MozyHome Setup

I signed up for the free online backup account at Mozy.com that I mentioned yesterday.

You have to go through some sign-up steps online, solve a CAPTCHA and then respond to an email message to prove it’s really you. These steps are all pretty standard these days but it is still a pain.

Then Mozy lets you download a PC or Mac program that is a downloader for the rest of their client application. I remember when I consulted with Pagoo.com in the dot com days we agonized over the sign-up and client download process. Every step causes some users to give up and if you have too many your “conversion rate” is close to zero. Things have improved some in ten years but we didn’t worry so much about bad people fiddling with our system.

After the download – no reboot required – I had to run a configuration “wizard”. I dimly remember Microsoft introducing the wizard concept many years ago. It was a great advance at the time, but now I find them tedious. As always I checked the “I agree” button on the agreement without reading it. It could have said that Mozy owns my data. That was foolish.

I am sure it tries to protect them from legal liability if they lose the only copy of my pictures that I entrusted to them.

I was confused by their Encryption Settings step.

Encryption Settings

Encryption Settings

I had the choice to “Encrypt the data using MozyHome’s 448-bit Blowfish key” or “encrypt my data with my own personal 256-bit AES key”. The former is ‘recommended’.

  • There’s no help available. What on earth is Blowfish?
  • Somebody who knows little about encryption may think that if I use MozyHome’s key then surely they will be able to decrypt my files.
  • Does anybody have their own personal 256-bit AES key immediately to hand?
  • And of course isn’t “own personal” needlessly repetitive?

I chose the Blowfish option because I could not be bothered to do the research. I bet many users who are fearful will drop out right here.

Mozy tested my internet connection speed and announced it is fast enough.

Fast Enough

Fast Enough

It must have caught my connection at a good time. Many times I can type faster than my PC transfers bits across the Pacific Ocean.

I let it choose the files it will back up. Here I confused it because my most important data is on my TrueCrypt encrypted M: drive. It didn’t look there so I had to use its configuration tool to select my Quicken data files, TurboTax records, documents and spreadsheets manually.

I love the stock photos they select for the wizard screens. The encryption screen that confused me has a picture of an elderly gentleman looking confident. The message may be “If he can understand 448-but Blowfish keys, why can’t you?”

And on the speed screen they have a photographer using an old Polaroid camera. He does not need to back up his pictures! I guess the people who designed the wizard are not photographers.

I have the 2GB free account (with, of course, many opportunities to upgrade for consideration) so I did not try to back up all my pictures. My first pass came out at 1.9GB and Mozy said it would take two days to back up.

Long First Backup

Long First Backup

The MTBF of my internet connection is way less than two days. I reduced the size of my initial backup to a manageable 250MB.

MozyHome has a configuration tool that helps you select files and folders to back up. It also has the notion of “Backup Sets” like “Financial Data”, “Photos and Images” and so on. I don’t understand the concept for it also has a set called “My Documents” that includes the above. But in my case my financial data and my important documents aren’t where Mozy expects to find them.

I ignored Backup Sets and chose from the directory/file tree.

There are lots of other options but I decided to keep things simple for now.

My first backup went well and I now have the security of having my most vital files stored outside my apartment. This is good. One careless cook with a burning wok and I could lose it all.

I fiddled with the “Faster Computer – Quicker Backup” slider during the backup and did not see much effect in either the responsiveness of my laptop or the file transfer speed. Sometimes it stopped for 30 seconds or more but always resumed.

It hasn’t helped at all with my pictures or Lightroom catalog, but I didn’t expect it to for 2GB.

I set it up to do a single daily backup when it has the chance – after the PC’s been idle (I guess that means no user activity) for 20 minutes.

I will post more about my experience with MozyHome. I particularly want to see if it can deal with multiple revisions to a file and how the file restore process works.

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3 Responses to “MozyHome Setup”

  1. BKKPhotographer Says:

    You can download a User Guide from the Mozy web site. It explains how you can use your own encryption key. It warns that if you lose it you are screwed (to use a technical term). Nobody will be able to decrypt your restored files.

    I didn’t see what I thought would be a necessity: a reassurance that even though I am using MozyHome’s Blowfish encryption key, my data is still secure. It is, isn’t it?

  2. BKKPhotographer Says:

    I wrote here: https://bkkphotographer.wordpress.com/2009/10/14/mozyhome-i-was-unfair/ how the MozyHome restore works. It’s actually very good.

  3. MozyHome is Not an Archive Solution « Bkkphotographer's Blog Says:

    […] is the “Welcome” screen for the MozyHome backup configuration utility. The second paragraph is instructive: Please note that MozyHome is not […]

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