Mozy will automatically back up your files while your laptop is doing other things. Restoring a file is easy. The Mozy software guides you all the way.
Al Fasoldt's reviews and commentaries, continuously available online since 1983

T e c h n o f i l e
'Mozy' keeps your files backed up online for free

July 27, 2008

By Al Fasoldt
Copyright © 2008, Al Fasoldt
Copyright © 2008, The Post-Standard

   Life changes in subtle ways when you use a laptop as your main computer. Most of those changes are for the better, such as the option of having your computer with you wherever you go. But one change made me wary: When I used my desktop computer before I switched to the laptop full-time, I had plenty of drive space, and I used a couple of external drives as space for backups.
   But my laptop is usually on its own, far from any external backup drives. I didn't want to stop making daily backups -- after all, I depend on my laptop for a lot of my professional work, and losing any of that work would be a disaster. But the only option I could come up with, toting around a small external drive, seemed like a lot of bother.
   Then I discovered Mozy. Life's never been better.
   Mozy is a way to make backups over the Internet. If your laptop has an Internet connection -- most of them have wireless networking built in -- Mozy will automatically back up your files while your laptop is doing other things. Restoring a file is easy. The Mozy software guides you all the way.
   Mozy, from http://mozy.com, works equally well on both Windows PCs and Apple Macs. Installation is easy, and Mozy knows how to choose all your important files if you'd rather let it do everything for you.
   Best of all, Mozy costs you nothing for basic backups of 2 gigabytes or less. This is enough to store quite a bit of your digital life. You could have Mozy back up your address book (or contact list), a few dozen word-processor files, your calendar, a small iTunes music library, all your Web browser's bookmarks and a few hundred photos in 2 GB of file space.
   If you need more storage, as I did, you can pay $4.95 a month for unlimited storage using Mozy Home. That's less than $60 a year for all the backup space you need, any time you need it. I think that's an incredible bargain.
   Mozy has proven its worth many times. One memorable rescue came after I accidentally overwrote an essential document by saving a new document with the same name. I discovered the error and quickly retrieved the backup copy of the lost file -- while standing at the front of a class I was teaching. No one in the class knew that I had just averted a disaster.
   Mozy's backup operations are disguised nicely. I hardly knew that my laptop was doing any extra work. Using the program's options, I was able to keep Mozy busy when I was away from the keyboard. This is a nice touch, considering how much time most computers spend waiting for something to do.
   You don't have to use Mozy with a laptop computer, of course; it could back up the files on your desktop computer just as well, too. But the combination of easy Internet access from virtually any location on your laptop and quick access to backed-up files is something that seems ideally suited to portable computing.