EMC MozyHome review
MozyHome is a traditional backup program, but with the addition of the Stash folder, it also provides some rudimentary synchronisation, too. This gives you some flexibility if you like the idea of online backup, but also want to share some files between your computers.
When you install Mozy, it selects a few common directories to back up and creates a security key using secure 448-bit Blowfish encryption to protect your files. You can also configure it to use your own key, but this means that you won't be able to restore your files if you lose it. You’ll also be given an estimate of how long your backup will take based on your connection speed. If you don't want to back up all the suggested files and directories, you can change them in the settings menu, which takes you straight to the MozyHome client.
Once there, you can select from default backup sets such as music, photos and documents, edit them and create your own. If you opt to do the latter, you're presented with a neatly designed tree-view file browser, in which you can select directories and view the files they contain. You can back up anything on your local PC, but network and external storage drives aren't accessible. Other options in the MozyHome client allow it to warn you if you exceed your backup quota, set backups to be carried out automatically when your PC is idle or on a fixed schedule, enable bandwidth restriction to prevent your backups from hogging your internet connection and even create a local backup on an external hard disk. Mozy defaults to a twice-daily automatic backup when your computer is idle.
Once you've configured everything you want, Mozy will carry out its initial backup. While this is going on, you can view its progress by opening Mozy's status window, which is available in Windows' Notification area. The Notification area icon's right-click menu also provides quick access to your backup settings, a viewing tool that lets you search through the files you've backed up and a quick link to your online storage.
Mozy's file restoration interface is accessed through the main settings application. You can browse through backups using a simple tree structure, making it easy to search for backups by version, select files, and restore them to their new or original location.
Mozy's website allows you to browse and restore files directly, via a hierarchical sequence of directories which represent the paths you have backed up. You can also browse them by backup set. Mozy allows you to list sort by type, date and version but can't open them - there's no audio player or photo viewer of the sort integrated into some rival services.
As well as standard online backup, Mozy also has a synchronisation service called Stash, which is free and still in Beta testing. Stash gives you a folder, which immediate synchronises any file saved into it with your online storage and any other computers that you have associated with your account. Your Stash shares space with your MozyHome backups, but unlike Mozy backup, you can install Stash on as many computers as you like at no extra cost.
Mozy backup users will also notice a MozyHome folder which appears under their Computer folder - it's nothing to do with Stash, but instead allows you to browse your backed up files. You can access your backup and Stash content via mobile apps for Android and iOS.
Mozy’s free plan provides 2GB of backup space. The £5-a-month account we reviewed gets you 50GB of storage for a single PC. If you need more space, you can get a 125GB which can handle three computers for £7.99. Beyond that, each additional PC costs £1.75 per month, as does an additional 20GB of space.
Mozy is effective and its backup client is extremely easy to use, although its web interface is rather clunky. The Stash sync folder provides extra functionality that’s missing from many rivals. However, if you’re after a pure backup service, Mozy’s 50GB of storage isn’t as good a deal as Memset SquirrelSave’s similarly priced unlimited plan.
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