system rather than than offering a flat rate pricing for unlimited storage.
For Simply Backup it costs $2 a month per account plus a fee for each GB of data used. They offer the first 5 GB free:
“Your entire life is on your computer. Protect it. Jungle Disk® Simply Backup makes it easy to securely backup your important files over the Internet – protecting you from loss, theft, viruses, natural disasters, and accidental deletion. Powered by storage options from cloud leaders Rackspace® and Amazon, Jungle Disk gives you everything you need to keep your data safe and secure.”
For the Desktop Addition it costs $3 a month per account plus a storage fee for each GB of data used. Again the first 5 GB of storage is free:
“Automatic backups, a network drive that works just like a local disk, and real-time, automatic file sync between multiple computers.
Jungle Disk® Desktop Edition brings the power of the cloud to your desktop. Securely backup, sync, and access your valuable files across all your computers. Stay in control of your data with our easy-to-use tools, automatic backup and unlimited storage. You can even choose from two industry-leading cloud providers – Rackspace® Cloud Files and Amazon S3.”
There are plenty other options out there and, after you’ve checked them out, you may still decide to stick with Mozy’s automated backup solution where you can back up any files at the frequency you specify.