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Recently, we spent some time going over the best practices for the majority of our restore options. It was a lot of useful data, but if if you're getting ready to restore your files for the first time it might feel a little overwhelming. How do you choose which method of restore to go with? Don't stress, let's take a few minutes to talk about which restore method might be right for you and why.
Methods of Restore
The three main methods Mozy offers for restoring are these:
There are also a couple of lesser-used methods of restore that include:
Virtual Drive Restores
Note: Both of these are only available on Windows, and typically only for restoring previous versions of files. We will discuss these further in an upcoming blog post related to restoring previous versions of your files.
The most common restore method is the Web Restore, as it has many different options for retrieving your files, and you can access it from any machine with an internet connection. The idea is that you can log into any computer anywhere, regardless of whether or not it's the one you have backed up from, and access some or all of your files.
Situations Where a Web Restore is the Better Option
Basically, you'll want to do a web restore any time you don't want to install the Mozy backup software on the computer as a replacement for your old computer before restoring the files. Here are a few common situations:
You are away from your computer and need access to a file. No problem, you can log into your Mozy account from anywhere and access the file in question.
You want to restore before replacing your machine. If you're replacing your machine, but you're worried about getting all of the files downloaded in the retention period following a replacement (or 60/90 days, depending on the type of account you have) retention period
You need to restore to a temporary computer. Perhaps your computer is in the shop and you need to download your files to another computer to use in the meantime without replacing the old computer with the temporary computer in your account.
You need to restore files that were deleted. The Web Restore provides a more detailed view when it comes to older files that may have been deleted, but are still within your data retention period.
Types of Web Restores
As I mentioned, there are multiple options for retrieving your files via a Web Restore. I won't get into them in great detail today, since we've discussed them so much in the last few weeks, but I'd like to do a quick overview and link to more information in case you need it.
An Instant Download restore is one where you can just log in, click on one file or select a small handful of files, and download them to the machine directly through your web browser.
Instant Downloads are usually the fastest method of restore.
Reasons to Choose an Instant Download:
You only need one file, or a small amount of files.
If you only select 1 file, it will download exactly as it is.
If you select multiple files, they will compress into an archived/zipped folder.
It's relatively quick to simply click and download the file(s) anywhere.
Reasons Not to Choose an Instant Download:
You need more than 1-5GB of data.
Maximum of 5GB of data can be restored via the Instant Download, no more.
Typically under 1GB of data is best, depending on your browser and connection.
Your internet connection is not reliable. If the instant download is interrupted you'll have to start over, it cannot pick up where it left off.
You don't have time to wait for the download to complete. You can't pause an Instant Download, so it does need time to finish before you disconnect or move your computer to a different location/connection.
This method allows you to select all of the files, and then they build and compress into zipped archives before being made ready to download. You then download each compressed archive and extract it to get your files back on the machine.
Reasons to Choose a Compressed Archive Restore:
You have a slow internet connection. If your internet connection is slower, it may be easier for you to download a few compressed archives than set up a download to just run and download files.
Reasons Not to Choose a Compressed Archive Restore:
It's time consuming to download each compressed archive and extract, sometimes downloading directly (if it's possible) with one of the other options is much more simple.
You have large individual files that may end up split into separate archives (you would need to extract them together in order to extract the files properly.)
The Compressed Archive Restore does require extraction software.
It may require special extraction software if you are restoring from Mac to Windows or Windows to Mac in order to convert and extract the different archives.
An In-Client Restore is a restore you do through the client software on the machine. In order to do an In-Client Restore, the Mozy backup software must be installed either still on the machine it originally backed up from, or as on a new machine as a replacement machine where a backup has already run to associate the new computer with the old files in the system.
Reasons to Do an In-Client Restore:
You wish to maintain metadata when restoring files. The In-Client Restore is the only restore method that maintains your old metadata for the files when restoring them to the computer.
Mozy is still installed and you just need to get a few files backup without logging into your account.
You've installed Mozy on a new comptuer as a replacement and just want to let it run through the software.
You're using a Mac that either is the same machine, or is replacing another Mac computer. In some cases, the In-Client Restore is the best working on Mac systems when it comes to saving files.
Reasons Not to Do an In-Client Restore:
You're switching from Mac to PC, or vice versa. In-Client Restores cannot be done when changing platforms, as you can't install as a replacement in these situations.
You're installing to another computer that's not a replacement.
In some cases, a media restore may be your best or most-liked option for restoring. It is important to note that Media Restores do have an additional fee with them, and your files will be mailed to you on an external hard drive or flash drive instead of you downloading them.
Reasons to Do a Media Restore:
You have a slow internet connection and don't want to have to download the files at all.
It will be a while before you have a machine to save them to but want a physical copy of those files.
You just want a physical copy of the files to keep as well.
Reasons Not to Do a Media Restore:
You don't want to pay extra. Due to the extra labor and resources required, Media Restores do have a fee of around $70 + $0.50/GB associated with them that is due at the time of ordering one. If you don't wish to pay for a media restore, any of the previously mentioned options for restoring your files by downloading them are free.
You don't want to wait for them to be shipped in the mail. Mozy does send the files next-day air, but it does take a few days prior to that in order for the files to be built, transferred to the media, processed, and sent off. If you need the files right away, it is best to download them.
You're located outside of the USA. Unfortunately, due to international data laws, Mozy does not offer media restores outside of the USA.
So there we have it, does that help you decide which method is best to use? If not, we do typically recommend that running a Web Restore with the Mozy Restore Manager is the best and easiest to navigate. As long as you have a connection to the internet and a supported operating system, that will be your best option.
Don't hesitate to let us know in the comments, or by contacting support, if you need any help completing your restore.