Feb 07 2014
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Comparing Online Backup Services

Filed under: Service Providers » Online Backup, Software » Backup,

Looking for The Best online backup service?

Online backup serversThere are many online data backup providers out there, but their services wary widely and they all offer a range of prices. We tested the top three for you, and here are our findings. Note that the cheapest online backup service is not necessarily the best. Many factors come into play such as cross-platform compatibility (which operating systems can you backup and restore files and data to), supported devices (can you backup to an external drive), etc.

Why backup your files to begin with?

You've arrived at this article, so chances are you've lost files or are concerned you might. The truth is, 43% of computer users lose data every year. The files can range from family photos to sensitive documents and irreplaceable emails. It doesn't take long to install and run an online data backup service.  Most of the online data backup software has come a long way since the services started popping up in the marketplace over a decade ago. Many of them offer secure and seamless integration into your operating environment, and will backup files on the fly without you having to do anything.

Things to look for in an online backup service

The best online hard drive backup service will offer the following:

  • Install easily
  • Integrate seamlessly with your operating system
  • Not slow down your computer while you work
  • Securely transmit and store your files online
  • The ability to backup network drives and external hard drives, in addition to local hard drives.
  • The ability to synchronize data between your backup storage and your local storage. That way backups occur automatically based on file differences (ie. you don't have to manually transfer files for backup).
  • Store your files in multiple geographic locations for redundancy (ie. if a snow storm or earthquake destroys a data center, there should be a mirrored backup elsewhere)
  • Not conflict with existing software, especially backup software
  • Have a high upload speed (this is especially useful when you do your initial backup - our tests show that some services take days longer for a large data load)
  • Offer their service at an affordable price (but remember, the cheapest online backup service is not necessarily the best)
  • The business should have existed for some time, and have a strong customer backing and client base (ie. you don't want them to go under while your important and sensitive files are backed up with them).

Online Backup Service Comparison

We're going to go through some of the top contenders in the online data backup space and compare their services, features, pricing, and reliability. Please comment below if there's a provider you'd like covered, or if you have any questions or feedback on our comparisons. And for a more in-depth look at pros and cons of each company, read our online backup comparison article.

Spider Oak

SpiderOak Online Backup, Storage, Access, Sync, and SharingSpider Oak has stepped it up recently and added some much requested features. What's the main thing that separates Spider Oak from the online backup competition? Platform independent integration - that means you can backup your data on one O/S (ie. Windows) and restore it on another (ie. Mac) (keeping in mind that not all data files are readable by all O/S'es - that's a limitation of the O/S in question, not Spider, however). Click here to try them for free, and if you sign up using the banner icon at left, you can use one of the promo codes we list below after you install the service (note that these may expire at any time).

Spider Oak Promo Codes

  • SpiderOak2012 : 20% off.
  • reddit - 20% off 100 GB plan.
  • spring - 25% off annual services.
  • chrispirillo - 10% off all premium plans.
  • recovery5 - 30% discount on all plans.

Here's a bulleted list of the online backup features you'll get with Spider Oak:

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  • Access all your data in one de-duplicated location
  • Configurable multi-platform synchronization
  • Preserve all historical versions & deleted files
  • Share folders instantly in web ShareRooms w / RSS
  • Retrieve files from any internet-connected device
  • Comprehensive 'zero-knowledge' data encryption
  • 2 GBs Free / $10 per 100 GBs / Unlimited devices

In our review of online backup providers, we rate features on a 5 point system, 5 being the best. Here's the scores for Spider Oak:

  • Installation: 4.5. Spider Oak installs without much difficulty on all the major operating systems. Because it runs as a virtual machine - the installation and interface are identical regardless of the operating system you're running. In addition, you can install Spider Oak on as many different platforms as you choose. You pay only for the amount of data you backup, not the number of installations.
  • Backing up: 4. The backup process is relatively simple and very comprehensive. You select the drives and folders you want backed up, and Spider Oak does the rest. It will backup all files (unlike Carbonite, which filters out certain files such as video files, system files, etc.) on all drives (external or network - which most competing services do not).
  • Restoring: 4.5. Due to the platform independent architecture of the Spider Oak system, it's a breeze to restore files on any O/S of platform (an issue with competing services such as Carbonite, where restoring on a different O/S can be a problem). In addition, you can remotely access your files from any Internet connection. You're also able to setup password protected "sharing" areas where colleagues can access data. Files are kept synchronized across all platforms, so you can collaborate on projects and backup the data while you're working on it from multiple locations. A huge plus for business projects with multiple users.
  • Compatibility: 4.5. This is where Spider Oak shines. The platform independent architecture (like a virtual system) makes Spider Oak look and act the same, regardless of the O/S you're working on. You're also able to restore from any system using the same looking and functioning interface, as well as a remote connection that allows you to backup without installing the software on the host machine.
  • Security: 4. Spider Oak is serious about security. Not only are the files encrypted during transmission, they are encrypted on the remote drives as well. While this may be standard, they go to the extra precaution of keeping your password and encryption data completely separate from your backup data - so no one but you can gain access to your data. On the other hand, this provides the risk that if you lose your password you may not be able to access your data, so make sure to keep backups of your passwords as well (in fact, you may want to back it up to a separate online location).
  • Speed: 3. Spider Oak isn't the fastest of the bunch. It has algorithms used during its synchronization process that make backing up files that are used frequently very efficient, at the same time it needs to work out some kinks when backing up larger quantities of large files. Then again, this is also a product of cross-platform compatibility. If you're running a fast enough PC and Internet connection, you should be able to get sufficient speed out of Spider Oak.
  • Cost: 4. Spider Oak is a bit more pricey than the competition, but as is true with just about anything in life, you get what you pay for. And when we're talking about the security of your data, family photos, etc. - why take a chance? With Spider Oak, you literally get what you pay for - and you only pay for what you get. You pay $10/ month per 100GB that need backing up. If you're using less than 2GB, however (which is handy for securing a few very important documents), you can backup your data for free.
  • Company: 3. Spider Oak is a privately held company that provides cloud-based personal data management services. They're a new player in the online backup field, but so far they're holding up to their claims and are already establishing themselves as a strong long-term player.
  • Cons: Note - these features are due to be resolved in an upcoming release. At the time of this writing, you cannot control the amount of bandwidth used during backup - which can result in sluggish system performance. It appears after further testing that this is primarily an issue in the beginning, when there's lots of backing up to be done - and less of an issue once the initial backup is complete. Another issue - when backing up large files that change regularly - such as your Outlook storage file (.pst) or Thunderbird profile folder, the system can get overwhelmed and hang. Spider Oak claims they will address these problems in an upcoming release due out later this year.

Carbonite

Carbonite Online BackupCarbonite is a publicly traded company with a market cap exceeding $200 million, which means they have a lot of money to spend on marketing (i.e. you've probably heard of them). They offer a solid product, but like everything, it has its cons. Carbonite is offering 5% off to customers who sign up for a 2 year subscription and 10% off for a 3 year subscription.

Out of all the services we tested, Carbonite had one of the slickest and most well put together user interfaces. They are also the most financially powerful company, having completed an IPO in 2011 they are now listed on the stock market under the ticker symbol CARB. Carbonite, while very strong in the automated backup and ease of use field, falls short on compatibility and the ability to backup all files from different drives across multiple platforms. In terms of pricing, however, it's bang for the buck. Here's a quick snapshot profile of pro's and con's for Carbonite online backup. We rate each quality on a scale of 1 - 5, 1 being the worst, and 5 being the best:

  • Installation: 4.5 - Installed easily and effortlessly, and was up and running in minutes.
  • Backing up: 4.5 - In this category Carbonite leads the pack as far as automation (setup and leave it) goes. The software is so automatic that you barely need to lift a finger. Just point and tell it what to backup (you can backup whole drives at a time), and it will do the rest. It will backup new files, changed files, and even open files (files that you're currently working on). One of the major drawbacks is that it filters out certain file types (details in the cons section below), and will not backup external or network drives.
  • Restoring: 4 - Restoring your entire PC is a snap with Carbonite. We tested the restoration of all our files from a loaded PC to an empty PC, and were up and running in a couple hours. The main drawback with Carbonite's restoring features is that they don't integrate into the operating system shell (right-click and voila) the way its backup features do. In order to restore a file or group of files, you need to actually navigate the online Carbonite drive and find your file(s). How far back can you restore files? Up to 90 days.
  • Compatibility: 3 - this is one of the areas where users say Carbonite needs a bit of improvement. Apparently restoring files across different operating systems is not the easiest or most reliable task.
  • Security: 4 - It doesn't have the crazy 448-bit Blowfish encryption that competitor Mozy sports, but then again, unless you're protecting government files, you probably don't need that. And if you are protecting government files, even Blowfish won't cut it. Finally, you need to actually install the Carbonite software on the PC you're restoring to - and input your access keys. This is important - something that Mozy overlooked when it gave its users the ability to email backup files (not a very secure function).
  • Speed: 4 - not blazing fast, but fast enough. And you can check a box that will throttle the bandwidth if you're working on your computer, so your tasks (Internet browsing) won't be slowed to a crawl by the backup service.
  • Cost: 4 - While not the cheapest of the online backup services, it comes in very affordable at $59.99/year for Personal with unlimited space and $269.99/year for Pro account, with 250 GB space. The Server plans start at $799.99/year.
  • Company: 4.5 - Carbonite's online backup service launched in May 2006 (the company was founded in 2005). They went public in 2011 and sport a market capitalization of over $200 million today. The reviews from its rapidly expanding client base are glowing. They sport a database of over 2.5 billion files, with a record of 160 million lost files restored and recovered. That's a lot of relieved people. Furthermore, they have clients signed up in over 100 countries. 
  • Cons:
    • One of the main complaints we receive with Carbonite is that it filters out certain file types (such as video files, system files, etc.) by default (aka will not back them up unless you individually select them for backup). This included our Lightning (the Thunderbird) calendar file - we had to purchase hard disk recovery software just go get our calendar data back.
    • One of the cons that came to light with the Carbonite online backup service was their lack of support for external and network drives - an appealing feature for businesses. Hopefully they'll add support in the near future.
    • Another issue some people reported was the ability to successfully restore documents across different operating environments. For example, some users had trouble restoring large database sets (ie. archived email files) from earlier Windows operating systems.

Mozy

The Mozy online backup service was one of the first in its field. Use a Mozy promo code to receive discounts off your subscription.

Mozy's parent company, EMC, is one of the most reknown names in data storage. Mozy is very inexpensive (there's even a free account for under 2GB storage space, making it the cheapest online backup service on the market), but there's a catch - you don't get all the backup service with their home product, which retails for $4.95/ month, as you do with their pro service. Thus, while on the surface it might look like the cheapest online backup service, if you're a corporation with relatively complex backup needs, costs will add up quickly. Mozy was one of the first players in the online backup arena. They do a good job, and offer a solid product, but just haven't quite kept up with the new features the competition is now offering. Here's the low down on Mozy:

  • Installation: 4 - the software installs without too much trouble. But it's not as easy to use, or as flexible as some of the other online backup services.
  • Backing up: 3 - not nearly as strong as Carbonite. You're not able to point and click at individual files you want to backup when you browse through them in Windows or Mac OS, but instead have to go through the settings panel to select your files. The control panel, on the other hand, does give you a little more control, and more options, than competing online backup services. In particular, you can filter by file type, which we found useful. However, the interface is old looking and is not very intuitive.
  • Restoring: 4 - In the restoration department, on the other hand, Mozy takes an edge over its competition. The flexibility and customization of the files you want to restore is solid - you can search for specific files and create filters based on filenames and extensions. How long are files kept? 30 days back. Not quite as strong as Carbonite's 90 days, and doesn't stand a candle against HP Upline's unlimited backup history.
  • Compatibility: 4 - Mozy works well and integrates effortlessly into Windows and Mac operating systems. However, you have to pay extra (and get Mozy Pro) for Windows Server and Mac OS X Server support).
  • Security: 3 - The blowfish encryption on the server itself is extremely powerful. But Mozy falls short in that it offers users the ability to email backup files - something that the makers of competing online backup services consider to be a serious security flaw.
  • Speed: 2 - Mozy did not backup nearly as quickly as Carbonite and competing online backup services in our tests. One nice aspect is that they allow a bandwidth speed test, and they estimate how many GB's you'll be able to backup in a given day. However, the estimate always fell short of the actual upload time.
  • Cost: 4 - Mozy offers three different payment plans. The first garners them the honor of cheapest online backup provider, by allowing 2GB of free storage online. The second offers users of Mozy home unlimited backup storage for $4.95/ month (which adds up to $59.40/ year, slightly more than Carbonite's $49.50/ year). But finally, if you want all of Mozy's services, you'll need to get the Pro version, which supports:
    • SQL, Exchange, and file servers; Storage pooling; Network share/ mapped drive support; Windows Server and MAC OS X Server support; centralized administration, billing, & phone support; and HTTPS proxy support.
    • Pricing for Mozy Pro is as follows: Desktop Licenses: $3.95 + $0.50/GB per month; Server Licenses: $6.95 + $0.50/GB per month.
  • Company: 4 - Mozy was the former ultimate solution in the online backup service provider space, but the entry of Carbonite and HP Upline have given them competition. Like Carbonite, Mozy was founded in 2005 - but brought their backup service online sooner than Carbonite.
  • Cons: The backup interface is somewhat complex, and upload speeds can be sluggish. Cost is slightly more expensive than Carbonite, especially if you're in a Server operating environment; and integration and seamlessness fall just short of Carbonite and HP Upline.

HP Upline Online Backup

Upline Free TrialUpdate - UP Upline has been discontinued as of 2/09. We're leaving the review here only for comparison purposes. Out of this group, the advantage UP Upline carries is that it offers potentially the simplest, best looking, and easiest to use interface and functionality of the online backup services. It will serve you well for the basic backing up of files - but you'll notice that the service lacks some of the more advanced and comprehensive features found in Carbonite and Mozy - namely, open-file backup (backing up a file while working on it) and version-saving (saving multiple versions of a file). HP Upline was a solid service, but unfortunately has been discontinued.

  • Installation: 5 - Installation is a breeze - the installer detects if your Windows operating environment is running the correct software (MS .NET 2.0) and proceeds to install itself accordingly.
  • Backing up: 3 - The backing up features HP Upline does offer are solid - you can do local backups (to an external hard drive or DVD, for example - a feature not offered by the other online backup services); you can filter by file extensions; and it's fairly simple browsing for and selecting the files for backup. Where HP Upline falls short, however, is in the ability to backup open files, and to save more than one version of a file. Finally, there is no integration in the Windows Shell - which means you won't see (like you do with Carbonite) which files have and have not been backed up. You need to login to the HP Upline service to see this. Last but not least, you can't resume an interrupted upload. During the initial upload, which takes hours, this could waste you a lot of time.
  • Restoring: 4 - Restoring files is fairly simple via the HP Upline web client. And, unlike the other online backup services, you have the option of searching for the files you wish to store - by name, size, etc. - which will help you quickly locate a specific group of files for restoration. If you need to restore everything - you'll need to reinstall the client software on the computer you're restoring to and follow the steps. The thing to note is that only the most recent version of your backups will be restored, because as mentioned, that's all that HP Upline backs up (it does not do version-controlled backup).
  • Compatibility: 2 - Restoring individual files from the web client was simple enough, but when we tried to do a full restore on various Windows PC's (running XP and Vista), we ran into some problems. If the PC's aren't exactly the same (running the same operating system) you may have troubles getting everything restored, although reportedly HP Upline is working on this problem.
  • Security: 5 - the security here is solid, 448-bit Blowfish encryption on the server, and standard 128-bit encryption during upload (the same your bank uses). Also, they safeguard your encryption key for you, something that Carbonite does, but they also give you the option of safeguarding it yourself, which in our opinion is too risky - leaving the prospect of data loss open to user error.
  • Speed: 5 - Upload speeds are impressive, as are download speeds - and local backups are the speediest of all.
  • Cost: 2 - HP Upline is one of the pricier online storage options. Which is probably why they failed to be profitable, given the cost of cloud storage, and ultimately had to shut down.
  • Company: 5 - HP (Hewlett Packard) is a computer company that has been in the business for decades. However, they're new to the online backup space. We can only hope they put enough resources into their online backup service to keep it updated and with the times, and don't let it grow stale. That said, you don't need to worry about HP going under any time soon, as could be the case with some of the exclusive outfits that rely on online backup as their online service.
  • Cons: No version-controlled backup, which means only the most recent version of your files is backed up. This can be especially troublesome if it backs up a corrupted or infected file, or one where you accidentally deleted something - and you need to roll back to an earlier version of the file. Other issues include no open-file backup (which means you can't be working on the file while it backs up), and while you're uploading (backing up) your files you can't let the upload connection get interrupted or disconnected as you'll have to start all over.

Top 10 Benefits of Online backup

Please take a look at our article on the Top 10 Benefits of Online Backup

March 31 is Online Backup Day

Who knew but we just learned that today is the day dedicated around the world to backing up your important data! So, heed this warning – if you are not backing your data up to a secure location offsite from your computer, today is the day to take action. And don’t worry, you do not need to be too technologically savvy to start backing your data up online and it is not very expensive. Afterall, aren’t your photos and important files priceless?

Read the content above, make a choice on your online backup company of choice and get started today. Then it will start running in the background for you, providing you the peace of mind that the precious memories and data in your digital files will never be lost again. Now THAT is something to celebrate. Happy World Backup Day!

 

 

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Amazing backup plan, really unlimited and cheapest

For the first time ever, I saw a real Unlimited and the cheapest backup plan by " The Transformerz drive". Very easy to use software with full of features. Just with a flat rate you can backup all (Important as well as garbage Laughing out loud ) your data. Even several versions of a single modified file you can also restore as per your need. I just LOVE it.. And the support is again simply amazing.

Though it seems a newly born baby in this cloud storage and backup world, i feel that's why the price is so less and quite simple software with full of features. The main drawback is, not fully equipped website or support site is ready...

Least expensive online backup?

I'm looking for a backup service simply to archive my files on the cloud. These are primarily media files (photos, videos, etc.) that I want to be stored securely somewhere. I'm keeping all my documents that need frequent editing and changing on Dropbox, and that setup if working fine. The key for me is having a mountable drive (ie. accessible via my desktop) on my PC, but accessing the cloud server directly, so it won't take up valuable space on my hard drive.

Which services fit this category? 

As a second question, purely in terms of archiving (storing files online for safekeeping), which online backup solution is the least expensive?

Use Amazon Glacier

I would recommend you check out Amazon Glacier Cloud to archive your data I am currently using Zoolz.com to do so. All my photos and least accessed data all backed up to the cloud and costing me $3/100GB per month.

Thanks Amanda!

Thanks for introducing me to Amazon Glacier. In all my hours of searching for a cheap  online storage solution, I had never heard of it. It is definitely the least expensive cloud storage service that I've come across.

I would say the only caveat is that it is indeed only for archiving, as it takes 3 to 5 hours to restore data. So for frequently accessing data, it's not optimal. But for inexpensive archival, it seems like a good option.

I did notice that on the Amazon Glacier page, pricing was a mere $1/GB per month (not including access and transfer fees, which were also minimal). It looks like you're using Zoolz.com to access Amazon Glacier. What advantage does Zoolz.com provide to accessing Amazon directly?

Re: Selection of Backup Service Provider

Thanks for sharing such important information on backup service provider selection. 

I agree with the point that cost is not the top point to look out for when finding the best backup provider. Other important things to think about are initial installation/setup, whether it will slow down your system's speed, client association is good, and good satisfaction with the customer assistance provided.

Most of the users lose their data so quickly without warning, so online backup service is quite effective and will help to save all the important data and even your system sometimes.

online backup service

Automatic synchronization, not interfering or slowing down your computer, security and company reliability are the important points for me when I chose to change my online backup service. After that, it was all show. I did look at some of the more highly recommended services from this list, though, and despite my efforts to find a service that was completely practical, I kept coming back to the sleek and futuristic-looking interface of Carbonite.

Even the name sounds state-of-the-art somehow. I liked the usefulness of Spider Oak and the long-term reliability of Mozy, but I kept looking back at the Carbonite system and thinking, ‘This just looks so cool!’ In my book, the service rates highly, and I did not mind that I had to individually select certain files for backup. Using it is very easy and user-friendly, even for me, who wants to just be able to type away and use photo editing programs and not have my computer slowed down by backup or complicated backup procedures.  Carbonite even pleasantly surprised me one day when my computer experienced a power surge and my open files were already backed up!

Thanks for Telling Us What to Look for in Online Backup

I really like clear bullet lists.  They help to pick and choose the features that are relevant to my situation.  Many times I find online that everything is just a huge chunk of information that I have to digest.  This, to me, is tedious.  I'm  very busy. 

Though I think there are some excellent articles out there that are in large chunks, sometimes I'll just click away because it takes too much time out of the day to try and find the answer I'm looking for in something like that.  I really love the way that this article is organized.  It is a huge amount of information to digest, yet it's perfectly understandable and I can find exactly what I'm looking for. 

I realized that I needed online backup when I started working with a new computer.  I needed to switch files over and realized how much easier that process would have been if I'd had some online backup.  All I'd have had to do was log into my account and grab the files I needed.  Then I could use one computer for art and the other for work.

Online Backup Services Very Similar

You really have to be pretty foolish not to back up your computer’s files these days.  With as many risks as there are now for you to expose your computer to, there is simply an unending supply of ways for your data to be threatened and once it is gone, boy is it ever gone.  Sensitive files like business records, personal pictures, and other sorts of data are no more than a blink of an eye away from being history forever.

For that reason, no matter which one of these services you would choose, you really should invest in an online back up service that will keep your data protected.  I have online backup available to me through my internet service provider’s subscription so I keep everything on there as well as back it up on an external hard drive for my own personal safekeeping. 

The online backup is superior though as it is protected by the company that offers the service.  It is also available from any computer from anywhere in the world you can receive an internet connection making you truly mobile with everything you need.

The Right Features fro Online Backup Services

I believe that online backup should be as painless as possible. By this, I mean that the software should do it automatically, because I know I'll never remember to do it. I also want to be able to mark which files or folders should be backed up. Obviously, I don't need my entire drive backed up. Instead, I would just want to backup the most important files, especially those that change on a daily basis.

As someone who works from home, I have a number of files that not only change daily, but sometimes hourly. While I wouldn't expect a service to backup several times per day, I would expect it to update daily. This would help ensure that my files are taken care of in a timely manner. Otherwise, the service would be completely useless to me.

I was happy to come across this resource so that I could make a better decision on a company that would work for me and my business. More importantly, I love the fact that many of these companies offer free service for a small amount of space. Since 99% of my files are spreadsheets and text documents, I feel 2GB would be more than enough space for my needs.

Online Backup Service Worth The Investment

Online backup services have saved my skin countless times, mostly on backing up programs and documents that I deleted accidentally. The one big time was, of course, after my entire hard drive was destroyed when my laptop sat on a pool of water leaking from a nearby plant. I lost a hard drive before to an internet virus and then again for unknown reasons, so I knew that I needed online backup service this time. No one, of course, ever wants to believe that something as big as losing your entire hard drive will happen even one time, but let me tell you, it does. So planning ahead with online backup really helps.

My favorite part about backing up online is that the backup is automatic and scheduled, so I do not even have to manually save everything unless I have just made a large change that I want to be sure is stored immediately. Automatic backup is the one feature I would say is the most essential. Also, I advise everyone that paying a little more for the backup you really need is going to be much less expensive than losing the contents of your hard drive.

Extremely Satisfied with Backblaze online backup

I believe online backup more than worth the investment. I have been using backblaze service and I forgot that my mac book pro has been backing up. Well I just realized when I lost my mac in a bus trip. It was a pain for me. Well my company provide me the new mac and I recovered all my files in couple of days automatically thanks to Backblaze.

This is something every one should use. And only $5 per month!

Backing up data

I've been a firm believer of backing up data for so long that I remember using floppies to back up assignments for high school and my first year of college. While CDs were available at the time, rewritable CDs and burners were expensive. Thankfully, times have changed and we now have multiple ways to back up data, which makes you wonder why so many choose not to back up important files.

I have to admit that I haven't used an online backup service. I do use a server in my home to backup data, but I know that's not the best option. While it may help in the event that my laptop crashes, it will not help if something were to happen to our server or home. As a writer and author, I know that I need to find a solution or I could risk losing years of articles and stories.

Because most of my data is text, I don't need a lot of backup storage. However, I do need a service that is quick and easy to use. It would be useful to have a service that backs up certain folders automatically because I'm the type to put things like that off until it's too late.

Who needs online backup?

If you have anything at all on your computer, you need an online backup service. That is the bottom line. I do not know one person who own a computer that has not felt regret when their computer crashed and they lost all of their information they had stored on it.

Consider all of the things you have on your computer. Most of us do not even print photos any more. Now we just load them to the computer and maybe put a small fraction of them on Facebook When the computer crashed, you can lose all your family photos at once. This can leave you feeling like you just went through a house fire.

What about all of your documents? I know I store all of my documents on my computer just so I can get to them when I need them. No matter what happens to the actual physical documents, if I have them saved through my online backup service, I don't ever have to worry about losing them. You can't just keep them on the computer or your file cabinet. Anything can happen when you least expect it. Some of the documents you have are vital and can cause a lot of problems when lost or destroyed.

On the go backup

I have no idea what I would do without my online backup provider. I travel a bit while I am working and I do not want to be carrying around a bunch of devices so I can keep all my data backed up or so I can get my data when I need it. I used to use flash drives and such, but I kept individual ones and then I had to remember which flash drive was for what. I might need 5 documents and have to look on a different flash drive for each document.

Like just about everyone else, I have had the experience of a computer crashing and me losing all of my data because I did not back it up from my computer. I have no wish to repeat this process at all. It is not just expensive, but it is time consuming to try and keep track of everything and back it up in different places.

I very rarely go anywhere that I do not have Internet access. If I do, it is my day off and I don't need to access anything anyhow. But using online backup means I do not need to carry anything with me but my own laptop. As I work, my data is backed up and when I need it, it is easy to get to.

online backup gives me a break

There are so many reasons to have an online backup service that I am hard pressed to try and think of any reasons not to have an online backup service. However, since I am never one to back away from a challenge, I have to give it a shot.

I would have too much room in my desk. I don't know about you, but I keep my flash drives, external hard drives and CD backups in a desk drawer. I actually forgot to empty it when I got an online backup service. God knows I would hate to free up the top of my desk because I had some room to store things now.

I might actually get some free time. About 3 laptops ago I never backed anything up. After I almost could no graduate because my archives were lost in one of my laptop meltdowns, I thought it might be a good idea to take the extra time to back things up. Having an online backup service that does the job without me even knowing it is really cutting into my "backache from sitting at the desk too long" time.

Offline storage lasts forever. I remember the faith I had in floppy discs. (stop laughing) I knew I should have printed all those photos out, but who really wanted to see all those baby pictures of my only child anyhow?

needs of online backup

Online backup storage has been available for several years, but it's just recently that more and more companies have joined the market. Personally, I feel backup storage is a necessity that anyone who has a computer should use. With that said, I also feel that being able to access your information from anywhere is vital. While many companies only provide access for one or two computers, companies that over cloud storage make it possible to access your documents from any computer.

Why is this such a big deal? First of all, it's not a big deal for those that just want to store their information should something happen to their computer or hard drive. However, if you're a businessman that likes to travel or want to access files at work and at home, it pays to use cloud storage. Not only do you get the peace of mind that backup storage provides, but you also get the benefit of worldwide access.

Of course, the drawback is that many cloud storage providers don't offer some of the features offered by backup companies, such as scheduled backups and virus protection. This means you may have to choose between what is best for you and what meets your immediate needs.

Value and online backup

I can't even begin to describe how valuable I consider my online backup to be. There are so many benefits and so much less stress that I don't really know how I did it at all before backing my data up online. Heck, even the fact that it is less I have to keep in my own office is a benefit to me because I really detest stacks of CDs, flash drives, or even external hard drives that are only sitting around because I need to have a backup of my data.

I was keeping all that stuff around and then I realized if I was going to do that, I may as well just leave it on the computer because there was a chance those devices were going to have issues at some point as well and then I would have them sitting around here collecting dust AND not doing me any good. That's when I decided to go with an online backup provider. Let them deal with the clutter and maintenance. All I really want to do is to know that my data is safe and I don't have to mess with it until I actually need it. And as far as privacy concerns go, I have accepted the fact that there just is no more privacy. I keep my personal stuff at home and not online for that very reason.

cloud backup

I think it's essential to have all of your financial information, family photos, and other irreplaceable files backed up online. With that said, I feel in today's world that a cloud backup system is the best option. With the ability to connect to the internet from almost anywhere, it only makes sense to be able to access your information from anywhere.

Regardless of how information gets backed up, it needs to be done. Unfortunately, this is a step that many people never take and I've never understood why. I guess I can understand it if you never store anything important on your computer, but how many computer users don't have at least some important files. However, it usually takes losing important information at least once before people take backup seriously.

While I've never used online backup, I do use a server to store my information so that if anything happens to my laptop, I'll know that the information is safe. Of course, I understand the need to also use online backup because if something were to happen to our home, everything would be lost. As someone who works from home, this would be devastating. I can't imagine losing all the work I've done over the past 6 years.

This Online Backup Comparison Was Very Helpful

...and just when you thought it was safe...I remember when I saw my first online backup commercial.  I thought to myself, "this makes me tired." 

I mean, I have had computers crash in the past, mostly because my boyfriend and I at the time did not realize we were downloading viruses with our smorgasbord of free music. 

I realized the value of having online backup right away, I just kind of dreaded the realization at the same time because it meant, now I have to buy some.  I do so much online and I have so many important files on my computer, that as soon as I can afford it, I know that this is a must, but the options were getting overwhelming for me. 

There were companies that were heavily advertised on late night TV, and companies that had mostly online reputations, again, getting tired...

Thank goodness for articles like this.  All of the information that you can get online is truly awesome, it is, and the fact that you have so many shopping options almost all of the time is awesome too.  It's just sometimes, it's just too, too much.

Features of the Best Online Backup Services

An online backup service is certainly an excellent investment today. This is even truer if the data you have on your computer is difficult to replace or would cause you a lot of stress, heartache or other problems if it was lost. Of course, no one likes or wants to lose data or files, yet this happens every day, whether it be due to an accident or even someone hacking into your computer.

This article provides a listing and explanation of some of the most important factors to consider when trying deciding upon just such a service. One of the first things to look for is that the software installs easily. It should also integrate seamlessly with your computer and not slow down anything while you are working. The files should be securely transmitted and saved online. It would even be a great addition if you were allowed to back up devices such as external hard drives and network drives.

These are just a few of the main points made within the article. It would really be worthwhile to examine these and then decide which factors are most important for you.

comparing online backup services

While many people may think that all you need to consider is the size that an online backup company offers, there's much, much more to consider. To start with, you need to be able to access the information whenever you need it. You also need to make sure the company you use is reliable. The last thing you want is to crash your computer and find out that the company you used to backup to has closed up shop. Price is also an important factor. In this case, a bigger price doesn't necessarily mean that one company is better than another. Ease of access is also important. You not only want to be able to easily upload your documents, but they should also be easy to download.

Not to mention that files should be fast to upload. The last thing you want is to spend hours uploading your files. Most importantly, you want a service that keeps your files secure throughout upload, while being stored, and downloaded. Having your files compromised can be devastating, depending on what you're storing. Last, but not least, before signing up with a company, make sure it will work with the software and computers that you use.

trial period for online backup

I have really gotten a lot out of the information you provide here. Some of the things you discuss are things I had not thought of when I started my search for an online backup provider. Out of what you described, I had the information I needed to make a checklist of things that I need to consider when looking for such a service. As I check them off, I can narrow things down to a limited number of companies.

However, there are somethings you just do not know about until you try the program. For me, this makes a trial period something that I look for in an online backup service. I want to know that I can use it easily, which is something that cannot be determined until I try it. But I do not want to put money into a system that is not going to be easy for me to use and I do not want to stay with a system just because I spent money on it. And it is not just about ease of use. It's also about how well it works with my system. It doesn't matter how great the program is if it cannot work well with my own system. The other option is to try the free ones, but I know that I usually get what I pay for.

Factors to Consider when Choosing your Online Backup Service

This article examines a number of the top online backup services. Each company has their own individual review, which weighs theirs pros and cons. You will appreciate the fact that everything is very clear and concise without a lot of fluff that typically accompanies such pieces. Additionally, it is also very clear that nothing here is intended as a sales pitch. The whole idea is to provide enough information for you to make an informed decision.

When choosing such a service it is helpful to consider a number of factors. This includes the type of interface and whether it is easy to use. Many people would also like the ability to access their backed up files over the web and maybe even be able to share them online (this could be a big help to certain types of business users). Also consider whether it is possible to backup more than one PC (or laptop) with a single account. I would also suggest giving a lot of thought to the type and amount of security used by the service as well.

online backup

I am willing to bet that the average user of computers is not even aware that they can backup their files online. I know that when I first got online I had no idea that anything like this existed. Had I known, I could have saved a lot of time and energy by backing up my files online.

It's important for people to compare companies because what works for one person may not work for someone else. For instance, I never have videos on my computer. I don't really care if a company can support video backup or not because it just isn't my thing. So why pay extra for something I don't use? However, I have a friend who only uses is computer for entertainment. In fact, we constantly argue about the systems we each have because I don't want the features that he does and he can't understand why someone wouldn't.

I just need an online backup service that can backup my system, photos, and documents. I don't have anything else that I need to backup, so I can go with a simple program as long as it doesn't slow my system down.

This Article was Great for Me To Compare Online Backup Services

I have been storing data from my computers on an external hard drive now for several years.  I know from experience that if you do not back up your data on a regular basis that you run a pretty high risk of losing it eventually.  Every single computer I have ever had has broken down at some point eventually, either from my own error or just deterioration of the hardware itself.  Having the external hard drive in my physical possession has made good sense, but I am starting to see the benefit of saving everything "on the cloud" so to speak.

I travel a lot for my work and in doing so; occasionally I have computer problems when I am away from home.  I do not keep my external hard drive with me at all times, but rather keep it in a secure and safe place within my home so that I can be assured it will not be compromised.  Should my laptop computer go dead on me while on the road, I could access my files immediately on a new computer if I had access to the cloud.

backup service comparison

An comparison chart is something that I wish more people would look into doing. I mean, do you realize what a pain it is to do the research on every brand of every product you want to buy? At least when it comes to something you can hold in your hand, you can feel the weight of it, and maybe run into someone in the store who has used it already and can offer you their opinion. When it comes to things like online backup comparisons, you are kind of on your own unless you happen to run into a great comparison chart like the one offered here.

I do want to look at products side by side. I want to compare what they have to offer and see who has what I am looking for. I hate shopping, so most of the time if I can not see a chart like this, I just end up giving up the whole thing. I mean, how else are you going to learn about the different places that provide the service you are looking for? Company names do not just randomly pop into your head. Or at least they don't just randomly pop into mine.

Which Features Are Offered By the Best Online Backup Services?

This article correctly points out that there are a number of important things to consider when choosing an online backup service. This includes which operating systems are supported (both in terms of being backed up and backing up or downloading to), which devices are supported and the prices involved. As with most things in life, the cheapest may not always be the best decision.

After doing a lot of research on my own, I must say that I agree pretty much with the list of features provided by the author. For example, installing easily is a must. Who wants to have to fuss around with a backup program that takes a degree in rocket science to install and configure?  It should also integrate easily with your operating system. Of course, the program itself should not slow down your computer while you work. In fact, many services are able to recognize the changes you have made since the last backup and will only need to upload those files. This can be a big time saver.

carbonite backup system

So far, it looks to me like Carbonite is the best online backup service to serve my needs. I do have some concerns about their lack of ability to backup or retrieve certain files. It doesn't do me any good to pay or an online backup service to keep my files safe if I can't get to them when I need to. I mean, that is the point of an online backup service, isn't it?

As far as pricing goes, that is not the cheapest I have seen but I am willing to pay a little more if the service is worth it. I do see that most of the problems with the backup services I have been reading about are that they may not be able to take data from one operating system to another. That seems to be a big deal for most people, but I do not really see the problem. I mean, most of us are creatures of habit. I've been running Windows for years and I am brutal to my computer. I know that everyone raves about the Macs, but I really wold end up crushing the thing, which would defeat the purpose of spending the money on something to have it last as long as Macs are supposed to. I suspect most people feel the same in that they aren't going to a different OS any time soon.

vital parts of online backup services

When I start looking into online backup services, there are several things I look for. Of course I want a service that takes care of all my needs with ease. I also want to be able to afford the service, but at the same time not be cheap about it. After all, it will be housing some data that is very important to me, even if it isn't to anyone else. I mean, that is why we pay for things like this, right?

So, if a company has all that I need in the way of service and cost, I then look to reputation. I work online and I have quite a few contacts on here. Many of them also work online. In the end, I pay attention to what their experience has been.

I also like to read reviews like this. I mean, this is pretty in-depth and comprehensive. It also doesn't look like it was written by a 4 year old, so I can assume the author has some intelligence and did some research to get the information. I'll be bookmarking this page and pinning it to my Pinterest product review board.

Comparing online backup services

I just had a conversation about this with a friend of mine. He thinks that you are better off to just have an external hard drive to save all of your data on. I agree that an external hard drive is a good choice, but it isn't the end all beat all choice because in my experience, you should always have a backup plan, even if that plan is the backup plan FOR your backup plan.

There are some great reviews on here and some very handy information. Some of the information provided here is stuff I never even thought about before. My concerns have been more about privacy and system failure in general. I have serious issues with the idea that my data my be accessible by anyone who can operate a keyboard. I don't have anything to hide, but I do like to know that the things I save are mine and mine alone, to share as I see fit and not because someone had the ability to break into a program.

I never actually thought about the speed of a backup service either. I guess I just assumed that if they had a program that was providing these kinds of services to people that they would have enough sense to be fast about it. I mean, this is the Internet where just about anything can be found in a matter of seconds.

43% of computer users lose data every year. Online backup helps

"43% of computer users lose data every year". Well, I guess I don't feel so bad now. It's not like I'm standing out in the crowd or anything. 43%..really? That's almost half of computer users. And that's kind of scary.

Here's my problem. I work primarily on a laptop. By work I mean that I probably spend at least 12 hours a day on my laptop between my job and my schooling. And we aren't talking about just browsing the Internet or anything. After having a laptop for about 6 months, it's used enough that it doesn't even have a letter on the N or the A anymore and the E is on its way out.

Laptops were not meant to be used like this. You can almost guarantee that something in it is going to fail within the first couple of years. And it has, every single time, with every single brand. And guess who didn't back up her laptop this past time? Yep, you guessed it. This week I will either be signing up for one of these programs or digging out the external hard drive. Maybe both because I'm really tired of losing data and trying to dig through emails to find documents that I had saved a million years ago. Seriously...make a backup plan or pay the price.

I lost so many important files - now I MUST HAVE Online backup

I really cannot express how important it is to have at least some kind of backup plan for your personal irreplaceable data.  Pictures and documents that need to be preserved can never be replaced if there is damage to the computer or it malfunctions somehow.  I personally have been using an external hard drive for my personal data and it actually comes in pretty handy when you are transferring things from an old laptop to a new one.  It holds about three hundred and twenty gigabytes of data and so far I have not even come close to filling it up with things that are “irreplaceable”. 

The upside of having a physical storage device for your data is that it works rather quickly transferring data from the computer to the drive or vice versa.  It also is relatively small and portable so you can use it literally anywhere.  You do not need an internet connection or anything but a simple USB to Mini USB cable that comes with the device. 

The downside is that the physical drive is just as susceptible to damage as any computer or internal hard drive is.  In a fire or a flood, it could be compromised quite easily and that information would be lost forever.  Also if it fails somehow in transferring the data, it could damage the drive permanently and therefore block the information I need.  So, there are obviously risks that go along with the reward.  Nevertheless, it is comforting to know I have things backed up.

I do see the benefits of keeping data on the cloud though and I am strongly considering going through my internet provider to get access to a certain amount of storage space.  In that case, nothing can ever compromise my data.  It is stored on their hardware instead of mine and they certainly take better care of their crap than I take care of mine.  I have broken a few computers in the past both physically and internally.  It sucks. 

I could also access it from any computer with an internet connection literally anywhere in the world should I need it.  I do not find myself in places very often that do not give me the opportunity to connect to the web in some way shape or form.  In a last resort, I can usually connect via my smart phone, either on the phone itself or by tethering it to my computer. 

I am a little hesitant about paying for the service though.  It seems like that could get a little costly rather than just making a one-time purchase of enough space to keep everything you need.  Still, it would bring me a lot of peace of mind to know that everything I would ever want or need is stored on a secure server sitting in a nice clean and air conditioned room that has an army of technicians watching it day in and day out.

Spider Oak World Backup Day Promo Code - 5 GB free space

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Mozy Promo Codes - World Backup Day and April 2012

Click here TODAY ONLY (3/31/12 – World Backup Day): 25% off all new subscriptions from Mozy. Use promo code WORLDBACKUP

Click here 4/1/12-5/1/12: Mozy’s April coupon code is MOZY4ALL which will get all new customers 10% off your initial purchase of any product/subscription.

Online backup coupon codes

I kind of would like to give all of these a test drive before deciding on one. Based on the pros/cons, it seems like Carbonite has an intuitive interface but isn't as reliable selecting multiple file types or supporting external drives. Too bad, because I was heavily leaning towards Carbonite.

As an aside, do you guys have any coupon codes for these services?

SOS Online Backup

I am using SOS online backup to protect my data. The backup product and service are good.

Mozy 10% off through 2/1/2012

Click here and use discount code 2012 to get 10% off your Mozy subscription (first time users). Mozy coupon code is valid through February 1, 2012.

Extra SpiderOak storage

If you want to give SpiderOak a try, use this referral code. It will give both of us an extra gigabyte of space for free.

ZenOK Free Backup

Great review. I might add Nenok online backup, 21GB for free - just great for my small business.

Cheapest online backup

I have found the cheapest and most reliable online backup to be offered by My Other Drive. This site allows you to backup as many computers as you want into one account. Most online backup companies make you purchase a subscription for each computer that you back up - not MyOtherDrive. You can backup laptops, desktops, USB drives, network drives, etc.

Data Deposit Box

I have used Data Deposit Box for the past three years for my small business. They do not charge a price for each machine and only charge for the total storage used. I have it on all my computers including servers and laptops. They now have a remote access product as well. You should do a review of them.

Mozy Valentine's Day Promo

From Friday February 12, through Sunday February 14, 2010, subscribers who click here and use promo code VALENTINES will receive $10 off of a 1-year MozyHome subscription or $20 off of 2-year MozyHome subscription. Plus, business customers will receive a nice 15% off their initial MozyPro purchase with the same promo code.

Dmailer Online Backup

Hi

Your reviews are fantastic. I only stumbled across this site today and previously I used another website to discover Dmailer Online Backup. Would you consider reviewing Dmailer Online to see how it compares and fits into your reviews? I would be very happy to read your thoughts.

Thanks

Dmailer Review

Thanks for the suggestion, hadn't heard of Dmailer before. We'll check it out, and as soon as we find the time, post a review.

CrashPlan

How do you rate CrashPlan in comparison? Thanks for the article though.

Crash Plan review

A review of the Crash Plan online backup service is pending. We're currently evaluating their service. Stay tuned!

HP Upline Down?

I'm pretty sure HP Upline had been discontinued. Too bad, they seemed to have the best interface of the bunch - and wasn't their backup on a cloud network?

Carbonite online chat customer service is so helpful

I installed Carbonite the other day for the first time. I ran into issues with the install process - it kept freezing up. I rebooted my computer several times to no avail. Even uninstalled and reinstalled the program and it still was frozen.

So, I contacted them via their online chat support and it was awesome!! A woman named Louise helped me get everything fixed, up and running to completion for the initial backup in less than 20 minutes. I would not only recommend Carbonite as a great online backup system but also for their excellent customer service. I am not all that tech savvy and she was able to walk me through everything. (By the way, the primary problem was my antivirus/spyware/malware/antiroot program blocking it from running so as soon as we added Carbonite as an exception, it worked perfectly.)

Online backup

These are some good reviews; do you know anything about the online data backup company Concentsus? And which of all the backup places do you find to be the best?

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