Best Cloud Backup

By Ivan Stevanović January 25, 2020

The importance of good file backup is a concept as old as the Bible itself. No, really. Did you know that the original copy of the 10 commandments got destroyed? You could say Moses was pretty upset that people took to worshiping a golden calf during his mountain voyage and consequently took out all that rage out on his famous tablet. Luckily, God was always a forward thinker, so he had a backup copy in the cloud, ready to redistribute. 

More than 3,000 years later, here we are again, looking for the best cloud backup solution in Anno Domini 2021. “Thou shalt always keep a backup of your important data” never made it to the list of 10 commandments, but we’re pretty sure it’s good advice nonetheless.

Best Cloud Backup in 2021

  • Full disk image backup
  • Social media and mobile device backup
  • Extensive security suite
  • Excellent user interface
  • Expensive
  • No 2FA
Price $49,99/year
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  • Unlimited storage
  • Simple user interface
  • Intuitive installation and quick uploads
  • 10 GB of shareable cloud storage
  • Only one device per account
Price $55/year
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  • Unlimited storage
  • Good mobile app
  • Excellent security
  • Color-coded file system
  • Pricey and slow
Price $6/mo
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  • In-depth version options
  • Unlimited deleted file retention
  • Unlimited storage capacity
  • Fantastic security features
  • Support for an unlimited number of computers
  • No physical drive backup
Price $10/monthly per computer
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  • Share Rooms functionality
  • Unlimited devices per account
  • Top-notch security
  • Good upload and download speeds
  • Not beginner-friendly
  • A bit pricey
Price $69/year
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  • Very fast upload speeds
  • Unlimited devices per account
  • Support for multiple platforms
  • Folder synchronization
  • Disk image backup
  • No unlimited storage option
Price $69.50/year
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  • Unlimited file sizes
  • Offline backup options
  • Unlimited versioning
  • 100% private
  • Data remains forever until you cancel service
  • No multi-device syncing
Price $4.99/mo
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  • Versioning
  • Unlimited storage
  • Briefcase file storage feature
  • Excellent desktop and mobile apps
  • No private encryption
Price $8.99 /mo
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  • File and folder sharing and hotlinking
  • Extensive sharing features
  • Unlimited storage
  • Limited free plan
Price FREE
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What is cloud storage?

Cloud or remote storage is simply a term used to describe computer backup services that store data from your hard drives on external servers. These servers are located in remote data centers across the globe and provide periodic backup or active synchronization with your files, ensuring that you always have a backup of your important data.

Why use cloud storage?

There are numerous reasons. Aside from the obvious answer that online cloud backup can save your important files should they get destroyed or lost, there is also the issue of convenience. The best backup software also synchronizes your data in real time, which means you can access it from any device, anywhere in the world, as long as you have access to a reliable internet connection. This is fantastic for personal and professional use, as it allows seamless workflow whether you are at the office or on a beach. The one downside, of course, is that you need a good internet connection to make use of any cloud storage solutions.

What is the difference between cloud backup and cloud sync?

Whether you’re looking for the best PC backup software or something to help back up your smartphone, you’ll want to look into cloud backup and synchronization options.

The key difference here is that a simple cloud data backup usually backs up everything on your hard drive to external storage at specific intervals. This interval depends on the provider and settings that you choose, and can be once a day, week, or even month. As the name suggests, it’s primarily aimed at backing up data you may need in the future but don’t need to access on a regular basis.

The best cloud storage options, however, offer cloud synchronization (often known as sync). This type of cloud storage works by establishing a constant link between your computer and the remote servers your data is stored on. It’s a more sophisticated system that requires constant communication with your primary storage device, and usually costs a lot more than a simple periodic backup solution.

It also typically comes with less storage space per dollar and is potentially less safe, should remote servers be compromised in some way. That said, this is a highly unlikely occurrence given the high-end security protocols these companies employ. You’re paying a higher premium for cloud sync not just for the online backup, but also for the ability to access your files in real time from any device or location in the world.

1. Acronis True Image

" Safest cloud storage solution "

acronis review
  • Storage capacity
    Up to 5 TB
  • Devices per account
    1-5 (additional devices cost extra)
  • Encryption
    256-bit AES encryption
  • Two-factor authentication
    No
  • Physical drive backup
    No

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Full disk image backup
  • Social media and mobile device backup
  • Extensive security suite
  • Excellent user interface
  • Expensive
  • No 2FA

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Full disk image backup
  • Social media and mobile device backup
  • Extensive security suite
  • Excellent user interface
  • Expensive
  • No 2FA
  • Storage capacity
    Up to 5 TB
  • Devices per account
    1-5 (additional devices cost extra)
  • Encryption
    256-bit AES encryption
  • Two-factor authentication
    No
  • Physical drive backup
    No

While it’s definitely not cheap, Acronis True Image is one of the most feature-packed and secure cloud data backup solutions on the market, offering a veritable wealth of features not usually found among the competition. In addition to providing perhaps the best cloud storage for personal use, the company also has a business plan called Acronis Cyber Backup, although that’s a topic for another time. 

The personal plan covers a wide range of options, with the cheapest Advanced plan offering 250 GB of storage on one device for $49.99 a year. While that may seem very little compared to some of the competitors we’ve mentioned, you do get full disk image backup and active cloning, backup replication in the cloud, ransomware and crypto blockers, Office 365, social networking and mobile backups, and even more features. If you need more space, you can opt for the Premium plan, which offers between 1 TB and 5 TB, starting at $99.99 per year. 

Looking to add one of the best computer backup solutions to more than one device? You can choose to back up three or five devices instead of one, but it will cost you extra, regardless of how much storage you opt for. For example, 250 GB for five devices would set you back $99.99 per year, while the maximum 5 TB for those five devices will cost $319.99. 

External drive backup is not only supported but takes place automatically, as soon as you plug the device in. In addition to that, you can make use of the excellent mobile apps for Android and iOS devices to not only access your computer backups, but make backups of your mobile data as well. You can also back up Facebook and Instagram photos automatically in real time through the computer app.

We’ve already mentioned that Acronis True Image is possibly the best secure cloud storage: not only do you get 256-bit AES encryption, but there’s also a personal encryption key as well as active protection against ransomware attacks. On top of all that, you get a “survival kit” that creates a bootable drive for emergencies in case things go really wrong. 

There are even more advanced features available in the more expensive plans, such as blockchain file and electronic signature verification. However, there are no two-step verification or physical hard drive recovery options available at the moment. 

The interface on both the desktop and mobile apps is very clear and easy to navigate, while offering a wealth of options rarely found in even the best online cloud storage programs. You can choose what and when to back up, or set up event-based backups that trigger at specific moments, such as the computer going into idle mode. There’s even a “try and decide” tab for installing suspicious files; it allows quick rollbacks should things go wrong. 

Overall, while Acronis True Image may not be the most budget-friendly package out there if you need lots of space or devices, its wealth of unique features and great security measures make it a worthy recommendation for anyone looking for a safe and feature-rich cloud backup solution.

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2. Backblaze

" Best cloud backup for Mac "

backblaze banner
  • Storage capacity
    Unlimited
  • Devices per account
    1
  • Encryption
    128-bit AES encryption + private encryption key
  • Two-factor authentication
    Yes
  • Physical drive backup
    Yes

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Unlimited storage
  • Simple user interface
  • Intuitive installation and quick uploads
  • 10 GB of shareable cloud storage
  • Only one device per account

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Unlimited storage
  • Simple user interface
  • Intuitive installation and quick uploads
  • 10 GB of shareable cloud storage
  • Only one device per account
  • Storage capacity
    Unlimited
  • Devices per account
    1
  • Encryption
    128-bit AES encryption + private encryption key
  • Two-factor authentication
    Yes
  • Physical drive backup
    Yes

Backblaze cloud backup has been around since 2007. During that time, it has built up a reputation as one of the more affordable and reliable online storage options on the market. We’ll be looking at the company’s personal plan for this review, although there’s also a business solution available. 

If we look at iDrive vs Backblaze, the former offers unlimited devices per account, while the latter gives you only one device per account, but unlimited online storage. It’s up to you to decide which of those options suits you best. Whether you’re looking for the best Mac backup software or something for PC, Backblaze has you covered. Unfortunately, while there are mobile apps available, there is no option for mobile device backup and sync. 

The pricing for the Personal plan is very simple. You can get a monthly subscription for $6, a yearly one for $60, or subscribe for two years and pay $110. In addition to the unlimited storage on its servers, Backblaze also offers 10 GB of shareable cloud-synchronized storage, which works the same way as it does for Google Drive or Mega. You can select whether the files will be viewable or editable by those with the link and can revoke said privileges at any time. 

This is the best online backup option for sharing images and videos with your friends and family, and if 10 GB is too little, you can pay for extra cloud storage. As with iDrive, you have the option of restoring multiple versions of overwritten files. Backup and restore speeds are generally good, with uploads being slower than on iDrive, but the backup process taking less time. You can also get a USB or standard hard drive with your data shipped, and you only have to pay for the shipping costs if you return it within a month. 

While Backblaze may not have the best cloud server in the business, it’s still fast enough to warrant occasional drive shipping, although only for the largest of backups. Backups themselves are mostly automatic; you select exclusions rather than individual folders, with the system backing up everything else. 

The interface is very simple and intuitive on a computer, although features on the mobile apps are barebones; you can’t preview any files, no matter the type. Security features are excellent – you can get a private encryption key on top of the in-built 128-bit AES encryption, and the software can even try to locate lost or stolen computers by doing hourly checks on your device’s location and checking the last ISP and IP address used. 

Overall, Backblaze is a great option for people looking for affordable computer backup with unlimited storage space. We just wish it supported more than one device per account.

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3. Carbonite

" Best PC backup software "

Carbonite Logo
  • Storage capacity:
    Unlimited
  • Devices per account
    1+ (additional devices cost extra)
  • Encryption
    128-bit AES encryption
  • Two-factor authentication
    Yes
  • Physical drive backup
    Yes, on more expensive plans

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Unlimited storage
  • Good mobile app
  • Excellent security
  • Color-coded file system
  • Pricey and slow

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Unlimited storage
  • Good mobile app
  • Excellent security
  • Color-coded file system
  • Pricey and slow
  • Storage capacity:
    Unlimited
  • Devices per account
    1+ (additional devices cost extra)
  • Encryption
    128-bit AES encryption
  • Two-factor authentication
    Yes
  • Physical drive backup
    Yes, on more expensive plans

Carbonite has been around since 2006, and in that time has established itself as one of the go-to PC backup software solutions on the market. Whether you’re looking for personal file backup, secure cloud storage for small businesses, or server backup software, Carbonite has a plan to match your needs. 

As our article mostly focuses on the best cloud storage for personal use, the plan we’ll be looking at is Carbonite’s cheapest one, which covers from one to five devices. You can add multiple devices to this plan, but each extra one costs $6 per month. For $71.99 a year, you get unlimited cloud drive storage for one computer. 

There are also options for small businesses and enterprises, with a backup of up to 25 devices costing $287.99 a year, and the same deal with an added server costing $599.99. There are also no limitations on file sizes, but the software doesn’t automatically add files larger than 4 GB, which means you have to manually add them to your backup. 

The best online storage options give you a lot of flexibility on how to approach backups, and Carbonite doesn’t disappoint here. In addition to automated backups, you can manually select backup times, choose whether to create backups when the computer is idle, and also color-code folders and right-click to add them to your backup collection. 

Carbonite also maintains up to three older versions of files that you copy, preserving them for up to 30 days. That said, you can only get external drive backups with the higher-priced plans, and the same goes for the courier recovery service, which delivers your backed-up data on a hard drive. 

While these are nice options, the best cloud backup solutions on the market – such as iDrive – provide such functionality for a much lower price. This is especially important to consider if you have huge backups to make and recover, as both upload and download speeds are far from the best in the business.

On the plus side, Carbonite’s security is excellent; it features personal encryption keys on top of 128-bit AES encryption, as well as a two-factor authentication system. The user interface is very simple to use while allowing a lot of flexibility in terms of how you approach your backups. The mobile apps are also excellent in that they let you preview files easily, although there’s no mobile data backup available. 

Overall, Carbonite’s biggest flaw is that it doesn’t do anything to really distinguish itself from the competition. That said, this is solid data backup software, which makes it an easy recommendation for a simple and effective unlimited online storage solution.

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4. SpiderOak One Backup

" Best cloud storage for videos "

spideroak logo
  • Storage capacity
    Up to 5 TB
  • Devices per account
    Unlimited
  • Encryption
    256-bit encryption
  • Two-factor authentication
    For legacy users
  • Physical drive backup
    No

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Share Rooms functionality
  • Unlimited devices per account
  • Top-notch security
  • Good upload and download speeds
  • Not beginner-friendly
  • A bit pricey

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Share Rooms functionality
  • Unlimited devices per account
  • Top-notch security
  • Good upload and download speeds
  • Not beginner-friendly
  • A bit pricey
  • Storage capacity
    Up to 5 TB
  • Devices per account
    Unlimited
  • Encryption
    256-bit encryption
  • Two-factor authentication
    For legacy users
  • Physical drive backup
    No

SpiderOak is a veteran in the PC backup game, having been around since 2007. It was one of the first cloud backup solutions to offer a no-knowledge security policy, which ensured that your data was encrypted as soon as it left your computer, and even the company couldn’t crack it. The best server backup software as well as several personal cloud-based backup providers have since adopted this measure, but SpiderOak was the first company to introduce it. 

This company also offers extensive file sharing and synchronization through a system called the Hive. Everything you put into the Hive folder on your device will automatically get synchronized with other devices that share your SpiderOak account. 

You can also choose to share your files with others using the Share Rooms functionality, which allows you to invite people in to share your files with them. Bear in mind that doing so forfeits all of the fancy file encryption features that those files otherwise have, though. Still, this functionality makes SpiderOak possibly the best cloud storage for pictures and videos that you want to easily share with your family and friends. 

Now let’s talk about the elephant in the room – the price. The company offers four plans that are functionally identical, with the only difference being the storage space and price. The cheapest option will set you back $69 annually, but only gets you 150 GB of storage space. If you want to max out the storage at 5 TB, you’ll have to pay $320 a year. It’s a far cry from iDrive’s $99.50, not to even mention Backblaze and other companies that offer unlimited storage. 

So what does that money get you? Well, if not the fastest cloud storage around, then certainly one of the safest ones, and for an unlimited number of devices. The app works on pretty much every operating system and there are mobile apps for Android and iOS users as well. 

SpiderOak is clearly an app designed for advanced users. In addition to having a command console for advanced inputs, the basic interface bombards you with a huge number of options. 

The font is also slightly too small for comfort and you need to manually select the files you will back up. 

On the flip side, it is definitely one of the best cloud backup solutions for tweakers, as you can set up the backup frequency (continuous or scheduled) and even back up system and virtual machine files, which aren’t often supported by cloud backup services. Unfortunately, there’s no option to recover your data on a physical drive at the moment. Security is absolutely top-notch, as the 256-bit encryption and the company’s no-knowledge security policy keep your backup files online safe from prying eyes.

Overall, a cloud storage comparison between SpiderOak and the most popular services out there such as iDrive and Backblaze isn’t too favorable for SpiderOak in the bang-for-your-buck category. Nevertheless, if you’re an advanced user who appreciates excellent security and sync/sharing features, SpiderOak still has plenty to offer, albeit not at a very competitive price.

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5. Crashplan

" Best cloud storage for small business owners "

Crashplan logo
  • Storage capacity
    Unlimited
  • Devices per account
    Unlimited (pay per device)
  • Encryption
    256-bit AES encryption
  • Two-factor authentication
    Yes
  • Physical drive backup
    No

Things we liked / disliked:

  • In-depth version options
  • Unlimited deleted file retention
  • Unlimited storage capacity
  • Fantastic security features
  • Support for an unlimited number of computers
  • No physical drive backup

Things we liked / disliked:

  • In-depth version options
  • Unlimited deleted file retention
  • Unlimited storage capacity
  • Fantastic security features
  • Support for an unlimited number of computers
  • No physical drive backup
  • Storage capacity
    Unlimited
  • Devices per account
    Unlimited (pay per device)
  • Encryption
    256-bit AES encryption
  • Two-factor authentication
    Yes
  • Physical drive backup
    No

Given that our site focuses mostly on the tech needs of individuals rather than companies, we’ve primarily been concerned with personal cloud backup for Mac and PC devices in this article. That said, Crashplan slots into an interesting niche – while being one of the best unlimited cloud storage options for small businesses, its affordable pricing scheme means that it works just as well for anyone who wants to back up all of their personal data. 

The key feature here is that you can pay for as many computers as you need – there is no upper limit, and each device costs a flat 10 bucks per month. In layman’s terms, if you’re using it for one computer it will cost you $120 per year, which is more expensive than iDrive or Backblaze, for example. But don’t worry – you get a lot for your money. 

For starters, as with many of the best personal cloud storage options, each device gets unlimited storage capacity, and you can back up as many external drives as you need. There is no limit on file size, but there are some restrictions on file types. You cannot back up application data, virtual machine, or system files, for example. 

The app runs very well on Windows, Mac, and Linux systems, and there are also mobile apps for Android or iOS devices. There is no option for backing up phone data, though. Another feature you may miss is the inability to get a physical backup of your data on a USB stick or hard drive in case you need to transfer a whole bunch of large files in a hurry (or as a means of additional security). Backblaze – our best online backup for Mac solution – has that option, as do many other competitors on our list. 

On the plus side, both upload and download speeds are very good, which, combined with a well thought-out user interface make for a pleasant overall user experience. Speaking of backup, you have absolute control over your backup methods (there are options for backing data up on Crashplan servers, your own devices, or even those of your friends), and older versions of files and deleted files are retained indefinitely unless you specifically want to get rid of them for good. That’s why we think that, in terms of versioning options, Crashplan may just be the best cloud backup solution on our list.  

Security is also fantastic; although you don’t get your own encryption key, 256-bit AES encryption should be more than sufficient to protect your important data. Entrusting security to the company alone means that you don’t have to worry about losing access to all of your data if you lose your encryption key. 

Overall, Crashplan is one of the better cloud backup solutions for small business owners, and it can work just as well if you’re a solopreneur or if you have 20 employees. It’s not exactly the most affordable option on our list, but the mix of excellent features, upload and download speeds, and top-notch security earn it our recommendation.

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6. iDrive

" Best cloud storage service overall "

IDrive Logo
  • Storage capacity
    Up to 5 TB
  • Devices per account
    Unlimited
  • Encryption
    256-bit AES
  • Two-factor authentication
    Yes
  • Physical drive backup
    Yes

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Very fast upload speeds
  • Unlimited devices per account
  • Support for multiple platforms
  • Folder synchronization
  • Disk image backup
  • No unlimited storage option

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Very fast upload speeds
  • Unlimited devices per account
  • Support for multiple platforms
  • Folder synchronization
  • Disk image backup
  • No unlimited storage option
  • Storage capacity
    Up to 5 TB
  • Devices per account
    Unlimited
  • Encryption
    256-bit AES
  • Two-factor authentication
    Yes
  • Physical drive backup
    Yes

iDrive is one of the most searched cloud backup services, and for good reason. While it doesn’t offer unlimited storage like some competitors, iDrive’s offer of 5 TB of data should be more than enough for most people. In our opinion it’s the best computer backup software overall, featuring an easy setup, unlimited devices per account, disk image backup, and plenty more, all for a very reasonable price. 

We’ll be looking at the Personal plan here, but it’s worth noting that iDrive also has small business and enterprise options. The Personal plan offers two variants: the basic 2 TB and the more expensive 5 TB one. The latter is currently on promotion for just $3.48 during your first year, after which it will set you back $99.50 each year. The 2 TB plan is normally $69.50 per year, but both of these options are often subject to promotional discounts. 

The Personal plan gets you one user account but unlimited simultaneous devices, and as with the best cloud storage options around, you have a wealth of devices to choose from. The software runs on everything from PC and Mac computers to Linux and mobile operating systems, and the dedicated mobile apps don’t just give you access to your computer files, but back up mobile device data as well. 

Copies of older file versions are also available should you need them, but bear in mind those storage limits. Upload speeds are blazing fast, but the actual file restoration process should you need to get your data back from the cloud isn’t the quickest. 

While it may not be the best backup service in terms of recovery speed, it certainly doesn’t lack any bonus features. If the fast data upload speeds don’t cut it for very large backups, iDrive Express will allow you to transfer your files onto temporary storage devices provided by the company. These are then shipped back to be transferred to iDrive’s servers. Furthermore, you get file synchronization across all your devices for free. You can even share files with other iDrive users and determine whether those files are only for viewing or can be edited. 

The user interface is intuitive and well-designed, while 256-bit AES encryption makes sure your files are safe. Overall, iDrive cloud backup may not be the fastest option around, and the lack of unlimited storage may be an issue for some. However, the sheer number of features you get for the price makes it an overall value winner in our book.

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7. SOS Online Backup

" Best online backup there is "

SOS online backup logo
  • Storage capacity
    Up to 10 TB
  • Devices per account
    5 computers, unlimited mobile devices
  • Encryption
    256-bit encryption
  • Two-factor authentication
    Yes
  • Physical drive backup
    Yes

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Unlimited file sizes
  • Offline backup options
  • Unlimited versioning
  • 100% private
  • Data remains forever until you cancel service
  • No multi-device syncing

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Unlimited file sizes
  • Offline backup options
  • Unlimited versioning
  • 100% private
  • Data remains forever until you cancel service
  • No multi-device syncing
  • Storage capacity
    Up to 10 TB
  • Devices per account
    5 computers, unlimited mobile devices
  • Encryption
    256-bit encryption
  • Two-factor authentication
    Yes
  • Physical drive backup
    Yes

SOS Online Backup is incontestably one of the most trustworthy services for backing up your files. The price might seem to be a bit steep. However, if you value security and accessibility, you will quickly realize that it is worth every penny.

SOS is undoubtedly one of the best online backup services in terms of reliability. SOS is better than other products because it stores your files forever, even if you have deleted them from your device. The unlimited versioning is another crucial distinction that makes SOS Online Backup superior to other online backup offers.

SOS Online Backup is not currently accepting new customers, but it’s still worthwhile to check out the payment plans. The SOS Online Backup basic plan starts at an affordable $4.99 per month, but it comes with only 50 GB of storage, which is insufficient for most people. In our judgment, it is not the best backup service despite the low price. The next tier includes 150 GB of storage. It costs $9.99 per month. For 1 TB of storage, you’ll be charged $39.99 every month. And the 5 TB option which will cost you $159.99 per month.

There are plenty of good reasons to trust SOS with your data. First of all, their extensive security measures are among the best available. Also, there’s no limit on file size. SOS offers unlimited versioning, so you might expect that to fill up your storage space with multiple copies, but SOS charges only the biggest version of your data against the storage limit. The simple truth is that SOS Online Backup is the best computer backup option we have discovered. You can even use a single contract to store data from five computers and an unlimited number of mobile devices.

No one else on the market offers unlimited versioning. Imagine being able to back up a couple of hard drives, remove them, and still keep all the data. It is a considerable space-saver and something worth the money.

However, at SOS’s premium price point, it’s fair to expect some features that this product lacks. For example, continuous backup is not set up by default. You have to select files you would like to have updated manually and set up the intervals at which the software should update them. There is also no synchronization option available, so it’s not the best backup software you can find.

The bottom line: If you value the fact that SOS Online Backup keeps your files stored forever even if you have deleted them from your computer, putting your files in the SOS Online Backup team’s hands might be a good idea. You certainly can’t fault the SOS security measures. If those features don’t tempt you, then you are likely to consider SOS a rather expensive backup solution that lacks some of the basic features found with most of the market’s cheaper solutions.

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8. Livedrive

" Best unlimited cloud storage "

livedrive logo
  • Storage capacity
    Unlimited
  • Devices per account
    5 computers, unlimited mobile devices
  • Encryption
    TSL
  • Two-factor authentication
    Yes
  • Physical drive backup
    Yes

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Versioning
  • Unlimited storage
  • Briefcase file storage feature
  • Excellent desktop and mobile apps
  • No private encryption

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Versioning
  • Unlimited storage
  • Briefcase file storage feature
  • Excellent desktop and mobile apps
  • No private encryption
  • Storage capacity
    Unlimited
  • Devices per account
    5 computers, unlimited mobile devices
  • Encryption
    TSL
  • Two-factor authentication
    Yes
  • Physical drive backup
    Yes

If you are searching for unlimited cloud storage, Livedrive could be the solution you’ve been looking for. It’s been in the cloud storage market since 2008 and has millions of active users.

The company is located in the UK, and currently, it’s one of the best cloud storage companies operating in Europe. This means it’s subject to Europe’s strict privacy laws, such as the General Data Protection Regulation.

Privacy and security don’t halt there. Livedrive employs TLS encryption, allowing for secure file transfers between you and your secure cloud storage. These processes are secured in adherence to the highest standards, including the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, which ensures that credit card information is handled in a secure environment.

Data obfuscation and distributions are some of the methods that Livedrive and other top cloud storage companies use to retain and further secure your privacy. Obfuscation is used to mask your information when accessing Livedrive servers, so you can’t be linked by a third party to any particular account on the platform.

Livedrive doesn’t stack your data in one spot. Instead, it distributes files across multiple servers, so they can’t be linked to just one account. Two-factor authentication (2FA) is an added security layer that requires you to enter a six-digit code generated on your mobile device every ten seconds.

It’s great that you can stop fretting about your data’s security, but at what cost? Even the safest cloud storage is of little use if you can’t afford it. Thankfully, Livedrive’s price range doesn’t deviate much from other cloud storage providers’ price lists. The three available plans are Backup, Pro Suite, and Briefcase.

For £6.99 per month with the Backup plan, you’ll be able to back up one device with unlimited cloud storage. The aptly named Briefcase plan comes with the Briefcase feature that allows access to an online drive from multiple users and devices (PC, Mac, or mobile). This is the best online storage solution for accessing work files or a high-capacity drive to listen to your music or watch videos. This plan comes with 2,000 GB of cloud storage space, while the Pro Suite plan offers you 5,000 GB. Additionally, Pro Suite allows for five PC or Mac backups and mobile backup on top of it. Business and Pro Suite plans cost £10 and £15 per month respectively and offer quite a bit more value than the basic plan. For an additional £5 per month, you can add NAS backup to Pro Suite and Backup plans.

Livedrive’s user interface is designed to look clean and sharp. As you’d expect from some of the best backup software on the market, navigating through the storage and the menus is intuitive and straightforward. There’s also a file-versioning feature that allows you to access 30 previous file versions and copy or edit them. And whenever you delete files, you’ll have 30 days to change your mind and restore them.

Overall, Livedrive has some excellent features to offer. If storage capacity is a determining factor for you, be sure to check it out, as this might well be the industry’s best backup service with unlimited storage.

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9. OpenDrive

" Best secure cloud backup "

opendrive logo
  • Storage capacity
    Unlimited
  • Devices per account
    Unlimited
  • Encryption
    AES-256 bit
  • Two-factor authentication
    No
  • Physical drive backup
    No

Things we liked / disliked:

  • File and folder sharing and hotlinking
  • Extensive sharing features
  • Unlimited storage
  • Limited free plan

Things we liked / disliked:

  • File and folder sharing and hotlinking
  • Extensive sharing features
  • Unlimited storage
  • Limited free plan
  • Storage capacity
    Unlimited
  • Devices per account
    Unlimited
  • Encryption
    AES-256 bit
  • Two-factor authentication
    No
  • Physical drive backup
    No

OpenDrive is a cloud-based platform that comes with lots of exciting features, including note-taking tools and project management. The idea behind this software first appeared in 2007 when its developers decided to find new ways of storing data externally, helping users sync data, share it, and collaborate in one place. If you’re looking to find the best online backup service with a great set of automated features and advanced security protocols, OpenDrive might be just what you need.

OpenDrive is one of the few cloud storage solutions that actually offer unlimited storage with some of its plans. As a software that 100% operates on the cloud, OpenDrive offers its customers a cloud-based office suite with all the necessary features to support collaboration.

OpenDrive implements some of the most robust security measures found nowadays. For example, if you want the best online backup for your small business, one of the things that will make OpenDrive stand out to you is its zero-knowledge encryption available with some paid plans. This actually means OpenDrive creates a “secure files” folder secured with the AES-256-bit encryption, and not even the provider will have access to the user’s locally stored information.

In addition to the significant assets it has, OpenDrive is also very intuitive and user-friendly. Its web interface looks a bit plain, but it’s functional, easy to navigate, and has all the vital features you would expect to see in a file-management solution.

Although it might not be the fastest online backup service, OpenDrive’s file-syncing capabilities are excellent. As soon as you install the program, it will create an artificial drive where you can upload any files you wish to backup. You can back up or sync individual folders, too. The free plan has a 100 MB max file size limit, a transfer limit of just 1 GB a day, and a 200 KB/s speed limit. It also includes up to five notes, ten tasks, and one account user.

Apart from the Personal Free plan, OpenDrive also has the Personal Unlimited plan and the Custom plan available. Open Drive’s Personal Unlimited plan is one of the best home cloud backup options, and it costs $9.95 a month. As its name states, this plan comes with unlimited online storage and unlimited notes. Besides that, it also allows up to ten tasks and up to four users that can share the account. The Custom plan has a price tag of $5 per user per month and includes 500 GB of online storage and a transfer limit of 25 GB a day. With it, you will also have unlimited notes, up to ten tasks, and the account user management feature.

Customer support at OpenDrive operates by email and phone, but it’s not there 24/7, which can be a downside for those who expect the top cloud backup service and wish to have multiple options when it comes to support channels.

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Cloud backup and storage comes in all shapes and sizes. For the purposes of our review, we’ll mostly be looking at cloud storage services that are aimed at individuals, with one option that also works well for small businesses. 

You can’t really go wrong with any of the top cloud backup solutions on our list, but each option offers slightly different advantages at similar price points. The price itself is also a consideration, as is whether you need unlimited storage space or not. If you want a deeper dive into the pros and cons of each, read on. 

How we rate cloud storage providers

Storage capacity

The first thing most people look for when choosing the best cloud backup service is how much space they’ll get for their files. While a lot of backup solutions offer unlimited storage space, many limit the amount of storage based on the plan selected. Typically, free cloud backup options provide very little storage space, while paid options go from several terabytes to unlimited capacity. Chances are that average paying users will get more than they need, but for companies, unlimited options are strongly recommended.

Data security

Let’s face it – the idea of sharing your private or company data on external servers can be scary. Who can view it? Access it? How easy would it be for hackers to get unauthorized access?

To put your mind at ease, the best cloud services provide several layers of protection for your files. First and foremost, there’s file encryption. Even if someone should get a hold of your files, they would be useless to them without an encryption key. Then there are firewalls, event loggers, and other intrusion-detection systems that look for suspicious activity on the servers. Finally, you can opt for two-factor authentication through email or SMS, which adds an extra layer of security for unwanted intruders to break.

User experience

When searching for the best cloud backup solution around, it’s about more than just storage and security. As is the case with most software products on the market, the user experience can make or break a product in this niche. This includes everything from how easy and intuitive the cloud backup is to set up and use to how quickly it performs. Is the setup “set it and forget it”? How much time does it take to upload files? Is the interface clear and easy to navigate? All of these factors come into play when picking the best online backup services.

Number of supported platforms and data syncing

In today’s world, personal computers are no longer the only devices that make use of cloud storage. These days we also back up data from our work laptops, smartphones, and tablets.

A good online backup service will provide cloud storage support for multiple devices at the same time, so you can back up your data regardless of whether it’s on a Windows, Mac, Android, or iOS platform. Ideally, you can also synchronize data between your devices if you need to.

Backup frequency and file retention

Most cloud backup solutions back your data up at regular intervals, and the best cloud-based storage options perform cloud syncing instead of simply storage. Cloud syncing performs backups pretty much in real time, while cloud backups happen less often. At the very least, data should be backed up on a daily or weekly basis. Speaking of backups, it’s also good to know what happens with deleted files. Many providers offer long or even infinite deleted file retention on their cloud drives. Those files can usually be found in a recycle bin of some sort, to be deleted manually should we decide we definitely do not need them.

Price and value

As with all things in life, the cheapest cloud storage around usually won’t be the best. That said, not all backup services provide the same value for money, and some might focus on things you find more useful, or simply offer more storage or better security for the same price. This category is all about determining the value of what you’re getting for your hard-earned cash.

FAQ

Is backing up to the cloud safe?

Yes, provided you take proper precautions.

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as absolute security. Files could easily be stolen from your own hard drive, after all. That said, if you use the best encrypted cloud storage options, your files are probably a lot safer from hackers than on your own device. File encryption, firewalls, two-factor authentication, and other security measures are all in place to ensure that even if your files were at risk, it would be very hard for someone to get to them and access a decrypted version that they could make use of. Even so, it’s recommended to use common sense and not back up your most sensitive data, such as bank account information and important passwords.

What is the most secure way to backup files?

Use multiple backup methods.

There is no single best way to backup to back up your data; it all depends on your particular needs. External hard drives and encrypted USB sticks tend to offer the quickest and most private storage and are the best backup solution providing you don’t lose or destroy them. But if you want a solution that will stick around even if your external drives get damaged, go for cloud-based backup or cloud sync.

These solutions usually feature top-end security measures and encryption, but the downside is that technically your files are out there “in the wild.” Of course, all self-respecting cloud storage solutions will keep your data anonymous as well as safe. Still, the best policy is to protect your most important data on an external drive and everything else on the cloud.

Can I backup my hard drive to the cloud?

Of course you can.

Remember, there are two types of cloud storage, broadly speaking. Top cloud storage solutions sync to the files and folders you choose, uploading changes in real time and ensuring that your data is continuously backed up. Cloud backup storage will simply back up the contents of your entire hard drive (or parts of it, if you choose) to an external source from time to time. The interval also varies between providers and based on your own needs, so it can range from a day to several weeks.

How often should you backup your computer?

At least once a day for important files.

There is no simple answer here, and it all depends on your own needs and how important your files are to you. The best cloud backup options will include real-time sync, which is a set-it-and-forget it option. This is excellent for backing up company-related data and files that are constantly being worked on. On the other hand, your personal music, photos, and videos can be backed up at a much slower pace, as those tend to stay the same. For those files, you probably just want to ensure that a backup is available somewhere.