With a name like MozyHome, you'd expect a warm and fuzzy backup service that's aimed at non-technical types who don't want complicated backup choices. In fact, Mozy should satisfy the needs of technophobes and tech experts alike.

The service has software for Windows PCs and Macs (but not Linux systems). It also has smartphone apps for accessing archived data running on iOS and Android devices, but not BlackBerry phones.

The software can be accessed from a task tray icon, which leads to several windows for overall status, for settings and for restoring data. It all works well together and Mozy keeps a detailed log file of what the software has done.

Like Carbonite, Mozy shows what files are going to be backed up with small yellow dots and those that have already been backed up with green dots. This makes visually scanning for backup status easy.

Online backups can be scheduled for any time you want (for example, during lunch or overnight). The default backup settings archive video, music, document, email and contact files, browser favourites and financial records. However, it can handle individual files or the entire drive, including system files. It can back up data on an external hard drive. You can restore anything from a single file to the entire backup; files stay available for 30 days after being deleted.

Mozy recently announced its new Dropbox-like Stash service, which allows users to access active files from multiple computers. There is also a business version called MozyPro that offers a number of prices, depending on how many licences you need and how much data you plan to store.

Mozy offers its users the choice of using either 448-bit Blowfish encryption or 256-bit AES encryption; its hardware is colocated at server farms in Europe and the US. Instead of mirroring data, Mozy uses Distributed Reed-Solomon error correction, which divides the data into 12 data blocks that are spread around its servers. Should a drive go dead, Mozy only needs nine of those pieces to recover the entire file.

Test results

Mozy's default backup stored 160MB of files from my test machine in 2 hours, 8 minutes and 54 seconds.

It was able to transfer and save the entire C: drive in 22 hours and 11 minutes, three days faster than with CrashPlan but six hours slower than with Norton Online Backup.

A 25MB incremental backup took 5 minutes and 7 seconds. I was able to search for a lost file in 4.6 seconds, the slowest time of the applications reviewed here but still acceptable. The file was recovered in 34.8 seconds.

I was able to back up the entire system to an external hard drive in 20 minutes and 17 seconds, by far the quickest of the group; the drive didn't need to be reformatted.

The company once offered unlimited storage. Currently, it charges £5 a month for 50GB for one computer. There's also a 125GB plan that includes backups from up to three computers for £8 per month. Mozy gives you up to 2GB of storage space free, so if you don't have much to back up, you can do it on the cheap.

OUR VERDICT

Overall, MozyHome does an excellent job of keeping your most precious digital possessions safe, secure and ready to be restored in the event of a computer disaster.