Carbonite vs Mozy: Online Backup Services

by Silicon Valley Blogger on 2009-11-1913

Those of us doing any kind of work on our personal computers know how crazy things can get when the “infrastructure” goes down. Perhaps you want to start an online business or more likely, you care a lot about what you’ve got stored in your machines. If so, then you should get into the habit of backing up your data. Once, I actually had to shell out $1,450 for data recovery when my computer crashed without a back up system in place. Ouch! On this note, I thought to share the following guest post by Millie Kay G., about a couple of software options one can look into for managing online back ups.


For a lot of us, losing our important computer files means losing money. I keep many of my documents and pictures backed up in a portable hard drive, but using a computer backup service like Carbonite or Mozy is something I’ve been considering lately. I took a closer look at these well-known services to see if they are worth trying out.

Carbonite Backup Service Overview

Protect your files with Carbonite Online Backup
Carbonite is a popular choice in the data backup arena. Their service will back up your documents, emails, pictures, and even data from programs like Quicken. Once you pay for the service, you can elect to have it back up your music, videos, program files, and other types of data as well.

You won’t run into limits on the amount of data you can back up. However, if you try to upload more than around 20 gigabytes of data, you might find the process slow going. As far as security is concerned, your data is protected by encryption. So if someone doesn’t have your account password, you won’t have to worry about them snooping through your stuff.

What if you need to restore data? Let’s say you lose a file or a whole folder. In that case, you could go to your desktop to seek out your file or folder from your Carbonite Backup Drive and recover it by using the Restore option. Alternatively, if you don’t have access to your computer, you can always visit the Carbonite website to get a hold of your data backup. It won’t take more than a few minutes to recover small files or folders, but if you need to restore a large amount of your computer data, then you should plan on it taking a day or two, depending on how much data is involved.

Windows XP, Vista, and Mac users can all use Carbonite. Their website offers handy tutorials to show you the basics.

The Carbonite service costs $54.95 a year, which works out to less than $5 a month. If you’re wondering about taking the plunge, try out the free 15-day trial first.

Mozy Backup Service Overview

Online Backup The Way It Should Be-FREE
Another computer backup service that has earned kudos is Mozy. For users who want to use the service for personal use, there’s MozyHome, which comes free with limited 2 GB of space. For unlimited storage, it’s $4.95 a month. With it, you download the backup software, then choose which files you want backed up. Your files are encrypted while they’re backed up, and they’re encrypted a second way for storage.

You can schedule when your backups happen. The first backup you make will generally take the longest, if you’ve got a lot of data to archive. After that, the backups should be incremental. As mentioned, if you’re using MozyHome for personal use, you can get 2 GB of storage for free. You can have two computers on one MozyHome Free account.

For those who want unlimited backups through MozyHome, you can sign up for a one year subscription for $54.45. You’ll get two months free if you prefer to sign up for a two year subscription. Please visit this link for more details.

You can restore your data in a variety of ways. You can right-click on any folder that needs recovery; you can go to the Mozy website to download your files from there; or you can order a DVD of your backup. It may actually be faster to order a DVD than wait for your backup to download on your home internet connection (think of the famous saying from the annals of computer networking: never underestimate the bandwidth of a truck full of magnetic tapes hurtling down the highway).

Protect Your Business
For business users, there’s MozyPro. It provides an Administrative Console to manage backups from multiple computers, and you’ll benefit from encryption, alerts, bandwidth throttling, and more. For each server and each computer you want to back up, you’ll need to buy a license.

Now with regards to pricing: for desktop computers, it’s $3.95 as well as $.50 per gigabyte each month; while for each server, it’s $6.95 plus $.50 per gigabyte each month.

For more details on MozyPro, check out this link.

Before you decide on a computer backup service, keep in mind that this works best for users with high-speed internet connections due to the large amount of data involved. A free trial or account can give you a good idea if the service is a good match for your backup needs.

Why Outsource Computer Back Ups?

Why go with a computer backup service if you can do these tasks yourself? Well it’s about making the time and effort to actually do what’s needed, and frankly, for less than $5 a month, it’s something I’d rather outsource. In my opinion, the convenience and peace of mind these services provide are worth way more than several dollars a month.

Also, if you did your own backups yourself, then you’d need a portable hard drive to make it work. It could make more sense to get some “data redundancy” by opting to store data elsewhere via a backup service. Data that’s stored offsite can be easier to recover than say, a hard drive that’s been burned, drowned, or dropped during an emergency.

Clearly, the consequences of missing out on regular backups are not pretty: if you forget to back up something yourself, then you might lose your precious data to a hard drive crash, a wayward virus, or theft if your computer’s ever stolen. Rather than risk your livelihood, family pictures, novel-in-progress, or your music collection, you could rely on a computer backup service as your data storage solution.

For those who use (or have used) Carbonite or Mozy — do you have any thoughts on your service of choice?

Copyright © 2009 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Jonathan Wilde November 20, 2009 at 2:06 am

Backing up data is truly a challenge. I find the best way to back up is using one of the online backup services.

There are many such service providers out there. There are good review sites and read their rankings, ratings, features and so on, and then decide which one to pick.

ChiliPepr November 20, 2009 at 7:03 am

Mozy works pretty well for me – on both Mac and PC. Their server product and interface could use some improvement.

Cassie November 20, 2009 at 9:58 am

Interesting idea! I am terrified of losing all of my data on my computer, this may be something that could work for me. Thanks for posting about it!

Billy November 20, 2009 at 11:09 am

I think the best solution is Egnyte. Much better features then Mozy and Carbonite. Egnyte continues to upgrade their product and I think it should be thrown into the discussion.

Nadya November 20, 2009 at 2:34 pm

Another option is the new CloudBerry Online Backup powered by Amazon S3 with friendly user interface, strong data encryption and scheduling capabilities. You can download the product at (for $29.99).

CloudBerry Lab team

Silicon Valley Blogger November 20, 2009 at 2:59 pm

I can’t vouch for the other systems mentioned here on this thread, but I can do so for Mozy and Carbonite since we’ve used them on various occasions based on our existing platform requirements. Mozy, to us anyway, seems to have a better interface than does Carbonite, but things could have improved since we last used the latter system. Most people I know are on either one of these services or do stuff themselves.

susan November 21, 2009 at 7:29 pm

All you have to do is lose something and then you believe in backing up everything. i have spent a lot of money doing it myself with jump drives . These companies do the same thing for less and it sounds easier. Thanks for encouraging me to do this.

Lucy November 23, 2009 at 3:24 am

I suggest using Memopal, 3GB free ($49 200GB).
Online Backup: automatic, easy and safe protection for all your files.
Remote Storage: password access to all your files from any location.
File Sharing: share even large files with colleagues and friends.
Web access: from iPhone and any mobile device with a browser.

Neal Deutsch March 24, 2010 at 11:17 am

We were also looking for for backup solutions and the IT department suggested this two services, in fact Mozy was suggested over Carbonite, because it offers a Pro account which will be better for the business. Data issues and security are some things you don’t want to neglect, specially if you file important documents like we do here in the office.

Sheila September 14, 2010 at 1:20 pm

Have a MacBookPro running the latest version of the Mac O/S. Originally purchased Carbonite in July 09 and it took about a month to back up 70 gigs of data which was pretty much everything. Then in October 2009 I upgraded to the new Mac O/S 10.6 from 10.5 and it slowed down doing just a few hundred megabytes from October 09 to Jan 10 leaving the computer on (no sleep mode) all day and all night.

Tried tech support and finally gave up and quit using Carbonite from about Feb. through June 2010. On June 30, 2010 I got a new computer and decided to try again. It took tech support taking control of my computer to get the account transferred and the backup running. Since then I’ve kept a log. On July 9, 2010 I had 72.5 gb in my backup and 99 gb awaiting backup. Today Sept. 14, 2010 the backup contains 76.3 gb and 98 gb awaiting backup. It has only backed up a little more than 4 gb in 2 months with my computer almost always on and connected by dsl, no sleep mode and lid left open (and me double checking that Carbonite is enabled.)

I don’t find this a good backup. Though I’ve paid for two years and been working at it diligently for more than 14 months, I have yet to have a full back up.

Carbonite asks what would happen if the house burned down or someone broke in and stole my computer and my external backup: problem is 14 months after buying Carbonite and working with tech support, I still worry about those things. For me, Carbonite is NOT the answer.

If you are on a Mac, you might want to consider another option. I am now looking.

Kennedy October 15, 2010 at 11:33 am

I’ve had the $5 a month Mozy Unlimited for a few months now and it’s worked fine for me. The first backup took just over a month to complete with a 5mb upload internet speed, but it was just shy of 900 gb. I’ve never had the program freeze, or behave unexpectedly. All in all well worth the $5 a month.

Brian Hall February 2, 2011 at 6:45 pm

I subscribe to a backup service – Carbonite, Mozy, etc.
I upload all of my data.
What happens to it if I die?
Or suppose I have a stroke, accident, etc and fail to pay monthly/annual charges?
HOW are my files removed completely and not left to float around in cyberspace?
How long would my heirs have to recover them?
I assume there’s a password I would have left for them …. ?
I’m serious.
I’ve had “surprise” hospitalizations and there’s no way to have all bases covered.

So what happens to my data if “something happens?”

Linda June 20, 2012 at 2:33 pm

We use an online service as well as an external backup device. We consider the ability to recover from two sources as an insurance policy. We use the online document feature as an added convenience in that you can access anywhere, anytime. We have found it to be very reliable. A number of products have a number of options depending on your storage needs. The cloud concept is not new, just under utilized for home use. I recommend it. Do your due diligence the track record of potential vendors. Their terms of service will disclose what happens to stored data.

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