Mozy is a cloud backup service from EMC Corporation. EMC is no stranger to cloud storage or big data. The company also developed Syncplicity (our review) for enterprise file sync and share. File sync is now available to Mozy customers, so you can access your files wherever you are, in addition to protecting your data.
Can Mozy compete with newer cloud backup services, such as CrashPlan and Backblaze? How does their file sync feature compare to the major cloud storage services, like Dropbox? We’ll take a look in this review.
- Secure; with personal encryption key option
- Fast backups and moderately fast restores
- Restore from desktop software or web interface
- Shipped media restore option (with additional fee)
- Excellent local backup option with Mozy 2xProtect
- Mozy Sync provides quick and reliable file synchronization across computers
- Ridiculously expensive; plans start at $5.99/month for 50 GB
- Limited scheduling options; no continuous data protection
- No file sharing or collaboration with Mozy Sync
- No email alerts with MozyHome
The Bottom Line
Mozy offers a compelling feature set, with good performance and numerous restore options. Mozy Sync is fast, secure, and reliable, although not as powerful as Dropbox. You might find it suitable if you don’t need file sharing. However, Mozy is extremely expensive for the amount of storage offered, and scheduled backups can’t be run as often as I’d like. I think there are better, more affordable backup services out there.
- The Bottom Line
- Getting Started with MozyHome
- Poor Scheduling Options
- Easy Restores, by Date or Latest Version
- Performance Options
- Mozy 2xProtect: Twice the Protection
- Web Interface
- Shipped Restores
- File Versioning and Deleted File Retention
- Mobile Apps
- Mozy Sync
- Other Mozy Features
- Plans and Pricing
- More Screenshots
Getting Started with MozyHome
Mozy’s desktop client is fairly straightforward. The welcome tab shows a helpful overview of how to use the software. There are quick guides for how to select files for backup, and how to restore files.
You can select files to back up via the Backup Sets tab, or with the File System tab.
The Backup Sets tab groups files on your computer by file type. So you put a checkmark next to Photos, Videos, Music, and other files types and they’ll be automatically backed up.
The File System tab lets you select folders on your computer to back up. I preferred this method, to be sure I didn’t miss any files that might not be counted with backup sets.
Poor Scheduling Options
Backup schedules for Mozy can be set to Automatic or Scheduled.
Automatic has the following options:
- Don’t back up if CPU is busy over a certain percentage
- Don’t back up unless the computer has been idle for a number of minutes
- Don’t back up more than a number of times per day (max: 12)
Scheduled has these options:
- Back up daily/weekly at a specified time
- Every X days
- When a scheduled backup is missed, allow an automatic backup
Neither of these scheduling options satisfied me. It would seem like an automatic backup would back up continuously, but it does not. Mozy can perform a maximum of 12 backups per day. That’s a minimum of 2 hours between backups, and not even close to continuous. There’s also a lower limit of “1” for how many minutes the computer must be idle before Mozy will perform an automatic backup. These limitations put Mozy behind services like CrashPlan and Backblaze when it comes to scheduling flexibility.
Regardless, there are a couple additional options that might be useful to you. You can temporarily suspend backups for a specific number of hours. You can also disable automatic backups when the computer is running on battery power.
Easy Restores, by Date or Latest Version
Mozy lets you restore files by the date they were backed up. You don’t have to go digging through previous file versions for each file, like Google Drive and Dropbox force you to do. Want to restore a group of files as they were a week ago? Just select the date, and Mozy will let you recover all the files at once.
I felt like Mozy’s restore options were very powerful, on par with CrashPlan, and better than both Backblaze and IDrive. Mozy let me restore my files quickly, easily, and without any fuss.
Mozy has excellent performance options, including bandwidth throttling. You can throttle the backups to a number of kbps. The throttle can be only turned on during certain hours, and on certain days of the week.
There’s also a “Backup Speed” slider that adjusts the impact of backups on your PC and internet performance. Even when I set it all the way to the right for “Quicker Backups” (slower computer), it didn’t interfere with my PC’s performance. This setting can also be changed in the Windows system tray, with Fast, Medium, and Slow settings.
Mozy 2xProtect: Twice the Protection
Mozy 2xProtect lets you store your backup on a local hard drive, in addition to the cloud. I liked this feature, because it provides additional protection in case the cloud backup service fails to deliver (it happens). It also provides a faster restore point, since restores from a local hard drive are going to be faster than going over the internet.
You can set the maximum size of the version history folder. Once the limit is reached, Mozy would delete the oldest files in your backup set to make room for new versions. This is completely optional. However, if you don’t set a limit, Mozy will continue to back up files until your external hard drive is full. You’ll have to click the “Empty History” button to make room.
I liked that Mozy doesn’t store local backups in a proprietary file format. Files are copied as-is, with a number appended to the file name. This means you can access files in your local backups without Mozy’s software.
Mozy’s local backup option is excellent. Compared to other services, it offers more options than CrashPlan. It’s more reliable than SOS Online Backup, which I had some errors with. IDrive lets you schedule local backups separately from the cloud backup, while Mozy does not. However, IDrive doesn’t have automatic version cleanup for local backups like Mozy does. Mozy’s local backup option isn’t as powerful as Acronis True Image, which is full disk imaging software.
Mozy’s web interface lets you access your backed up and synced files from any browser.
You can select a start page, to show either synced files or devices when you first log in. There’s a Restore Queue that lets you add files to a list, then restore them all at once.
There are three options for restoring files from the web interface:
- Mozy Restore Manager – a separate program that downloads files
- Download Compressed Archive
- Ship on Media (additional fee required)
Deleted files can be included in the restore, but Mozy warns this may make it significantly larger.
When you choose Ship on Media in the web interface, Mozy will put your files on a hard drive and ship it to you via FedEx. The price is a flat $29.95, plus $0.50 per GB, plus $40.00 for express shipping. Mozy claims it will take 3 – 5 days to prepare the restore, before it is shipped by next day air.
If you have a large backup, it might be faster to have it shipped to you than to download it over the internet. I liked that Mozy provides this option, but I still prefer Backblaze‘s shipped restores which are free.
File Versioning and Deleted File Retention
Mozy keeps deleted files for:
- 30 days with MozyHome
- 60 days with MozyPro
- 90 days with MozyEnterprise
It also keeps previous versions of files for these same periods. Deleted and previous versions of files do not count against your storage quota.
Mozy has mobile apps for Android and iOS to access backed up and synced files.
The mobile apps support PIN unlock for more secure access. Personal key encryption is also supported, which ensures zero-knowledge privacy for your files. There’s a handy search bar to help find files at the top of the app.
Photos can be viewed within the app, just like cloud storage services such as Dropbox. Documents such as Powerpoint and PDF files can be viewed within the app, as well as MP3 files. I had some problems viewing videos in the iOS app. Some videos would just fail to load, sometimes with the error “There is no viewer available for this type of file.”
Files uploaded to Mozy from your mobile device are put in a “Mobile Uploads” folder, which is stored in the sync folder. This was very handy if I wanted to share a file on my phone with my desktop computer.
Sharing options within the mobile app are lackluster, however. You can email files and save them to your camera roll, but that’s about it.
In my tests, Mozy was extremely fast when backing up files and moderately fast when restoring them.
The desktop client uploaded my files at an average rate of 9.5 Mbps (megabits per second), on a 10 Mbps connection. The maximum upload rate was 11.4 Mbps.
Download rates weren’t able to max out my 50 Mbps connection, but were still relatively fast at an average of 21.4 Mbps. The maximum download rate was 32.3 Mbps. I would have liked to see faster restore speeds with Mozy, especially given the high price.
|Average Upload Speed||9.5 Mbps|
|Maximum Upload Speed||11.4 Mbps|
|Average Download Speed||21.4 Mbps|
|Maximum Download Speed||32.3 Mbps|
Mozy has great security. It has the option to encrypt your backups with a private key. Files are secured with 256-bit AES encryption for the personal encryption key option, and 448-bit Blowfish if they manage the encryption. If you’re not sure which option is right for you, Mozy has a helpful data sheet on their encryption keys.
The personal encryption key is separate from the account password. It must be entered before files can be restored. If you forget it, you will lose access to your data.
I liked that Mozy Sync also includes the option to use the private key. The same protections that apply to your backups can also apply to your sync files.
Mozy says they manage several data centers across the globe which are staffed 24/7/365. The centers have a gas fire suppression system, redundant power and hardware, and can withstand a 7.5 magnitue earthquake. Additionally, card and biometric authenticaion is required to access the Mozy server area.
The only downside is that Mozy doesn’t offer two-factor authentication. This would provide a little extra protection, by verifying logins with a PIN sent to a mobile device.
Mozy Sync is a separate desktop client that can synchronize files across devices. The software is available for Windows and Mac.
I wasn’t expecting much from Mozy Sync, given how services like Google Drive and Dropbox dominate this market with easy to use software. I was pleasantly surprised with the features, speed, and ease of use of Mozy Sync, however.
Mozy Sync has options to:
- Limit the bandwidth used
- Start at login
- Show event notifications
- Show the sync status on file
Sync space is shared with the total storage quota for your account.
You can’t selectively sync folders, like with the major cloud storage services. There’s also no file sharing, so you can’t generate links to files and share them with others. Mozy Sync keeps previous file versions, however, so you can recover changes to synced files.
Mozy Sync is similar to IDrive. Both services have cloud backup and file synchronization features. I prefer IDrive because it is much less expensive than Mozy.
Other Mozy Features
Get backup notifications via email. MozyPro and Enterprise only.
Choose not to back up when connected to certain networks.
Backup History Tab
View a log of recent backups, whether they were successful or not, and the size of data transferred.
Plans and Pricing
Mozy divides their service into three plans:
Mozy Sync is available for all plans at no additional cost.
MozyHome’s 50 GB plan supports 1 computer, while the 125 GB plan supports 3 computers. Each additional computer costs $2 per month, and each additional 20 GB of storage costs $2 per month. These plans are very expensive, compared to competing consumer services.
|MozyHome Plans||Monthly Price||Yearly Price||2-Year Price|
MozyPro prices are astronomical, at $380 per month for 1 TB of space, without server support.
|MozyPro Plans (without servers)||Monthly Price||Yearly Price||2-Year Price|
|MozyPro Plans (with servers)||Monthly Price||Yearly Price||2-Year Price|
Mozy vs Competitors
Here’s a price comparison of MozyPro to some competitors, for 1 TB of data.
|Price for 1 TB||Monthly Price||Yearly Price|
|MozyPro (without servers)||$379.99||$4,179.89|
|SOS Online Backup||$189.99||$1,899.99|
|IDrive (Team plan)||N/A||$99.50|
|CrashPlan Pro||$9.99 per computer (unlimited data)||$119.88 per computer (unlimited data)|
|Backblaze for Business||N/A||$50 per computer (unlimited data)|
SOS is half the price of Mozy, even with server support. IDrive’s Business plan is only $500/year for 1.25 TB with Microsoft and Linux server support, showing just how large the price disparity is for Mozy.
CrashPlan supports Windows Server 2008/2012, but not Windows Essentials, SBS, or Windows Home Server. It runs on the Java programming language for cross-platform compatibility.
Backblaze is the low-cost leader here, at $50/year per computer, for unlimited data. However, Backblaze does not support servers on any of their plans. Mozy supports servers, but you’ll have to pay extra.
Except for IDrive, Mozy is the only service that offers file sync with their backup service, with a strong emphasis on security. This feature alone may be enough to sway you to Mozy.
Technical support is provided via a case (online ticket) system. There’s also a live chat option. 24/7 phone support is provided, but only to MozyPro and MozyEnterprise customers. Mozy’s community forums can be used to interact and ask questions of other users.
I was impressed with how powerful and easy to use Mozy’s software is. I was able to back up my files, and restore them without any fuss. 2xProtect works extremely well to create local backups, and offers good version control. I also liked Mozy Sync, which offers more security than the major cloud storage services with support for a personal encryption key.
There are a some compromises with Mozy. I felt scheduling options were limited, with no continuous backup option. File sync doesn’t support file sharing or collaboration. Email alerts also aren’t available for MozyHome.
By far the biggest downside is the price, however. Mozy’s prices seem hopelessly high compared to their competitors, many of whom offer similar features for a fraction of the cost.
|Average Upload Speed||9.5 Mbps (10 Mbps connection)|
|Average Download Speed||21.4 Mbps (50 Mbps connection)|
|Free Online Storage||2 GB|
|Mobile Apps||Android, iOS|
|Keep Deleted Files||30 Days (MozyHome), 60 Days (MozyPro), 90 Days (MozyEnterprise)|
|Back Up to Local Drive|
|Public File Sharing|
|Data Center Location(s)||Global|