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SafeCopy: My answer to the Mozy changes?

by Philip Sellers

I got a comment on my recent Mozy post which offered SafeCopy as an alternative to Mozy.  When my current subscription to Mozy ends, I’m certainly in the market for a more favorable solution to meet my needs.  Mozy’s new plans, in my opinion,  do not offer enough space for the price they charge and they limit the number of computers that can connect to an account .   I’d never heard of SafeCopy and so I headed to their website to check them out.

First, SafeCopy looks a lot like Mozy on the surface.  I immediately see that they are cross platform with both Windows and Mac compatibility, but they also list iPhone.  Digging a bit deeper, I have found that SafeCopy also has a search engine feature for finding and retrieving your data online and thus all your files are from the iPhone or other mobile phone.  I have to say, the Google-style search for my backup is cool.  The online demo shows that you can see versioning of the individual files, also.   Like Mozy, the backups are encrypted.  SafeCopy uses 448-bit Blowfish encryption according to their website.  

Second, their data caps for the yearly rates are really competitive and more realistic in my opinion.  They show two plans on their website a 200GB and a 300GB a year plan available for $50 and $70 a year, respectively.  I’m currently paying about $100 per year for two computers at Mozy, although both computers have unlimited storage (but only for now).  All of my data currently backed up would fit within the 300GB limit, even with versioning (a lot of my data does not change — music and photo libraries, etc.).

Third, its one account for all our home computers – meaning, while I’ve only ever run Mozy on two computers, I could potentially protect more of our home computers.  This is fundamentally different than how Mozy used to work — where Mozy used to charge by the number of computers, SafeCopy charges by data limit and you’re free to use as many computers as you want.  Mozy will limit its users in both number of computers and the amount of storage moving forward.

Beyond these three points, however, SafeCopy has some very appealing features to differentiate it from other providers that I have seen.  The first of these features is something they call “TurboCopy”.  Essentially, “TurboCopy” is deduplication, and this is one area I found Mozy to be lacking.  For instance, I have two iTunes libraries with the same music, but I backed up both on Mozy (yes, blame me for killing unlimited storage plans by wasting space like this).  With SafeCopy, it should only store a single copy of these files and then allow me pointers for both computers to access them.  That is also the best use for your storage capacity.  By only storing the single copy, you’re not consuming your storage allotment with all the same data.

The other major differentiator is real-time backup.  The SafeCopy software is constantly watching for changes on the file system and when it finds one, it moves that to the backup cloud.    There are no schedules to manage making it even simpler to setup and maintain a backup.  But, this feature also worries me.  I am concerned about saturating my internet connection — a problem I experienced with Mozy even though it had trottling.  Fortunately, SafeCopy offers throttling, also.  Saturating my connection has become a problem since I added a Microcell at home.  When saturated, this obviously affects my ability to make and receive phone calls.

So, I will be beginning my SafeCopy trial this weekend and I’ll be posting my additional thoughts and impressions after I begin the process of backing up to their service.  And that brings me to the best part…  SafeCopy offers a free account with 3GB capacity.  I’ll be starting with this initially to test and setup my computers.  Stay tuned.

And, you can sign up for Safecopy below:

Keep Your Files Safe.  Backup Online with SafeCopyBackup.com

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