MiMedia Online Backup Review

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‘Spot’ Rating: Not Recommended at this time

MiMedia Fast Facts:

  • Windows Only, Mac promised “soon”
  • 250GB, 500GB, 1TB Plans
  • Unlimited Computers
  • Optional Initial Backup Via Shuttle Drive
  • Real Time Backup
  • Effortless File Sharing
  • Anywhere Access
  • Apple Mobile Apps
  • Geo-Redundant Storage
  • Live Help
  • 30 Day Free Trial

MiMedia Online Backup Looks Pretty Tempting Until..

We took a look at the privacy policy. Yeah, some of us even read those.

Two things really stand out and it’s enough to make us go back and review some of the other online backup company’s policies.

First, while MiMedia does utilize SSL security for the transfer of your files via broadband (not sure about the Shuttle Drive yet), your data is NOT ENCRYPTED on their servers. This is troubling to us. It doesn’t matter how many safeguards are in place, that’s a risk. And when you figure they have what ordinarily is a feature – Geo-Redundant servers – now becomes an increased risk in that your data is stored unencrypted at more than one location!

Other vendors like Mozy Online Backup allow you to choose, if you wish, an encryption key that only you know (otherwise your data at Mozy is encrypted with a key that a few Mozy employees do have access to.

Second, is this line from the MiMedia privacy policy (emphasis ours):

Files and Content When you use the MiMedia Service, the content of your files are copied and store on MiMedia’s servers.  In addition, when you use the Service, our software compiles a list of all of the directories and media types stored on your devices, whether or not you use the Service to back up all such directories and media types.  Our product also uploads your address book and other contact information to enable sharing of your media

Does that bother you at all?

If not, then you might consider signing up for MiMedia.

It doesn’t say what it will do with that list of directories, etc, even whether it will up load that information to their servers. If not, then I can see where any online backup software would need to do that.

But it certainly bothers me that my contact information – which includes people who have no relationship with MiMedia – is going to be stored, likely unencrypted, on their servers in multiple places around the globe, even if I am the type of person who does not share files. They should allow an opt-out of that “feature”.

Not Recommended At This Time

This MiMedia Online Backup Review is the first one we have done where we have given a “Not Recommended” rating, and frankly, I don’t like doing it.

The thing is, though, that the product appears so compelling otherwise that we felt computer users seeking a good online backup solution may not see these important distinctions when all else looks so good.

In fact, I think that everyone just kind of “assumes” that their data is encrypted – at least a little bit, even if the key is known to company employees – with any online backup vendor.

And with the impressive list of company management and “advisors”, this really surprises us, and we hope it will make you pause for just a moment at least.

So while other companies we do not recommend simply do not show up here, we doubt too many will find them as compelling of an option as what MiMedia appears to be on the surface.

MiMedia Offers Windows Only Online Backup

MiMedia is currently only for Windows computers, but, of course, they promise Mac support soon. What we always find interesting is when companies offer only Windows software but then only Apple mobile apps. Either they are going for the larger numbers, or the easier programming.

Shuttle Backup Is Rare and Welcome Initial Backup Option

MiMedia does understand that the initial backup can be brutal for large amounts of data. It hogs your broadband for days, you must leave your computer on and prevent it from sleeping and hope it doesn’t lock up for days on end.

The MiMedia Shuttle eliminates that.

Apparently for only the cost of shipping it to them (maybe not even that?) you can copy all of your data (hopefully) onto the 250GB shuttle drive and send it off to them. As mentioned above, though, we have a concern that it is not encrypted.

Other Features of MiMedia We Like

  • Geo-Redundant servers. With so many natural disasters in recent years, having your data protected somewhere other than California’s earthquake zone is nice feature. While it ordinarily also means higher likelihood of access, customers of some other services found out otherwise earlier in 2011 when Amazon’s geo-redundant servers went down for 4 days.
  • Windows explorer integration. The backup status of your files is indicated clearly on your computer so that you know that every new and existing file is secure {backed up}. You will see a green check box next to all files that are backed up, a yellow check box on files that are pending back up, and the MiMedia logo next to any folder that has files which are backed up online. 
  • Real time backup. Though we haven’t tested it, we really like this feature. Currently IDrive does it best in our observation. We have written how Mozy is only near real time.
  • Anywhere Access. Always a good feature, coming to be expected in a decent online backup vendor, but not ubiquitous.
  • Mobile Apps. Waiting for Android guys; surely you’ve heard of it?
  • 7GB Free. No credit card. That’s tempting (and why we wrote this review).
  • 30 Day Free Trial. Beats 14 days (by 16 days, right?)

MiMedia Pricing

$9.99 per month for 250GB or $99 per year. For unlimited devices that’s not a bad deal.

$20/month for 500GB or $199 per year.

$35/month for 1TB or $325 per year.

Bottom Line

The bottom line with MiMedia online backup is this: encrypt our files with AES-256, preferably before the files leave our computer and keep them that way on your servers, and we’re almost in. Better yet, let us opt out of sharing our contacts with you.

An executive from MiMedia did contact us right after posting this review wanting to discuss these issues and defend the company’s position. We welcome that and said so in a reply email but have not heard back since.

One argument he had was that other companies intentionally bury the facts in a complicated privacy policy while theirs is very clearly written. Agreed. And we do appreciate a clearly written, easy to understand privacy policy!