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Feb 02, 2011
By Mamush Heayie, BackupReview.info

Mozy announced on Monday (Jan 31, 2011) that it is no longer providing unlimited online data backup plans for its famous MozyHome service. The move has been welcomed by online backup companies, but it has not been well received by many Mozy users.

Mozy has been forced to ditch the unlimited backup plan because of inexpensive high-end cameras, smartphones that capture HD video, and other advances that have led to average users requiring more and more space and bandwidth.

According to Mozy, 75% of users have backed up 50GB or less in MozyHome’s servers. The remaining 25% are considered power users and they are the ones who will be affected by these pricing changes. Mozy has more than 1 million users (not sure how many of these are free accounts and how many are paying subscribers), but 25% will roughly be 250,000 accounts. That is a lot of users to be affected.

Until now MozyHome has been charging $4.99 a month or $54.95 a year for unlimited online backup service.

The new plan is $5.99 per month for a 50GB, for one computer, or $9.99 per month for a 125GB for 3 computers. Additional computers cost $2 per month per computer, and users can add an additional 20 GB of space for $2 per month. Those who are currently in a “service period” are grandfathered into unlimited plan until their service term expires.

The are still companies providing “unlimited online backup” service, such as Carbonite, BackBlaze, Keepit.com, LiveDrive and many others. The question is now, will these companies continue to offer unlimited backup plan or will they just ditch it as Mozy did? Well, based on our contact / blog posts of these companies, they do not plan on discontinuing the unlimited backup service. In fact, some are offering discounts for current Mozy users to switch.

The price increase is very significant if the user has, for instance, 825GB of data. In this example, in the old plan, the cost was just $55 a year; with this new plan, this user will have to pay a lot of money! How much exactly? Well, let us assume that this user has chosen the 125Gb plan for $10 a month (which makes sense); and added the balance in chunks of 20GB for $2 per month. The final yearly bill will be an astounding $960 (or $80 per month), which is approximately 1,750% increase, when compared to the $55 a year flat fee. That is an incredible price hike.

Based on the above configuration, below is what would be the new pricing plan for MozyHome:

Data, GB New Monthly Price Plan New Yearly Price Plan
50 $6 $72
100 $12 $144
125 $10 $120
200 $18 $216
300 $28 $336
400 $38 $456
500 $48 $576
600 $58 $696
700 $68 $816
800 $78 $936
900 $88 $1,056
1000 $98 $1,176

Table 1 – The new MozyHome Pricing Plan

Subscribers will get a month free if they go for a one-year plan and three months free if they go for a two-year plan.

How much data can you store in a 50 or 125 GB space? Well, it is a lot:

  • 50 GB is enough for 6.5 million text e-mails, 7,500 photos, 8,500 music files or 1,000 videos;
  • 125 GB is enough for 15.5 million e-mails, 18,500 photos, 21,500 music files or 2,500 videos.

The old plan was as shown below:

Data, GB OLD Monthly Price Plan OLD Yearly Price Plan
Any Size $5 $55

Table 2 – The old MozyHome Pricing Plan

Below is what Mozy posted in its website (http://mozy.com/home/newplans/) regarding the change in the plan:

New MozyHome Plans

For the first time since 2006, we are adjusting the price of our MozyHome service. As part of this change, we are replacing our Unlimited backup plan. The backup market has changed since we introduced MozyHome Unlimited in 2006, and our new plans are designed to help us continue serving the data protection needs of our customers.

Under the new plans, the vast majority of our MozyHome customers will pay just $1 more per month to continue protecting their files with Mozy. In many cases, customers who want to back up three or more computers will find their backup plans more affordable. However, customers who require very large volumes of storage for their backups will see their monthly cost increase accordingly. This change in pricing is driven by some very real changes to the backup market that have transpired since we introduced MozyHome Unlimited in 2006.

We’re all Capturing More Photos and Videos
We have noticed a growing shift in people’s storage behavior. Photo storage demand has steadily risen as higher and higher megapixel cameras became cheaper and cheaper. With the advent of inexpensive video capture devices, including the first video-capable iPhone (and subsequent Android devices), the trend in demand for video file storage began to increase rapidly. From Mozy’s unique perspective, we can see that as people become accustomed to having a video device on hand at all times, they get into the habit of capturing memorable life-moments as video. Couple this behavioral shift with ever-higher media quality (just look at the increase in average file sizes of smartphone media in the table below) and you can see how demand for raw storage increases geometrically.

device-trends

These two trends -  increasingly better quality capture devices and our growing tendency to use these devices almost reflexively – necessitate that the online backup industry must adapt. Companies like Mozy must now account for the storage demands of customers who are increasingly more habitual about capturing memories as digital media.

Of course not everyone uses these devices with the same level of intensity. The vast majority of MozyHome customers’ storage comfortably fits within 50 GB; others needs are greater. This difference in users’ needs lends itself well to price tiers.

Multiple Computers the Norm
Both households and individuals are using more and more computers. From our customer surveys, we see that each year the average number of computers per home among MozyHome customers has climbed steadily, yet 78% maintain a MozyHome subscription for only one computer. Whether an individual or a family, this means that some of our subscribers have computers that are inadequately protected against data loss. These users would like Mozy to offer a more affordable plan for their lifestyle, with a lower incremental cost for new computers. Our new $9.99 offering is intended to address this scenario.

Protecting against data loss remains highly important to those who use multiple computers, but our subscribers increasingly stress their need for more ways to access the files they protect with Mozy. As a step toward that, we recently made it much easier for our users to access their files directly through the Mozy website as part of a major improvement to the Mozy restore service. In the coming weeks, we plan to debut even more ways to access the files you protect with Mozy. Finally, many subscribers have expressed that they would like Mozy to help them keep files updated between their various computers, enabling them to move fluidly from one computer to another, and we look forward to addressing this frequent request.

No Fine Print Backup
We have seen other backup service providers respond to this industry storage trend in different ways. Some, like AOL’s Xdrive, HP Upline, and Mediamax, closed down their service. Others continue to offer unlimited backup, but restrict bandwidth as a customer’s data grows, effectively choking them off. Others exclude files over a certain size or exclude certain file types.

Rather than claim to offer an unlimited backup while imposing bandwidth or file limitations behind the scenes, we want you, our users, to decide what you want backed up and in return Mozy will provide you the best possible service level, regardless of file types or size. We call that “No Fine Print Backup”.

Updated MozyHome Pricing
With our updated price plans, you can choose the service level consistent with your needs and subscribe on a monthly, annual, or biennial renewal schedule. Annual and biennial plans are discounted, with annual plans including a one-month-free discount, and biennial plans including a three-months-free discount. The new monthly pricing is summarized below.

mozyhome-pricing-new

We defined these levels to accommodate our current customers. The 50 GB plan accommodates about three quarters of current MozyHome customers with only a $1/month price increase. The 125 GB plan will actually lower costs for most customers backing up three or more computers. Some customers may wish to add a second or third computer to their existing backup under the $9.99 plan.

Existing MozyHome Customers
While the new pricing takes effect for new customers immediately, we want to ensure our existing subscribers have sufficient notice, so for them these plans will begin to take effect starting on March 1, 2011. Furthermore, existing customers will be allowed to keep their unlimited backup plans for the duration of their current monthly, annual, or biennial plans, and will migrate to a new plan at the end of the term. Existing customers who choose to re-enroll in either an annual or biennial subscription will receive an additional month free beyond the customary discount for these subscriptions. In keeping with our goal to back up the world, we will also continue to offer the popular 2 GB Mozy for-free service.

As the leader in online backup, we are committed to providing the highest levels of service that you have come to expect and delivering those innovations you have been asking for.

Please visit our support website at http://mozy.com/support/mozyhome for more information and answers to frequently asked questions. Thanks for backing up with Mozy.

Harel Kodesh

President

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