* Mozy Backup: Not Ready For Prime Time

Mozy sounded too good to be true (and appears to be).

I have been hunting for a viable cross-platform replacement for Connected.com’s online backup (which is available only for PCs). Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot to like about Connected.com. The UI is great, automated backup and restore (with versioning) just works, and you can encrypt your data with a private key (which is essential for a law firm – or anyone who cares about their data, for that matter).

What I don’t like about Connected.com is the price. It ends up being about $2.50/GB/mo. I also don’t like the silly plans. I want to just pay for what I use, and I just maxed out there latest “plan.” Nice plan.

I tried JungleDisk, which promises $0.15/GM/mo (and no plans), but it was clunky (would not install on all XP machines), did not support versioning, and created lots of temp files on my computers (both XP and OS X). No thanks.

So when I heard about Mozy (and its business counterpart MozyPro), I was very excited. Here was a business-class backup solution that appears to have it all: reasonable pricing ($0.50/GM/mo + $3.95/machine/mo), versioning, and private key encryption.

Except for the alleged private key encryption. Mozy’s website claims to support private key encryption. But if you install MozyPro with the default options, you will not be prompted for any private key encryption option, and all of your data will be encrypted with one of the Mozy-supplied keys. At least that’s how it worked for me. And I’ve got screen-shots of all 13 screens to demonstrate how private key encryption works (or fails to work, in this case).

Compounding matters, I’ve been calling and emailing Mozy support about this since 05/19/07 (two and a half weeks, which is a long time to wait for a backup service). My emails go unanswered. I just called both numbers (801-756-2331, 877-669-9776), and after being on hold for a long time, I was transferred to a busy signal.

I’m so glad I purchased eight licenses. If this is how Mozy treats it business customers, I can’t imaging how it treats consumer customers.

It seems to me that Mozy is not ready to be a reliable backup provider for businesses. Certainly not if private key encryption matters to you.

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15 Replies to “* Mozy Backup: Not Ready For Prime Time”

  1. I tired Mozy back in early 2008. Had it installed for almost a week and PC would barely run, Mozy was taking all the resources. Contacted support twice and never got a response. Went with Carbonite and it was good for the first year. Reinstalled on new PC. After more than 2 weeks, still not backedup. Remote access say I have nothing backed up. Carbonite client says I have 217 gig backed up, but I have less than 125 gig in total user files and much is not selected for back up. Some folders selected for backup, do not have individual files notes for back up. Email backup is more than 72 hour. Chat backup have frequent disconnects (3 attempts to resolve problem). I just don’t think any of the online services are ready for real use.

  2. I am using the free version of MozyHome and experienced the same issue with private key encryption that Erik discussed. After waiting about a week, I finally got an email response from their help desk. Here it is…

    The Mozy client installed on your local machine stores you private key. So if you use the Mozy client to perform a restore, the data will pass over the network encrypted and the Mozy client will unencrypt it. However, if you use the web-restore functionality, Mozy will send you the data encrypted, and you will need to use a tool such as the Mozy Decrypt utility to unencrypt it using your private key.

    Hope that helps other people who have the same concerns I did.

  3. As a long-time Carbonite user I’d say … you won’t be much happier. Carbonite has a lot of flaws including clobbering your backup and crap support (72 hour response if you’re lucky).

  4. When restoring, Mozy Pro Can take 24 hours (or more, as I sit waiting at hour 30) on a weekend (weekdays would take longer) to simply GATHER the files that you need to download before you can even start to download them. (50k files or a VERY SMALL server) This makes it worthless for Dr.s lawyers, dentist, hotels,… or anyone who needs their data restored rapidly.

    Further, I have been on the phone waiting simply for someone to answer the phone for over an hour so far with no response.

    Check virtually all of the comments by end users, and they well say beware of this program.

  5. Erik,

    I ran into another problem with MozyPro on laptops. As a routine security measure we encrypt laptop documents with XP Pro’s built-in EFS encryption. In evaluating MozyPro I discovered that they are unable to backup these encrypted files. That’s too bad as I really liked MozyPro otherwise. So now I either have to find another service or another way of encrypting our laptop files. Have you run into this limitation?

    (I’ve also used Carbonite and really like it, but in this case I need something with central client management as it’s for our company.)

    gary

  6. I’ve heard alot of people have the same problems with Mozy that you did, Erik. However, not all online backup has those problems. Carbonite, for instance, has been a great service with great support for the time that I’ve been using it. It’s 50 dollars for unlimited backup and I have been extremely happy with it. I’d definitely check it out if I were you.

  7. Well Mozy works fabulously for me as a private client. I sent a lot of support questions and they were answered within appropriate time and in a very profound and comprehensive manner. maybe you should pretend to be a private client.. what gives with the $/GB/month charge anyway

  8. Hi Erik,

    Sorry to hear about the problems you’ve been having. I work on the Mozy/MozyPro web team, and just wanted to let you know we have fixed the private encryption configuration issue (incidentally right around the time of your blog post).

    The default MozyPro client configuration had an incorrect setting that effectively hid the private encryption option for anyone who installed the MozyPro client recently. Mozy customers were unaffected.

    The default config has been fixed, as have any other custom configurations that were affected. That means that any (re)installs you do will now have the private key option. If you like, I can also flag existing machines under your account to use private encryption — you will be prompted for a key the next time you back up or configure Mozy on those machines.

    Regarding your difficulties reaching support, I’m forwarding this information to our head of customer support, so you should receive a followup tomorrow via phone or email.

    Cheers,

    Jon

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