After a few too many run-ins with hard drive failure (and user error), I’ve become a big fan of online backup services. I personally pay $50 per year to have Carbonite to back up all the important files on my computer so that I can retrieve files that have accidentally been deleted or recover all of my data if I lose my computer or if the house burns down. Try doing that if all you’ve been doing is backing up your data to a USB hard drive.

But there are certainly plenty of good reasons to back up your data to a spare hard drive and not just to a cloud-based service like Carbonite. First, it’s generally a lot cheaper to buy a hard drive than it is to pay an annual subscription fee. And second, it’s a lot faster to restore your data over a USB connection than by downloading your files from a remote server.

Now Mozy is making it easier to do both kinds of backups. The company has been offering an online backup solution for the past few years. And this week Mozy launched an update that lets you store data on a local drive as well. Mozy 2.0 is available for Windows. The Mac client won’t be available until later this year.

Mozy offers 2GB of online storage for free. Users who want unlimited cloud-based storage space can pay $4.95 per month or $54.45 per year.

Of course, you don’t need to use Mozy to perform regular local backups. There are a ton of free applications that will already let you do that. But if you’re already using Mozy for off-site backups, this new feature seems like a no-brainer.

via CNET

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