Monthly Archives: August 2010

Help people get safe and make money in the process

Mozy is bringing its successful Mozy Affiliate Programme to Europe in a move that will allow web publishers to generate revenues from the Mozy family of online backup solutions.

Anyone who owns a website can take advantage of the affiliate scheme by registering here.  Once registered, Mozy will provide banners, text and links that affiliates can use on their websites and in blogs, newsletters and social media sites to point people to the Mozy website.

In return, affiliates can expect a healthy payment from Mozy for every customer that signs up as a result of their link for up to 100 days after they click – even if they only take a free subscription.

Affiliates can promote any of the Mozy online data backup solutions:

  • MozyHome Free
  • MozyHome Unlimited
  • MozyPro

and will be rewarded more for referrals signing up to annual or biennial contracts.

Mozy pays affiliate commission on a monthly basis by cheque or direct deposit, ensuring that affiliate partners are rewarded quickly for their referrals.

The Times said “[no]one has impressed me quite as much as Mozy.”  Why not get paid to give it away?

To register in the Mozy Affiliate Programme, click here.

Baggage backup: online protection for when your suitcase goes on holiday without you

Coming back to work after a summer holiday can be a depressing business, what with having to exchange barefoot walks on the beach for cramping work shoes under the desk, and swapping tropical cocktails for a carton of 5Alive to accompany a limp sandwich at lunctime.

But it’s the backlog of emails many of us dread most. Perhaps this is why, according to the Institute of Leadership & Management, 80 per cent of us will have been regularly responding to emails whilst on holiday.

But those of us who are packing our laptops in with our suntan lotion and flip-flops might be least equipped when they return to the office as many will find that their computers don’t return with them.

According to SITA, 25 million bags going through airports were ‘mishandled’ last year (‘mishandled’ is a nice way of saying that they don’t turn up in the same place as you do rather than suggesting that those naughty baggage handlers have been lifting them by the extending trolley handle, which we all know causes long-term damage to our luggage).

And, if you’re flying back to Heathrow, your chances of arriving laptop-in-hand are even slimmer, given that research from the Ponemon Institute shows that it’s Europe’s black-spot airport for laptop loss with over 900 mislaid every week (‘mislaid’ is a nice way of saying nicked in most cases).

So, if you’re reading this as a distraction from sifting through a week’s worth of email, you’re actually one of the lucky ones. Feel better now?

Of course, those travellers who chose to back their computers up with Mozy could have the best of both worlds. They get to take their laptops on holiday with impunity, safe in the knowledge that, if it’s the laptop that ends up going walkabout on their walkabout adventure, all their emails and other files can just be downloaded to another computer.

So, if there’s someone sat near you looking smug with a tan and a new laptop, they’ve probably got Mozy (or a sugardaddy). Check out Mozy here for more information and to help make sure that feeling of holiday relaxation stays with you longer.

Backup vs Archive – what you need to know

Read any home computing magazine nowadays and you’re bound to come across an article called ‘the future’s looking cloudy’. The explosion of services and applications hosted on the internet, or using the internet to store your data, means that there are literally hundreds of new opportunities for you to take advantage of. But, with a bewildering array of choice, how do you know which one is for you?

The first thing to realise is that all services are not created equally. That’s not to knock the tools that other companies are offering, it’s more to point out that different services solve different needs. So, before you look at any cloud service, you need to properly understand what you want from it. A little naval gazing on day one will save you a lot of pain down the line.

Ask yourself what you want your cloud service to do

Many people are looking to the cloud for online storage. We’re creating more data than ever before: recent estimates say that, by 2020, we’ll have created 35 trillion gigabytes of data collectively. MP3-based music collections, digital photography and video downloads are adding to our storage requirements and many of us now have large hard drives on our laptops or terabyte-sized external hard drives to increase storage.

Equally, the data we have on our home computers is increasingly valuable to us. We’re printing fewer and fewer of our photographs and, for many people, the copy on their laptop is the only one that exists. Our memories of our babies’ first steps, our weddings and other family occasions are just one hard drive crash from being wiped away forever. The same goes for lots of other computer files: academic studies you might be working on, recipes you’ve created, family history research – pretty much anything you might have on your PC could disappear forever.

Horses for courses

These two requirements are very different. The first is for storage – additional space in the cloud where you can move files from your computer so that you can delete them from your hard drive and free up capacity.

The second is for backup – creating a copy of your files on the cloud to protect your valuable data in the event that something happens to your computer and you can no longer access it.

The service you use needs to match your requirements.

When online storage is wrong

Using an online storage solution for your backup can be like creating a rod to beat your own back. Storage solutions, in general, are like online versions of the archive boxes you might have at work. When you want to free up space, you can move things you don’t access frequently up to the cloud, dropping them in your archive box.

Which is great for off-site storage but can be hugely time consuming if you’re trying to use them for backup. For the system to work effectively, you’d need to keep a record of every document you’d created or changed and upload them manually on a daily basis to the cloud. You’d need to find a way of naming them so they didn’t save over each other and also so you could work out which was your latest version.

Alternatively, if all you’re uploading is a set of documents you don’t want on your hard drive, then you won’t have a very effective backup solution as, if your computer went missing or broke down, you wouldn’t have copies of the documents you actually use on a regular basis.

Online backup, by comparison will create a mirror copy of all your files in the cloud. Good services will monitor changes to your documents and file structures and replicate those changes incrementally and automatically. That way, you always have the latest versions of your files that you can restore if you need them.

When online backup is wrong

Using an online backup service to free up capacity on your hard drive is just as problematic.

Because online backup solutions create a mirror copy of your computer files, if you change the files on your computer, these changes will be mirrored in the cloud. So, if you upload all your older documents to the cloud using a backup service, and then delete them on your PC to make some more space, the logic in the system will mark the corresponding cloud files for deletion too.

‘Versioning’ – the process by which all iterations of a file are kept in the cloud for 30 days to allow roll back – can give a false sense of security because, even though you’ve deleted your files on your PC, they still show in your backup directory. This is cold comfort however, as in 30 days time, your files will be gone.

When cloud is right

Both online backup and online storage offer huge benefits for their users: affordable, secure and scalable off-site hosting of your files can give you peace of mind or a faster computing experience.

But, before uploading your files to the cloud, think about the sort of service you need and make sure you understand what’s on offer. If you’re looking for online backup, check out Mozy.