Mozy 2.0 Adds Local Backup to Its Excellent Online Backup

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Mozy 2.0 is a mild but welcome upgrade of the client for this popular online backup service. In addition to offering interface improvements, this version lets you back up easily to both the MozyHome cloud service (you can get 2GB of storage for free, or unlimited storage for either $5 per month or $54 per year) and to a local hard drive.

Mozy 2.0 screenshot
It's not as beautiful as competitors like Dmailer and Crashplan, but venerable Mozy still works like a pro.

The partial makeover of the user interface brings larger fonts and icons that make it easier to read, and visually it blends better with Vista and Windows 7, albeit not as well with XP. The new version is still a bit deficient in the looks department, though, and some of the program's dialog boxes could use a facelift as well.

Mozy claims that 2.0 is faster than its predecessor; and the software did seem zippy in my hands-on testing. The broadband service I used was a reasonably fast Comcast cable connection that often sustains 500-kbps uploads and 1-mbps downloads.

The big news with Mozy 2.0 is its ability to back up to a local hard drive as well as to online servers. Every backup strategy should include easy-to-restore local copies, as well as physically secure offsite (in this case online) destinations, and handling both requirements with a single program can save you time and effort. The local backup is a rudimentary, plain file copy; and your sole option is to choose which drive partition (C:, D:, or whatever) it should reside on. But that's just fine for taking care of your most important data, and the payoff is that you can manage your backup from within a single interface.

Mozy otherwise remains basically the same: Cloud backup includes automatic file selection, open file backup, user-definable backup sets with filtering, and versatile scheduling. It's a great service backed by industry giant EMC, and it works smoothly in the background protecting your data. Ultimately the less-than-beautiful interface is of far less consequence than the increased functionality.

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