Online Backup Reviews

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Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Reviews
  3. Introduction
  4. Types of Backup Solutions
    1. Unlimited
    2. Limited
    3. Software
    4. Enterprise

Summary

The best six online backup services I found are:

Best Online Backup Services

RankWebsiteTrafficCost²
1backblaze27,232
2carbonite35,241
3crashplan47,035
4mypcbackup97,186
5livedrive131,758
6justcloud145,592
Notes:
Rank=Position in this group in order of most Internet traffic, according to Alexa as of June 23, 2017.
Traffic=Alexa Traffic Rank as of June 23, 2017.
3: Cost=Annual (per year) price for unlimited data for one computer, as of March 13, 2012.

Reviews

Here are the top choices by some respected computer magazines and a newspaper.

Reviews
ReviewerTop Choice
>ComputerworldCarbonite
The New York TimesCarbonite
>MacworldCrashPlan
PCMagSOS Online Backup

Introduction

A photographer friend of mine recently had her computer equipment stolen. All her stock and client photos for the past few months were gone; all her current billing files were gone; and, to make matters worse, an external hard-drive with her local backup was also taken. What a disaster.

This got me to thinking: what if my stuff got stolen? Or what if the everything burned down? I have two local backups on external hard-drives (one using, by the way, >SuperDuper, and the other using Time Machine), but those could be gone. And I have two offsite backups on external hard-drives, but those are often six months out of date as they have to be done manually. Perhaps I need a worst-case backup. How about something automatic and online, in “the cloud”?

I searched for independent reviews on Google but didn’t find anything good. So I researched the subject and compiled my notes on this page, in case you’re in the same boat. I hope it’s helpful.

By the way, if you have any suggestions, or find any new sites, please add a comment below so we can all benefit.

Good luck, and I hope your online backup solution is never needed!

“Using an online backup service is a convenient way to preserve your key files. It is an increasingly popular way to make sure you never lose a file.”
>Greg Shulz, senior analyst at StorageIO, an IT analyst firm


Types

There are four types of online backup solutions that I found:

  • Unlimited. Store all your files online with unlimited storage. Pay one fixed amount annually regardless of how many gigabytes (GB) you use. This is what I wanted. Cost: <$100 per year.
  • Limited. Save important files, sync files with your mobile devices, and/or share files with other people. Many sites offer 2GB to 5GB of free storage, and then charge for additional data. Cost: Free for <2GB but gets expensive for a full backup which is what I wanted.
  • Software. Programs that you buy to backup to a local hard drive and/or to interface with online services which you pay for separately. Not what I was looking for.
  • Enterprise. Large-scale services for businesses with many users. Too much for an individual like me.

Of these four types, the one I wanted was “unlimited.”

Unlimited — Full Backup for One Annual Fee

This is the service I was looking for. One flat fee for one complete backup — nice and simple.

Unlimited Online Backup

RankWebsiteTrafficCost²
1backblaze27,232
2carbonite35,241
3crashplan47,035
4mypcbackup97,186
5livedrive131,758
6justcloud145,592
7zipcloud354,097
8nomadesk2,302,760
Notes:
Rank=Position in this group in order of most Internet traffic, according to Alexa as of June 23, 2017.
Traffic=Alexa Traffic Rank as of June 23, 2017.
3: Cost=Annual (per year) price for unlimited data for one computer, as of March 13, 2012.

“The top causes of small business’ data loss included hardware/software failure (54 percent), accidental deletion (54 percent), computer viruses (33 percent) and theft (10 percent).”
Carbonite survey, July 18, 2011


Limited — Save, Sync and Share, and Pay per GB

There are many companies that will host your files online so that you can access them for a variety of purposes. You can use these services to:

  • Backup key files
  • Sync files between your computer and mobile devices
  • Share files with other people such as colleagues and clients, for collaboration and review

For free, most of these services provide an introductory amount of storage, in the hope that you might get hooked and pay for more later. Costs are usually based on how much storage you use and are by the gigabyte (GB), which is 1,000 megabytes (MB). With one GB you could store 200 5MB photos.

These services can quickly become expensive as you store more data. For comparison, I arbitrarily priced out 1TB (one terabyte=1,000 GB) which would cover me for a full backup. With one company (FlipDrive), this would cost me $10,000 per year! At the time of writing (March 2012), I could buy almost 80 1TB hard drives for that. Each year.

To be fair, these services are not designed for large, 1TB backups. Instead they are intended to store, sync and share a limited number of files. So, if that is what you’re looking for, then 2GB of introductory storage for free is a great deal.

Limited Online Backup, Share & Sync
CompanyFree1TB/yrNotes
Acronis True Image Online
ADrive$1,319
Amazon Cloud Drive5GB$80
Apple iCloud5GB55GB max for $100/year
>Backup SolutionsLiveVault from $0.40/GB
BitcasaBeta
Box5GB50GB max $20
Comodo Backup5GB$100/yr for 250GB
Concentsus$6,047$0.50/GB/month
Diino$49/yr for 100GB
DropBox2GB$795
>ElephantDrive2GB$1,031
Eyonic7,150$0.50 per GB
FlipDrive5GB$10,312
Google Drive5GB$50
>Hitachi Backup3GB
KeepIt
KeepVault$930
Memopal3GB
Microsoft OneDrive7GB100GB for $48
>MiMedia7GB$325
Mozy
OpenDrive5GB$250
PennyBackup$89Requires software
SafeCopy3GB
SOS Online Backup$1,600
SpiderOak2GB$1,000
Storegate25GB for $80/yr
SugarSync5GB
Syncplicity2GB
Zoolz4GB$1,020
Notes: Prices as of March 14, 2012.

Software — Create your own Solution

While Googling online backup, I came across several sites that sold not an online service but a piece of software.

I use such software to make a daily backup on a local hard-drive connected directly to my computer. Some software can also save to online services, but you may have to pay for that in addition.

Peer-to-peer is an interesting approach where you can backup over the Internet to a hard-drive that you own (or a friend owns) at some other location, such as at the house of a friend or relative. CrashPlan is often mentioned in that regard.

Software for Backup
CompanyNotes
Acronis True Image$50 PC
Arq$29 Mac
>Backup4all$50
GFI BackUpFree
>UpdateStar$70 PC
>Intego Backup Manager Proby LaCie. Mac. $40
>Macrium ReflectPC
Norton 360
>NovaBackupby Novastor. PC. $50
>Retrospect
ShadowProtectby StorageCraft
>SuperDuperThis is what I use
Time Machine by Apple
>Tonido
Notes: Prices as of March 14, 2012.

Enterprise — For Big Businesses

There are many services that are intended for large companies. These are too sophisticated for an individual like me, but here are some links anyway.

Enterprise Backup
CompanyNotes
Amazon S3 Cloud
>Asigra
Backupify
EgnyteHybridCloud
Huddle Sync
Nomadesk
Unitrends

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