That being the case, we believe that an online backup service is ideal for protecting your files, this solution will not appeal to everyone. Read our guide on how to choose the best backup plan for more specific advice on how to implement a backup method that works for your needs.
Since you're probably going to be paying for a backup service for years, cost is an important factor to consider. All the services rounded up here are subscription-based, but they partition their features and fees differently, so it's worth comparing plans closely before committing to one. Most construct pricing tiers based on the amount of cloud storage included, however, or by the number of devices you can use with an account.
A few services offer permanent free accounts, but those plans impose paltry storage limits or restrict key features to the paid versions. Watch out for file-size upload limits as well. Home backup users have different needs than businesses. If you need a larger-scale cloud solution for your company, check out our roundup of the best online backup services for businesses. These plans typically cover many more devices and include better administration features, but at an increased cost.
Backup services vary widely in how they set up and perform backups. For example, the totally hands-free Backblaze automatically encrypts and uploads all your important files without any input. On the other hand, services such as IDrive and Acronis True Image let you choose specific files you want from a file tree. Note that some services restrict you from backing up specific file types or using particular sources, such as from an external or network drive. Make sure the service you choose supports all your needs. There are a few common practices for configuring when backups occur.
The most common option is on a fixed schedule, such as once a day, week, or month. The second, which we prefer, is to upload file changes whenever they're changed and saved, otherwise known as a continuous backup setting. Services only transfer the modified part of the file in this scenario, so as not to overburden your internet connection or take up unnecessary storage.
A third way is simply to upload files manually. Some may appreciate this degree of control, but this method is only effective if you remember to regularly run the backup. Most services encrypt your files with strong systems such as AES before sending them up to the servers over an encrypted connection. The majority of products we tested also offer a private encryption key option.
If you choose to manage your own encryption keys basically the "key" that decrypts your backup , know that it is your responsibility to remember it. The online backup service itself will not be able to help you reset the password if you forget it. On the flip side, this means that no one including employees of the backup service and law enforcement officials other than you can unlock your backups. This is ideal from a privacy and security standpoint. Use a password manager to keep track of your private encryption key if you think you will forget it.
An online backup service isn't much use if it doesn't make the process of restoring or recovering your data quick and simple. For example, a service should offer search tools for finding particular files in your backup. It's also desirable for a service to be able to replicate an entire folder-tree structure so that it can help you recover from bigger data losses. Keep in mind that if you buy a plan that covers just one computer, you may have to transfer the account to a new PC if you ever switch your main device or if you need to restore data from a damaged computer to a replacement.
Many services also offer a feature called versioning. This saves incremental changes you make to files as recoverable snapshots of the file. It's useful in case you need to get back information from an earlier version or if your latest file save becomes corrupted. Services vary widely in how many versions they keep and how long they're saved. One of the biggest advantages of using an online backup service is that it lets you access your files from anywhere. Most online backup providers let you view and download files from a web browser, but that should be the bare minimum.
Many also include file-sharing options, the best of which even let you specify a password for access and an expiration date for the shared item. All the online backup services we tested offer Android and iOS apps, but the quality and utility of those apps vary widely. Some just offer simple document and media file downloads from your existing backups, but the most feature-complete allow you to back up the data on your mobile devices.
An online backup service's speed depends on how quickly it can encrypt, compress, and upload files to its servers. This should be of particular concern if you need to back up or restore a large amount of data. A high-performance backup service also minimizes its effect on network and system resources. Make sure to check out our speed test results in the review of any service you're contemplating using. Backup speed should not be the sole determinant of which online backup service you use, but fast upload speeds can certainly make initial and subsequent backups less disruptive.
Some services go above and beyond, including extra capabilities that improve the experience. For example, a few offer disk courier services for bulk uploads and restores via an external drive that the company ships and manages. A couple of these services throw in a local backup component, too. If you go that route, you should take a look at our roundup of best external hard drives. Some of these services can even track your device's location and let you remotely wipe it in case it's lost or stolen.
Pros: Easy setup. Unlimited devices per account. Disk image backup. File Explorer integration. Folder syncing. Bulk uploads and restores via mail. Fast upload speeds in testing. Cons: No true continuous backup option. Fractured web interface. Storage isn't unlimited. Pros: Excellent desktop interface. IDrive can be a solution both for backing up your computers and keeping them in sync. This even extends to your phone as IDrive offers an app for both iOS and Android so you can keep all your photos in the cloud. We also have a full CloudBerry Backup review for your reading pleasure.
CloudBerry is far from a straightforward backup solution. This will seem daunting to many users, but the ability to completely customize your backups including streamlined hybrid backups is exactly what others may want out of a cloud service. There are some limitations of CloudBerry on Mac, though. Block level backup and image backups are not yet available. Security with CloudBerry Backup is dependent on the storage provider you choose.
CloudBerry offers up to bit AES encryption with private keys. If you take advantage of this, CloudBerry is extremely secure. CloudBerry is certainly targeted at those with IT experience as well as businesses it won our best SMB backup mega-battle with ease. SpiderOak prioritizes security and privacy above all else, taking the time to publish general security articles on its blog for anyone to read, regardless of membership.
It does still maintain a clean and easy to use interface making it a very attractive offer for less advanced users who just want some extra privacy. You can read our full SpiderOak review for more on this service. Here, you can keep track of everything you have stored on SpiderOak servers. This makes recovering or linking files very easy. Unlike the other selections so far, SpiderOak is zero-knowledge by default. SpiderOak is quite a bit more pricey than our first two selections, though both Backblaze and IDrive have the option to use a private key.
The main feature you have to gain is a zero-knowledge backup that can also work as a sync service. The inclusion of syncing and sharing with the backup service makes SpiderOak a flexible all-in-one solution. Files can be shared from within the SpiderOak app using links. It is worth noting though that shared links will not be encrypted using a private key. Thankfully, SpiderOak does a good job.
Carbonite takes a similar approach to Backblaze in providing a per-device plan with unlimited storage and a simple, easy to use system. You can read the full Carbonite review.
What is cloud backup?
Carbonite is mostly automatic. Once you download it, it will work automatically unless you want to customize the way it runs. Carbonite also offers more step-by-step recovery than Backblaze by allowing you to recover files directly to their original location from directly within the app. It uses bit AES encryption, transfers with TLS encryption and offers an optional zero-knowledge service that must be manually enabled. Carbonite does have a small difference in that when using private encryption keys, it switches to bit AES encryption.
Carbonite also provides two-factor authentication to keep you safe in the case of password theft. Customer support is an area where Carbonite distinguishes itself from Backblaze. It has phone support available seven days a week from a. Email support is also quick and thorough. Carbonite has even won 48 awards for its customer service. In addition, it offers a quality knowledge base for users who wish to troubleshoot for themselves.
This extra time can be very valuable when working on long-term work that may need to be recovered. For most users, Backblaze takes the clear victory, offering unlimited backup for your Mac in a simple, well-integrated package at an affordable price. If you have more specific needs, IDrive may satisfy those who use multiple computers and CloudBerry offers a powerful solution for IT professionals.
Will Backblaze solve your backup needs or do you need a more niche product? Let us know in the comments below and thanks for reading. I chose iDrive. I liked that it had one price for multiple computers and devices; you can schedule your back-ups; and they send you a physical hard drive to do your first back-up faster. Oh well. Jill, what does IDrive do with the physical hard drive after they have finished using it for the initial back-up?
I used to use Carbonite but stopped because of a serious flaw fatal flaw, in my opinion. This was at least true when I used them.
Best cloud backup of | TechRadar
Backed up files are purged from the backup if they disappear from the local disk. Our coverage includes reviews of the best business online backup, Mac online backup, online data backup, online storage and cloud services. When shopping around for a data backup service, keep in mind that many require year-long agreements, so make sure the package you're signing up for has the features and storage your business needs. Some companies charge overage fees if you exceed the amount of data you originally signed up for. Also, be aware of termination fees or cancellation notice timeframes.
These are some other factors to consider before signing up:. The cloud, in a broad sense, is now an umbrella term for several different types of services that have different uses. It's important to pick the right service for the right purpose. If your primary goal is to backup and protect your data, then you'll want a cloud service that's optimized for that, and not a service that's geared for general-use storage.
You wouldn't store your priceless jewelry in a rented storage garage or warehouse; you'd keep them in a bank safety deposit box. Here are a few questions to ask yourself when choosing a service:. Your first step should be analyzing your needs. If you absolutely must have a place to upload your calendar or your email and contacts, then you need a service that allows it. Additionally, you don't want to pay for more than what you'll use. Having said that, you also want to make sure the cloud service you choose grows with your business. Most of the cloud services in our guide offer seemingly unlimited space, but be prepared to pay for it, which leads to the next question:.
While you can get free storage from some cloud services, it's limited. The convenience of cloud storage extends to the cost — most cloud services let you pay a low monthly fee for data storage and access. Each cloud service lets you upload, download and access files via an internet browser. So, really, all you need is an internet connection to get to your data. However, it may be preferable to choose a service that offers an app for both iPhones and Android devices.
If this is necessary, avoid cloud storage providers that only service Mac users. Companies that handle a lot of important data are no strangers to major data backups. It's like having your computer connected to the largest hard drive you can think of. These companies operate massive server farms and are dedicated to keeping them running and your data safe.
These companies usually charge by how much data is uploaded and downloaded. It's common for business to be meticulous record keepers for efficiency, financial and legal reasons. Cloud storage for long-term archiving is available from numerous providers.
Usually dubbed cold storage or archive storage, this type of cloud storage is normally cheaper than most other services and provides more capacity.
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This is because they don't have many sharing options and customers aren't expected to be accessing and retrieving files very often. This is a type of cloud service that's more active and plays a role in a business's day-to-day workflow. Many services such as Google Drive and Microsoft Office have apps that allow you to draft and edit files on the cloud from your browser. We evaluated several factors when choosing which cloud services to recommend.
We wanted a mix of services that specialized in backup as well as general storage. While many of these services can also be used online file sharing or web hosting, we have separate review categories for those specific type of services.
Other important features we looked for include:. Speaking as a guy who spent a decade in the hosting industry, unless security and privacy are core services you provide that your customers pay you for, I would wholeheartedly recommend the cloud. Maintaining your own infrastructure, fighting the daily fights against intrusions and DDoS attacks, upgrade and version control management, not to mention recruiting and staffing and overhead costs - all these are expensive and complicated.
Significant ROI needs to exist to justify taking them Have you tried OnlyDomains. Based in NZ. I love their service for International domains in particular. I would use NameCheap for North American domains mainly, but for the internationally domains, OnlyDomains is quite good. I would also suggest the use of some free cloud services such as: 1. Trello - to hold documents 2.
GoSpaces or SquareSpace - to build the website 4. I agree with Michael, especially as I write about the benefits of cloud computing for small businesses. I would only caution any small business owner to verify their cloud or cloud app provider has the experience to build a secure and stable environment.
Ask who is hosting many start-ups host on Amazon for example , do they have redundancy, what security is in place, do they have a phone number to call if you have a problem one of my beefs is companies who hide their contact information for There are professionals running businesses the old fashion way and are still productive. Some don't see the savings or effectiveness of going to the cloud. Few other people, even me, when we travel to areas we are not sure about internet connectivity, having our own software programs makes a difference.
Sometimes there are organizations that simply are not ready for the move. They have not dedicated the time for it, have no resources in place, and find their businesses rules, performance and CrashPlan for Small Business is an easy-to-use solution for data protection and backup. Running silently in the background, it ensures all your business's data is protected from disasters or attacks.
Customizable and accessible, this backup service is a great choice for small businesses that need a simple solution. Storage Guardian is a cloud data protection service that features enterprise-level backup features, including large storage capacities, advanced retention policies and bare metal recovery. This software-as-a-service platform supports hybrid systems for faster recovery in the event of an internet outage.
It can also backup virtual machines and several other cloud storage and file sharing platforms including Microsoft Office and Google Drive. Acronis is one of the largest developers of backup software. As such, you can expect a high level of thought put into every aspect of Acronis Backup. The platform comes with a suite of backup and restore tools that you can tailor to your physical, virtual and cloud networks. Amazon Drive is a cloud service that lets you store virtually any file type with no limitations on file size. Learn more about this cloud service here.
For businesses needing more storage, control and administrative features with their backup, Backblaze offers a robust platform optimized for Mac. See where it ranks among the best server backup software here. Barracuda lets you make your data backup as secure and redundant as you like. Carbonite lets you customize your backup solution, with a variety of combinations for redundancy.
Sharefile has a desktop file sync feature, which helps get files to the cloud. Once on the cloud, Sharefile allows users to send encrypted emails and transfer files without any concerns about a potential privacy breach. Built for cloud backup, CloudBerry Lab provides a managed backup option for IT service providers as well as a different backup option for corporate and personal users.
The service has over , users, according to its website. Egnyte is a business-focused cloud storage platform complete with file sharing and collaboration tools, making it a comprehensive, all-in-one service. Egnyte includes sophisticated administrative controls for management and IT. The backup aspect of the platform allows you to set it up as a hybrid system for redundancy and the best protection. Get Backup Pro is a Mac backup application.
You can back up all of your data, including templates that help you back up your iTunes, Mail, Contacts, Documents and Photos. Jungle Disk offers a variety of services, including military grade encryption on its cloud storage. File storage and backup is at the heart of IDrive, a cloud service focused on keeping your files safe.