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The Best Online Backup Services

Which Company Offers the Best Online Backup Service?

One thing that keeps many computer users and business owners awake at night is how they would recover from a data loss event or security breach. Hard drives are wonderful devices for storing more information now than ever before. But even with the advent of more solid-state (moving parts) storage components, hard drives are still prone to occasional failure, damage, intrusion, or accidental erasure.

Even worse, a disgruntled employee or a criminal who likes to hack into computers and steal data could bring your business or home computing to a grinding halt. Ransomware hackers could hold your data for ransom by encrypting it and only offering to give you the "key" to unscramble it if you pay them a large sum of money. Even if you pay, there is no guarantee that they'll give you access to your data again.

Saturday, January 28th

2023 Online Backup Service Reviews

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


5 Star Rating
  • Cost: $60 per year for Personal Backup and Business Backup
  • $0.005/GB/Month and $0.01/GB downloads for B2 Cloud Storage
Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

Backblaze provides unlimited storage for a low price. Combined with an easy setup process and an array of options and integration points, Backblaze proves hard to beat when it comes to online backups.

2 backup plans to choose from

Backblaze offers two online backup plans - Personal Backup and Business Backup. B2 Cloud Storage is available for both plans.

  • With Personal Backup, you can back up your PC or Mac files automatically for access everywhere you go. With a 15-day free trial and with full access, you'll not only be able to archive files, mail, and documents, and access them from any computer or mobile device, you'll also be able to locate your computer if it is stolen or lost. If a local drive fails, you can have a hard drive shipped to your door with all your data on it.
  • Business Backup takes file backup and restoration a step further and higher for business-critical systems. With it, all your files, as well as those of your employees and your whole data center, are backed up to Backblaze. There are no limiting pricing tiers. Backups are automatic with free hard drive restoration via a mailed hard drive to your location anywhere in the world. You also get ransomware protection, single sign-on, and a web-based administration console to manage all data.
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For servers and Network Attached Storage (NAS) on the Business Backup plan, Backblaze uses Cloudberry for server backup and integrations from Synology, QNAP, TrueNAS, and dozens of other vendors.

Low cost

B2 Cloud Storage is $5/month/terabyte, which is about a fourth of the price of Amazon S3. It lets you backup and archive, move legacy tape archives to B2, manage and store large amounts of media files, and build apps storage for your custom desktop and mobile applications.

Excellent customer reviews

Reviews of Backblaze are very positive. Users like its low cost for unlimited storage and the easy setup. Strong security settings and the mailed backup drive are also well received. It seems to resonate with novices and experts alike. In fact, its only flaw seems to be a lack of support for Linux systems.

Due to its strong security, low cost, unlimited storage, and easy setup, as well as options for NAS and integration with so many vendors, we give Backblaze the highest rating.

Acronis Review 4 Star Rating


4 Star Rating
  • Cost: $59.99 for Standard (one-time purchase)
  • $49.99 for Advanced (one-year subscription)
  • $99.99 for Premium (one-year subscription)

The Acronis online file backup system offers a fully-enabled file backup and recovery ecosystem. Their backups are mirror-image recreations of your files, cloning of entire disks, and recovery through all-in-one drives.

Easy access to backed up files

You can access your files from Acronis from a cloud backup from any location on any device that has Internet access. You can also log in and change backup settings remotely, sync your files, and share them with others.

Acronis uses artificial intelligence to monitor and stop cryptojacking and ransomware attacks. It verifies that your data is secure and backed up completely using blockchain verification and notarization technologies - the same blockchain technology used by cryptocurrency firms to validate high-value financial transactions.

Dual protection

With their automated dual protection system, your files exist on your computer and in the cloud, resulting in an off-site copy for recovery in case your local files get damaged or erased.

Given that laptop batteries can quickly drain during backup operations, Acronis manages the intensity of its resource usage based on minimum power level settings you designate. In the taskbar tray of your computer's operating system, you can watch the status of your backups in real-time. And, you can choose which specific WiFi connections you trust for the backup to be secure and reliable.

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Elegant interface

The backup software is simple and elegant with just the visually-represented information you need to get a good impression of how the backup and restore process is going.

During independent testing, Acronis was measured against Carbonite, IDrive, and Backblaze. It came out on top as the fastest online backup solution of the four. The reason it performs so quickly is, in part, due to its use of versioning, only updating the data that changed since the prior backup. Full backups, given their very nature, still take a while to complete and are on par with other services when accounting for one's connection speed and size of the backup.

Reliable warhorse

Reviewers trust Acronis as a "warhorse" that gets the job done with lots of data in a reliable and resilient way. They like the recent changes to the software which updated the user interface and added new features. Many customers say they've used Acronis for more than ten years and are happy with the features and reliability for such a low price. All of the negative reviews seemed to be some type of user error or basic misunderstanding that was easily resolved by reading the directions or with a call or chat with technical support. Acronis attends to its more negative online reviews by answering them directly where they are posted.

Acronis earns high marks for its speed, high security, resilience, and reliability as well as the loyalty of its customers who recognize it as a leader in online backup. This is a great option among online backup providers.

Carbonite Review 4 Star Rating


4 Star Rating
  • Cost: $6/month billed annually for one computer
  • $24/month billed annually for multiple computers
  • $50/month billed annually for computers and servers

Carbonite shares a name with the fictional preservation technology mentioned in "Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back". It was used to keep Han Solo in a "frozen" state before he was shipped to Jabba the Hutt. Similarly, Carbonite preserves your data so that you can recover it should your hard drive take a turn for the worse, whether that be ransomware, coffee spills, computer crashes or theft, or accidental file deletion or overwriting.

3 levels of backup

There are three levels of Carbonite usage: personal cloud backup, cloud backup for small business, and data protection solutions.

  • The software for personal cloud backup and cloud backup for small businesses is called "Carbonite Safe". For personal files, such as photos, documents, settings, email, music, and videos, Carbonite Safe is a Windows or Mac program to help you identify files and folders you want to protect and then back them up to the Carbonite storage cloud. If you need to restore your files, Carbonite Safe directly restores them to a device of your choosing from the Carbonite cloud. The software for small businesses protects up to 25 computers and provides easy file recovery and monitoring of online backups from a web-based dashboard.
  • Carbonite's advanced data protection solutions allow you to shield your business data from everyone who shouldn't have access and to keep or delete data as needed. You can back up virtual, physical, and legacy servers and restore everything from individual files to whole servers. You can also back up Office 365 suite files and documents, migrate files from one source to another with zero data loss and no service disruption, and balance storage load between servers to provide a failover solution. Should a business have a need to backup "active" file systems, such as a database server, Carbonite's advanced data protection solutions can handle that as well.
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Data protection needs

Small, medium, and large businesses may have additional requirements that personal computing customers may not have. For example, a doctor's office may need to protect patient records from being viewed by anyone other than the doctor or patient. That includes not allowing third-party software vendors, like Carbonite, to see the data. Additionally, an accounting firm may have data retention requirements to keep data for a certain amount of time, or delete data after a date has passed.

24/7 support is included with every Carbonite plan.

Features good, pricing concerns

Carbonite reviewers liked the ease of use and file backup / restoration features. The price was a bit too steep for some reviewers, though. And, as with many of the services we researched, there is a certain amount of pain with customer support inquiries that went unresolved or weren't resolved to the users' satisfaction.

Carbonite has a good, solid reputation in the online backup industry, but the higher cost than its competitors resulted in a slightly lower rating than our first-place choice.

SOS Online Backup Review 3.5 Star Rating

SOS Online Backup

3.5 Star Rating
  • Cost: Starting at $4.99 per month for 50GB for SOS Home
  • Starting at $29.99 per month for 100GB for SOS Business

If you need every device, including tablets and smartphones, backed up to the cloud, SOS Online Backup can do that for you. They back up files to a secured, multi-layer encrypted cloud location where they'll never be deleted if you don't want them to. Other services only keep archives of your files for up to 30 days. You'll also have access to unlimited versions of documents from the past and present.

2 backup plans available

SOS Online Backup offers 2 backup plans to choose from.

  • SOS Home continuously backs up unlimited numbers and sizes of files, as well as unlimited versions of files. They own, run, and protect their servers rather than outsourcing storage to a third-party vendor.
  • SOS Business lines up an impressive, comprehensive, and sophisticated professional-grade feature set that includes backing up unlimited numbers of systems and attached drives, mirror, incremental, differential, and file/folder backup types, built-in anti-malware software, and unlimited versioning, archiving, sharing, and file sizes.
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Cloud-to-cloud backup options

With SOS Business, rather than having your storage location thousands of miles from you, which leads to longer restore times, you can choose a data center that suits you geographically. Backups can be scheduled hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly. With add-on packages, you can perform cloud-to-cloud backups of all of your Office 365, Office 365 Groups, G Suite, Dropbox, SharePoint, OneDrive, Box, and Salesforce data.

There is a free trial option. Customer support is available via phone, email, chat, and FAQ.

One of the most expensive

Some downsides do exist for SOS Online Backup. For one, the price is one of the most expensive per GB compared to other services in its class. The desktop and mobile interfaces, though functional, seem outdated and the continuous protection aspect is limited to individual files. There is no Windows File Explorer compatibility or integration. And, unlike some other services, SOS Online Backup doesn't offer free storage in any of its plans.

Positive reviews

The greater majority of end-user reviews were in positive territory. People like the speed and expanded feature set that SOS Online Backup offers. They also like the sense of comfort that comes from the encryption and peace of mind of knowing their files are stored safely. Some complained of mishandled customer support issues, but all of the reviews we saw had some kind of helpful response from SOS Online Backup's support representatives.

If you don't mind an outdated interface, have a higher budget per GB for backup storage, and you want the ability to back up cloud-to-cloud and have unlimited versions and unlimited longevity for your files, SOS Online Backup is a decent option.

CrashPlan Review 3 Star Rating


3 Star Rating
  • Cost: $10 per month per computer

Small businesses that require a low-cost entry into the world of data backups have CrashPlan as an option. For $10 per month per computer, you'll get continuous backups that run in the background automatically, with no file size restrictions, customized file retention, ransomware recovery, and external drive protection.

Backup versioning

Protection of files begins first with what you're working on. You can easily go back to previous versions of your files. To restore your files, you can use the desktop app or a browser and there is no fee to restore them. All of your files are protected by the highest available encryption standards and HIPAA compliance is also supported.

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Scheduled and continuous backups

For IT directors and managers, CrashPlan is built in a way that you can logically implement continuous and multiple backup sets on a schedule that works for you. All files get verified to ensure that they'll be whole when restored. And, you can prioritize file backups and restorations by their source, target, and frequency. Gone are the days when files that are open and being worked on cannot be backed up - because CrashPlan has those covered as well.

CrashPlan offers dedicated support by phone, chat, or email as well as through documentation if you feel like you want to try to solve any problems on your own.

Mixed customer reviews

Reviews of CrashPlan tend to be somewhat positive, with people liking the intuitive and simple user interface, continuous backup, and unlimited storage amounts.

Negative reviews included complaints about the amount of memory the software uses and how it cannot back up files larger than 1 terabyte, business suite software, and virtual machines. Support complaints exist as well, with users not liking the generalized responses to specific questions and numbers of unsolved tickets over long periods of time.

The complaints we read were concerning in that it appears CrashPlan has a ways to go to earn a higher rating. We suggest you choose a different online backup vendor if you want to be sure of a better experience all around.

IDrive Review 3 Star Rating


3 Star Rating
  • Cost: Between $52 and $149 depending on space and billing term for IDrive Personal
  • Between $74 and $749 depending on space and billing term for IDrive Business

IDrive's pricing plans were confusing to understand at first. One page listed a Personal plan and a Business plan separately in addition to a Free plan. Another pricing and signup page seemed to omit the free plan and combined Personal and Business plans. After a bit of re-reading it was easier to distinguish between all three.

Business backup is their strength

If you're looking for a backup system for home computing purposes, IDrive is probably overkill. There are several other easier systems to choose from.

Where IDrive shines is with small business and enterprise computing environments that have a strong need for sophisticated backup scheduling and automation. There is the ability to create groups, sub-accounts, and single sign-on to meet the needs of departmental organizations with intranets and other integrated systems.

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Manage backups remotely

Compressed backups can be executed on "thin client" and web consoles in the background and incrementally so that productivity is not negatively affected. You can manage computers remotely to do backups and restores.

For quick jobs and to reduce bandwidth usage, use IDrive Express to get a quick backup and retrieval via physically shipped hard drives. All data is secured with military-grade AES encryption.

IDrive can back up all databases and servers, including Linux, Office 365, System State, Oracle, MS SharePoint, Hyper-V, VMware, MS Exchange, and MS SQL Server.

Sophisticated features means a higher price

All the same, and adjusting for the varying composition of features and pricing tiers across all services, the overall cost of IDrive over the long term seemed to be higher than other plans with other services. But, with the sophisticated set of features that IDrive has, it may be worth the price for some customers.

High marks from techies, less so from home users

Technology media reviews of IDrive are quite positive. Consumer reviews were overwhelmingly negative with regards to service and support, inadvertently canceled billing with no guarantee of data recovery once reinstated, a slow and difficult interface, and chronically unsuccessful backups. The disconnect between media reviews and consumer reviews seems to reveal a gap in technical ability between IDrive's professional and casual users.

The rating for IDrive was dropped a little to account for the initial confusion about the types of customers they're stronger at serving (personal vs. business). Plus, they don't have an unlimited storage option or a continuous backup option. Also, the disparity between tech media and individual user reviews was a concern. But as a business/enterprise solution for professionals who fully understand backups and restores at that level, it seems very solid.

SugarSync Review 3 Star Rating


3 Star Rating
  • Cost: Between $7.49 per month and $55 per month depending on storage capacity and number of users

SugarSync offers a choice of 3 online backup plans for both personal and business use.

1 Personal, 2 Business plans

  • With the Personal Plan, you can buy between 100GB and 500GB of storage but are limited to backing up files from a single computer. To back up multiple computers and get a terabyte of storage or more, you must upgrade to one of two business plans.
  • The First Business Plan gives you up to 9 users plus admin control, live support over the phone during weekday business hours in the U.S., and the ability to delete all files and applications on a computer remotely.
  • The Second Business Plan offers the same features, but adds 10 or more users. Pricing is customized according to resource usage.

Both business backup plans provide pooled storage for your users, the ability to set storage limits per user, change and disable user roles, enable or disable user accounts, watch user activity, and delegate access and permissions.

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Features, 30-day free trial

Other features include folders and file sharing, syncing folders across teams, support for MS Outlook, sharing of public links, and synchronization of files across multiple devices.

SugarSync gives you a free 30-day, 5GB trial to let you determine for yourself whether it will be a good fit for your personal or business needs.

Mainly good experiences

Reviews seemed to be fairly positive, with people liking SugarSync's capabilities, flexibility across devices, user interface, and reliability. Middle-of-the-road reviews pointed out the relatively high cost compared to other online backup services, the limit of being able to recover only up to five previous versions, and some general glitchy-ness. The negative reviews were few and had to do mainly with customer support issues that went unresolved or were not resolved satisfactorily. This was a common thread among all online backup services to varying degrees.

Light but serviceable

Compared to other vendors, SugarSync seems a bit light on features, so we're not granting it as high of a rating as those competitor services. Still, it seems like it will do the job for most casual and small business users with a minimum of fuss.

SugarSync is a recommended service for light-touch backups and device file synchronization. But if you want less expensive storage per GB, have a look at the higher-ranked services in our review.

Live Drive Review 2 Star Rating

Live Drive

2 Star Rating
  • Cost: Between $8.99 and $25 per month for Personal
  • Between $50 and $160 per month for Business
  • $59.95 per month to become a reseller

LiveDrive poffers a variety of both personal and business backup plans to choose from.

3 personal online backup plans

The LiveDrive personal backup plans are split into three pricing tiers: Backup, Briefcase, and Pro Suite.

  • The Backup plan includes one PC or Mac user account backup and unlimited storage.
  • Strangely, the next highest-priced plan, Briefcase, only includes 2,000GB of storage for just synchronization of desktop and mobile apps.
  • The Pro Suite plan provides up to 5 PC or Mac user account backups, tablet and mobile backups, unlimited backup storage, and upgrades you to 5,000GB of Briefcase storage.

Confusing combinations

Apparently, the idea is to combine Backup, Pro, and Briefcase in ways that are advantageous to individual users' needs. But it just feels confusing in that you have to sit down and analyze what you'll be missing if you get the combination wrong.

Also, the storage space in the marketing copy is expressed in thousands of gigabytes vs a more simple and understandable terabyte unit. Possibly this is an international unit expression distinction, but one that felt unnecessary in a standardizing, global computing environment.

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After digging a bit into the links on the product pages, we were able to find tables and frequently asked questions to help clarify the combinations.

2 business online backup plans

On the business plan side there are two online backup plans to choose from: Business Express and Business Standard.

  • With Business Express, you get 3 users, PC and Mac backup, tablet and mobile backup, and 2,000GB...ahem...make that 1 terabyte of cloud storage for $50 per month.
  • The Business Standard plan is the same as Business Express but with 7 more users and 10 terabytes of cloud storage for $160 per month.

Lack of positive reviews

We were not able to find any screenshots of the software to determine how easy or hard the backup software is to use. Reviews about LiveDrive were not positive enough to merit a better rating. Negative reviews said that the service is too expensive for what it offers and that Briefcase for Business is slow and difficult to use when syncing multiple devices. This results in a problem where updates on one device aren't available on other devices as immediately as some teams might need. Some noted that you can't use encryption keys and that there is no continuous backup feature. Other complaints were about customer service.

Unless you like to live dangerously, avoid LiveDrive and choose an alternative file backup service for better protection of your valuable data.

I Backup Review 1 Star Rating

I Backup

1 Star Rating
  • Cost: Between $9.95 and $199.95 monthly, or $99.50 and $1,999.50 annually depending on storage space purchased.

IBackup began as a software consulting company in the late 1990s and provided services to Fortune 500 clients. Once the popularity of the Internet took hold, they altered their focus to become a web-based online backup service company.

Wide range of services and tools

IBackup advertises a number of services and tools on its website that seem to be very useful on the surface. Their suite includes support for Windows, Mac, Linux, and iOS/Android operating systems, hybrid backups to local and remote storage, a single web-based admin console, and "active" filesystem backups (MySQL and Oracle databases, MS Exchange and MS SharePoint servers, Office suites, and VMware).

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Limited storage, high cost

However, a review of their pricing model shows an astonishingly small range and size of storage compared to other services we've reviewed. Storage space starts at 10GB and only goes to 200GB. A promotional offer in place at the time of our most recent visit increased that range from 500GB up to 10TB. But other services offer unlimited storage for much less cost than IBackup.

Too many negative reviews

The few reviews found about IBackup are nearly all negative, mostly customer service and software complaints, followed by pricing and billing issues.

It is best to avoid IBackup altogether and choose another file backup service.

Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

Fortunately, there are several companies that have made it their mission to help you back up, secure, and restore your irreplaceable files and protect your information. They provide the storage hardware and the software to migrate copies of your files continuously and securely to their "cloud" storage facilities.

When looking for a backup service, some important things to consider include:

  • Fees. How much storage are you getting per dollar? Obviously, the lower the cost per gigabyte, the better off you are, all other things being equal.
  • Features. Every service we reviewed offers vastly different combinations of features. Make sure the service you choose is the right fit for your particular needs, without buying features you don't need.
  • Customer Service. The last thing you need in a data emergency is poor customer service. If you have any kind of trouble with backing up or restoring files, you'll want fast, courteous, and helpful customer service.

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best online backup services to help you attain peace of mind. We hope this information helps you find the right online backup service for your home or business!

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 (e.g. 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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