We carefully researched and reviewed the leading online backup services to make it easier for you to make a buying decision quickly. We've included the personal plans in in our grid below because when you're just starting out, the personal online backup plans provide more than enough storage space for your small business needs.
Online Backup Services
||$59.99/ year||$74.99/ year||$5.00||$9.95||$5.99|
|Included Storage||1 TB||Unlimited||100 GB||Unlimited||100 GB||50 GB|
|Annual Discount||N/A||N/A||N/A||Two months free||Two months free||One month free|
|File Restoration||Indefinitely||30 days||Indefinitely||30 days||Indefinitely||30 days|
|System Compatibility||Windows, Mac||Windows, Mac||Windows, Mac||Windows, Mac||Windows, Mac||Windows, Mac|
|Phone Support||M-F 6a-6p PST||M-F 9a-5p, Sa-Su 12-4p EST||M-F 6a-5p PST||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Quality of Customer Support||Above Average||High||Above Average||Low||Above Average||Above Average|
What is Online Backup?
Online backup is an Internet-based system that is set to automatically back up all of your files. These files are stored online, and you can then access these files remotely. This means that you can access your files anywhere, which is especially useful in case your computer or server gets lost or damaged. You never have to worry about losing data again.
You have many options when it comes to backing up your files. Offline options include additional computer hard drives, external hard drives, CDs, DVDs, jump drives, and more. However, these solutions create the same problem: in a disaster such as a fire or theft, for example, the backups and originals have the same chances of being destroyed or stolen.
An online backup service securely houses your files in state-of-the art data centers that employ incredibly complex security measures, making it nearly impossible for anyone to access your files. Your home is probably not as secure as an online backup service’s data center. Using an offsite backup system, you can have your data backed up constantly and take advantage of modern encryption technologies, ensuring your data is secure.
An online backup service also lets you customize your backups based on your needs, giving you the ability to set bandwidth limits and select how often and how the data is backed up, how the data is encrypted, how the data is compressed, and how and when the files can be accessed.
Online backup is an easy and reliable way to store your valuable information online.
If you ever lose a file, you can then access it from the data center and restore it. Your files are automatically backed up, so you don't have to worry about losing your data because of a computer malfunction. These files can be accessed from any computer with an Internet connection.
Online backup works by sending your data over the Internet to an online backup company. These files are then encrypted and secured both during the transmission process and while they are stored at the service provider’s data center.
Using an online backup service makes a lot of sense for many reasons. While using an external hard drive is helpful, online backup services will keep your files safe and secure without the risk of disaster or theft.
Advantages of using an online backup service:
- The entire system is automated. With online backup, you can completely automate backing up your system. You never have to rely on someone to do this for you, ensuring your documents are always properly stored. You can even set up your online backup to back up only new files, which will save you a ton of bandwidth and time.
- Your backup is stored offsite. This is important because it means that any problems affecting your computer won’t affect the files that are stored elsewhere. In other words, if there is a fire at your home or office and all of your files and equipment are damaged, you will still have the offsite backup of everything.
- You can store as much information as you need to store. With online backup, you are less inhibited by storage space than when using external hard drives. Most services let you easily upgrade to add more storage.
- Your information is stored in an organized way. Most online backup services offer some type of inventory-style list of the information that’s been backed up. This can help you keep your information organized easily.
- Your files are secure. Online backup services use special data security measures to make sure your files are as secure as possible. Many of these services employ complex encryption codes that make hacking your files nearly impossible. Plus, the physical data centers your files are housed in are incredibly secure. The facilities are typically outfitted with raised floors, HVAC temperature control systems with separate cooling zones and seismically braced racks. They offer the widest range of physical security features, including state-of-the-art smoke detection and fire suppression systems, motion sensors and 24/7 secured access, as well as video camera surveillance and security breach alarms.
What to Look For in an Online Backup Service
Based on our online backup research, we created the ChooseWhat Market Standard, to which we compare features, pricing and options of all the online backup services we review. Below is a good list of standards you should look for when choosing your online backup provider.
ChooseWhat Market Standard
- 10 cents per GB (Note that the higher plan you purchase, the lower your price per GB will be.)
- No activation fee
- Free personal storage account that is at least 2 GB
- Ability to schedule your backups
- Ability to perform incremental backups
- Ability to create different versions of files
- A simple "Restore Wizard"
- Compatible with both Macs and PCs
- Smartphone app available
- Offers a professional plan upgrade with additional features
- Phone customer support available during business hours
Who Uses Online Backup?
Everyone has files that are worth protecting and keeping in a secure location, from personal photos and school papers to confidential employee documents. Online backup works for anyone needing to protect files, especially the following:
- Small businesses: Servers and external hard drives are not enough to keep your files secure. Small businesses have a ton of documents they can’t afford to lose, including financial statements, employee forms, and more. No matter what business you’re in, you need to keep your files safe.
- Students: Online backup isn’t just for entrepreneurs. Keeping all of your academic papers in a secure place is a great way to keep track of all your assignments, especially if you need them for future use.
- Parents: Since digital cameras have gotten popular, it seems like everyone is keeping their photos on their computer now. What if you lost the documentation of your child’s first step because your house was flooded or someone stole your laptop? Online backup can help preserve these memories.
- Freelancers: If you work with a lot of different clients, you need a place to keep all of your projects and invoices. With online backup, you can make sure that you will never lose a project or leave a client hanging if you lose a file.
Accidents happen; property gets stolen. It can happen to anyone. Using online backup is a great solution for anyone who has files that can’t be replaced.
The ChooseWhat Check is a badge given out to select providers based on the following criteria:
- 15¢ per GB or less for all plans
- Free account offered of at least 2GB
- File restoration for more than 30 days
- Incremental and scheduled backups
- Mobile app(s) available
- Compatible with Windows and Mac
- Phone support available on all plans
- Above average customer support
The following providers received the ChooseWhat Check: