mozy free vs. home (unlimited)

so after a crazy week we started thinking about all the “stuff” we had on our computers and ways we could recover following a problem (crashing computer, lost laptop or stolen device). my wife took some advise about mozy and invested the $4/month in the home unlimited plan (and took it seriously). her first backup of about 70GB was going swimmingly (0.06% after about 5 hours) when i realized as nice as it would be to have that much “stuff” off-site, it is completely impractical.

my first fear was that verizon (which has very nice upload speeds ~5mbs) would shut us down… moving (especially uploading) that much data is going to make anyone’s network admin’s sit up straight and look at what is going on… many times the small print of the contacts state a maximum monthly upload too so that as well could cause some issues.

so what am i saying… here are my suggestions:
download mozy FREE and find <1gb of data you would need immediately if something happened to your machine. address book, documents (folder), financial information, system information (document with serial number, software, applecare info, system specs), any business info, and your quicken/quickbooks data. fire off a backup one evening or weekend. mozy will do the rest. updates to the key folders or files will prompt a regular backup of the data to the mozy system and God forbid something happens, get to another machine, install mozy free, login and work through a restore.

now for the big stuff (iTunes, videos, iPhoto). generally this is the heavy lifting of your system. 10’s of gigs of data (i would say if you use your computer “normally” your photos and music take 25-50gb of data). go to costco, staples, amazon, newegg.com and find a drive that suits your storage and budget. a 500gb drive will cost less than $150 from most places, 750gb about $150-200 and 1tb about $250-300. i would recommend Western Digital, Seagate or iomega as the drives of choice…

now bring it home and plug it in… running mac os 10.5 or later (leopard) you already have a great backup tool with the system, timemachine, which will see the drive and ask you if you would like to use this new drive as a timemachine backup. do it!

let timemachine run. again, the first backup will take a good chunk of time (a couple of hours depending on how much stuff you have on the system already). the system will run hourly backups of your system looking for changes or adjustments. it is SO simple that any time you sit down and plug in your drive, it will do it’s thing. i HIGHLY recommend it.

comments, thoughts, let us know.

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