In the modern day digital world, we basically store our “lives” on our computers. Photos, work documents, mp3s and family videos are all stored on our PCs.
So what will you do when the unthinkable happens and you lose all your files? What if there is an unexpected power surge or somebody spills a milkshake on your computer? If your computer gets fried, what will you do to recover your files? If they’re not backed up online the answer is simple; you won’t.
Online Backup Solutions to the Rescue!
Online backup solutions backup your data ‘in the cloud’, and eliminate the reliance on local hardware to safely store your files. They’re basically providing you with a redundant environment for your data.
Cloud backup solutions are simple, affordable solutions to hard drive crashes, stolen laptops, and any of the myriad other things that can happen to cause you to lose your PC. There are a few good online backup solutions available, so choosing one can be somewhat confusing. We’re going to take a closer look at two of the more popular options; Mozy and Carbonite. Both offer relatively similar online backup services for individuals and small businesses.
So is one better than the other?
Mozy vs. Carbonite: Features
First, let’s look at the features Carbonite has to offer. They offer a few different levels of service. The home / home office package is the most affordable and provides continuous automatic backup, mobile and web access, local file backup, and phone, email and chat support.
Carbonite Home will back up most common files with a few exceptions, but cannot automatically backup external drive files or files larger than 4GB. You can manually backup large files by right-clicking and selecting “Back this up” from the drop down menu.
Carbonite’s Small Business plan includes the ‘Home’ features plus dashboard management and external drive backup. It also supports hard drive recovery and Windows server backups.
The real difference between these two options is the external hard drive backup capability, as the home/home business option can only backup internal drives. Aside from the external drive support, the Small Business option features a web based dashboard that is more business friendly, as it allows the admin complete control over multiple backups in one window.
Both of these plans offer continuous backup once the client is installed. This means there will be no delay between changes made on your drive and the reflection of those changes in your backup. Lesser featured backup solutions adhere to a backup schedule, but Carbonite updates in real time.
Like Carbonite, Mozy also offers two backup subscription options, MozyPro and MozyHome. MozyHome is for individuals with fairly basic backup needs, while MozyPro is ideal for small to mid-size businesses.
In comparing home versions, Mozy has a few advantages over Carbonite. First, Mozy has the ability to backup files on external drives. It also has a ‘2x protect’ feature that can create a duplicate backup on a separate drive in addition to the cloud backup.
MozyPro offers backup capabilities for locked or open files as well as network driver support and SQL Exchange. Once the system creates a base image, backups are created incrementally to conserve space, so the real-time scanning is less proficient than Carbonite’s option. MozyPro does, however, backup .exe files.
Which has better features?
As far as basic features are concerned, Mozy and Carbonite are fairly evenly matched. The one feature that I really like about Mozy is the external hard drive support with the basic plan. This gives Mozy a slight edge so far.
Ease of Setup
The installation process for Carbonite is very simple. Once you pay for your subscription, you create an account on their site with your email address and a password of your choosing. You’ll then be prompted to download and install the Carbonite client software. Once the installation starts, you just follow the prompts and answer some questions about your computer. From there, Carbonite takes over and does the rest.
Next, you will decide whether to create a custom list of files to backup or have Carbonite select from a list of commonly backed up directories. Once you select your backup parameters, Carbonite offers some helpful tips on how to best use the software.
Once the installation is complete and the parameters are set, your files start uploading to the cloud. There are more customizable options you can browse through the interface, which is very intuitive in design.
Mozy features a more secure, yet complicated process. When you register on their website, you will be asked to submit your email address. Mozy will then send you a confirmation email with a link to your download.
Once you click on the link in the confirmation email, you come to a page where you choose a Mac or Windows installation.
From there, just follow the prompts on your screen to complete the installation. Once the installation is complete, you’ll be asked to verify your email and password. Three separate verifications in one setup process seemed a bit cumbersome in my opinion, though it does make for a more secure installation.
The installation process took around 12 minutes on a PC with Windows 7, 5 minutes longer than the Carbonite install. Once the program opens, backup selections can be chosen by either file type or file path.
Carbonite’s layout is somewhat different than Mozy’s, but I didn’t think Mozy’s was difficult to navigate or confusing. Similar to Carbonite, the backup started automatically. To access your cloud on Mozy, you just go to https://secure.mozy.com/login. Mozy offers a free trial, so I recommend testing it yourself to see what you think.
For ease of use, I thought both setups were pretty straightforward, and shouldn’t create any problems for users. I have to give the nod to Carbonite over Mozy, as Mozy’s obsessive verification requests slowed down the process considerably.
So, is it Mozy or Carbonite?
As for an overall winner, I can’t say there is one. It all depends on what features are more important to use as the end user. Take advantage of the trials offered, as hands on experience should be able to break the tie for you.