The Best Cloud Backup – 30 Services Compared

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Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links, and we receive compensation when you purchase services through these links.

The Bottom Line

CrashPlan ($5.99/month) is the best overall backup service for home users. It offers the best mix of security, affordable pricing, and features. Unlimited storage, excellent file versioning, and multiple backup points (to the cloud and local devices) secured the title for them.

IDrive ($59.50/year) is a nice alternative if you want to back up mobile devices, which CrashPlan doesn’t support. It’s also ideal for those who want to sync and share files, with 1 TB of sync space.

A Note to Begin

This article is quite long and comprehensive, at about 7,000 words. There’s a table of contents below if you wish to jump to a section.

What About Dropbox and other Cloud Services?

This article deals mostly with backup services. That is, the best services to restore your files from a data loss event. Although services like Dropbox and Google Drive are great for synchronizing files across devices, and sharing files with others, they aren’t ideal as a dedicated backup service.

Dropbox and others make you put all your files in a single folder on your hard drive, to sync to the cloud. They support file versioning and are good for restoring a file or two, but not an entire hard drive. They also lack the security of major cloud backup services, which usually offer a private encryption option.

We’ll mention cloud storage services in this article, but they won’t be the main focus. A future piece will cover the best services for file sync and share.

Read more about cloud storage vs cloud backup, and how you can use both types of services to simplify your digital life.

What to Consider when Choosing a Cloud Backup Service

Security

Cloud Security

The most secure cloud backup services are:

These services let you use a completely private encryption key, which is known only by you. They are “zero knowledge” and cannot decrypt your data, even if they were required to. Zero knowledge services protect your privacy from hackers, unauthorized employees, government surveillance programs, and anyone else who doesn’t have your private key.

Tarsnap takes it a step further, by using open-source software. That means the program’s source code can be verified to not contain any backdoors. Unfortunately, Tarsnap is only usable via a command line interface, and we think it’s too complicated for the average PC user. The price is also very high, at $0.25 per GB/month, although Tarsnap deduplicates files to greatly reduce the size of backups.

SpiderOak uses some open-source software, and they plan to make the entire client-side code base open source. It’s probably the closest you’ll get to an easy to use, open-source cloud backup service. It’s also affordable, at $12/month for 1 TB.

pCloud can add a Crypto folder to your account for an extra $3.99/month. This provides a zero knowledge, client-side encrypted folder. They stand by their privacy, and even offered a $100,000 reward to anyone who could break their encryption. No one did.

Two-factor authentication

The following services support two-factor authentication, which requires you to verify your logins with a PIN sent to your mobile device. It adds a little extra security and peace of mind.

Mobile Apps

iPhone

Most online backup services have mobile apps for Android and iOS. But not every service lets you back up the data on your phone. In many cases, it’s only to access the files you’ve already backed up on your PC or Mac.

IDrive is my preferred cloud backup service for mobile devices, due to their use of a private encryption key and apps for Android and iOS. The apps are very easy to use, with “one touch” backup options. Auto camera upload is supported to back up photos when you take them.

SOS Online Backup is another option. It can back up contacts and photos stored on your iPhone to the cloud. On Android, it can back up apps, photos, videos, and music.

Read 22 iCloud Alternatives to Back Up Your iPhone for more iOS-specific options.

Backup Retention

Recover Files

The online backup service should keep multiple versions of files, so data can be recovered from an earlier point in time. Ideally, the user should be able to set the retention policy (e.g. keep daily backups for 30 days, monthly backups for one year, etc.).

Files which have been deleted from the user’s computer, should be kept for an acceptable amount of time on the backup provider’s servers. Most unlimited cloud backup services keep deleted files for 30 days. Some services keep deleted files indefinitely.

CrashPlan has the most generous backup retention policy. It offers unlimited storage space, and unlimited deleted file recovery. Also, CrashPlan will keep up to 1,000 versions of a single file, over a 4-year period (according to their Terms of Service).

I confirmed with CrashPlan that deleted files are indeed kept forever:

…there is no fine print, no “catch;” we will save as much as you like, and unlimited means unlimited. Daniel, Code42 Support

 

There are a few caveats to CrashPlan’s backup retention policy, however. Files must remain selected in the backup set, “remove deleted files” must be set to Never, and the computer must connect with CrashPlan’s servers at least once every 6 months.

Seed Loading

Seed loading lets you ship your files on a hard drive to the cloud backup service, to get around slow internet connections for the initial backup.

IDrive is the only consumer-level cloud backup service that offers this. There is a 100 GB minimum. It’s free once per year for personal users, or three times yearly for business users. IDrive states that your data will be stored encrypted with an optional private key throughout the process.

IDrive Express

IDrive will let you “seed load” – ship your initial backup on a hard drive to them – for free.

CrashPlan offers seed loading, but only to other computers you own. Their PROe (enterprise) customers can seed data to a private cloud, but not the public cloud.

Acronis also offers seed loading (and shipped restores – see below), but it’s only for enterprise customers.

Shipped Restores

Package Delivery

Some cloud backup services let you restore files via a shipped USB drive. Like seed loading, this lets you get around slow internet connections. Only this time it’s for data going to you. This feature can be pretty important if you need to recover a large amount of data quickly.

I like Backblaze‘s shipped USB restore program the best. Their recently launched refund program will refund the amount you paid ($189 for a USB hard drive or $99 for a flash drive) if you return the drive to them within 30 days. You can choose to encrypt the drive when you check out, so it’s okay to ship sensitive data.

Other services which can ship your files to you on a hard drive are:

Carbonite only offers shipped restores for their Prime plan. The price is $9.99 each time a drive is shipped ($30 for express shipping). It’s not available if you used a private encryption key to secure your account.

IDrive ships drives as part of IDrive Express. The price is $99.50 each time you request a drive. It’s available for non-U.S. customers, but the IDrive website states there may be additional shipping fees. Restores are encrypted just like the seed loading service, so it’s okay to ship sensitive data.

Mozy offers media restores to U.S.-based accounts only. They charge a $29.99 processing fee, a $40 shipping fee, and $0.50 per GB of data restored. Shipped data is encrypted, and you can use your personal encryption key.

Local Backups

External Hard Drive

Ideally, the online backup service should have the option to store backups on a local hard drive, in addition to the cloud. This lets you recover data much quicker, since restores from the cloud will be limited by your internet service provider’s (ISP) connection speed. It’s also an extra restore point, in case your backups in the cloud are lost or unavailable.

Local backups help you achieve the backup rule of three – keeping two copies of your data onsite and one offsite.

Services that offer a local backup option include:

Speed

Fast race car

The online backup service should be fast when backing up and restoring files. This includes the time it takes to prepare files on your computer, before they are uploaded to the servers. Many services compress and encrypt data before it is uploaded, and this can take a considerable amount of time.

Also important is the time it takes to restore data. Services like Zoolz use Amazon Glacier, which can take several hours to prepare files before they can be downloaded. Backblaze can also take hours to prepare a large restore, before it can be downloaded via a ZIP file.

Extra Features

The following features are helpful, but not essential. They were used in evaluating the services in this article.

External Hard Drive Support

This feature lets you back up data stored on external hard drives to the cloud.

Network Attached Storage (NAS) Support

This feature lets you back up data stored on network drives, such as a NAS device.

Further reading: The Best Online Backup for Your NAS Devices.

Bandwidth Throttling

This feature is to not overwhelm your internet connection when backups are running, which can slow down other apps, or to obey your internet service provider’s data caps.

Geo Redundancy

Geo redundancy stores copies of the files in multiple data centers. It is seldom offered by consumer-level backup services, because is substantially raises the price.

CrashPlan offers geo-redundant storage, but only with their enterprise plan.

ElephantDrive stores files in multiple locations and is designed to sustain the loss of data in one facility.

hubiC is a French service that stores files in three geographically distant data centers.

SOS Online Backup offers geo-redundant storage, but only for their business plans.

Symform doesn’t use data centers at all. It’s a distributed cloud backup service, in which data is spread (encrypted) all across the world, on each user’s computer.

File sync service Syncplicity also uses geo-redundant storage, according to a security whitepaper.

Email Alerts

This feature alerts you for successful and/or failed backups. It’s useful to let you know your backups are running smoothly.

Recommendations

CrashPlan – Best Overall Backup Service

Price: $5.99 per month
Space: Unlimited
Operating Systems: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS

CrashPlan

CrashPlan is one of the only services that lets you back up data to multiple locations. Your backups can be stored on:

  • The Cloud
  • An external hard drive
  • A friend’s computer

This is my favorite feature, since I can restore data from multiple locations (even if one backup fails). Backups can even be stored on computers with different operating systems. I tested it by backing up my Windows PC to a Linux computer.

It’s also one of the only unlimited backup services that keeps previous versions of files forever. Most unlimited services permanently delete your files after they’ve been deleted from your computer for 30 days.

When files are restored with the CrashPlan app, they are decrypted only once they are downloaded to your computer. This end-to-end encryption is the most secure way for a cloud backup service to work.

CrashPlan has mobile apps to access your backed up files (but you can’t back up your phone’s files like with IDrive or Carbonite).

The price is slightly more expensive than Backblaze, but CrashPlan becomes cheaper with the family plan ($13.99/month for up to 10 computers).

On the downside, some users have complained about slow speeds from CrashPlan servers. The software is also a memory hog, due to it using the Java programming language.

Backblaze – Easiest Cloud Backup Service

Price: $5 per month
Space: Unlimited
Operating Systems: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

Backblaze

Backblaze is the easiest online backup service we tested. This is because it automatically backs up most folders on your computer (including external hard drives). Some people may not like this, preferring more control over their backups. If you feel this way, CrashPlan would be a better choice. However, for those who prefer a “set it and forget it” policy for their backup software, Backblaze is the best choice.

The pricing is simple: $5 per month, per computer. It offers unlimited backup space, and all features come standard on all their accounts (even their business accounts).

Deleted and previous versions of files can be restored for up to 30 days:

  • One version every hour, for the last 24 hours
  • One version every day, for the last 7 days
  • One version every week, for the last 4 weeks

Files are restored through their web interface by downloading a compressed ZIP file. Backblaze can also restore your data by shipping you a USB drive, and will refund your money if you ship it back within 30 days.

I liked that there are no file size or bandwidth limits. Backblaze speeds are faster and more consistent than CrashPlan.

When restoring files, your private passphrase is briefly stored on Backblaze’s servers along with your unencrypted data, before you download the ZIP. This is the only weak point in their system. In their security question round-up, Backblaze says they hope to provide a way to download the encrypted files to your computer in the future, so you can decrypt them locally. To their credit, the passphrase is only stored in RAM and never written to disk.

Another downside is that Backblaze can take many hours to prepare large restores for download. With my 100 GB of data, it took 11 hours to prepare the ZIP before I could download it. However, the actual speed of the download was quite fast.

Backblaze also removes data backed up from external hard drives, if the drive is disconnected for more than 30 days. You’ll want to keep this in mind if you travel for long periods or don’t always connect your external hard drive. Three reminder emails are sent if the drive isn’t connected.

IDrive – Best Mobile Backup Service

Price: $59.50 per year
Space: 1 TB
Operating Systems: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Windows Phone

IDrive

IDrive is one of the least expensive online backup services, at a price per terabyte lower than Dropbox ($60 per year for 1 TB). It has many features for backing up, synchronizing, and sharing files.

It’s also one of the few online backup services that can back up both Android and iOS devices.

You can seed your initial backup by mailing IDrive a hard drive containing your data. This is provided for free, once per year. They will even mail you the hard drive with a prepaid shipping label. CrashPlan also lets you seed data, but only for backups to a computer you own or a friend’s computer.

IDrive keeps up to 30 previous versions of files, and deleted files are kept for 30 days.

The Android app can back up everything on your phone, including contacts, photos, apps, and an SD card if you have one attached. Private encryption is included as an option in the apps, making this service secure for smartphones.

On the downside, IDrive has received complaints for charging overage fees for those who go over their 1 TB allotment. There are also no monthly plans, so you’re committed for at least one year if you sign up with them.

SpiderOak – Most Secure Cloud Backup and Sync Service

Price: $12 per month
Space: 1 TB
Operating Systems: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS

SpiderOak

SpiderOak has cloud backup, storage, and synchronization features that make it ideal for the privacy conscious. They have a commitment to zero-knowledge privacy, and use a warrant canary to alert users if they are subjected to a government gag order.

The service supports unlimited devices, so you can back up any number of computers. It can also create a secondary backup on a local drive, network drive, or FTP server.

On the downside, the desktop software was a bit buggy in our tests. Also, the 60-day free trial is limited to 2 GB.

Acronis True Image Cloud – Best Full System Backup Service

Price: $99 per year
Space: Unlimited
Operating Systems: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

Acronis True Image Cloud

Acronis True Image Cloud can back up and restore full disk images of your computer. This allows you to restore your computer to the exact state it was in when the backup was made, including your operating system and all your installed programs.

Unlike other online backup services, which only back up your user files, Acronis backs up your entire hard drive. If your hard drive fails, you can restore to a new by using bootable media which is created within the software. Acronis True Image makes this fairly easy with their included Rescue Media Builder.

It’s not limited to disk images, too. Files and folders can be backed up as well. The $99/year plan includes backup for 3 mobile devices (other plans are available that can protect more devices).

Unfortunately, Acronis Cloud has a fair use policy, so this service isn’t truly “unlimited.” However, if you want to do full system backups to the cloud, Acronis is a solid choice.

Carbonite

Price: $59.99 per year
Space: Unlimited
Operating Systems: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

Carbonite

Carbonite offers unlimited cloud backup space for $60/year, per computer. It’s one of the largest and most trusted backup providers, particularly for business users.

There were a couple things I didn’t like about this service. The biggest issue is that video files are only automatically backed up on the Prime plan ($150/year). Expecting customers to pay more just so they can back up video files is not good.

Files over 4 GB are also not backed up by default. You’ll need to remove this restriction when setting up the desktop software.

External hard drive backup is supported, but NAS backup is only supported with the business plans.

SOS Online Backup

Price: $20.99 per month
Space: 500 GB
Operating Systems: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

SOS Online Backup

SOS Online Backup has plans that start at $4.99/month for 50 GB. 1 TB is $39.99/month. It’s pretty expensive compared to other services, ever since they discontinued their unlimited storage plan. However, the service has some benefits that others don’t.

Up to 5 PCs or Macs can be backed up on a single account. Unlimited mobile devices are supported. Compared to CrashPlan, it has lower system requirements and better NAS support. PCMag says SOS is the fastest online backup service they tested.

I liked the easy set up process. The software automatically selects files on your computer to back up. SOS also has support for public file sharing, which is something CrashPlan doesn’t have.

Devices can be tracked and managed from the SOS web interface. From here you can modify backup jobs, view reports, and download files you’ve backed up to the cloud.

On the downside, SOS’s local backup option was buggy. Backups to my external hard drive would fail with random errors. Also, even though SOS encrypts file data with UltraSafe MAX, file names are not encrypted. It’s not a true zero-knowledge service.

Livedrive

Price: $8 per month
Space: Unlimited
Operating Systems: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Windows Phone

Livedrive

Livedrive is one of the larger cloud backup services, with headquarters in the UK. They offer three different types of plans:

  • Backup only – This lets you back up one computer with unlimited storage space. The cost is $8/month.
  • Briefcase – 2 TB of sync space, but no backup. This costs $16/month.
  • Pro Suite plan – This is $26/month, and it lets you back up 5 computers with unlimited storage for each. It also gives you 5 TB of sync space, which is an enormous amount.

All plans let you recover the past 30 versions of changes to files. Restoring deleted files is also supported.

Livedrive has mobile apps, and an excellent Windows app to access, upload, and manage files in your cloud account. On the downside, Livedrive doesn’t offer a personal encryption key option. They also deduplicate files, which isn’t good for security.

OpenDrive

Price: $12.95 per month
Space: Unlimited
Operating Systems: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

OpenDrive

OpenDrive offers cloud storage, backup, and sync features. I liked the “all in one” nature of this cloud storage service.

You’re able to create two types of tasks: backup or synchronization. Backup tasks will only transfer files one way (to the cloud). Sync tasks will create a two-way file sync between your computer and OpenDrive. Any changes to files in the sync folder will be mirrored to OpenDrive, and any other computers that use the same sync.

It stores a maximum of 99 file versions which you can restore from the cloud.

OpenDrive lets you use a “Secure Files” folder for zero-knowledge encryption. This is protected with an additional passphrase, separate from your account password. It can only be accessed from your computer, not the web interface.

Sync.com

Price: $49 per year
Space: 500 GB
Operating Systems: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

Sync.com

Sync.com lets you back up and sync files across devices. The service is touted as a more secure alternative to Dropbox, since it uses zero-knowledge encryption to ensure privacy for your data. We really liked the number of features provided by this service, but it was rough around the edges in some areas.

Sync.com lets you back up any folder on your hard drive. You’re not limited to a single folder like with Dropbox and Google Drive.

Previous versions of files can be restored from the web interface. On the downside, you must restore each file individually. So this is not a good service to recover lots of files from a previous point in time. There’s also no Linux client.

Dropbox

Price: $9.99 per month
Space: 1 TB
Operating Systems: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Windows Phone

One of the most popular cloud storage services is also the easiest. Dropbox’s real power lies in its sync and share features, but you can also recover previous versions of files.

Dropbox version history

Previous versions of files are kept for 30 days. Deleted files are also kept for 30 days. Dropbox business accounts do not have these limitations.

In Windows File Explorer, you can right click on a file and select “view previous versions.” Or you can log in to the web interface to recover files. Either way, Dropbox will restore the file directly to your computer.

The downside is that files must be stored in your Dropbox folder. Also, you can’t restore previous versions of entire folders or anything more than one file at a time.

ElephantDrive

Price: $9.95 per month
Space: 1 TB
Operating Systems: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

ElephantDrive

ElephantDrive recently updated their pricing and now offers 10x the storage space. It’s another all-in-one service, much like OpenDrive or IDrive.

You can back up and sync an unlimited number of devices, including external and network drives. Their NAS integration is excellent, and ElephantDrive is partnered with leading NAS manufacturers to include their software on devices.

File and folder sharing is supported. You can also collaborate on folders and set permissions.

You have the option to protect your files with a personal encryption key, making this an NSA-proof cloud backup service.

On the downside, there are file size limits on all accounts.

Syncplicity

Price: $60 per year
Space: 100 GB
Operating Systems: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Windows Phone

Syncplicity

Although not a dedicated backup service, Syncplicity has a few options for file version recovery. When you log into the web interface, you can click the Show Deleted Files icon and recover files. You can also right-click on a file, select Versions, then select a previous version to restore (like with Dropbox).

The default is to keep the last 10 versions of files, and keep deleted files for 30 days. You can set a custom retention policy, including to keep deleted files forever (or however long it takes to fill up your account).

Syncplicity also has some of the best mobile apps I’ve ever seen in a cloud service. They even have built-in Microsoft Office file editing.

However, the service is extremely expensive at $5 per month for a mere 100 GB. Even the business accounts only offer 300 GB for $60/year/user.

Google Drive

Price: $9.99 per month
Space: 1 TB
Operating Systems: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

Google Drive

Google Drive lets you view and manage previous file versions. It will keep up to 200 versions of a non-Google file, as long as you’ve marked it as Keep forever. Otherwise, it will keep 100 previous versions.

It can work well as a backup solution if you use Google Docs. These types of files do not have the version limitations of non-Google files. We prefer to use it in addition to a dedicated backup service.

Degoo

Price: $9.99 per month
Space: 2 TB
Operating Systems: Windows, Mac, Android

Degoo

Degoo is a newer cloud backup service that offers 100 GB of free storage space. This is more free space than even MEGA, which gives users 50 GB of free space.

What makes Degoo unique is the simple software. You can back up folders in just a few clicks. It’s not loaded with options to make things confusing.

There’s a mobile app for Android. You can back up photos, documents, and even the SD card on your phone.

Backups were fast, maxing out my upload speed at 13 Mbps (megabits per second). Degoo claims to use Amazon AWS to store data, so this is expected.

Deleted files are kept for 14 days with free accounts, and 60 days with paid accounts.

Unfortunately, Degoo does not have file versioning. This makes it unsuitable for many backup tasks.

Jottacloud

Price: €7.50 per month (about $8.30)
Space: Unlimited
Operating Systems: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Windows Phone

Jottacloud

Jottacloud started a backup service, although they’ve recently branched out into file sync and share. They are a European cloud service with a strong interest in privacy.

The service can back up an unlimited number of devices, including network drives.

Deleted files are kept on Jottacloud’s servers for 30 days. The service also keeps up to 5 previous versions of files.

A cloud sync folder is included, so you can access files on other computers. File sharing is limited and simplistic, however. Older file versions can be restored within the “recent changes” area of the restore tab.

Jottacloud controls the encryption keys used to store customer data, so they are not a zero-knowledge service. However, they have a privacy guarantee which feels nice in an age where it seems like everyone is trying to own your data or use it for advertising.

We encountered some bugs with Jottacloud’s desktop software, so you’ll want to watch out for those. It also has slow download speeds outside of Europe.

AltDrive

Price: $4.45 per month
Space: Unlimited
Operating Systems: Windows, Mac, Linux

AltDrive

AltDrive is a no-frill cloud backup service. It’s also inexpensive, at $4.45 per month for unlimited storage space.

There are no file size restrictions, so you can back up files many gigabytes in size. AltDrive keeps deleted files for 60 days with home accounts, and “as long as you are a paying customer” with business accounts.

I liked how easy it was to restore files with this service. The restore wizard in the desktop software guided me through the process. Tech support was also very responsive. They’ve always responded to me within 24 hours (even on weekends).

AltDrive suffers the same security fault that SOS Online Backup does: filenames are stored in the cloud even with private key encryption. They had the following to say to me:

…all file data is encrypted and then transferred over SSL and is stored encrypted. And the filename metadata encrypted and then is transferred encrypted to AltDrive and stored in the customer’s partition.

However, the file meta-data (name, size, permissions, etc.) is not stored encrypted so that the customer can remotely access the backed up files, over SSL.

Memopal

Price: €79 per year (15% discount with code SWITCH)
Space: 500 GB
Supported OS: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS

Memopal

Memopal is an Italian backup service. They offer unlimited version history, so you can go back to any point in time to recover files. They seem to be improving lately by adding more features and lowering prices.

My favorite feature is the real-time backup option. This will back up files as soon as changes are detected. Memopal also lets you sync files between your devices, although I haven’t tested this.

On the downside, speeds to their servers aren’t good from the U.S. My backup and restore speeds were around 3 Mbps.

Amazon Cloud Drive

Price: $59.99 per year
Space: Unlimited
Operating Systems: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

Amazon Cloud Drive

Amazon Cloud Drive gives you unlimited space to back up your files. It’s quite inexpensive, too. If you only need to back up photos, the price is even cheaper at $12 per year for the “Unlimited Photos” plan.

There are no file size or other limits (assuming you have the “Unlimited Everything” plan). The service was very fast when uploading and downloading in our tests. It easily hit our ISP’s maximum transfer rates.

You can select folders to upload, or drag and drop files into the desktop software and Cloud Drive will back them up. Files can be restored from the “Downloads” tab in the software.

On the downside, the desktop software is a one-way uploader with no automatic backup or syncing. Oddly enough, the mobile apps have auto-image backup. There’s also no file versioning, so you can’t undo changes to backed up files. This might not be a problem for photos and files that don’t change often, but for office work or situations where documents are always changing it’s not suitable.

Amazon Cloud Drive supports many third-party clients, including ExpanDrive, odrive (review), and CloudBerry Explorer.

Jungle Disk

Price: $4 per month + $0.15 per GB
Space: As much as needed
Operating Systems: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS

Jungle Disk is a pay-as-you-go cloud backup service. You only pay for the storage you use, along with a $4 per-user fee.

Jungle Disk

Jungle Disk uses Amazon S3 as their backend storage provider. So your data has the same 99.999999999% durability that protects all files stored on Amazon’s servers. You can alternatively store your data in the Rackspace Cloud. It’s your choice.

Although Jungle Disk is inexpensive for storing small amounts of data, costs can skyrocket for larger amounts. The price for 1 TB is $150 per month.

However, this cost is after Jungle Disk compresses and deduplicates your files, so actual costs can be lower. Additionally, you can provide your own Amazon S3 storage and only pay Jungle Disk for the software licenses.

It’s comparable to CloudBerry Backup, which can also back up to Amazon S3. Jungle Disk has much better OS support however (CloudBerry only works on Windows), as well as mobile apps.

There’s a 30 day money-back guarantee, if you’re unsure whether Jungle Disk is right for you.

Pogoplug

Price: $49.95 per year
Space: Unlimited
Operating Systems: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

Pogoplug

Pogoplug is best known for being able to back up computers, tablets, and phones all on the same plan. The service is truly unlimited, and Pogoplug’s CEO even reported one user storing 60 terabytes of data.

The desktop software will automatically select folders such as Documents and Pictures to back up to the cloud. Backups run when files change. There’s no need to schedule or run backups manually. The software is very simple in that regard.

The mobile apps can back up photos, videos, and contacts on your phone. These can be restored at any time within the app.

Files deleted from your computer will be kept forever on Pogoplug servers. However, there is no file versioning, so you can’t recover files from previous points in time.

pCloud

Price: $9.99 per month
Space: 1 TB
Operating Systems: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS

pCloud

pCloud is a sync, share, and backup service. The desktop software works on Windows, Mac, and even Linux.

pCloud keeps a 180 day file history with their paid plans. Deleted files can be recovered by navigating to the Trash folder in the web interface. From there, you can select and restore files to their original folders. Files are also sorted by the date they were deleted, which I liked because it was easier to find them.

One of the more unique features about pCloud is that it can back up other storage services, including:

  • Dropbox
  • OneDrive
  • Facebook
  • Instagram

You can link your accounts in the pCloud web interface. All your files stored on these services will be automatically copied to your pCloud account every three days.

pCloud includes a Crypto folder (+$3.99/month) that provides zero-knowledge privacy. This folder is secured with an additional password, which only you have access to. This is similar to OpenDrive, which also provides both encrypted and non-encrypted folders within the same account.

ASUS WebStorage

Price: $99.99 per year
Space: 1 TB
Operating Systems: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Windows Phone

ASUS WebStorage

ASUS WebStorage offers a good mix of features and security options. You can back up folders on your computer. However, only one computer is supported on their 100 GB plan (you can back up two computers on the 1 TB plan).

The service supports file versioning so you can undo changes to files. We felt the interfaces were unintuitive, but it’s quite powerful once you get used to it.

We encountered some bugs with the desktop software as well as some annoying upload limits, so we can’t fully recommend this service. There’s also a 10 GB file size limit on paid plans.

Mozy

Price: $9.99 per month
Space: 125 GB
Operating Systems: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

Mozy

Mozy stopped offering an unlimited plan in 2011. Unfortunately, their pricing now is ridiculously expensive. Since they charge an extra $2/month for each 20 GB added to your account, it would cost $98 per month to back up 1 TB of data.

Deleted files are kept for different periods, depending on the account. Files deleted on your computer are kept for 30 days with MozyHome, 60 days with MozyPro, or 90 days for MozyEnterprise. This also applies to previous versions of files.

Mozy can ship you a hard drive to restore data (MozyPro only). They also offer phone support and server backup options that make this service ideal for businesses. It’s far too expensive for home users however.

hubiC

Price: €5 per month ($5.61)
Space: 10 TB
Operating Systems: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Windows Phone

hubiC is a French cloud storage service that offers a whopping 10 TB for $5.55 per month. It is the lowest cost-per-TB service we’ve encountered.

You can use the “Create a Backup” feature to back up folders on your computer to the cloud. You can also select how many previous file versions to keep, and when to update the backup.

Creating a backup in hubiC

The service has other features such as desktop file sync and mobile apps. You can also share files directly to social media.

Unfortunately, download speeds were abysmal from the United States, at 1.6 Mbps (megabits per second) in our tests.

hubiC also does not offer zero knowledge encryption (or even at-rest encryption, as far as we can tell). However, data is protected by French privacy laws which offer some reprieve from security concerns.

Touro Cloud Backup

Price: $59 per year
Space: 250 GB
Operating Systems: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

Touro is a cloud backup service created by hard drive manufacturer Western Digital. It keeps the last 10 previous versions of files, which isn’t as good as the major cloud backup services.

Touro Cloud Backup

Backups can be scheduled to be performed automatically, or daily at a specific time.

Touro has received low ratings from users, and it’s difficult to obtain tech support. It’s not a service I’d recommend.

Mastermind Backup

Space: 100 GB
Price: $30CAD per month ($22.89)
Operating Systems: Windows, Mac, Linux

Mastermind Backup

Mastermind Backup is a cloud backup service that was built with business users in mind. It can back up servers and databases, with clients available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Their 100% Canada-based data centers are protected by Canadian privacy laws, and not subject to the Patriot Act. They also let you use a private encryption key with zero knowledge privacy.

On the downside, despite Mastermind claiming to have a 1 Gbps fiber backbone connection, I struggled to achieve a 2.8 Mbps upload speed to their servers. That’s less than half of my upload speed according to speedtest.net. I also was only able to restore files at 11 Mbps (on a 30 Mbps connection).

The service is also extremely expensive, even moreso than Mozy. The price for 1 TB of storage skyrockets to about $190 per month.

BullGuard Backup

Price: $184.94 per year
Space: 100 GB
Operating Systems: Windows

BullGuard Backup

BullGuard can back up your files to the cloud and local drives. You can also back up 5 computers on the same plan.

There’s a BullGuard Online Drive feature, which lets you access your backed up files through Windows File Explorer. It was useful, but not as fast as Dropbox in my tests.

Regarding their security, BullGuard had the following to say to me:

…we also provide a zero-knowledge method of encryption, which is exposed in the client-side application’s settings, which encrypts data using AES-256 with an encryption key generated from a user-supplied passphrase before the data ever leaves the user’s computer. Neither the passphrase nor the resulting encryption key ever leave the computer. Alex Moise, Customer Support Technician

Unlike CrashPlan, BullGuard does not store files in a proprietary format, when backed up to a local drive. I thought this was nice, since you’re not “locked in” to use using BullGuard’s software.

On the downside, there’s no date-based restore option. Files can only be restored to a previous point in time individually.

BullGuard is also outrageously expensive, at about $15 per month for 100 GB of data. The software is only available for Windows as well.

Symform

Price: $10 per month
Space: 100 GB
Operating Systems: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS

Symform is a peer-to-peer cloud backup service. Users contribute excess local hard drive space, and are given half the amount they contribute in free space. For instance, if you have a spare NAS device, you could contribute space on it to the Symform cloud, and get free cloud storage space in return.

Symform contributed space

Contribute local space to Symform and get half the amount you contribute in free cloud storage.

For those who don’t want to contribute, Symform offers paid plans (although they are extremely expensive).

All data you upload to the Symform cloud is split into fragments and encrypted, before being stored on a user’s computer. Symform claims it is even more secure than the modern data center.

Symform is an interesting concept. However, I was disappointed by the overpriced plans and lack of file versioning. You’d have to use a separate program to keep previous file versions. Symform has been planning this feature since 2013.

Diino

Price: $49 per year
Space: Unlimited
Operating Systems: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS

Diino

Diino is a smaller cloud backup service that offers unlimited backup space at a great price ($49/year). It’s cheaper than almost all the major services. It also gives users 100 GB of cloud storage space to store and share files.

You can publish slideshows with your stored photos over the web, then send them to friends and family.

Unfortunately, files are not stored encrypted. Restore speeds were also very slow in my tests.

What Others Think

Dann Berg of Tom’s Guide agrees that CrashPlan’s unlimited file versioning is its best feature:

There’s one feature that puts CrashPlan ahead: unlimited deleted-file protection. This feature, coupled with unlimited cloud storage, provides the most inclusive disaster-protection solution on the market right now.Dann Berg, Tom’s Guide

Michael Muchmore of PCMag likes the features of IDrive:

You’d be hard-pressed to find an online backup service as full-featured or versatile as IDrive, especially for the price.Michael Muchmore, PCMag

Joe Kissell of The Wirecutter throws in another vote for CrashPlan:

After carefully comparing 20 services and testing six, we believe that CrashPlan ($60 per year for individuals; $150 per year for families) continues to be the best online backup service for most people, as it offers a great combination of useful features at an attractive (though not rock-bottom) price.Joe Kissell, The Wirecutter

Tim Fisher of About.com likes Backblaze’s simplicity:

Backblaze is my favorite online backup service, mostly because everything about it is so simple, especially its pricing and software.Tim Fisher, About.com

Lex Friedman of Macworld uses both CrashPlan and Dropbox:

I’ve chosen to depend on a combination of CrashPlan and Dropbox, coupled with local backups.Lex Friedman, Macworld

Shawn Blanc of The Sweet Setup likes Backblaze the most:

We’ve tested, used, and researched the most popular services and recommend Backblaze for most people. It’s the easiest to set up and use, and it’s also the most affordable.Shawn Blanc, The Sweet Setup

Finally, a reader poll at Lifehacker voted CrashPlan as the best online backup service, with 50% of the votes.

The Bottom Line

CrashPlan ($5.99/month) is the best overall backup service for home users. It offers the best mix of security, affordable pricing, and features. Unlimited storage, unlimited file versioning, and multiple backup points (to the cloud and local devices) secured the title for them.

IDrive ($59.50/year) is a nice alternative if you want to back up mobile devices, which CrashPlan doesn’t support. It’s also ideal for those who want to sync and share files, with 1 TB of sync space.

Disclosure: The above article contains affiliate links, and we receive compensation when you purchase services through these links.

Geoff Akerlund

Geoff Akerlund

Geoff Akerlund is the founder and editor-in-chief of BackupReview.com. He is a cloud fanatic and regularly reviews online backup services. He believes backups should be easy, affordable, and automatic.

Geoff Akerlund

@backupsoftware

Reviews and ratings of the most popular backup solutions

@FabacusSuite Just noticed your tweet! I’m not aware of any cloud storage needs specific to manufacturing. I’m open to insight/suggestions. – 4 months ago

 
  • Titan

    Backblaze is amazing. I restored 1TB after my external HDD failed!

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  • awraynor, it does save some space, yes. It also provides a container for your files so you don’t have to download them one by one. CrashPlan can restore to the original location through the desktop software. Otherwise, you just extract the ZIP.

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  • Keith Brown

    I went to their website and noticed that they have announced an Android App for Backblaze being available as of August 20th.

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    • Thanks for the heads-up, I corrected this.

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  • janni Benda

    just tried dupplica backup. not bad for the pricing. very simple

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    • Barak Beid

      Dupplica is my final choice. Using their NAS backup ( it backups your mapped folders for the file server)

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  • BSalita

    Excellent review. I’m a software developer and primarily use Windows systems. My primary backup provider is CrashPlan because of their best of breed versioning and retention policies, performance and pro settings. I used Amazon Cloud Drive (ACD) to backup the 18TB of movies off my NAS. ACD is scary cheap and I can upload at over 1TB per day. I use DropBox to sync source code across my dev systems. Works perfectly even with Visual Studio. I’m now testing TimeMachine (ax64.com) which features partition backups, versioning with super fast restores, albeit uses lots of disk space. This makes it practical to add software, futz with Windows, fearlessly wreak havoc and revert in a minute — something that Acronis Cloud Backup can’t do.

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    • Thanks BSalita. Do files still need to be manually uploaded to Amazon Cloud Drive? I know when we tested it, there was no auto upload.

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      • BSalita

        Right, ACD has no client for automatic uploading. However, their open APIs have enabled helpful third party apps. For example, there’s virtual drive apps. My favorite ACD app is CloudBerry Explorer for Amazon S3. It’s a Windows Explorer style presentation that made uploading 18TB easy and filled the upload pipe to its maximum bandwidth (250Mbps on my FTTH line). The downside was, at least a year ago, was that 3rd party apps and ACD had stability issues. CloudBerry Explorer was the best of the lot.

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        • I hadn’t considered using Amazon Cloud Drive with third party software, but that makes sense. I’ll add it to the list, as I think some people may find it useful even with the official client. It’s good to know it can handle a fiber connection. I’ve used CloudBerry Backup, which is a beast with over 30+ services supported, but not Explorer. I’ll have to check it out.

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          • BSalita

            Did a little more experimenting. CloudBerry Backup still doesn’t support Amazon Cloud Drive (not to be confused with CloudBerry Explorer which works well). I just tried the latest version of ExpanDrive, a virtual ACD drive, but it threw an exception. I suspect that ACD is a difficult target for virtual drive developers. I haven’t found one that works.

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          • Thanks for the info.

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  • Jonathon Padfield

    I would exclude CrashPlan from your recommendations. Their terms of service state that they can delete data from computers that haven’t been connected to their service for more than six months, and they’re doing that now.

    So, that six month old computer you retired, and you thought was backed up, will have it’s backups deleted.

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