I’m a big fan of online backup services such as Carbonite and Mozy, and I have been for a few years now — ever since I accidentally lost all the data on my wife’s computer by backing everything up to an external hard drive that turned out to be faulty before reinstalling Windows. Having all of your important data stored safely in an online storage locker where you can access it even if your computer is stolen or your house burns down is certainly worth a small monthly or annual fee.

Unfortunately there’s on major problem with storing your data off-site using an online service: You’re at the whim of the service provider. This week Mozy announced that it was killing its popular unlimited backup plan and raising its prices.

You used to be able to get unlimited storage for $54.45. Now you can get 50GB of disk space for $5.99 per month or 125GB for $9.99 per month. If you need more space than that, it will cost $2 for every 20GB.

In other words, if you’re backing up 200GB of data, it will cost you $17.49 per month… or about $210 per year. That’s almost 4 times what you would have paid previously. Obviously the more data you have, the more like you’re going to be shopping around for a new online backup service.

The new pricing is already effective for new customers. The change kicks in for existing subscribers on March 1st, while customers who have already signed up for a long-term unlimited plan will be able to keep it until the end of the contract. So if you paid for a two year plan last week, you have nothing to worry about… for two years.

The only upside I see to Mozy’s new pricing is that if you opt for the $10/month plan you can backup data from up to three computers instead of just one. So you don’t need to sign up for separate accounts for multiple PCs in your household.

It’s likely that many users will find that they already store less than 50GB of data in their online backup, which means that under Mozy’s new plan they’ll experience a price hike of about $12 per year, which may be nothing to get excited about. But if you need more space than that and are looking for an alternate service, you might want to check out one of the following:

  • Acronis Online Backup – 250GB of online storage for $49.95 per year
  • BackBlaze – unlimited backup for $50 per year per computer
  • Carbonite – unlimited backup for $54.95 per year
  • CrashPlan – unlimited backup plans for $49.99 per year (with month-to-month and multi-year options as well)
  • McAfee – unlimited backup for $59.99 per year (currently handled by Mozy, so this price might go up soon)

Of course, if you’ve lost faith in online services, you could just backup your data to an external hard drive and/or synchronize your data between machines on a private network. But there’s a lot that can go wrong with that system.

A few years ago I wrote an article for Download Squad asking readers what they used to backup their data. The discussion was pretty interesting. What about you? What’s your backup solution?

via CNET

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9 replies on “The down side of online backup: Mozy kills unlimited storage plan”

  1. I predict one of 2 things will happen:
    1) the other vendors will follow suit within 12 months, or
    2) Mozy will re-introduce their unlimited plan.
    …. someone had to try it. No, I’m not a Mozy employee, but I am a Mozy user. I recommend it to my friends. When home internet speeds were slower, no one had a connetion that allowed timely uploads of 200+ GB of data. I’ve often wondered how long it would take these offsite companies to raise their prices. I’m betting on event #1.

  2. I’m a big fan of online backup services such as Carbonite and Mozy, but don’t forget about Handy Backup (https://www.handybackup.net). It provides both backup software and online backup services. Handy Backup is very easy to use and reliable backup solution.
    It has cost effective prices and free edition also.

  3. This type of dramatic change by Mozy is stupid business. The 12 people in my office, my wife, me, and my parents are all setting up Carbonite service tonight. I liked Mozy a lot, but for $12 a month which I will now have to pay, I can do better.

    1. Sure Mozy really made a very big shift but i think it was the only way of getting rid of the many customers they have.I’m glad i got a backup service that suits my needs and that Safecopy backup which offers unlimited computer backup for only 50 bucks a year.

  4. This – Comment Disclaimer – Test and Use any and all software at your own risk!

    Backup/Sync Software & Encryption Software – for your computers
    Comparison of file synchronization software
    Example – of one that has a GPLv3 License – AND will run on different Operating Systems (MS, Linux, Apple).
    DirSync Pro makes it possible to compare a couple of directories and synchronize their content. It can be used to create incremental
    backups. The synchronization could be setup to mirror a directory into another one (mono-directional/one way) or synchronize the content
    of two directories into each other (bi-directional/two way).
    —> And if you want to encrypt some data on a removable USB drive (such as a removable thumb type drive, even an entire laptop, or other).

    Then, look at this to secure your data while mobile, an entire netbook or laptop, or just files on home system:
    Comparison of disk encryption software
    Example – of one with a “not approved” opensource license TrueCrypt Collective License – but, will run on different Operating Systems (MS, Linux, Apple)
    Free open-source disk encryption software for Windows 7/Vista/XP, Mac OS X, and Linux
    – Creates a virtual encrypted disk within a file and mounts it as a real disk.
    – Encrypts an entire partition or storage device such as USB flash drive or hard drive.
    – Encrypts a partition or drive where Windows is installed (pre-boot authentication).
    – Encryption is automatic, real-time (on-the-fly) and transparent.
    – Parallelization and pipelining allow data to be read and written as fast as if the drive was not encrypted.
    – Encryption can be hardware-accelerated on modern processors.
    – Provides plausible deniability, in case an adversary forces you to reveal the password:
    – Hidden volume (steganography) and hidden operating system.
    – More information about the features of TrueCrypt may be found in the documentation

    Or this (quite a bit more complex but it is kinda cool to think about):

    DRBD, LVM, GNBD, and Xen for free and reliable SAN
    “At home, I wanted a reliable disk solution for backups and also wanted a big, blank and resizablestorage system for virtual machines. I knew I wanted to be able to get at the shared disk remotely fromother nodes and wanted to be able to replace broken hardware quickly if something failed. I also didn’twant to spend a lot of time reconfiguring OSs and software in the case of a total system failure”.

    “DRBD® refers to block devices designed as a building block to form high availability (HA) clusters. This is done by mirroring a whole block device via an assigned network. DRBD can be understood as network based raid-1.In the illustration above, the two orange boxes represent two servers that form an HA cluster. The boxes contain the usual components of a Linux™ kernel: file system, buffer cache, disk scheduler, disk drivers, TCP/IP stack and network interface card (NIC) driver. The black arrows illustrate the flow of data between these components.The orange arrows show the flow of data, as DRBD mirrors the data of a highly available service from the active node of the HA cluster to the standby node of the HA cluster”.
    Of course – you don’t have to be running a cluster to do this.

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