If you’re wondering what cloud backup is, it’s something everyone should look into as it’s a relatively affordable way to keep your data safe without much hassle. It’s basically the process of copying files from your home computer(s) to a data center so that they’re backed up in case your hard drive fails, your computer is stolen, your house burns down, etc.In this context “the cloud” is just “on a server somewhere other than your house,” and it’s a great option for backing everything up in addition to doubling everything on an external drive that sits on your desk. With your data safely stored elsewhere, it’ll be protected from local disasters like fires and floods.Not all cloud services are created equal, though: Some keep your deleted files longer, some focus on security and encryption, while others include extras like local backup and “cloud file sharing” like Dropbox. But there are a few services I think stand out, which I’ve listed below. Whether you just want a few files backed up, or your entire system, here’s my list of the best cloud backup services, all based on my hands-on testing.
TL;DR These are the Best Cloud Storage:
1. IDrive
Best Cloud Storage
IDrive (read our review) is not necessarily for beginners, but if youre the kind of user who knows exactly what they want from a backup plan, IDrive can give it to you. You can back up to an external drive, network drive, or IDrives cloud service, and even create local disk image backups in case of ransomware or drive failures. Plus, you can back up as many computers as you want to one account, as long as you dont go over your storage limit.IDrive gives you complete control, letting you choose which files you want to back up, how often you want them backed up, and you can secure your data with a private encryption key too. It even contains a Dropbox-like file syncing-and-sharing service, and if a multiple terabyte upload is preventing you from signing up, IDrive will mail you a hard drive so you can add get up and running quicker. All these features and flexibility come at an extremely affordable price: the company is currently offering a special introductory offer: $13.90 for 3TB for one year. It also has deals if youre a former Crashplan user).
2. Backblaze
Best for the Non-Tech Savvy or Data Hoarders
If IDrive is the best service for people who know what they want, Backblaze (read our review) is the service for everyone else. You know you should back up, and youre ready to pay for it, but you arent sure what you need to back up or how to do it. Backblaze takes the guesswork out of this equation by doing almost everything for you: install it, pay the $50 per year subscription, and you have unlimited storage for one computer.As soon as it’s installed Backblaze will start backing up everything (aside from system and program files) on every locally connected drive, so you dont have to think about it ever again. Its not quite as powerful as IDrive in terms of options and features, but for most people, it does exactly what they needat the lowest dollar-to-gigabyte ratio available.
3. SpiderOak One Backup
Best for The Security-Conscious
While both IDrive and Backblaze allow you to encrypt your backups with a private key, both of them require you to give your key to the service when you want to restore your files. They both erase your key as soon as the process is done, and its better than no encryption at all, but some people want their data 100% secure at all times. If youre one of these people and want a truly “no-knowledge” service that can never see your files, SpiderOak One (read our review) was made for you.The program itself is well-designed and easy to use, but security is the banner feature here: everything you back up is encrypted end-to-end, so your files are completely private, even if the government forces SpiderOak to hand over your data. That peace of mind comes at a cost, however ($129 per year for 2TB), but if you care about your privacy, its worth it.
4. Acronis True Image 2020
Best For Local and Cloud Backup
Acronis True Image (read our review) has been around for a while, making a name for itself in the local backup and disk imaging game. It still excels at that, but now it can also back up your files (and images) to the “cloud” too, and its also the most polished and professional backup program I’ve tested.Acronis strikes an amazing balance between its number of features and ease of use: the desktop program is intuitive and friendly, and offers just about everything you could want in a backup program. It lets you backup files and folders, make full disk images, share files from a backup, copy all your social media files, and it does end-to-end encryption properly (like SpiderOak One). Acronis is, however, a bit more expensive, coming in at $50 per year for only 250GB. If you want terabytes of space, which is relatively affordable with IDrive and Backblaze, youll be paying quite a bit (2TB costs $150 per year, for comparisons sake). Thats not cheap, but it may be worth it to you if you’re looking for more than just cloud backup.
5. SOS Online Backup
Best for Unlimited Versioning
SOS Online Backup (read our review) is a decent program, but it has very few advantages over the competition save for one very, very usefulfeature. Unlike other backup services, SOS never purges old and deleted files. That means if you accidentally delete a file and discover you need it a year later, itll still be there. If you need the original version of a file youve since updated several times, itll still be there. Most services only keep the last 10 to 20 versions of something, and only store deleted files for 30 days or so, making this a very unique feature.There is a downside, however: SOS is extremely expensive, costing $40 per month for 1TB of space (thats $480 per year–almost five times as much as Acronis, the next most expensive option). The rest of the program is nothing to write home about either, so most people would be better served elsewhere. But if you absolutely need unlimited versioning, SOS Online Backup has you covered.