Mozy online back up by EMC

As the designated IT guy in my social circle I’ve had to say “… but you’ve backed everything up right??” more times than I care to remember. The first line of working with computers 101 and the mantra of IT support professionals , backing up your work should be second nature (case in point, I instinctively hit Cmd+S after typing that). But the good old days of saving files to a second floppy are long gone and – much like everything else in computing these days – the future lies in the cloud. It’s good to have all your documents and photos on a secondary hard drive in your study. It’s great to have them safely tucked away on a secure remote server hundreds of miles away.

Image courtesy of Flickr user prettyinprint

Every computer is vulnerable to failure and data loss, and every week 140,000 hard drives crash in the United States alone. The most common forms of failure and data loss are hard drive crash, theft, loss, viruses, natural disaster, and accidental deletion. So it’s an exploding market. Among many of the names jostling for attention in this space is Mozy. No small potatoes Mozy is the online backup service for more than one million consumers and 50,000 business customers and 25 petabytes of backups under management. Copies of backed up files are securely stored in world-class data centers, protecting them against data loss.

But do you want strangers fiddling with your files? Well probably not. Fortunately Mozy takes privacy quite seriously. MozyHome gives you the ability to select your data’s encryption method: a Mozy-generated key utilizing 448-bit Blowfish encryption or your own personal key utilizing 256-bit AES encryption.During the backup process, all files are first encrypted with 448-bit Blowfish or 256-bit AES locally your computer. These encrypted files are then sent via a 128-bit SSL connection—the same encryption used in online banking—to a world-class data center. All data centers are SAS70 certified with 24/7/365 on-site monitoring and security, state-of-the-art fire detection and suppression systems, redundant power distribution units, and seismic safeguards that can withstand a 7.5 magnitude earthquake. So y’know … whilst not fool proof (no system is) it’s reasonably safe.

Much like Apple’s Time Machine, there is an initial long, long back up period as all your digital gems are beamed into the cloud. However after this first use, the back ups are incremental and much much faster. Cool as Mozy is, it is not intended for file sharing, synchronization, or as an online hard drive. Use DropBox magic for that.

You can get a slice of Mozy goodness for free as Mozy offers consumers 2 GB of free online backup, with no credit card details needed and with no expiration on the service. 2GB is enough space to back up 300 photos, 200 music files, or 250,000 text e-mail files. It you have a bit more you’d like to digitally stash away there’s MozyHome, which costs £/€4.99 per month. Customers who purchase an annual contract pay £/€54.89 and are given one month of free service.

Check it out for free here