Genuine Curiosity

Author Dwayne Melancon is always on the lookout for new things to learn. An ecclectic collection of postings on personal productivity, travel, good books, gadgets, leadership & management, and many other things.


Memopal: An interesting online backup option

As you may be aware (since I've written about Mozy in the past), I use Mozy to backup my home computers because I like the ease and peace of mind that comes from automatic, off-site backups.

Recently, I've had the privilege of trying out another online backup product called "Memopal. " I've been running on one of my computers for a couple of months, and it has some interesting characteristics that really impressed me:

  • Memopal allows you to back up as many systems as you'd like for one fee, because you buy a 'pool' of storage rather than a licenser per computer.

    • You pay $49 per year for 150 Gigs of storage, $99 per year for 250 Gigs (they offer discounts for multiple years).

  • Memopal allows you to share files with other people through their service. This is a very handy way to share really large files with other people without clogging up email.

    • In Windows, you simply right-click on a file on your computer and select "Share" from the Memopal menu. There is similar functionality with their Mac client.
    • You are given the option to share the file for 1 day, 1 week, or unlimited (you can revoke sharing at any time).

  • Memopal has an impressive array of supported platforms: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, Mac, Linux, and iPhone (yes, iPhone!)

If you don't have a backup solution already, Memopal is a good one to consider and I've been happy with the performance, functionality and ease-of-use during the 2 months I've used the product.

At this point, I'm not going to convert any of my other systems from Mozy to Memopal since I'm still quite happy with Mozy and it meets my needs (plus I still have over a year on my contract). However, I think Memopal is raising the bar on economical, online backups and when my Mozy contracts are up... who knows?

Money-saving tip: Memopal is also currently offering an "Easter special" through April 25, that will save you 15%.

So many choices - what do I do?

Now - if you're trying to decide between Mozy and Memopal, I have some additional thoughts to consider:

  • Company

    • Backing

      • Mozy is part of megacorp EMC, while Memopal is an angel-funded startup. I'm not overly concerned about this because I have multiple types of backups, but make sure the company you pick is stable.

      • Incidentally, Mozy was a startup when I began using it and when it was acquired by EMC I had two reactions: 1) good, they aren't going anywhere, and 2) I hope EMC doesn't raise the price. [EMC did raise the price for business accounts, by the way.]

    • Company location

      • If this is an issue for you, make sure you understand it. Mozy is US-based, while Memopal is Rome-based.

  • Terms of use and policies

    • Both Mozy and Memopal are very clear about their policies, terms of use, etc. and both have very "user-friendly" policies. I've looked at other services where this was not the case.

  • How you'll use the product

    • If you regularly need to share large files with others, Memopal does that while Mozy does not.

    • Platform support may be a consideration - ensure that the platforms you intend to back up are supported (for example, Mozy will not back up Linux or iPhone).

  • Pricing subleties

    • If you are only backing up one system, Mozy and Memopal will cost you about the same per year. If, however, you are backing up multiple systems Memopal can be quite a bit cheaper.

    • The caveat here is that Memopal will charge you more if you outgrow the capacity you've purchased.

      • For example, if you are backing up 2 computers that (combined) have less than 150 Gigs of data, Memopal will be cheaper; if those same 2 computers require you to bump your storage up to 250 Gigs, the price will be the same (and Mozy provides unlimited storage).

    • Bottom line on pricing: Think about it and do the math before you jump in.

  • Try it before you buy it

    • Both Mozy and Memopal offer free trials - give them a test drive before you purchase to make sure you'll be happy.

I hope this information is helpful in your decision - whichever one of these products you choose, I think you'll be happy with the choice.