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Best Online Backup: Backblaze vs Crashplan vs Carbonite vs Dropbox vs SugarSync vs Crashplan vs SpiderOak & More!

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There are many advantages to the technology that we have available today, yet that same technology also brings the potential for devastation. Utilizing an online backup service for your business is critical, so we’ve compared some of the most popular services available. There are many great online backup solutions on the market, but as a consumer, how do you know which one is going to be the best fit? Our goal is to make the decision easy for you.

Why Do You Need Online Backup?

Whether it’s your company’s logos and photos, or more important corporate data such as accounting records and file archives, online backup services are often seen as a disaster proof way to store your data. Whether you are an artist, photographer, lawyer or have a larger corporation with 100’s of employees, utilizing this technology on a daily basis should be a high priority for you. Rarely do we stop to think about what would happen to our data if something happened to our hardware like one of the following:

  • Technological disasters occur all the time, floods, fires and tornadoes rip apart offices and leave no discernible trace of technology behind.
  • Thieves can break into your office and steal laptops, personal computers, hard drives and servers (or employees can misplace laptops while traveling).
  • Disgruntled ex-employees can open and alter or destroy files.
  • Viruses can completely wipe out every trace of data you have.

Online backup services are designed as a way for you to store your data without having to worry about what happens if your hardware is lost or destroyed. If you don’t need all the automatic syncing features of online backup services (they do the work, not you), and are simply looking for a file storage solution in the cloud, checkout our article on the Best Cloud Storage Comparison Services.

How Online Backup Services Disaster Proof Your Data

Online backup services give you the opportunity to take all of your important data and store it in a secondary location, away from your hardware. When you utilize an online backup service your data is stored at off-site server locations so that even if your computer hardware is stolen or completely destroyed, you can still access your data on the off site server.

Best Online Backup Winners

Below are our picks for the best online backup services. We list the pros and cons for each as well as pricing for all plans available.

SugarSync Review

#1

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SugarSync is our pick for #1, best online backup service, standing out because it syncs across all mobile devices and also have live, around the clock automatic backup. They keep all your devices synced (mobile phones, laptops, tablets), and also offer real-time, 24/7 backup with no interruptions or scheduling needed. It is a seamless backup program and even keeps the five most recent versions of all files just in case you save the wrong version by accident. The one pitfall is that SugarSync does not have a support phone number to call. The good news is that there are very few complaints about this service, so there is a good chance you would never even need customer support. Chances are good that you will be able to sign-up and start running with this program with no issues right away.

Pros

Cons

  • Backup and sync any folder on your compute
  • Real-time upload of changes
  • Supports all mobile devices
  • No Linux support

Pricing

  • Free 30 day trial – Try it today!
  • 100 GB: $7.49/month or $74.99 yearly
  • 250 GB: $9.99/month or $99.99 yearly
  • 500 GB: $24.99/month or $249.99 yearly
  • Business 1000 GB: $55.99/month or $550 yearly
  • Custom plans also available for businesses

SugarSync Coupon Code

At this time we are unaware of any SugarSync coupon codes.

Read our Full SugarSync Review

SpiderOak Review

#2

Visit Website

SpiderOak (they call their newest release SpiderOakONE) is our pick for #2 best online backup service because they only bill you for the amount of storage you use for backing up, synchronizing and sharing. This is a great option for many people, especially those that are new to online backup and want to see how much space they will actually need. 2GB are yours to try for FREE, but be aware that it will go fast! Just like SugarSync, Spider Oak will keep older versions of all your files while also providing safety in the way of file encryption. The primary downside is that the increased file security creates a bit more of a drain on your computer’s memory use and thus you may see a slight slow down in machine speed. However, their enhanced security measures paired with high customer service reviews give them an edge over many of the competitors.

Pros

Cons

  • Compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux
  • Zero-knowledge encryption
  • De-Duplication feature
  • Claims to be 10-15 times faster than traditional backups
  • Deleted file and historical version storage
  • Good encryption
  • Does not provide a hard copy backup service
  • One downside to the Zero-knowledge encryption is a drain on CPU and memory usage

Pricing

  • 2 GB free
  • 30 GB $7/month or $79 yearly
  • 1TB $12/month or $129 yearly (best value)
  • 5 TB $25/month or $279 yearly

Read our full SpiderOak Review

Dropbox Review

#3

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Dropbox is our #3 pick. They are one of the most widely used services out there (more than 2 million businesses, and millions more individuals). It’s pretty basic so not the most ideal for business purposes, but it’s super easy to use and clean interface makes it a popular service for personal online backup. Like many of the other services, you get a free account for a limited amount of storage but you can upgrade to a pro account if you need more space. But, unlike others that have tiered pricing, for Dropbox it’s all or nothing making them lower in our rankings. They also have limited customer service (via ticketing system and 24 hour response time). However, Dropbox uses Amazon’s S3 servers which is the most secure option available. They’re a great pick for anyone who is looking for a simple, no frills and no strings attached service.

Pros

Cons

  • Free for individual users up to 2 GB
  • Secured by Amazon S3 data centers
  • Designed with mobile users in mind. Apps for iOS, Blackberry and Android devices
  • Supports Windows XP, Vista, Mac OS and Linux
  • Online chat support and 24/7 phone support
  • Automatic backups once the file has been manually saved to Dropbox, file sharing, and file versioning
  • Microsoft Office online editing feature
  • Post comments to files, type @ followed by their name or email
  • High costs for large teams
  • Automatic withdrawal only
  • Low overall storage space (free program starts at 2 GB with free upgrades for referral)

Pricing

  • 2 GB free for individual users. More storage operates on sliding scale based on incentives like linking to social media accounts and new referrals
  • Pro: $9.99/month or $99.99/year for 1 TB (1000 GB)
  • Teams: $15/month per user

Choosing an Online Backup Provider

Since the introduction of “cloud computing” a great number of online backup services have surfaced and it can be particularly difficult to decide which service offers the best service for you. Depending upon your online backup or cloud service needs, you may find one service to suit your needs perfectly for personal data and yet a different service for corporate data. There are a number of things to look at when deciding whether a specific online backup service is for you, these considerations include:

  • Your budget
  • Your space allowance versus how much space you need
  • Whether the system is compatible with a Windows, Linux or Mac
  • Whether it offers file synchronization
  • Whether it allows for person to person sharing
  • How many devices it covers
  • The maximum per file size of data
  • Whether the service offers a free trial
  • Whether the service offers external hard drive support.

Best Online Backup Comparison Table

Best Online Backup Comparison TableDue to the size of our Best Online Backup Comparison Table, it has being placed on a separate page so that you can reference it more easily.

Take a look at our Best Online Backup Comparison Table (or click on the image on the left) for details of the companies and services that we review in this article. We will continue to add to this table and article to provide more companies for comparison.

Happy World Backup Day!

March 31st is World Backup Day. Who knew? This day is dedicated around the world to backing up your important data! But don’t wait until March! If you are not backing your data up to a secure location offsite from your computer, today is the day to take action. 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. After all, aren’t your photos and important files priceless? 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!

 

Other Online Backup Service Reviews

In this article, we review the following online backup services (listed in alphabetical order):

Acronis | ADrive | ASUS Web Storage | Backblaze | BackUp Solutions | Barracuda Backup | Carbonite | Crashplan | Dolly Drive | Elephant Drive | Files Anywhere | iBackup | iDrive | JustCloud | Livedrive | MiMedia | Mozy | MyOtherDrive | MyPCBackup | OpenDrive | PennyBackup | SOS Online Backup | Symantec (Norton) Online Backup

Previously Reviewed: Skadoit!, ZumoDrive (no longer in business)

Acronis True Image Home Review

AcronisVisit Website

Acronis True Image Home is a Windows-based service that can recover every piece of data on your entire system.

Pros

Cons

  • Create copies of your hard drives while continuing to work
  • Synchronize files between friends, folders, PCs and online
  • Backup to multiple destinations
  • Try&Decide feature creates an isolated environment to test new applications
  • Often crashes while networking
  • 1 year commitment

Pricing

  • 1 Personal Computer License: $49.99
  • 3 Personal Computers License: $79.99
  • 5 Personal Computers License: $99.99
  • Business Plans also available

ADrive Review

ADrive logoVisit Website

ADrive is another backup service boasting superior security and storage space. There is also a digital editing feature called “Zoho” that allows you to upload a file and make necessary changes without having to go back and re-upload a newer version of the file. Beyond that, however, there is little to impress in ADrive’s functionality and feature list. ADrive has recently expanded its services to offer a free plan and customer service for paid subscribers.

Pros

Cons

  • Low costs for basic plans
  • Tons of available storage space
  • Integrated file editing software
  • High security
  • 60 Day free trial
  • Limited upload availability
  • No automatic backups
  • Very basic interface feature list
  • Limited customer service and support
  • Slow upload speeds

Pricing

  • Personal (up to 50 GB): free
  • Personal (100GB to 20TB): starts at $2.50/month or $25 yearly
  • Business (200GB to unlimited): starts at $7/month or $70/yearly

Asus WebStorage Review

Asus WebStorage logoVisit Website

Asus WebStorage excels as a cloud storage space options to keep your files, photos and videos safe.

Pros

Cons

  • Access your cloud storage on all devices for no extra fee
  • Keyword scans provides easy searching
  • One year commitment
  • OPT Password required
  • Limited customer service

Pricing

  • 5 GB: free
  • 100 GB: $22.99 per year
  • 500 GB: $99.99 per year

Backblaze Review

Backblaze logoVisit Website

Back blaze is a newer entry into the field but is gaining traction rapidly. They just released Backblaze 2.0, which has some of the better features we’ve seen in online backup software. Backblaze gives you the ability to back up just about every type of file, including large ISO (DVD backup) images, and entire virtual operating system backups (VMWare, parallels, and other virtual machines).

Pros

Cons

  • Compatible with Windows and Mac
  • Good encryption that can be adjusted on a per-user basis.
  • Unlimited space and bandwidth plans available.
  • Auto detects file changes
  • Allows for restoration to physical media
  • Servers located within United States
  • No file size limit (this is great for large HD movie files, etc.)
  • Offers external hard drive support. You can also restore files to a 1 TB external drive
  • Includes a real-time bandwidth speed test that lets you see just how fast files are being transferred
  • Includes a silent mode that lets you backup “on click only”, thereby freeing up system resources (i.e. Backblaze won’t use resources while in silent mode – this is perfect for performing resource intensive tasks such as video rendering and gaming. You can always switch back out of silent mode when you’re done).
  • Not compatible with Linux
  • No person to person file sharing
  • No synchronization feature

Pricing

  • Personal (unlimited): $5 per month or $50 yearly
  • Business (unlimited): $5 per month per person/user or $50 yearly

Backup Solutions Review

Backup Solutions logoVisit Website

Backup Solutions is an online backup service designed more for businesses than home users. It offers good security, but is a pricey option when compared to its competition. Uploading and downloading files are easy to do, but there aren’t many impressive administrative tools or other features that allow Backup Solutions to really stand out.

Pros

Cons

  • Quick uploading and downloading speeds
  • Low bandwidth so your computer won’t slow down
  • Easy interface to navigate
  • Free 24/7 chat and email support
  • No mobile features
  • Additional costs for each computer you use to access your files
  • Very plain and basic interface
  • Few administrative options for users
  • High prices for individual users, especially if using multiple computers

Pricing

  • Unlimited: $99.95/year per computer
  • $0.40/GB per month for server backup

Barracuda Review

Barracuda logoVisit Website

Barracuda is an integrated local and offsite data backup best suited for businesses due to the strong feature set paired with the accompanied high startup cost.

Pros

Cons

  • Automatic backups
  • Microsoft Exchange support
  • Multiple layers of encryption for super secure data storage
  • Covers a wide range of industry-specific regulations
  • One local backup and two offsite backups
  • Large initial cost
  • No monthly plan

Pricing

  • Varies greatly: The entry-level backup service starts at $1199.00/year including hardware

Carbonite Review

Carbonite logoVisit Website

Carbonate is a publicly traded company with a market cap exceeding $200 million. This means they have a lot of money to spend on marketing (i.e. you’ve probably heard of them). Carbonite offers a solid product, but like everything, it has its cons. Carbonite offers customers 5% off 2 year subscriptions and 10% off 3 year subscriptions.

Pros

Cons

  • Compatible with Windows and Mac
  • Strong encryption
  • Unlimited space for individual (home) plans
  • Servers are located within the United States
  • Data can be restored on physical media
  • Free trial
  • Not compatible with Linux
  • Limited storage space for businesses
  • Limited bandwidth (transfer) allowance
  • File size limit of 4 GB/ file
  • Only supports one external drive

Pricing

  • Personal Basic: $59.99/year per Mac/PC
  • Personal Plus: $99.99/year per PC (external hard drive backup & mirror image backup)
  • Personal Prime: $149.99/year per PC (courier recovery service & automatic video backup)
  • Business Pro Basic (250 GB computer only): $269.99/year
  • Business Pro Prime (500 GB computer only): $599.99/year
  • Business Server Essentials (500 GB server only): $899/year
  • Business Server Advanced (500 GB server only): $1,199/year
  • Business Pro Bundle (Server and Computer Backup): $1,299.99/year for 500 GB

In Depth Review

Visit our in-depth Carbonite Review.

Crashplan Review

Crashplan logoVisit Website

Crash plan is an online backup service that backs up your data automatically and encrypts all data. Crashplan has no individual file size limits.

Pros

Cons

  • Supports Windows, Mac and Linux
  • No limit to individual file size
  • Good Android and iOS apps for remote access to files
  • Unlimited data storage
  • 30 day free trial (no credit card required)
  • Tricky user interface

Pricing

  • Individual (1 computer): $5.99/month or $59.99 yearly
  • Family (2-10 computers): $13.99/month or $149.99 yearly
  • Business: $10/month per user

Dolly Drive Review

Dolly Drive logoVisit Website

Dolly Drive is a Mac-only program designed to work with Apple’s Time Machine.

Pros

Cons

  • Works seamlessly with Time Machine
  • Data encryption for high security
  • Many different size/price plans, allows for customization to meet your unique needs
  • Free Trial
  • Initial backups are slow
  • Runs on Macintosh iOS (Apple) only

Pricing

  • Standard (250 GB): $10/month or $96 yearly
  • Inspired (500 GB): $20/month or $180 yearly
  • Deluxe (1 TB): $35/month or $288 yearly
  • Power (2 TB): $55/month or $516 yearly
  • Advanced (4 TB): $99/month or $928 yearly
  • Team (8 TB): $198/month or $1,858 yearly

ElephantDrive Review

ElephantDrive logoVisit Website

Elephant Drive offers a user-friendly experience with easy drop and drag file capabilities. However, don’t be fooled by the simplicity of the interface, it’s also a strong and secure online backup service. This system will integrate seamlessly with all your existing computer operations but there are two limitations. They have made some updates and improvements recently by increasing their individual file sharing from 1 GB to 15 GB and now support Linux. ElephantDrive now also runs on Network Attached Systems (NAS) platforms.

Pros

Cons

  • Large data options
  • Simple Interface – just drag and drop files
  • Online ‘Trunk’ stores all deleted files for 30 days
  • Free 30 day trial
  • Must download the desktop client

Pricing

Our readers can get 1 TB of storage for $9.95/month, be sure to use our link above.

  • 2 GB: free
  • Personal (100 GB): $9.95/month or $99.50 yearly
  • Personal (250 GB): $19.95/month or $199.50 yearly
  • Personal (500 GB): $39.95/month or $39.50 yearly
  • Personal (750 GB): $59.95/month or $599.50 yearly
  • Personal (1 TB): $85.95/month or $859.50 yearly
  • Personal (2 TB): $169.95/month or $1,699.50 yearly
  • Business Plans (range from 50GB to 2TB+): $25/month up to $790/month for largest plan

Files Anywhere Review

Files Anywhere logoVisit Website

Files Anywhere is an online backup service that allows you to access and share your files anywhere, anytime.

Pros

Cons

  • Private site branding for businesses
  • One of the largest pricing selections available for ultimate plan customization
  • Send faxes without charge
  • Let authorized guests upload files, similar to FTP
  • 1 GB free
  • No Linux support

Pricing

  • 1 GB: free
  • Personal (20 GB) $4.99/month
  • Personal (40 GB) $9.99/month
  • Personal (80 GB) $19.99/month
  • Personal (1000 GB) $24.99/month
  • Personal (200 GB) $84.99/month
  • Personal (Up to 5 TB): $1,200.99/month
  • Business (3 users, 100 GB): $36.00/month

iBackup Review

iBackup logoVisit Website

iBackup is easy to use for novice customers. Support is generally addressed through email, and the rate at which iBackup responds to customer inquiries is reported as slow. However, the interface is easy to understand and the security is also top-notch. We were not impressed with the pricing, as most plans cost about $1 per GB of storage, which is much higher than many other products.

Pros

Cons

  • Easy to use and strong security features
  • Able to create sub-accounts for other users to access selected files
  • Highly secure
  • 15 day trial (up to 50 GB space)
  • Low overall storage space
  • High priced packages
  • Slow support and customer service
  • No online support or video tutorials

Pricing

  • 10 GB: $9.95/month or $99.50 yearly
  • 20 GB: $19.95/month or $199.50 yearly
  • 50 GB: $49.95/month or $499.50 yearly
  • 100 GB: $99.95/month or $999.50 yearly
  • 200 GB: $199.95/month or $1999.50 yearly

iDrive Review

iDrive logoVisit Website

iDrive is a great choice for online backup service. We were very impressed with its range of tools and users are able to schedule backups however often they want. We also like that home users can connect up to 5 personal computers to one account for one low price. The software boasts a clean interface, and there is quality customer support and help via online chat, telephone or email.

Pros

Cons

  • Continuous backup
  • Easy to use and understand for novice users
  • Fantastic customer support
  • Supports external devices hooked up to your computer
  • Lots of administrative tools for users
  • Can use one account for up to 5 computers
  • Decent security features, but not top of the line like many other programs
  • Limited file sharing from account to account
  • No monthly subscriptions (for personal and some business plans)

Pricing

  • 5 GB: free
  • Personal (1TB): $44.62/year
  • Personal (10 TB): $374.62/year
  • Business (250 GB): $74.62/year
  • Business (500 GB) $149.62/year
  • Business (1.25TB): $49.95/month or $374.62/year
  • Business (2.5TB): $79.95/month or $599.62/year
  • Business (5TB): $149.95/month or $1124.62/year
  • Business (12TB): $$299.95/month or $2249.62/year

Note: all pricing is for first year, then slight increase for subsequent years.

JustCloud Review

JustCloud logoVisit Website

JustCloud is simple and easy to learn and use. With both traditional backup and cloud storage, JustCloud constantly backs up all files chosen by the user. This includes all changes made in the editing processes and new files. Although the amount of space for file syncing is limited, the amount of storage space is not. Just Cloud also has a mobile App.

Pros

Cons

  • Sync folder allows drag and drop feature for simple use and syncing across all devices (and multiple computers)
  • Military grade encryption for great security
  • Simple file and folder sharing
  • Support is lacking

Pricing

  • Home/Pro (up to 75 GB): $8.69/month or $134.64 for 2 years
  • Premium (up to 250 GB): $9.94/month or $148.55 for 2 years
  • Ultimate (up to 1 TB):$12.44/month or $208.56 for 2 years
  • Business Plan (100 GB unlimited users up to 5 computers): $35.94/month ($4.95 each additional computer or 100 GB)
  • Enterprise Plan (500 GB unlimited users up to 5 computers): $71.94/month ($4.95 each additional computer or 100 GB)

Livedrive Review

Livedrive logoVisit Website

Livedrive is a cloud backup service that has a plan for everyone. It keeps your files safe and available on every device. With unlimited file storage, this is a good option if you have a lot of photos, videos or other large file size data.

Pros

Cons

  • Unlimited backup
  • Easy interface – just drag and drop files
  • Online ‘Trunk’ stores all deleted files for 30 days
  • Windows 8 App
  • Free two-week trial
  • No Linux support
  • Restrictions between the pricing options can be confusing

Pricing

  • Backup (for 1 computer): $7/month
  • Briefcase (for files on all devices, everywhere you go): $13/month
  • Pro Suite (unlimited files for up to 5 computers): $20/month
  • Business Express (up to 2TB and 3 users): $37/month
  • Business Standard (up to 10B and 10 users): $125/month

MiMedia Review

MiMedia logoVisit Website

MiMedia is an online backup service that is known for being able to watch and stream your media on demand. Provides an automatic online backup and effortless file sharing. Mi Media also offer 10 GB of storage for free.

Pros

Cons

  • Media playing and viewing online
  • Unlimited devices
  • Vast trial program for up to 10 GB, the largest of all the companies we reviewed
  • No Mac or Linux
  • No file version saving

Pricing

  • 10 GB: free (no credit card required)
  • 500 GB: $7.99/month or $85/year
  • 1 TB: $9.99/month or $100/year

Mozy Review

Mozy logoVisit Website

Mozy is an online backup and file sync service. It allows you to use any files you like and access them anywhere. The software is offered in two flavors: Home and Pro. With Pro you can even opt to have your own servers backed up and protected.

Pros

Cons

  • Local encryption prior to transfer
  • Data is stored in state-of-the-art data centers
  • Recover file versions up to 30 days in the past
  • Real time support
  • No Linux support
  • Program must be installed on your computer
  • File-sharing is not supported

Mozy Home Pricing

  • 50 GB: $5.99/month (1 computer)
  • 125 GB: $9.99/month (3 computers)

Mozy Pro Pricing

  • 10 GB: $9.99/month (unlimited computers without servers)
  • 50 GB: $19.99/month (unlimited computers without servers)
  • 100 GB: $39.99/month (unlimited computers without servers)
  • 500 GB: $189.99/month (unlimited computers without servers)
  • 1 TB: $379.99/month (unlimited computers without servers)

MyOtherDrive Review

MyOtherDrive logoVisit Website

Editor’s note: May 13, 2016 – The MyOtherDrive website is currently down, we are monitoring the situation.

MyOtherDrive boasts many of the same features as it’s competition, and doesn’t do much to stand out in any one area. It’s pricing is relatively high per GB, and it’s administrative tools are on par with most other online backup providers. The one thing MyOtherDrive does have going for it is that it has enough storage space to keep any individual or company satisfied. It also does a good job at allowing file sharing and collaboration tools between its users. My Other Drive is easy to use and understand, but does not allow of mobile devices and the support is only available through email.

Pros

Cons

  • Synchronized backups for multiple computers and accounts
  • File sharing, public sharing, and online albums make accessing files easy to do for many users
  • Extra large storage space available
  • Group sharing for all types of files, including documents, charts, presentations and video
  • Dated interface
  • High price per GB
  • No mobile access
  • Limited support done solely through email

Pricing

  • Up to 2 GB: Free
  • 100 GB: $5.00/month or $55 yearly
  • 500 GB: $10.00/month or $110 yearly
  • 1 TB business account: $240.00/year
  • 2 TB business account: $480.00/year
  • 5 TB business account: $1,200/year
  • 10 TB business account: $2,400/year

MyPCBackup Review

MyPCBackupVisit Website

MyPCBackup is a low-cost option that uses Amazon S3 data centers for its backup, which is one of the most heavily monitored stations on the internet. MyPCBackup offers low-price incentives for users to pay for long-term storage upfront. If you plan on paying month-to-month, their rates climb rapidly. Additionally, while there are business options available, this service is geared toward individual users, and businesses will pay extremely high rates for syncing multiple computers to one network.

Pros

Cons

  • Price breaks available for annual commitment
  • Works across multiple platforms, including Windows 7, Windows Vista, Mac OS 10.5+, Android, iOS and Blackberry
  • Unlimited backup for your files
  • Mobile access supported by most smartphones
  • Data stored on Amazon S3 storage servers, which are some of the most secure on the internet
  • No tech support via phone, only though email
  • Additional features are extra
  • There have been many complaints on billing. Some users reported being charged additional costs and the billing department is sometimes slow to respond and fix the problem.

Pricing

  • Home/Pro (up to 75 GB): $8.69/month or $134.64 for 2 years
  • Premium (up to 250 GB): $9.94/month or $148.55 for 2 years
  • Ultimate (up to 1 TB):$12.44/month or $208.56 for 2 years
  • Business Plan (100 GB unlimited users up to 5 computers): $35.94/month ($4.95 each additional computer or 100 GB)
  • Enterprise Plan (500 GB unlimited users up to 5 computers): $71.94/month ($4.95 each additional computer or 100 GB)

OpenDrive Review

Opendrive logoVisit Website

OpenDrive is an option for users looking for low monthly costs, and there is even a free version you can download, but the storage space for the free plan is very limited. Available on Windows and Mac systems, OpenDrive offers solid online storage and backup on their own custom servers, which they monitor in-house. There are hidden costs associated with this product, however, if you are looking to sync between multiple users, or use advanced features offered by Open Drive such as hotlinking.

Pros

Cons

  • Unlimited computer access and unlimited direct linking
  • Auto-synchronization and backup so you never have to manually load or worry about your files
  • Custom branding and data management for business accounts
  • Virtual Office Suite for business accounts allows you to create and share documents and spreadsheets without installing additional software
  • Mobile access on Android and iOS
  • Limited storage and daily bandwidth limitations
  • Limited access to sometimes as few as 3 users per month
  • Requires upgrade or ad space on your website if you wish to enable hotlinking
  • Support is difficult to navigate on website

Pricing

  • 5 GB Free
  • Home Plan: unlimited for $12.95/month or $129 yearly
  • Business Plan: unlimited for $29.95/month or $295 yearly
  • Custom Plan: Starts at $6.00/month (for 500 GB) or $60.00/year plus additional features at cost

PennyBackup Review

PennyBackup logoVisit Website

PennyBackup compresses all of your files to tiny sizes that allow you to maximize your storage space. Unlike many other programs, there is no installation fee, and you can set up PennyBackup on as many computers as you like at no charge and access your files anywhere. Pricing at Penny Backup is dependent on how much storage you are actually using. This can become costly if you have an account with multiple users. You are able to negotiate pricing if you plan on uploading lots of data, but we recommend looking elsewhere if you plan on doing so. There is also no availability on mobile devices.

Pros

Cons

  • No licensing fees for users
  • Data is compressed to save your storage space and money
  • 4 levels of security to insure the maximum amount of protection for your files
  • Viewable status window that lets you pause and restart downloads
  • Not available on smartphones or tablets
  • PC only
  • Must download software to be able to view files
  • Limited storage space
  • No file sharing between multiple accounts

Pricing

  • $50 per TB

SOS Online Backup Review

SOS Online Backup logoVisit Website

SOS is an online backup service that claims to be ‘The All-In-One Solution To Secure Your Data’. It is a very fast service and offers a Facebook backup. SOS is one of the more popular online backup choices out there. It was selected 5 years running as the PC Magazine Editor’s Choice for online backup, and is also recommended by The New York Times.

Pros

Cons

  • Simple and fast interface
  • Access backup files on the web
  • Share your backup files online
  • Continuous data backup
  • Facebook backup
  • Unlimited file revisions – edit any version of every file backed up, forever. For example, if you edit a file and save it, there will now be two versions of the file. You can access either version at any time, older file versions are never deleted (unless you choose to delete them).
  • Backup multiple PC’s in a Single Account
  • Three-tiered encryption system
  • Access your backup from iPhone & Blackberry
  • Free 2 week trial
  • Live protection is only available on individual files

Pricing

  • Infinite Cloud Storage (One PC or Mac): $7.99 monthly or $79.99 yearly
  • Infinite Family Cloud (Five PCs and Macs): $39.95 monthly or $399.95 yearly

Norton by Symantec Review

Norton logoVisit Website

Symantec automatically safeguards your files and documents from loss.

Pros

Cons

  • Use on up to 5 computers
  • Saves previous file versions for 90 days
  • Schedule regular backups
  • Only 1 storage option available
  • Must buy entire package, backup only is not available

Pricing

  • 25 GB (up to 5 computers): $49.99/year

Choosing the Right Online Backup Service for Your Business

Research the Company

Choosing the right online backup service for you can feel overwhelming simply because there are so many different aspects to look at with each service. There are currently far more online backup services available than any one person could ever look through in a lifetime. Sometimes it is easier to narrow down choices by criteria. One of the first things you will want to consider is the reputation of the company that owns the service you are looking at. If a company tends to have more negative reviews than positive, try looking into another company’s product to see if it also suits your needs. The good thing about so many different companies offering similar products is that if one company doesn’t have the reputation you are looking for, you can always try another!

Look at Your Wants Versus Needs

As with any purchase, you want to look at what you want from the product versus what you need from the product. A good example of this is if budgeting is a big concern for you. In order to find a company with a product that fits your budget, you may have to look at dropping a few of your “wants” from the backup service. You can always start small and grow bigger but starting bigger and shrinking smaller, with any service, is going to cost you money that you don’t need to spend.

Things To Look for in an Online Backup Service

The best online hard drive backup services offer the following:

  • Install easily
  • Integrate seamlessly with your operating system
  • Don’t slow down your computer while you work
  • Securely transmit and store your files online
  • The ability to back up 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 (i.e. you don’t have to manually transfer files for backup).
  • Store your files in multiple geographic locations for redundancy (i.e. 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 company should have been in business 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)

Which online backup provider are you using?

Sadie has acted as the email marketing coordinator and web designer for one of the world's largest travel companies and managed social media for dozens of major brands. She has a breadth and depth of web and marketing knowledge that reaches far and wide. She loves all things Mac and keeping up with all the latest web trends.

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55 Comments on "Best Online Backup: Backblaze vs Crashplan vs Carbonite vs Dropbox vs SugarSync vs Crashplan vs SpiderOak & More!"

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shabbir-rao
shabbir-rao

I have been using Syncrify for back up. Me and my team member have scheduled daily back up from our systems to the private cloud server. We feel secure because we ain’t giving our private data to any public cloud service provider the data actually remains in our server and the best part of Syncrify which I feel is that it gives the access of data through internet.

breadwild
breadwild
We were faithful users of SugarSync for 3 years, but then started noticing that SugarSync was not always syncing. For example, I’d put a file on our server (which was synched to SugarSync) before leaving work, but when I would try to download it at home I’d fine it missing. It wasn’t until restarting SugarSync, or my computer, or reinstalling the app, or jumping through other hoops that it would start syncing again. This happened over and over for months. Their tech support was little help, and in the end didn’t really seem to care. We moved to Spider Oak… Read more »
hawaii007
hawaii007

I tried the top 3 above.
Sugaresync had my cpu at 260% on my mac, rated F for Mac
SpiderOak was A+ great and easy to use
Elephant Drive would not open on my mac Rated F for Mac

Alex Schenker
Admin
Alex Schenker

Use the coupon code BLOWFISH anytime between now and April 1, 2013 on any Mozy product when you use this link to place your order.

Guest
Guest
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 of your data (Important as well as garbage). Even several versions of a single modified file and you can also restore as you 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… Read more »
Guest
Guest
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… Read more »
Guest
Guest

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.

Guest
Guest
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… Read more »
Guest
Guest
Cloud storage is something I’ve been meaning to get around to, but never seem to take the time. As a business owner, I know that there are certain files I need to back up. Losing these files could be a huge setback, but I choose to back everything up on my own server. Of course, the problem with that is should something happen to my home, the files would still be lost forever. However, because I only need to back up text files, I don’t need to invest in a large amount of space. That’s why I’m interested in companies… Read more »
Guest
Guest

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!

Guest
Guest
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… Read more »
Guest
Guest
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… Read more »
Guest
Guest
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… Read more »
Guest
Guest
I was looking over some of the information you provided here and I was reminded of a few phrases concerning perspective. I won’t bore you with quotes you have heard a thousand times, but I will say that everyone has their own views on the good and the bad. That is no different when it comes to online back up services. See, you mention that Backblaze does not have peer to peer sharing. It did not amuse me that you mentioned it, just that you said it like it was a bad thing. The fact that Backblaze does not have… Read more »
Guest
Guest
There are so many things to consider when choosing an online backup service. While many people are lured in by the free offers, it’s important to choose a company that you’ve not only heard of, but has a good reputation. The problem with many startups is that if the company fails, you have to find another company to store your information with and upload everything a second time. This is not only frustrating, but can be time consuming as well. Speaking of which, you also need to make sure that the company you choose has good upload speeds. This will… Read more »
Guest
Guest
…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… Read more »
Guest
Guest
I think many computer users live in a fantasy world where they believe that backup isn’t necessary. Whether they falsely comfort themselves with the knowledge that they are careful, never download software from questionable sources, and have the latest technology, doesn’t really matter. These people are simply delusional to believe that nothing will happen. I’ve had computers crash beyond saving a couple times in the past and it’s frustrating to have to restore your machine to factory settings, but I can’t imagine how frustrating it must be to also lose all your important documents. While I don’t use online backup… Read more »
Guest
Guest
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… Read more »
Guest
Guest
It is hard to find the best online backup service provider when you only have a vague idea of what you are looking for. There are several things I did not even think about until I started looking at comparisons. And going to specific websites did not help me at all because I just got more confused about what they as compared to what I need. Also, there is more than one computer in my house and I had not even considered the fact that I might have to have a different backup for every computer. I no-brainer there now… Read more »
Guest
Guest
There are an awful lot of backup services to choose from out there, which is why information like this is so valuable on the Internet. Some backup services become well known because they sink a lot of money into their ads, but that does not mean they are the best online backup service for you. It takes a lot of thought to figure out what you need your online backup service for. I personally use mine to keep all of my work and photo. I know people who only store their videos on there. And I also know people who… Read more »
Guest
Guest
There really are quite a few online backup services out there to choose from including Mozy, Carbonite and more. Just like any other product you are going to use, it’s always wise to find the one that works for you and that you can afford. For instance, if I did not download movies, I would not want the expense of paying for a service that offered video file backups as a service that you pay for if it cost more than a company with the same service minus the video backups. That’s kind of like paying for leather seats in… Read more »
Guest
Guest
SOS sounds like an interesting online backup company, but something in particular about it really caught my eye. They have a Facebook backup option? Wow. I use Facebook quite a bit and I never even considered that I might need to back it up for any reason. In fact, Facebook has been the very reason that I have been able to get my photos back after my computer crashed and I did not have anything backed up anywhere else. Now I learn that I should be backing up Facebook? Other than that, I really like the idea that I can… Read more »
Guest
Guest
After looking through this article and reading the various details of what these companies have to offer, I thing backblaze is the one I am going to look into. I don’t need person to person sharing, so that isn’t an issue I even need to worry about. If I want to share anything I can do that on my own through various other methods. I do like that it is stored in the United States. I have been complaining about people outsourcing. For me that is a big deal when I go to purchase new services or products. I also… Read more »
Trisha
Trisha
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… Read more »
Guest
Guest
I like the idea of the online backup service that charges you based on how much you need to back up. Since I work primarily with text, my files don’t take up very much space. I don’t need a large amount to back them up and I don’t want to pay for what I’m not going to use, even if it is a business deduction at the end of the year. The service listed that provides a free backup service for a limited amount of space seems like it would be ideal for me to use. But they say you… Read more »
Guest
Guest
Online backup services seem to be the way to go if you have any information that you want to keep. I know quite a few people don’t back up any of their files online because they save them to an external hard drive or even a flash drive. That’s all find and dandy until your system gets its bu lightning, stolen, or something as horrible as a fire happens. It may seem unlikey for any of these things to happen to you, but it is possible. As much a I agree with the use of onlin backup services, I find… Read more »
Guest
Guest
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… Read more »
Guest
Guest

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?

Guest
Guest

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

Guest
Guest

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

Guest
Guest

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.

Guest
Guest

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.

Jeff Butler
Admin
Jeff Butler

Be sure to check out the newly updated 25% off coupon for SOS Online Backup. This is 25% off the SOS home/personal backup service for up to 5 computers.

Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt

There is a 25% discount during the weekend of Thanksgiving/Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The promo code will be good from Thursday, November 28 through Monday, December 2. Promo code is SAVEME25 and is good for any MozyHome and MozyPro subscriptions.

For the rest of November us promo code AES, which is good for 10% off of any subscription.

Andrew
Andrew

Dropbox has been around for a long time and I use it quite a lot. The free one works pretty well and got 25GB free storage through referrals and by installing on different devices. One of the cons would be that their first step payment plan is 50GB for $9.99 a month, which is quite a lot when compared to other providers.

Pat P.
Pat P.

I see that the article has now been updated with information on Dropbox. The $9.99 a month plan is actually for 100GB, which puts them in line with other services. One key component is that Dropbox is not a backup solution per say, users have to manually save files in order for them to be backup up. Whereas the other backup solutions in this article perform automatic backups of the updated files.

Anonymous
Anonymous
I don’t think that everyone understands how important online backup is right now. I think there is a generation that understands it and knows that you really should have a copy of as much as you can somewhere online. Your article brings the fact to light that there are really so many good online backup companies that make the process completely seamless and turnkey. Some of them even just backup your system automatically without you having to do a thing at all. I think also sometimes, it’s hard for people to trust the, “cloud.” I think this is only human,… Read more »
Anonymous
Anonymous
If you have ever crashed your computer either beyond repair or at least to the point where you need to do a factory-reset, you know that having your files backed up is something that you will be very thankful that you did when you need it. Otherwise, it is generally something you do not think about until you absolutely need it just like a good insurance policy is. In reading through these comparisons, the one service provider that stuck out to me was the Spider Oak backup service. It seems like most of these are offering more or less the… Read more »
Anonymous
Anonymous
I have had more than a few instances where I have crashed a hard drive. A lot of things can do it, viruses, malware, or just leaving your laptop in a puddle of condensation for a few minutes. Either way, you are going to lose some files if you do not have the proper kind of back up to prevent you from losing these things forever. My internet service provider offers me a free back up service now and that is the one that I am currently using. In the past, I had simply used an external hard drive that… Read more »
Anonymous
Anonymous
It felt like I lost all my life, when I lost my laptop. After losing my laptop, I tried to retrieve files from my backup hard drive and discovered that the hard drive had also crashed. With nowhere to go, I lost all of my life’s work, a lot of personal files including pictures and videos. Only then I realized the importance of online file backup. I then started searching for the best possible backup services within my budget range. I eventually landed on your amazing article which gave me all the information I need to know to backup my… Read more »
Anonymous
Anonymous
The thing that this article makes you very well aware of is the reasons to actually consider using an online backup service. The author points out that disasters happen all the time. This is certainly true, but it does not really go far enough. In fact, not only can disasters happen whenever, but they never happen at a good time. When they do occur, you are very likely going to lose some data, and it will probably be something that is very important to you and the loss itself is painful. Another thing that crossed my mind is that most… Read more »
Anonymous
Anonymous
After looking at all of the information, I have decided to make a switch. It was a tough decision, since I have been using Carbonite and there is not anything particularly wrong with the service. I chose it because they advertise all over and I thought that bigger company meant better overall. However, I started noticing after a time that the bandwidth limits were slowing down my transfer rates and the file size allowances were too small to back up some of the movies and presentations I work on, which meant that I was having to find other backup anyway… Read more »
Anonymous
Anonymous
Wow, I had absolutely no idea that there was this many backup service providers that had a product on the market. I mean some of these companies I have never heard of. I’ve never seen a commercial or even an ad on a website before reading this article. Thank you for listing them, and giving me some idea of what I can expect to pay along with the duration of the free trials. It is really useful to have that kind of information right in front of me. Also I think it’s great that you tell us if can use… Read more »
Online backup services
Online backup services

I think it’s important to distinguish between online backup and online storage. Dropbox, for example, does a great job storing your documents and giving you the ability to share them with users (whether they’re a Dropbox customer themselves or not), whereas an online backup service such as Carbonite specializes in automatically backing up your files (a storage service is manual).

Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt

SpiderOak is having a special starting today (Nov 18) until the end of the month. All SpiderOak plans will be an additional 30% off. Great time to buy your plan!

gianni
gianni

I joined SugarSync and I find it great, the best of all.

Gindan
Gindan

Try MyPC Backup.com they are affordable and easy to use.

Erin
Erin
I appreciate everyone’s suggestions and feedback – I personally have been using Dropbox and an external hard drive and Google Docs but signed up for a free trial of SugarSync today since it was so highly reviewed and am loving it so far! So fast, easy to use and great feature to have an iPad and iPhone app to access files easily and quickly with minimal syncing issues. I was pleasantly surprised with how simple it was to download and implement – loved the cute vide on their website which makes everything easy to understand too. Doing the free one… Read more »
Alex C
Alex C

I’ll tell you what would be a fantastic add to this review: a comparison table. Ideally I would like to see in the table:

*
Pricing
*
If the service offers mountable drives (ie. you’ll see your backup drive and be able to access it on your PC or Mac to use files, but without them taking up local storage space).
*
O/S Support – does the online backup service work on Windows, Mac, Linux, smartphones, etc.

Eduardo
Eduardo

Great reviews. However, I’m surprised you haven’t mentioned JungleDisk, synched up with Rackspace Cloud Files. I suppose maybe because this article is more about backup vs storage? The nice thing about JungleDisk is that it lets you mount a cloud drive on your computer, which means you won’t be also using up local space – this is especially useful on the new Macbook Pro’s with solid state (flash) storage, as the entry level machine only has 256GB of hard drive space.

Stacey
Stacey
Thank you! I have been searching for months on the best online back up storage system for my office and have yet to find a solution! We have almost given up but I won’t give up hope now as there are a lot of great options here to share with my team. I personally have my files backed up on a hard drive but only keep the files I need to use on a daily basis on Google docs or Dropbox. Those services are not nearly enough space or capacity as my hard drive and so I need a solution… Read more »
Alex Schenker
Admin
Alex Schenker

Redeem promo code Dec2012 during December 2012 and save 10% off your initial purchase of any Mozy product or subscription. This deal expires January 1, 2013.

Anonymous
Anonymous
Disasters will happen. Most likely a disaster will happen to those who are least prepared for them! Although the author does not specifically mention this point, I wonder if it is true that most people who end up looking for an online back up service are doing so because they have already had an issue. At least that is what the statistics say. Of course, finding such a service can also be complicated. Everyone claims that they are the best, but what is really the truth? Each person will need to do their own research and discover the answer for… Read more »
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