I write this to all of my regular readers, but especially to all you college students who will see this out on Facebook. The information in this post could save your life. Or your sanity, at least. I’m encouraging everyone to backup your important files today, especially with the end of the semester coming up. You do not want to find yourself in a situation where you have to start that 10-page paper all over again. Do yourself a favor and read what I have to say about Mozy, a free online data backup service.
Computer Backup Options
I’m hoping that most of us backup our data to some degree already. We all fear the dreaded hard drive crash or accidental deletion. Some ways to backup your important files include:
- Burn a bunch of CDs or DVDs.
- Manually backup data to an external hard drive or flash drive.
- Automatically backup data to an external hard drive using a program like Time Machine (Mac) or Norton 360 (Windows).
- Automatically backup data on the web using a service like Mozy.
Now, given the title of this post you might think I’m going to reject the first three and pitch Mozy exclusively. I’m not. I think having a local backup copy of your files is a good idea. On my old PC I used Norton 360 and on my Mac I use Time Machine. I went with automatic backup systems because I would never remember to do it regularly otherwise. And when I’m working on an important paper or project I am constantly saving to both my hard drive and my flash drive.
But what happens when someone steals your computer and your external hard drive? That’s not too unlikely a scenario if they’re both sitting on your desk in your home or dorm room. Or your computer fails and you can’t find that tiny flash drive anywhere! Worse yet, what happens in the case of a fire or flood or other natural disaster? Now your backup is just as useless as your computer. It would be wise to have a contingency plan.
Why I Use Mozy to Backup My Data
Mozy is that plan. Let me give you a few reasons why I use it. First, it’s really easy to use. Just create an account, download their software, and select the files you want to backup. You can set a schedule for when the backup will take place (like when you’re asleep or in class).
Second, the files you give to Mozy are safe and secure. Rather than try to translate a bunch of geek-speak just take my word for it. I’ve checked it out and I’m willing to trust them with my data.
Third, the price! Here are the plans available for home users:
- Get 2 GB for Free! – Yeah, for free. Two gigabites is more than enough to backup your most important files. This is the plan that I use. I’ve selected the files that I simply cannot replace and have them backed up automatically by Mozy.
Get Unlimited Space for $4.95/month – If you want to have all your music, photos, videos and documents backed up you’re probably going to need to spring for this plan. But it’s unlimited! If you’re using an older computer and you have a massive MP3 collection, don’t lose it all when your computer crashes. If you take a ton of pictures, this will let you keep those memories safe.Mozy has done away with their unlimited plan.
- 50 GB for $5.99/month
- 125 GB for $9.99/month
You can add additional computers for $2 per month per computer. You can also add an additional 20 GB of space for $2 per month.
There are also plans available for businesses.
I’m Still Not Convinced – I Need Moving Pictures!
How Do I Get Started?
Go to Mozy.com to sign up for an account and download their software.