It's essential to use an external hard drive to back up your computer's data, and there are times when even that is not enough to safeguard your data. The external hard drive and the computer could be lost in a natural disaster like a fire or flood, or it could be stolen in a break-in.
Computers have all of your valuable information and are vulnerable to threats of data loss. Hard drives have the potential to fail, or you could accidentally and unknowingly download harmful ransomware
It's best to turn to a reliable cloud backup service or an online backup service that can help you avoid data loss. Cloud backup services work to copy your valuable data to an offsite storage repository. This cloud storage is always available and will never go offline. It can help you avoid a total disaster by keeping your data safe and secure.
Even with regular local backups, it's best to store your data backups offsite. Online backup services can save you from catastrophe and a total meltdown while making it easy to secure your data and files. Preparation is key.
Some of these service offerings can even track down lost or stolen devices allowing you to wipe the data remotely for the ultimate in security.
These online backup services can scan your computer and devices for essential files, encrypt them for safety and security, and upload them to the service's online cloud servers. Once this process is complete, it gives you easy access to restore your data whenever and wherever you need it.
It's essential to use an online backup service with optimal speeds that can encrypt, compress, and upload files to its servers. If you have a large amount of data to backup, this can be very important. Speed is also essential in its effects on system and network resources, which can affect your internet service.
Before choosing an online backup service, consider the paid versions instead of the free plan as those plans have much smaller storage and upload limits and many restrictions that may end in frustration. It's best to subscribe and get all of the features you need to secure your data.
Many services offer a fixed schedule or the option to upload files whenever they are changed and saved, which is also known as continuous backups. It's easier on your internet connection and convenient. You can also choose to upload your files manually, leaving you more control over your data.
Here are the best online cloud backup services currently available:
1. iDrive Personal
Based on our research, we found that the best online cloud backup service is iDrive. This service is relatively easy to set up and use. The personal version of iDrive allows for unlimited devices with a storage limit of 5TB.
There are external drive and mobile backups available. You can also do system and application backups, and there is two-factor authentication. This cloud backup service also provides drive shipping with seed and restore.
The service offers easy setup along with useful features like folder syncing, bulk uploads and mail restore, and file explorer integration. There are also rapid upload speeds with this service.
The pros of iDrive Personal are fast upload speeds, a syncing option, a free disk shipping option for transferring data, and you can keep old file versions forever.
Cons of iDrive Personal include a slow restoration process, and there is no unlimited storage option. There is no continuous backup option, and their web interface is not without problems.
iDrive has a 2TB plan and a 5TB plan. There are also several business options and a limited free version with 5GB of the online backup service that never expires.
2. SpiderOak One
SpiderOak One offers a cloud backup service for an unlimited number of devices with a storage limit of 5TB. They also provide an external drive and system and application backups.
It was the first online cloud backup service that allowed customers to have an exclusive and private encryption key. The service offers strong syncing and file sharing features as well. The price is higher than other services, and there is a learning curve to use it for most people.
The service has robust security and efficient sharing and syncing features. Some of the pros of the service include the number of features, Linux support, and the unlimited number of devices for backups.
Cons include the higher pricing, no restoration or physical backups available, and confusing interface. The mobile apps also need to be improved. It's a slower service, and there is no two-factor authentication available.
SpiderOak has well encrypted online cloud backup services, and there is an excellent sharing functionality.
3. Carbonite Safe
Carbonite Safe has unlimited storage and allows up to five devices. It offers two-factor authentication and restoration services.
Benefits include their unique backup interface, an excellent mobile experience, and unlimited storage. It is higher priced than most services and has a weak video file support. There are no external drive backups, and the service has slow download speeds.
4. Acronis True Image
Acronis True Image works best for avid users of online cloud storage. It allows up to five devices with a 5TB storage limit. There are systems, applications, and mobile device backups.
This service offers an intuitive user interface and a broad range of additional features. It allows for online backups with full disk image and backs up mobile devices. Some of the cons include higher costs and a more confusing price structure than with other services. It does not allow for network storage or external backups.
Acronis True Image has a fully functional desktop interface that is efficient to use. Upload speeds are fast, and there is file syncing available.
It is a program for dish imaging with the added cloud backup feature making it a versatile solution. There is sharing and syncing and a unique protection for ransomware. Another original feature of this service is the tool that provides bootable file-restoration.
One major con of the service is that it lacks password protection for shared files. Mobile apps and the web interface can also be slow at times.
5. Zoolz Cloud Backup
Zoolz offers storage limits ranging from 1TB to 5TB with unlimited external drives, users, and servers. There are external drive backups available, as week as system and application backups.
The advantages of the service include minimal system impact, support for multiple users, and a fairly easy to use interface. There is also a permanent free option available to users.
Some of the disadvantages include limited versioning and no private encryption key option. There is also no folder syncing option or disaster recovery. Its file recovery feature is prolonged, and the mobile apps are not useful.
Backblaze is a service that provides excellent value with unlimited storage for one computer with backups to an external drive. They offer two-factor authentication and restore only drive shipping.
They also automatically encrypt and upload your necessary files saving you time.
Pros include an easy setup process, quick upload speeds, and it is cost-effective. It offers a lost computer tracker as well. This service also has secure security settings and integrates with B2 cloud storage services.
You can also backup and restore to a mailed drive, which is a significant plus for Backblaze.
The cons of the service are that there is only one computer plan and no network-attached storage drive support. The mobile apps are weak, and there are not many extra features with the service. Backup files do not allow for private sharing, and the backup selection is not the easiest to manage.
Backblaze offers the best value with the lowest pricing, and it's the most straightforward service to use. It provides a unique restore my mail application and fast upload speeds. It's an excellent online backup service for beginners.
How the Best Online Cloud Backup Services Were Tested and Rated
When testing and rating the best online cloud backup services, we considered factors like features that differentiated the company from others, ease of installation, and using the file restoration, along with costs for storage.
We look at the speed of uploads and backups the services offered. Online cloud backup services that allowed you to mail in your hard drive to restore or save data were rated higher because of necessity and convenience.
Online cloud backup services were tested one by one. We had approximately 15GB of data, including a variety of media with music, videos, images, and documents.
Backups, Storage, and Syncing
There are differences between online syncing services and online cloud backup services.
Syncing services include easy to use popular platforms like Google Drive, Microsoft's OneDrive, or Dropbox. These services are more like cloud-based mirrors of your files and folders, creating identical copies giving you instant access to them from your devices.
Cloud backup services are different because they copy the majority or all of your files and folders on your devices to their servers in the cloud. The backup keeps your data safe and secure until you need it. With online cloud backup services, you get massive amounts of storage for a fee each month or annually that is reasonably cost-effective.
Relatively cheaper cloud services include Google Cloud or Box. These services allow you to upload files you don't regularly use to free up space on your device. They may offer additional fees to download your data or encourage you to upgrade your service.
Another critical detail to consider with the file-syncing services is that while they do store your data in their cloud, it's not automatically protected. They do not secure your system and media files or relevant documents. Using these services to safeguard your data can leave it vulnerable to security breaches.
Encryption and Online Backup Services
All of the services listed above offer industry-standard encryption, which will protect your data. You can also use your private key to encrypt your data on your own before uploading it to your online backup service. It is also worthy to note that SpiderOak makes this feature available as a default option.
With your private key, you will want to write it down or keep it safe and secure because if it gets lost, you will not be able to recover your data from the cloud backup service.
There are many differences between online backup services. While some will allow you to back up applications and system files, others will back up mobile devices like tablets and phones in addition to hard drives. Some have unique features, like file sharing and syncing.
It's best to compare cloud backup services and discover ones that suit your personal needs. You can look for special features like unlimited device backups and storage space with no limitations. It's also good to be able to track your device if it becomes lost or stolen and have the ability to delete data remotely.
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