Free Online Backups

I was searching for online backup solutions and came by a little gem called Mozy Online Backup. This free service will automatically backup local computer files of your choice at set intervals onto their encrypted online site. No more worrying about losing your most important computer files due to hard drive crashes or corruption.  This solution has been working well with my personal computer and laptop thus far.

Sign up for their free home account (2 GB space) via this link and receive an extra 256 MB automatically added to your account (I get an extra 256MB as well).  Alternatively, you can use the referral code VZ478L to get your free upgrade.  The free home account signup is on the right hand side of the page.

Weekend Reading

Canadian Capitalist has a timely list in preparing for tough times.

Lazy Man and Money evaluates a new website, GradeFund, which basically pays kids who score higher grades.

Canadian Dream writes about how inflation is good for the government but bad for you.

Generation X Finance concludes that assets don’t make you rich.

Brip Blap writes about how to succeed at your job.

Thicken My Wallet explains how REITs and utility trusts have payouts greater than 100%.

Sun’s financial Diary compares actively managed funds to Vanguard index funds.

My Dollar Plan has a list of 16 ways to do it yourself.

Four Pillars questions if the stock market relapse if because of China?

Frugal Dad ponders if we’ve been sold a bunch of lies about money.

Financial Blogger talks about the Primerica business model.

Money Smart Life lists 5 mistakes he has made and how he’s going to fix them.

Where Does All My Money Go asks if you would prefer to own a BMW by itself or a Civic and a Ferrari together?

The Digerati Life explains how to work full time while in college.

If you would like to read more articles like this, you can sign up for my free weekly money tips newsletter below (we will never spam you).


  1. Thicken My Wallet on January 23, 2009 at 11:26 am

    Thanks for the link!

  2. Canadian Capitalist on January 23, 2009 at 11:29 am

    Thanks for the mention! Have a great weekend!

  3. Keith on January 23, 2009 at 11:35 am

    Alternatively you could also use gmail for backups.

    If you use firefox as your browser you can install an extension called gmail space that will allow you to create a folder in your gmail account and upload files to that folder. There is a limit to the size of file (I believe it is 10MB) but you you have more than 2GB of space.

  4. Luc Richard on January 23, 2009 at 11:44 am

    Microsoft also offers a free online backup service called SkyDrive.

    There’s not automatic way to backup but you do get 25gb of space

  5. FrugalTrader on January 23, 2009 at 11:51 am

    Thanks for the tips guys, I will check out the other solutions.

  6. Peter on January 23, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    DreamHost offers 50G for personal backups with their very affordable packages. I have combined this with DeltaCopy and am very happy with it. If you signup use promo-code “AOEU” to get a discounted monthly charge.

  7. nobleea on January 23, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    I feel safer with an actual back up drive on my desk. you can buy ones now that are fire and waterproof if you’re totally paranoid.

  8. Four Pillars on January 23, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    I’m going to check out the Mozy backup – I’ve been thinking about online backups (for a couple of years now)

    Nobleea – I agree that a hard drive backup is essential but an online backup is useful in case the hard drive backup doesn’t work. ie if your house burns down/gets robbed/both hard drives fail at the same time etc.

  9. Novice on January 23, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    A key difference between online backup and an external harddrive is that this as 4P mentions above is backup that is offsite. A burglar can easily steal both your laptop and your external drive at the same time. Another difference is that unlike having space somewhere that forces you to (a) remember to move files and (b) to actually find and do it, these types of services will scan your computer for what’s changed according to parameters you setup (ie anything .jpeg) and automatically back them up. For instance, me remembering to attach and email all my files is a bit of a pain when I could just have this run at 2am on weeknights.

  10. nobleea on January 23, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    are there not software programs that automatically backup your computer on to an external hard drive? at 2am on weeknights, or whenever you want.

    i guess it’s a tradeoff for risks. is it more likely that my house will burn down/get burglarized/both hard drives crash at the same time? or is it more likely that some hacker could gain access to my computer/files/network through an offsite online backup? especially one that’s free?

  11. FrugalTrader on January 23, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    Nobleea, they use encryption. Here’s a quote from their site:

    # 128-bit SSL encryption: The same technology used by banks secures your data during the backup process.
    # 448-bit Blowfish encryption: Secures your files while in storage, providing peace of mind that your private data is safe from hackers.

    In my opinion regarding the external hd and online backup… when in doubt, do both.

  12. Abraham on January 23, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    Hello all,

    How safe is the on-line backup? I know it is encrypted.
    What is the possibility of some experts getting on to my backedup data and using it or selling it for some smart guys?


  13. The Financial Blogger on January 23, 2009 at 6:28 pm

    Hey thx for the link!

    have a great weekend while I’m freezing my quebequer ass in Montreal!!! (forecast is -20 degrees again this weekend!)

  14. Daniel Wintschel on January 23, 2009 at 8:59 pm

    I used Mozy for about a year. It is an exceptional off-site backup solution. I think the key to remember is that while it’s a great idea to have a local backup (I do a local backups using a Drobo), it’s also a really wise idea to have an OFF-SITE backup in the event of something catastrophic (house fire, theft). If you use an off-site backup, even though someone may have stole your laptop and backup drive, or they may have been destroyed by fire, you still have a remote backup available out in the ether somewhere.

  15. TheFatLossAuthority on January 24, 2009 at 8:56 am

    Cool backup tip, will definitely check it out although I’m a little leary about free solutions and security of data. I’ve been backing my stuff up to an external drive thus far but like the idea of something online.

  16. Janice on January 24, 2009 at 5:13 pm
  17. Brad on January 26, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    Mozy is great, I’ve been using it for about a year on the $4.95/month plan for unlimited data, it runs every night automatically. It’s well worth the cost if you have more than 2GB.

  18. Robert Haines on January 27, 2009 at 5:17 pm

    I recommend IDrive ( for online backup. One thing users need to understand about “unlimited” backup offers like Mozy is that there’s always a catch… most often, the speeds at which you can backup your data are artificially capped or limited, so backups take longer. IDrive, on the other hand, has been proven to be significantly faster, very reliable and quite popular. You can get a 2GB subscription for FREE or get 150GB for $4.95/mo (or $49.50/yr).

    Robert Haines
    Business Development Manager – IDrive

  19. Gates VP on January 27, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    Here’s another support message for Mozy.

    If you have any type of digital media (digital camera, home videos, buy stuff from iTunes, etc). then get the upgrade.

    Think of it $60 as “data insurance”.

    And don’t forget some of the important stuff:
    If you use quicken / MS money, make sure that the “backup file” is also included in the Mozy backup. If you use Outlook, get the Outlook back-up utility and start backing up your data. Outlook express also has a bunch of similar tools. As a gmail user, I also backup my g-mail to Outlook which is then backed up to Mozy (all in an automated process). These e-mail / contact files should also be included in the Mozy backup.

    For those with a big list of internet favorites / bookmarks, make sure you backup the underlying files (there are a couple of ways to do this), or export these to a service like delicious, where they are accessible everywhere.

    And if you’re a gamer, games typically have some “save files” on your hard drive that can be backed up as well.

    If you have an external hard drive, then back up data to both the drive and to Mozy.

    For those with more coin, check out Microsoft’s “Windows Home Server” devices. These are even better in that they have technology for backing up multiple in-home computers to a one home server. They also serve as media streaming box and if you have multiple hard drives they’ll protect you from having just one hard drive fail. You can then have that one Home Server backed up over the internet so that you have even more redundancy. The “Drobo” mentioned above provides a similar service.

    The rule of thumb here is that a hard drive crashes in average of 3 years. These hard drives are highly sensitive mechanical devices and they will fail. It’s not a matter of if, just a matter of when.

    Using a service like Mozy (or Carbonite or others) is the simplest way to ensure that you don’t lose important data. If you have important data, then adding external drives or Drobo / Home servers is even better.

  20. Stephen Winters on January 27, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    I use Windows Live Sync. (formally FolderShare)
    It doesn’t create a backup, but actually syncs folders and files between computers of your choice. GREAT if you have a desktop and laptop and want to have the same files on all computers.
    Pro: free
    Con: it’s a Microsoft product :)

  21. used tires on March 4, 2010 at 10:37 am

    These services have been getting better and better. Mozy seems to be one of the better ones right now but I’m sure the competition will get stronger in this area and we’ll see more and more space allocations for lesser costs in the future.

    Till then,


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