Guest Post: My Husband Ben
About two or three years ago, the unthinkable happened . . . our hard drive froze. No rattling, no buzzing, no little warning light to tell us that we were seconds away from losing years worth of pictures, videos, music, and documents. One day it merrily chugged along… the next, the blue screen of death. I tried restarting, I tried cleaning it, I even tried praying a little, all to no avail. That feeling in the pit of my stomach was the realization that I may have just lost all of our pictures and videos from the birth of our first child, financial records, our most updated résumés, and a whole lot more data that I wasn’t sure I could recover. I took it to a repair shop and after a wink and a smile they asked if I had backed everything up. Because, of course, I hadn’t.
Looking into ways to try to back up everything from then on, I (and many of you) discovered Mozy. Mozy is an online data storage company that installs a little program on your computer and then makes a copy of everything you tell it to. It keeps those copies online, so in case of a disaster, you could recover those files relatively easily. They offered an unlimited backup plan for only $5 a month. Every picture, every home movie, every spreadsheet could be stored for a low price. So, we became loyal customers and didn’t look back.
Until this week, that is. Earlier in the week, Mozy announced that it would start charging customers significantly higher prices based on the amount of data backed up. For us it was going to mean an increase from $4.95 per month to $15.99 per month, a 300% increase. Being thrifty, as we are, I decided to look into some alternatives.
- Backblaze – Offers unlimited storage for one computer at $5 a month. It doesn’t include backup of network drives. It has received good reviews from U.S. news and World Report, CNET.com and Lifehacker. Plus, you get 10% off with coupon code: byemozy
- Carbonite – a mature online backup service, but it lacks many desirable features you’ll find in the competition. It offers unlimited remote backup storage, and handily marks backed-up files in Windows Explorer. It also has a good Mac version and a so-so iPhone app. But an account only covers one PC and its backup servers aren’t geographically redundant. It also lacks file sharing or viewing, live protection, and doesn’t back up external or network drives.
- CrashPlan – offers an unlimited plan for one computer at a reasonable $49.95 a year, and unlike Carbonite, it keeps files available online even if you’ve deleted them from your local computer. And CrashPlan is offering a 15 percent discount (mozy15) to Mozy switchers. CrashPlan is also new, so there is a little worry about longevity.
- SOS – SOS received the Editor’s Choice award from PC Magazine, and offers more than other online backup providers: multiple PC coverage, external and network drive backup, a local backup app, and an excellent iPhone app. But it comes with a cost. $9.99 per month for up to 50 GB. You then have to pay more for additional storage.
No matter which service you use, you need to back up everything that is important to you, because trust me, it CAN happen to you too!