For many of us, cloud storage is a great way to avoid the problems of physical storage. If your computer dies, you simply need to swap out a hard drive and refresh your computer software. Your files are still in the cloud.
But what if you need to change which cloud your stuff is stored on? Should your favorite cloud end up shutting its doors, or changing for the worse, migrating years of data can be a complicated process that takes forever, and may even be expensive if you don’t have enough physical storage to keep it.
Back when Copy.com announced they were shutting their doors, the company recommended Mover.io as a migration partner to ease the transition.
But can Mover work for other services as well? Is it worth it? Keep reading on as we dive into this service to find out, and you may be surprised at what this company has to offer.
Mover’s primary focus is making it simple and easy to move your stuff from one cloud service to the other. I’d say they nailed both, with a few caveats. Migrations are certainly simple, but depending on your migration needs, simple may not translate into easy in the long run.
Mover works through “Connectors,” secured communication tunnels between Mover, your source cloud, and your destination cloud. When you select a service, Mover re-directs you to a login page, requiring your username and password. Once you log in, the service you chose gives Mover an authentication token, allowing them to transfer files as you request.
Once connected, the dual-pane interface shows you what’s on each cloud directory. The files staged for transfer will show up slightly faded. You can also select an option to compress all the source files into a single .zip archive instead of dumping them all over your destination cloud directory.
Unfortunately, there’s very little file management available in Mover. Whatever is visually on the Source pane is what’s transferring to the Destination pane. You can enter specific folders on either side to force files to transfer from only one folder to a specific folder. But unfortunately, you can’t select or deselect individual files. If there is a dire need to not transfer a specific file, the company urges you to contact them, and they can help on a case-by-case basis.
Once everything’s set up, just hit the “Start Copy” button, and you’re done. Mover uses hosted storage platforms to temporarily store and transfer the files.
At this point, you can turn your computer off, or check the progress on the Activity Logs. Once it’s done, you’ll get an e-mail with a .csv file (openable from Excel, Google Sheets, or iWork) with a moment by moment log of every file that transferred and how long it took.
And you shouldn’t be waiting all that long. Obviously, there are a lot of factors involved, but most of my 1.64 GB migrations completed in 5-10 minutes. Yandex based transfers took about an hour, mainly because Russian servers are involved.
Each of the transfers I performed were error free. That said, there are some file restrictions. It’s useful to reference this guide of unsupported files prior to migrating.
Since the services under the Enterprise pricing model are multi-user cloud environments that include files as well as user permissions, Enterprise accounts need a finer touch than the Transfer Wizard allows.
The Migration Manager is an Enterprise-specific feature designed for this need. Once your user map is detected, set up, and authenticated, the Migration Manager is where you can designate particular source paths, rename the destination path, or remove particular users from the migration. You can even duplicate a transfer in case you want a user’s files to be moved to a secondary location.
Unfortunately, there are some restrictions to permission transferring. Mover does not currently support transferring permissions to OneDrive for Business or Dropbox for Business accounts. They also cannot transfer from Google Drive for Work due to the complexity of Google’s permissions.
Once you’re done, stage the migrations you want, and you’ll get a price quote prior to accepting their terms and conditions.
Back up Your Cloud to the Cloud
While the cloud storage industry seems to be maturing, there’s still a lot of fluctuation amongst even the biggest services. It’s a good idea to back up your cloud stored files, and Mover makes that easy.
Backups are available through a similarly named tab in the Transfer Wizard. All the options in migration are here too, but you’ll also get backup scheduling and the option to back up everything or just changes.
Through the backup manager, you can keep track of your schedules, run them manually, and turn off the backup schedule without deleting it.
Backups work exactly as expected, and is my favorite feature of the service. I liked the ability to create incremental backups as .zip files so you can back up the cloud without cluttering another directory.
Vault is Mover’s own cloud storage offering that works specifically with the above mentioned migration and backup services. Using Google and Amazon hosted servers, Mover Vault supports unlimited storage.
There’s a caveat on that, though. Mover Vault is a Premium connector, and as we explain below, they charge you based on the amount of data you migrate or back up to a Premium connector.
Also, there’s not much you can do with the files once you’ve stored them. Mover Vault only supports transferring or backing up data to other services. You can’t interact with, download, or even delete files from the vault. However, it does store and show an unlimited amount of file versions, with restoration options.
Does It Support My Cloud?
Mover has a decently broad range of support. These are the services supported with free connectors.
- Google Drive
But obviously, those are some of the most general use cloud platforms. The Premium tier opens up a lot more options from IaaS vendors, to MySQL, to FTP servers, to even your SugarSync account, and WebDAV setups.
- Amazon S3
- FTP server
- Google Cloud Storage
- Mover Vault
- OneDrive for Business (Single user)
- SFTP (Secure FTP standard)
Finally, for IT admins, there are Enterprise connectors offered for multi-user environments.
- Box Enterprise
- Copy for Companies
- CudaDrive Admin
- Dropbox Business
- Google Drive for Work
- OneDrive for Business (Admin)
You may notice the lack of support for zero-knowledge vendors like MEGA, Tresorit, and SpiderOak. Connectors currently force interaction with user credentials, which violates zero-knowledge policies. But with that said, I’m impressed with their current spread of Premium and Enterprise services. It would be nice to see more Free-tier options, especially since Copy.com is going away very soon.
Security and Behind the Scenes
Mover uses hosted virtual servers from Amazon EC2, Microsoft Azure, Rackspace, Google Cloud Compute, and “other custom hosted servers” with Enterprise-level security to mediate the transfer. However, Mover also encrypts all data at rest with the 256-bit AES standard. Transit encryption will depend on the source and destination you use, but they do support up to 256-bit SSL as well. Once the data has been migrated or backed up, all traces are immediately removed from their servers.
That said, considering they don’t even support zero-knowledge services, I’d say they go above and beyond the call of duty in regards to their security and privacy protections. In some cases, they use better encryption than even their supported services.
All migration and backup to and from services that have free connectors (see list above) are completely unlimited. Perform as many transfers, with as many files as you want, and there will never be any fees or restrictions.
Things get a bit trickier with Premium and Enterprise connectors.
|Initial cost per transfer
|$20 / user
|Transfer data supported
|20 GB / user
|$1 / GB
|Fee per backup
|$20 / month
|$36 / user / year
|Transfer data supported
|15 GB / month
|36 GB / user / year
|$1 / GB / month
Unlike most cloud services, Mover charges for transfers, not storage. Generally, they charge $1 / GB for migrations. That’s a bit pricey by today’s standards, but for those migrating a Egnyte, SharePoint, or Amazon S3 instance, the ease of use is well worth it.
Their Premium connector backup solutions also seem mighty expensive, at $240 per year for 180 GB of bandwidth (15 GB / month). But it’s interesting to see a cloud company charging for transfers, rather than storage. While the first backup will be pricey, it’s unlikely that users will push past that 15 GB limit for just file updates within a month.
Also of note, Mover does not publicize upgraded backup storage for Enterprise tiers, but they encourage talking to their sales team to determine the best fit for your company.
Mover offers a detailed FAQ and getting started guides on their website. Beyond that, you can contact their support via e-mail, but there’s no phone support for general users.
Enterprise users should contact [email protected] or the sales phone line at +1-866-429-6424.
In my tests, migrating data with Mover was simple, easy, and smooth.
Their Cloud to Cloud backup is one of the coolest features, and I highly encourage using it especially if you have a bunch of accounts that support their free connectors. Mover’s free connectors offer a really compelling feature set. That said, their limited service support may limit Mover’s usefulness for you.
Premium connector migrations are expensive, but can greatly simply transfers to and from cloud services. Mover Vault is an intriguing middle-man for transfers because you only pay a one-time $1/GB fee to store unlimited files forever. Unfortunately, you can’t do anything with the files after they’re stored, but it’s a nice cheap storage locker nonetheless.
Premium backups are a bit expensive for my tastes, at $240 / year for 15 GB of monthly bandwidth. If you don’t have a service in mind for backup, Mover Vault is a fantastic option since there’s no limit on storage. It should be noted that migrations are actually cheaper per GB than backups, so running a one-time migration prior to setting up the backup next month may be a cheaper option.