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The Best Online Backup Services

Which Online Backup Service is the Best?

When it comes to backups and cybersecurity, you can never be too safe, especially when it comes to your files. When we use our computers, everything we save feels permanent, but that permanence is - quite frankly - an illusion. Everything saved is saved somewhere on a physical drive, which means that far from existing in some ethereal cloud, your files can be lost.

Your computer could just break one day from wear, have water spilled on it, be dropped, or even locked-in with a ransomware attack. This isn't even to mention the fact that hard drives decay. In fact, every single hard drive and SSD WILL fail at some point - it's just a matter of when. All of these issues explain why online backup services have exploded in popularity over the last several years.

Friday, April 19th

2024 Online Backup Service Reviews

Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award Acronis Review 5 Star Rating

Acronis

5 Star Rating
  • $49.99/year for Essentials
  • $54.99/year for Advanced
  • $125/year for Premium
  • 50% student discount offered
  • "A-" rated by the BBB
Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

With offerings including cybersecurity, data loss recovery, email security, and even automation, Acronis' services are expansive as they are impressive. For the home or small business, however, Acronis' also offers some well-regarded online backup services with impressive customer support to boot.

Multiple, secure, supported backup options

Acronis also earns marks for its ease of use, and its combination of disk-imaging and cloud services. While disk-imaging is critical to ensure a complete backup of a specific SSD, hard drive, or your entire system, their cloud service provides easy and secure access to files you are actively working with. In addition, Acronis' integrated mobile app ensures that you can access your files from anywhere. In sum, we appreciate the convenience Acronis offers, even though cloud services are not included in their base plans. In addition, Acronis supports encryption, multi-factor authentication, and gives you control over the encryption key (just make sure you don't forget it).

Premium protection across all plans

Acronis offers 3 plans to meet their customer's online backup needs.

  • The Essentials plan at $49.99 per year includes full image to file-level active disk cloning, quick recovery/universal restore services, and ransomware protection.
  • The Advanced option at $54.99/year adds 50gb of cloud storage, ransomware and malware protection for both your PC and your backups, in addition to "cloud" backups that include replication of data in-cloud, and backups of any files or data stored in Microsoft 365.
  • The Premium option is its most secure, and includes blockchain certification and an electronic signature of all your files, in addition to 1TB of cloud storage.

Extra cloud storage can be added to Acronis' Advanced and Premium plans for a fee. Keep in mind that their Essentials plan does not include their pricing for license updates, which will come at an extra cost. That being said, Acronis does offer a 50% student discount with proof of enrollment, which is well worth the cost for the student looking for some peace of mind regarding the security of their work.

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Top notch security

For those individuals or businesses for whom security is a must, Acronis' Premium services could be an excellent choice, especially considering their block-chain and e-signature verification. While "blockchain" may conjure images of sweaty-palmed crypto-speculators, it has a verifiable - and valuable - use case as a permanent ledger confirming that your files belong to you. As such, we appreciate Acronis' integration of blockchain technology into their Premium offerings.

Well regarded, well reviewed

Acronis has earned many positive user reviews, and, with its diligent customer service, an "A-" from the Better Business Bureau. There is little more harrowing than the possibility of losing your files; as such, Acronis' proven record of reliable customer support as evidenced by their grade with the Better Business Bureau earns them high marks. While some customers on aggregate review sites have expressed frustration with Acronis, citing difficulty of use or billing complaints, Acronis is quick to respond to customer complaints. Phone, email, and chat support are offered across all of Acronis' plans. Premium customers receive priority support, which - depending on the sensitivity or financial importance of your files - may well be worth the price.

Impressive and worth the price

All-in-all, we are impressed by Acronis' palatable mix of reliable customer support and impressive affordances. Whether you simply need the peace of mind of a complete disk imaging of a crucial hard drive, or robust integration of cloud storage and security, Acronis offers the most security, and the most robust backup options, of any of the services we've reviewed. As such, whatever you need from a backup provider, Acronis is likely to have what you're looking for, with responsive support to boot.

IDrive Review 4.5 Star Rating

IDrive

4.5 Star Rating
  • 10gb free storage to get started
  • 100gb for $2.95 per year (Mini plan)
  • 5TB for $59.52 per year (Personal plan)
  • Business and server backups offered
  • True archiving: no auto-deleted files
  • Sliding scale pricing per needed storage

With premium features at excellent prices, iDrive distinguishes itself as one of the best value backup services on the market. With a wide range of low-cost plans to choose from, not only will you be able to find the exact storage that fits your needs and budget, but their robust backup services for unlimited devices will ensure that your files are secure and safe.

Wide range of backup tools

When it comes to security for your files and for your backups, iDrive does an excellent job: you have the option for cloud based backups, entire system/computer cloning, and even disk imaging should you need to backup your entire computer or a virtual machine. In short, iDrive offers you multiple ways to back up your files for ultimate security. In addition, iDrive encrypts your files, allows you to control the encryption key, and supports two-factor authentication: all in all, iDrive provides all the tools you need to ensure that your files (and their backups) are kept safe and secure.

Excellent range of offerings

iDrive has a range of low-cost plans - billed yearly - that offer a nice set of data backup options for an overall low price. Across every plan, you can customize how much storage you need, and adjust your price accordingly, with a nice discount added should you agree to pay per year or every two years instead of monthly.

  • At a mere $2.95 per year, iDrive's Mini Plan lets you back up 100GB of data, which can be increased to 500GB for $9.95 per year.
  • iDrive's Personal Plan will let you backup 5TB of data from multiple computers for $59.92 per year.
  • iDrive's Team Plan designed for small businesses lets you backup multiple computers, and includes an admin control panel and the ability to create monitored "sub-accounts" for your employees.
  • Finally, iDrive's Business Plan includes 250gb of backup per user, unlimited users, and backup for entire servers.

Also, keep in mind that iDrive offers 10gb of free storage to get you started and test out their product: an excellent way to see if iDrive is the right choice for your home or business.

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True archiving standard across all plans

What really distinguishes iDrive from competitors is their "true archiving" policy. Where a vast majority of competitors will automatically delete backups with no corollary on your hard drive after 30 days, iDrive never deletes any backups unless you specifically direct them to do so, or you set up their "automatic file cleanup" service to periodically prune files. This means that, if you need to access an accidentally deleted file or file version, you can rest assured that iDrive will have your file, and that it won't have been automatically deleted on their end. However, because iDrive never deletes anything without you giving them the go-ahead, there is a risk of running over your agreed storage backup limit, which can net you a monthly fine. In contrast to lower-rated services on our list, the fees for going over your data limit are minimal, and can easily be remedied by running their "storage cleanup" service.

Excellent value, a few drawbacks

While iDrive's services are an excellent value, there are still some negative reviews from customers, though most tend to be positive. A primary complaint from customers is that iDrive does not automatically prevent you from exceeding your data storage limit, which can lead to unwanted charges. In addition, some customers report frustration with customer service. However, on a popular aggregate review site, iDrive has earned a 4 out of 5 stars overall, and is very responsive to customer complaints. So even with some complaints, iDrive still seems to be doing an excellent job. Should you purchase online backup services through iDrive, be sure to check out their "automatic cleanup" function to avoid unwanted charges.

One of the best, only a few blemishes

iDrive is absolutely one of the best backups out there for the average user. With a host of security and organizational features, true archiving, and generous pricing, iDrive beats out their competitors on most all fronts. There are only two things keeping them from the top of our list: the fact that your device will exceed storage limits automatically (unless you actively manage your files or set up their "auto-cleanup" function), and slightly mixed customer reviews regarding their customer service. These two blemishes aside, iDrive is by far the best bargain out there for providing online backup services.

Elephant Drive Review 4 Star Rating

Elephant Drive

4 Star Rating
  • $10 per month
  • Network-attached storage for your devices
  • Ransomware protection included

Since 2006, Elephant Drive has specialized in offering online backup services with network-attached storage. With a vast majority of customer reviews in the positive, Elephant Drive is a good option that offers robust support at a reasonable price - bearing in mind that they aren't the absolute cheapest, and higher-rated services offer more advanced backup and security options.

Ideal for the multi-PC household

For $10 a month, a subscription with Elephant Drive will get you encrypted file backups across multiple devices, network-attached storage between shared devices (which means you can quickly share files between multiple computers or your phone), and automated backups with up to 1TB of space. We especially appreciate that Elephant Drive has no device limits, making it ideal for those with multiple PCs who don't want to pay an entire separate subscription just to back up all the files in their network. Keep in mind, however, that their 1TB limit still applies to all devices on your plan.

Encrypted, but not the most secure

Elephant Drive does fairly well on the security end, and protects your files from ransomware by keeping backups, encrypting your files so that only you (or anyone with your encryption key) are able to access them . That being said, Elephant Drive does not support multi-factor authentication, which can be a big concern. It doesn't matter how secure an encryption is, if someone can access your files with just one email, and no notification to make you aware someone is trying to access your account. While not all users will require multi-factor authentication, and Elephant Drive may be convenient for many users who want to set it up and forget it's there, the security-minded may be better served with a different online backup service.

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Excellent reviews

Customer reviews of Elephant Drive tend to be very positive, with customers on aggregate review sites praising the company's responsive customer service and ease of use. Even as Elephant Drive does not appear to have any page or presence with the Better Business Bureau, the large amount of positive customer reviews is evidence of a prompt and positive customer service experience for most customers.

A service to consider for multi-PC households

While Elephant Drive is likely a no-go for the heavily security-minded due to its lack of multi-factor authentication, those who need a simple service for multiple computers and the ability to easily transfer files between them, and who appreciate responsive customer service, would be well served by Elephant Drive. While more highly-rated competitors may offer more robust or secure online backup services, Elephant Drive carves out nice niche for themselves through their affordability and ease of use.

Backblaze Review 3.5 Star Rating

Backblaze

3.5 Star Rating
  • Unlimited Personal Backup at $7 monthly, $70 yearly, or $130 every two years
  • Private encryption and multi-factor authentication offered
  • Cloud service offered on a per GB basis
  • Data-mailing offered
  • "A+" rated by the BBB

Selling itself as the "easiest cloud service on the market" , Backblaze has been offering backup services since 2007, and is one of the largest data storage providers out there. Even as their services are not the best you can find, their pricing is reasonable, and their software is simple to use. As such, while there are better rated sellers out there, Backblaze is by no means a bad choice.

One plan, multiple price options

Backblaze's claim to fame is their offering of fast, unlimited file backup. This is priced at a very inexpensive $7 per month, $70 per year, or $130 every two years. With no limits on the amount of data you can back up with Backblaze, they could very well be an excellent choice for those working with a large amount of data, or those interested in protecting a hard drive with photographs, video, or important documents.

Technical differences with competitors

It's important to note the technical differences between Backblaze and other backup services. First and foremost, Backblaze does not offer complete disk imaging, which is a complete and compressed copy of your computer files and operating system. In addition, you will require a separate subscription for each computer you want to backup, which may not be ideal for those with multiple PCs.

Cloud services offered separately

Backblaze does also offer Cloud services; however, these are priced separately from their personal plans. Backblaze offers storage at $0.005 per GB per month, and Download charges at $.01 per GB. This pricing plan is primarily marketed towards businesses looking to host software or a large number of files externally, and may not be the best for those looking to host their personal files in the cloud. However, it could still be attractive for individuals looking to host their software in the cloud, as their storage and download charges are compellingly lower than competitors.

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Disk mailing offered

It is a common joke among the tech-minded that the fastest way to transmit data is a speeding van full of hard drives (or a pigeon with a flash drive tied to its leg, depending on who's telling the joke and when the joke was told). While funny, if you happen to lose more files than can be reasonably downloaded over the internet - such as an archive of videos or photographs - a flash drive in the mail can be a convenient way to receive your files. We appreciate that Backblaze has put this into effect by offering to mail you a flash drive with your data in case of computer failure or data loss (and you can mail the flash drive back for a refund). We especially appreciate this, as mailing your files is a service other competitors lock behind their premium subscriptions.

Mixed reviews, clunky software

Customer and professional reviews for Backblaze are mixed. While Backblaze has earned an "A+" with the Better Business Bureau for their responsiveness to customer complaints, there are also a significant number of issues reported, and they often cite frustration with Backblaze's auto payment. In addition, professionals note that Backblaze's mobile app is frustratingly basic, and their service does not integrate with "finder" or "file explorer" on your PC. In other words, Backblaze's services - while good for the price - are somewhat basic when compared to competitors.

A simple service, but not the best

While Backblaze is likely an excellent choice for the average PC user with only one or two connected hard drives or SSDs looking to back up their photographs and files, and offers good pricing for B2 cloud services, those looking to create a complete copy of their entire desktop would be better served with a company that offers disk-imaging services.

CrashPlan Review 3 Star Rating

CrashPlan

3 Star Rating
  • $10 per computer per month
  • Free one-month trial
  • Service strictly for business users, not personal
  • Custom quotes offered for enterprise customers

Once offering both personal and business backup solutions, Crashplan has axed their home-computer services in favor of focusing on budget business and enterprise backups. While perhaps not the most robust service out there, they are certainly inexpensive, even as customer reviews reveal a somewhat inconsistent service.

Low-cost business backups

For the business owner, Crashplan's low cost-per computer may very well be an attractive option as an online backup service, at a mere $10 per month per computer. Crashplan's low price includes ransomware protection, device migration, and self-restore services. While a relatively good deal, we find it strange that Crashplan does not seem to have any kind of physical data shipping services; if a business is small enough to buy a service on a per-computer basis, surely they would benefit from the added security of data shipping via hard drive? That being said, we appreciate that Crashplan offers a one month free trial of the service before you decide to purchase.

Extended backups standard

One nice bonus offered with Crashplan's services is that they offer extended backups for deleted files, holding on to them for a total of 90 days. As the industry standard for holding on to backed-up files is about 30 days, Crashplan's 90-day policy ensures that you have a bit more breathing room as to the recovery and reinstallation of your files, which we thoroughly appreciate. While Crashplan does additionally offer extensive legal-hold and compliance services, in addition to API access and a host of efficiency and administration tools, these features are unfortunately restricted to their "enterprise" customers, to whom they offer personalized quotes based on your specific business needs.

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Limited customer service hours

Crashplan offers customer support via phone, email, and text chat. However, their services are only available M-F during business hours for their non-enterprise customers. Customer support is one of the most critical considerations when purchasing an online backup service, especially for a small business, and it is unfortunate that comprehensive customer support is restricted to their premium subscribers.

Very negative customer reviews

User reviews of Crashplan tend to be overwhelmingly negative, with 80% of ratings at just one star. Customers complain of horrendously unhelpful and unresponsive customer service, in addition to slow restoration speeds. Not to mention the significant bad blood earned when Crashplan deleted thousands of users' personal files when they transitioned from a personal-file saving service to a business-only model not that long ago.

Low cost - and customer service to match

Crashplan is likely a good choice for small business owners who need simple, intuitive backup services that are only $10 per computer per month. At Crashplan's low price, it may well be worth it to you just to have a backup for your small business team. While their customer reviews are extremely negative, many of these had to do with their transition from personal to backup customers. Putting those aside, Crashplan still has some issues to mind - such as improving their customer service and access hours. Still, the affordability and features offered by Crashplan keep them in contention for an online backup service you should consider.

Carbonite Review 2.5 Star Rating

Carbonite

2.5 Star Rating
  • Personal plans starting at $5.58 per month
  • Business plans (up to 25 computers)at $25 per month
  • $50 per month for server backup
  • "A+" rated by the BBB

Carbonite Safe has been in the backup business since 2005, and while it previously had won awards for its quality, it seems that their offerings have simply been outpaced by their competitors over time.

3 personal plans to choose from

Carbonite Safe offers three "personal" computer plans:

  • Carbonite Safe's Basic Plan offers unlimited backup of one hard drive at $5.58 per month.
  • Carbonite Safe's Plus Plan at $7.67 per month billed annually allows you to back up an external hard drive with the addition of Webroot computer antivirus
  • Carbonite Safe's Prime Service at $9.42 per month billed annually includes mail delivery of your backed up data.

And 3 business plans to choose from

Carbonite Safe also offers business pricing, ideal for companies with 25+ computers.

  • The Core Business Plan includes 250 GB encrypted cloud backup for $25 per month
  • Their Power Plan includes 500GB of storage and adds server backup for $50 per month
  • Their Ultimate Plan at $50 per month allows you to back up unlimited servers.

One computer per subscription

While we appreciate Carbonite Safe's low price, they have a major technological sticking point. Their personal plans - even the premium ones - only allow you to backup one computer/harddrive per subscription. This means that, if you happen to have an external hard drive, you'll need to purchase two separate subscriptions just to back it up - which makes their "unlimited" storage more limited than it first seems.

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Misstating their own plan

It is especially disconcerting as Carbonite Safe does not effectively communicate how many computers you can back up with them: one description of their Basic personal plan states you can back up three computers, while another explicitly states that the Basic plan only allows you to back up one computer per subscription. Third-party reviews from experts confirm that you can only back up one computer per subscription, and as such, we recommend that Carbonite Safe update their advertised services to align with their offerings.

Encryption offered

We appreciate that Carbonite Safe offers file encryption across all of their plans. By default, Carbonite Safe manages your encryption key, but you can opt in to manage your key yourself. If you do so, write it down. If you set your files to be encrypted, take control of the encryption key, and lose or forget it, then no one - not even Carbonite - can get your files back for you.

No advanced backup services

Keep in mind that while Carbonite Safe offers convenient file and cloud backup, they do not offer any comprehensive disk imaging services, which creates an entire compact copy of your PC. While this likely won't affect those just looking to secure some files or photos, it is an important caveat to keep in mind. Comprehensive disk-imaging is offered by more highly rated providers on our list.

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Mixed reviews

Customer reviews of Carbonite Safe tend to be mixed. While the company has earned an "A+" from the Better Business Bureau for responsiveness to customer complaints, forums dedicated to sysadmin discussions express dissatisfaction with Carbonite Safe due to slow upload times, and the fact that they will refuse to send your backups in the mail unless you have paid for their premium subscription.

A shady past

In addition, the New York Times found that Carbonite Safe was artificially inflating their own Amazon reviews from 2006 to 2009. They were also fined in the UK in 2012 for artificially throttling their customers' upload speeds to a snail's pace, making it so that their "unlimited" backups were actually quite limited. In short, it seems that Carbonite Safe has earned their mixed reviews.

Low cost, but not recommended

Carbonite Safe offers some low-cost, and convenient online backup services. However - quite frankly - the more highly-rated providers on our list provide more and better services for a lower price. While there is nothing bad about their service itself, there is also little that stands out to distinguish them from their competitors (not to mention their history of misleading and cheating their customers). As such, we recommend that you avoid Carbonite Safe, and check out one of the better rated services we've evaluated.

SugarSync Review 2 Star Rating

SugarSync

2 Star Rating
  • Personal plan: 100GB storage at $7.49 per month
  • Business plan: 1TB for three users at $55 per month
  • Multi folder and device syncing
  • Backups for select "protected folders"
  • Free 30-day trial

SugarSync is first and foremost a file storage and syncing solution. While SugarSync does offer backups and file versioning for the storage you purchase and the files you store therein, unlimited backups of a single hard drive or PC is not what SugarSync offers. Even so, this is a convenient (if slightly more expensive) solution if file syncing and storage is more important to you than a complete PC backup.

You don't get much for what you pay

SugarSync has multiple plans for those looking for flexible cloud storage and syncing.

  • Personal backups. Their Personal plan includes 100GB of storage at $7.49 per month, 250GB for $10 per month, or 500GB for $18.95 per month. All plans with SugarSync include the ability to sync files across devices, file encryption, file-versioning for stored files, and integrated mobile apps.
  • Business backups. SugarSync also offers business plans, which start at $55 per month or $550 per year.

These offerings from SugarSync are not very impressive when compared to the best on our list. For example, our highest-rated budget provider offers 5TB of storage at $59 per year. SugarSync, by comparison, charges $55 per month for one-fifth the amount of storage, a mere 1TB.

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Encryption, but no personal control

While SugarSync does encrypt your files, they do not actually offer you the ability to control your own encryption key. This means that - when push comes to shove - you do not control your files with SugarSync: they control your files, as they are the only ones who have the access key. That being said, SugarSync does support multi-factor authentication, which - for most security concerns - is just as important as file encryption.

Poorly handled service outages

Customer reviews of SugarSync are decidedly mixed. It seems that this is partly due to the fact that their services failed for a two week period during 2022, without any explanation or warning to their customers. (Some customers complained that, even though SugarSync's service was down, they were still able to charge customer credit cards without issue). We are disappointed that-when services were disrupted-SugarSync seems to have left their customers out to dry.

Little to recommend with SugarSync

There is nothing particularly wrong with SugarSync, but there is also nothing about their service that can be recommended. Across every metric-security, storage, customer service, sharing capabilities-a higher-rated service on our list has outperformed SugarSync. Whether you're looking for unlimited backup, low-cost secure storage, or file-sharing, there are better and cheaper companies on our list.

Live Drive Review 1.5 Star Rating

Live Drive

1.5 Star Rating
  • Backup plan: one device at $89 per year
  • Briefcase plan: mobile apps plus 2TB storage $156 per year
  • Pro Suite plan: 5TB storage +5 devices at $240 per year

Once a 2008 tech-startup among many, LiveDrive is now owned by "J2 Global" , a massive technology holdings company. LiveDrive's time as a dot in the portfolio of a tech investment giant appears to have done little towards improving their services. With an overall poor product, there is nothing to recommend about LiveDrive when compared to competitors, especially as they artificially separate key services into expensive, individual plans.

Home backup plans

For home and personal backups, LiveDrive offers 3 plans to choose from.

  • LiveDrive's Base Backup Plan costs $89 per year, and includes unlimited device backup for one PC.
  • LiveDrive's Briefcase Plan at $156 per year will get you an integrated desktop and mobile application, 2TB of storage, and allows you to easily transfer files across synced devices. However, the Briefcase plan does not include any backup services.
  • If you want backup services in addition to file transfer and storage, you will need to purchase LiveDrive's Pro Suite Plan, which includes 5TB of storage across five devices, and costs $240 per year.

Business backups

LiveDrive also offers 2 business backup plans.

  • Their Business Express Plan allows for three users with integrated PC, tablet, and mobile backup, with 2TB of cloud storage at $50 per month
  • Their Business Standard Plan allows for 10 users and 10TB of storage per month.
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Both home and business plans are overpriced

LiveDrive is absolutely overpriced for what they offer. While unlimited online backup storage may seem a plus, their storage is strictly limited by the device limits they set on their plans: in other words, there is only so much you can backup from one PC. In addition, we don't appreciate that LiveDrive separates their backup services and their network attached storage services into two separate plans, which feels like a way to artificially inflate their prices.

No security services offered

One glaring oversight with LiveDrive is that they do not offer any encryption or multi-factor authentication services. In this day and age - one of growing ransomware attacks - half the point of an online backup service is to ensure the safety and security of your files. The fact that LiveDrive does not offer any security services, and is more expensive than competitors who do, is indicative of a service best avoided.

Frustrating cancellation policies

In addition, if you want to cancel your services with LiveDrive, there is no easy way to do so. Instead of simply including a button you can click to cancel your services, you have to fill out and mail a form to their UK business address, or jump through hoops on their customer service line during UK business hours. We strongly disapprove of such customer-unfriendly practices; a reputable company should keep customers based on the quality of their product, and not on how difficult they made it to cancel their services.

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Mixed reviews, frustrated customers

Customer reviews for LiveDrive on aggregate review sites tend to be mixed. While some customers like LiveDrive's ease of use, a huge number of complaints state that LiveDrive makes it near impossible to cancel their services (as you have to call during UK business hours. Tough luck if you live elsewhere it seems.). While LiveDrive does not have a page or rating with the Better Business Bureau, we think that repeated customer frustration with canceling LiveDrive's services paints a picture of a product to skip.

Little benefit to LiveDrive

There is little benefit to using LiveDrive: not only are their services overpriced and underwhelming, but their cancellation policy is downright kafkaesque. Don't be fooled by their "unlimited" storage, which is limited due to its licensing restriction to one device alone. In short, do yourself a favor: avoid LiveDrive and go with a higher rated backup service on our list.

iBackup Review 1 Star Rating

iBackup

1 Star Rating
  • $9.95 per month for 500gb backup
  • $150 for two years of 500gb backup
  • All files encrypted for security

iBackup is a subsidiary of Pro Soft Net, and appears to only exist as an all-around bad deal to overcharge those who don't know any better. With poor reviews and ridiculous fees, there is very little to recommend about iBackup when compared to competitors: their offerings are standard, and their pricing is confusing and (if you're not careful) will come at a premium.

False promotion

iBackup is an excellent example of the "infinite" promotion. They present a fake amount of "low" storage that - luckily - you will not be getting due to their soon-to-be-ending promotion (of course, the promotion is the standard price, and is updated every week or so). Don't be fooled, as iBackup's offerings are simply overpriced, even with their promotion.

Expensive, sliding costs

iBackup has a sliding scale of pricing, which ranges from 500gb of backup for $9.95 per month, all the way to 25TB for a hefty $500 per month. Considering that other services offer unlimited backup space at a much lower price, iBackup's limited, high-priced backup space is disappointing to say the least. Users can also choose to pay at a discounted two-year rate, but it remains to be seen why you would want a two-year contract with a company that offers limited backup space, and charges you ridiculous fees should you exceed their limit. Even so, we do appreciate that - at the very least - iBackup does encrypt your files for security purposes, though they don't seem to support multi-factor authentication.

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Ridiculous data fees

The real kicker with iBackup's overpriced services is the fact that if you accidentally back up more data to their service than your plan allows, they don't just disallow you from backing up that data: they charge you $2 per gigabyte per month. Considering that a normal cloud service will charge you only $0.0144 per gigabyte to store data, the fact that iBackup is charging $2 per gigabyte for accidental overages in backup is simply a ridiculous example of overcharging for a basic service. iBackup is just a bad deal all around.

Infrequent, poor customer reviews

While there are few customer reviews of iBackup, and they do not even have a rating with the BBB, what reviews there are are almost universally bad. Customer reviews on popular forums complain that iBackup's services are not robust, and that iBackup has often simply lost month's worth of backups.

Little to recommend

With low data limits and a ridiculous overcharge policy, there is little to recommend from iBackup. If you need budget online backup, do yourself a favor and check out some different services on our list.

Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

Online backup services are super convenient. Gone are the days when users had to manually transfer data to external hard drives or rely on physical backups that could be lost or damaged. Online backup services automate the process, running in the background and ensuring that data is continuously backed up. This automation makes it easy on users and eliminates the need for manual backups, saving both time and effort.

Another reason why online backup services are so popular is they are an efficient and cost-effective solution for data management. Traditional backup methods often required substantial investments in physical hardware, such as extra hard drives, discs, and cables. These would have to be upgraded as technology (and storage limits) increased. Then, to prevent against environmental damage (such as fire or rain), the backup data needed to be physically moved and stored at another location. Online backup services, on the other hand, offer scalable, pay-as-you-go pricing models, require no additional equipment, and enjoy built-in offsite storage.

Furthermore, online backup services offer continuing technology improvements at no additional cost. Many providers offer advanced features like versioning, which allows users to retrieve previous versions of files, and continuous backup, which ensures that even the smallest changes are saved throughout the day. This not only enhances data integrity but also offers peace of mind, knowing that the data is always up-to-date and recoverable.

There are a host of services out there to help you save critical data and protect your computer from damage or malicious actors. However it can be a bit confusing when it comes to finding the right online backup service that meets your particular needs.

Here are some features to look for when comparing the various online backup services:

  • Disk imaging. A full disk imaging compresses your entire computer into an easily-transported file. Disk imaging is a great choice for a full backup (including your OS and any virtual machines), but may be overkill for the casual user. Decide if you need something at this level before you start looking for an online backup service, so that you only pay for what you'll actually use.
  • Cloud. A cloud service allows you to edit files hosted on an external server. This can be an excellent way to secure files and programs you are actively editing or sharing with others.
  • Deletion policies. Keep in mind that most backup services have a 30-day deletion policy unless they explicitly say otherwise. This means that if your computer doesn't communicate with their servers for 30 days, or it detects that you've deleted a file on your hard drive, it will be deleted in their backup. That being said, the best services on our list do not auto delete your backups or files.
  • Customer service. If you are going to be trusting a company to backup your data, responsive and robust customer service is a must. Be sure to check customer reviews before signing up for a backup service.

While some things involving computers can feel overwhelming, and saved files are in no way as permanent as they seem, some simple and prudent steps taken today can save you a host of headaches (or the pain of lost photographs, memories, or critical work) down the line. To that end, we've collected the best services we could find and rated them based on their reliability, price, and technical merits. We here at Top Consumer Reviews hope that our curated list can help you make an informed choice as you take steps to secure your critical files.

The Best Online Backup Services Compare Online Backup Services Compare Online Backup Service Reviews What are the best Online Backup Services Best Online Backup Service Reviews

Online Backup Service FAQ

Online backup services give customers the ability to back up, secure and restore their files. In the event of data theft, hard drive failure or other loss, clients can easily get their information back from the service's cloud storage facilities.
Definitely not. Anyone can benefit from having their computers backed up to a secure cloud, whether the data contains sensitive financial data or treasured digital photos.
For the average personal user, the monthly fee starts at around $5. Business pricing begins around $30/month. Fees vary by the number of users and the amount of desired offsite storage space.
Free services are handy, but they're not designed to give you automated backup and seamless restoration of your files. If you're not on top of saving absolutely everything on your computer, your free storage is going to be incomplete. Using an online backup service with regularly scheduled backups is the best way to ensure that none of your files are lost.
At least once a week. Your online backup service may allow you to have continuous backups; your system is monitored constantly for any files that have been deleted, modified, created or moved and it updates accordingly in the background with no effort on your part.
If you use a reputable, reliable provider, your files are extremely secure. Be sure to choose a service that encrypts the data not only as it's being transferred but also as it's stored in their cloud. You should also check to see how your encryption key is stored; if you've got serious concerns, pick a service that allows you to create your own private key (and don't lose it, because the service won't be able to recover your data if you don't have the key). Finally, it's worth asking where your provider's data centers are located; ones in the EU and US are preferred.
That will depend on how much you're backing up and your internet speed. It could take as little as an hour or as long as a week.
That's a frequent complaint among users of online backup services: difficulty in accessing support at all stages of the relationship (questions prior to signing up, during the initial backup process, several months into the service). Some providers have a better track record than others in this regard, so if you expect it to be less than smooth sailing because you're not tech-savvy, you should carefully choose an online backup service with a reputation for helpful, reliable customer support.

Why You Should Backup Your Computer

It used to be that fire or flood could destroy an entire lifetime's worth of paper files and other personal items like photos, music, home movies, business records, and so on. This is still true. But now more and more valuable family and business documents exist primarily on hard drives in our computers, or as digital versions in smart phones or tablets. So in addition to fire, flood, or other environmental threat we can add hardware failure and computer theft to the list of threats that could remove these important items from us.

In the early days of personal computers, all PC files were recorded on floppy disks; hard drives were large, expensive devices only found in the clean, secure, and climate-controlled computer rooms of large companies or governments. This allowed the storage of personal files in cases on a shelf. Hardly more secure than paper files, but at least not susceptible to hardware failure. Now, if the hard drive in a computer fails, chances are that all the information stored there will be lost forever. This could include:

  • Business records, like payroll and accounts receivable
  • Personal financial records, including investment info, bill payments, and loan information
  • Digital family pictures, including digitized versions of old photographs and slides
  • Family videos
  • Music files
  • Genealogical records that took years to collect
  • Students' school work

Individuals, families, small businesses, and even larger enterprises sometimes have no backup copies of these valuable and often irreplaceable files. Or they might occasionally copy them to a DVD. Or they might have an external hard drive attached to the computer. Any copy is better than no copy. But copies that are kept at the same location as the computer are subject to the same environmental threats as the computer. And an external hard drive is just as subject to failure as the one inside the desktop or laptop system. Copies on optical disks, like DVDs, are likely outdated in as short a time as a week or two. So files must be manually backed up again and again, in an ever-increasing stack of disks.

What are the characteristics of a solution to this dilemma? Consider a solution that would provide:

  • Safe, secure storage of valuable documents, photos, and other files that is not only external from the computer, but at a different location entirely
  • Encryption of all data and security to ensure privacy
  • An automated process that requires no intervention after initial installation and setup
  • Easy restoration of lost files, including previous versions if the latest is accidentally overwritten
  • Relatively low cost, especially when compared to the price of optical media, paper, and printer ink

These statements all describe online computer backup systems.

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