Best Cloud Backup Services 2020

Finding the best online backup service can be a real chore, which is why Cloudwards.net has done a big chunk of the work for you. We've gone through over 45 reviews to find the handful of very best providers; all you need to do is figure out which is best for you, which is where this buyers guide comes in.

How much GB storage?
What features should be included?
1 Winner

www.idrive.com IDrive
$ 5.79 2000 GB
IDrive Review
Visit IDrive
2
www.acronis.com Acronis True Image Review 2020
$ 4.17 200 GB
Acronis True Image Cloud Review
Visit Acronis True Image Cloud
3
www.backblaze.com Backblaze
$ 4.58 Unlimited GB
Backblaze Review
Visit Backblaze
4
www.cloudberrylab.com Cloudberry Backup by MSP360
Automatic disk image backup to Amazon S3, Google and Microsoft.
Backup files and folders to the cloud storage of your choice.
$ 49.99 + Storage Plan
Cloudberry Backup Review
Visit Cloudberry Backup
5
www.ionos.com 1&1 IONOS Cloud Backup
$ 5.00 50 GB
1&1 IONOS Cloud Backup Review
Visit 1&1 IONOS Cloud Backup
6
www.zoolz.com Zoolz Home Cloud Backup
$ 4.16 1000 GB
Zoolz Home Review
Visit Zoolz Home
7
www.carbonite.com Carbonite
$ 6.00 Unlimited GB
Carbonite Review
Visit Carbonite
8
www.duplicati.com Duplicati
$ 5.00 GB
Duplicati Review
Visit Duplicati
9
www.cloudally.com CloudAlly
$ 1.67 Unlimited GB
CloudAlly Review
Visit CloudAlly
10
www.jottacloud.com Jottacloud
$ 6.60 Unlimited GB
Jottacloud Review
Visit Jottacloud

If you’ve ever been concerned about losing access to your files — whether those are documents, photos or anything else — chances are you’ll want to make sure they’re safe and backed up to a remote location. However, finding the right service can be a pain. So, we’ve put together this list to help you find the best online backup service for your needs.

Which of these online backup services is the right one for you depends a lot on your specific needs. Solutions run the gamut from highly complex and flexible to incredibly basic and straightforward. The overall winner of this ranking is IDrive, which sports a rich set of features and lots of flexibility. However, those who just want a quick and easy solution might prefer something like Backblaze or Carbonite.

We’ll highlight the pros and cons of each service, and hopefully give you a clear image of what needs each service fulfills. At the end of the day, any of our top 10 picks listed here will do fine, but differences in features and design philosophies mean that some will probably be a lot more relevant to your individual requirements. Although most of the backup software listed here offer plans for businesses, for this list we’ll be looking exclusively at their personal plans. If you want a solution specifically made for businesses, head over to our list of the best online backup for small business.

Starts from $ 579 per month for 2000 GB
Free plan available

The Best Cloud Backup Services

  1. IDrive — Feature-rich backup with unlimited devices
  2. Backblaze — The best unlimited backup at a cheap price
  3. Acronis True Image — Feature-packed backup with great privacy options
  4. Carbonite — Unlimited space with great security and privacy
  5. CloudBerry Backup (MSP360) — Complex but powerful advanced backup
  6. Zoolz Home Cloud Backup — Easy to use and fast
  7. SpiderOak ONE — Great sync and share features and unlimited versioning
  8. BigMIND Home — Easy-to-use backup with decent photo features
  9. Jottacloud — Great photo management and solid feature set
  10. Duplicati — Feature-rich, open-source software for free
Starts from $ 579 per month for 2000 GB
Free plan available

1. IDrive

IDrive is an excellent online backup service that provides a wealth of features at reasonable prices, as well as great security and privacy. Pretty much every kind of device is supported, including servers, NAS, mobile devices, external drives and desktop computers.

IDrive-Web-Dashboard

Although IDrive caps the amount of data you can upload depending on what plan you choose (see our IDrive pricing guide for more information), it does support an unlimited number of devices. The paid plans provide either 2TB or 5TB of space, while the basic free version of the software gives you 5GB of space.

As mentioned, security and privacy is also excellent. IDrive uses AES 256-bit encryption to protect your files sitting on its servers and SSL/TLS to make sure they’re safe from man-in-the-middle attacks while in transit. 

You can manage your own encryption key if you choose to do so, which makes IDrive a zero-knowledge service that’s incapable of decrypting your files even if it wanted to.

In terms of backup features, IDrive supports scheduled, continuous and incremental backups, as well as a hybrid option. If you want to create a clone of your hard drive, IDrive also has you covered here; you can create an image of your system that you can then use to set up a new device from scratch.

If you delete or change a file, IDrive’s versioning policy means that your files are retained on its servers for up to 30 days. A block-level algorithm is also used to make sure you don’t waste a bunch of bandwidth reuploading entire files when only parts of them have changed.

However, there is one significant flaw with IDrive, and that’s its speed. Despite supporting multithreading, both uploads and downloads take far longer than they should when taking into account connection speed. This is especially problematic when you’re performing your initial backup because IDrive’s lackluster speed can make this process take days or even weeks.

IDrive does offer a courier service both for backups and recovery, which can be used once per year for free. This involves physically shipping you an external hard drive containing your data (or an empty one for you to transfer your information to, in the case of backups). However, this isn’t enough to make up for the downright terrible data transfer speeds.

IDrive Web Interface & Mobile Apps

Besides its desktop client, IDrive also offers an app for Android and iOS, as well as a web dashboard. The apps are fairly basic, allowing you to upload things like photos, videos, contacts and calendars. The web version is a lot more fleshed out, though, with all the same features as the dedicated client.

Despite its speed problem, IDrive is still an excellent service that combines a huge number of features with a well-designed client, as well as great security, privacy and customer support. Add to this its very reasonable price and it’s more than enough to ensure IDrive the top spot on this list, regardless of sluggish speed.

Pros:

  • Lots of features
  • Great security & privacy
  • Unlimited devices
  • Pretty good free plan

Cons:

  • Slow
  • No unlimited backup
  • No monthly plan
Starts from $ 579 per month for 2000 GB
Free plan available

2. Backblaze

Backblaze is almost the polar opposite of IDrive in terms of its approach to online backup. Rather than loading the client full of features and advanced settings, Backblaze instead keeps it as simple and straightforward as possible. To see how it stacks up against its biggest competitors, check out our IDrive vs Backblaze and Backblaze vs Carbonite comparisons.

This design philosophy is immediately evident when you first open the Backblaze application. Everything is contained in just two basic panels, one showing you the status of your backup and one for adjusting various settings.

This simplicity can be a double-edged sword, though, because in its effort to make everything as hands-off as possible, Backblaze can be incredibly inflexible in its backup process. 

For example, if you simply wish to secure a select number of files, you’ll need to manually exclude everything you don’t want to backup because Backblaze doesn’t let you pick what files you want to upload directly. Instead, it includes almost everything stored on your device by default.

That said, this does make Backblaze a wonderfully easy service to use if you do want to backup pretty much all of your data. This is further accommodated by the fact that Backblaze offers unlimited storage, meaning you don’t have to worry about wasting valuable space on files that don’t really need to be secured.

Backblaze is also very reasonable in terms of cost. For $6 per month, you get access to all of its features and unlimited storage for one computer, with further discounts applied if you choose to commit to a year or two-year billing period. For more information on the specifics, you can check out our Backblaze pricing guide.

Backblaze Encryption Key

Besides its inflexibility, Backblaze’s biggest weakness is the lack of private encryption. Although the service does allow you to manage your own encryption key, its implementation of this is flawed, to say the least. 

In order to restore your data, you have to hand the key over to Backblaze. In theory, this means that the moment you download any of your backups, Backblaze is then able to decrypt your files and hand them over to anyone who forces it to do so.

This is made worse by the fact that Backblaze hosts data centers in only two locations — the U.S. and the Netherlands — both of which are downright terrible when it comes to digital privacy. 

Although the U.S. is infamous in this regard — with examples ranging from the PRISM program to the Patriot Act — the Netherlands isn’t much better, as we explained in our guide to the best VPN for the Netherlands.

Besides this glaring flaw in its implementation of private encryption, Backblaze’s security is good. Utilizing strong encryption, two-factor authentication and hardened data centers, you can rest easy knowing that your data is safe and secure on Backblaze’s servers.

At the end of the day, this problem with private keys and the inflexibility of the backup process is what keeps Backblaze from the top spot on this list. However, if all you want is a simple backup solution and you don’t care too much about private encryption, then Backblaze is an excellent choice. If these factors are deal-breakers, though, you should look for an alternative.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Cheap unlimited backup
  • Decent speed
  • Sharing functionality

Cons:

  • Flawed private encryption
  • Inflexible backup process
  • No mobile backup or disk imaging
Starts from $ 458 per month for Unlimited GB
Save 24 %

3. Acronis True Image

For those who prefer a wealth of functionality over simplicity, Acronis True Image is another excellent choice. Like IDrive, it offers all sorts of features, including NAS, server, mobile and hybrid backup, as well as the ability to create a complete copy of your system through disk imaging.

Versioning is unlimited, meaning you can recover a deleted or changed file from as far back as you want. Unfortunately there’s no multithreading support, but this doesn’t seem to have a huge impact because the service is still very fast both for uploads and downloads.

Acronis Online Storage Locations

Another huge benefit to Acronis True Image is how flexible it is in allowing users to choose the geographic location of their storage. Most backup services limit your server location to the U.S. and perhaps a handful of other countries. However, Acronis lets you choose between eight different countries, including ones with solid digital privacy laws, such as Switzerland.

In fact, its security and privacy in general are top notch. The encryption is strong and can be set to be completely private.

However, like with other zero-knowledge services, this means that you have to keep track of your password because Acronis won’t be able to recover it for you. For that reason, it’s a good idea to pair the service with one of the best password managers to ensure you don’t lose access to your files.

The biggest drawback to Acronis True Image is its interface design, which is filled with buttons whose purposes aren’t obvious at first glance. This can make it a pain to get used to the software, which can also be laggy and sluggish, something that’s frustrating, to say the least.

The pricing scheme is also rather complicated because it offers three different tiers, all of which include different features. This can make it difficult to know exactly what you’re paying for. 

It’s not all bad on the price front, though, as the standard plan essentially provides you with unlimited capacity (for a single computer) for a one-time fee, something no other service on this list offers.

All in all, if you’re looking for a [urlid=13029 text=”feature-rich service”] that also offers unlimited storage space, you’ll get exactly what you need from Acronis. This is especially true for those who don’t like paying a monthly fee to ensure their files are protected, which is something that almost all other backup services require.

Pros:

  • Flexible server location
  • Feature-rich
  • Unlimited versioning

Cons:

  • Messy interface
  • Laggy client
  • Complicated pricing scheme
Starts from $ 417 per month for 200 GB

4. Carbonite

Carbonite is a backup service that has a lot in common with Backblaze, as they both focus on providing a simple and streamlined process with unlimited storage.

The list of features included in Carbonite is even shorter than that of Backblaze, with no support for hybrid, image-based or mobile backup. There’s also no proper throttling mechanism or way to access your files from your phone or tablet. External drives, servers and NAS devices are supported, but only on specific — and more expensive — plans.

That said, Carbonite outperforms Backblaze when it comes to security and privacy, mostly because the former allows for true private encryption. Besides this, it uses AES 256-bit encryption, SSL in transit and two-factor authentication to keep your data and files safe from cybercriminals.

Carbonite Virtual Hard Drive

If you don’t like using the client itself, Carbonite also sets up a virtual hard drive on your computer. Here, you can find all of the files you’ve uploaded and access most of the software’s functionality, including adding and deleting files.

Versioning exists, but it’s fairly limited. Any deleted file can only be recovered within 30 days, and changed files are limited to 12 old versions. There’s a courier recovery service, as well. If you subscribe to the more expensive Prime plan, this recovery option is extraordinarily cheap, at only $9.99 per restore action.

Although this is a great discount for users who need to routinely restore huge amounts of data, it also highlights one of the issues with Carbonite, namely it’s convoluted pricing scheme. The service offers six distinct plans, all with different access to certain features, such as server backups, automatic video uploads and the aforementioned discount for courier recovery.

This stands in stark contrast to services like Backblaze and IDrive. However, the Basic plan is still more than good enough if you’re just looking for a simple backup service. It’s also quite reasonable, to boot, coming in at $6 for unlimited backup storage, which is the same as Backblaze.

Another significant weakness with Carbonite is the terrible download speed. Uploads are decently fast and done through the dedicated client, but the only way to download your files is through a browser, which makes the process take far longer than it has any reason to. 

If you’re the kind of user who doesn’t want to spend too much time thinking about how to backup to the cloud, but Backblaze’s implementation of private encryption concerns you, then Carbonite is definitely the way to go.

For a full rundown on how it compares to our top pick, check out our IDrive vs Carbonite comparison.

Pros:

  • Cheap, unlimited backup
  • Easy to use
  • Great security & privacy

Cons:

  • Terrible download speed
  • Not a lot of features
Starts from $ 2400 per month for 250 GB

5. CloudBerry Backup (MSP360)

If you’re a power user who’s not easily intimidated by advanced software, then CloudBerry Backup — now rebranded as MSP360 — might be the service for you. Filled to the brim with features, CloudBerry is incredibly flexible, giving you a wealth of settings to tweak when setting up your backup.

CloudBerry supports unlimited versioning, various types of schedules, multithreading and block-level uploads. You can backup most devices, including NAS, servers and desktops, but not mobile phones or tablets.

You can use CloudBerry to create a full copy of your hard drive through disk imaging, as well as backing up external hard drives. Furthermore, there’s a bunch of features not related to backup, such as the ability to create a bootable USB device and analyzing your disk capacity, which is handy if not entirely necessary.

As for the backup process itself, CloudBerry provides a huge amount of customization, including notifications, compression, encryption, customized retention policies and automatic actions to run before or after a transfer finishes.

Although CloudBerry offers a basic version through its Desktop Free plan, it does come with some pretty significant limitations. It supports only 200GB worth of data, and it disables encryption and image-based backups. If you opt for the Desktop PRO version instead, you’ll have to pay $49.99 up front, followed by a $10 annual maintenance fee.

Although this is quite cheap, we’re not big fans of charging a recurring subscription fee when CloudBerry doesn’t actually have to pay any server costs for storing your data; that’s all handled by the third-party storage provider you pair it with.

Online Storage for CloudBerry

Rather than managing its own data centers directly, CloudBerry needs to be paired with a third-party storage provider that you’ll have to sign up to — and potentially pay for — separately. 

This adds greatly to the complexity of CloudBerry because of the nature of the providers it supports. Although it used to work with several of the best cloud service providers, such as Google Drive and OneDrive, support for consumer-facing online storage was discontinued in late 2019.

Since then, the only services that you can use with CloudBerry are IaaS — or, Infrastructure as a Service — providers. If you want a complete guide on what differentiates these services from regular cloud storage, check out our guide to understanding cloud terminology.

The supported providers include Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud. Both provide you with some free storage, but they are also far more complicated than your run-of-the-mill cloud storage solution.

CloudBerry also facilitates excellent security and privacy, including support for private encryption. However, this depends entirely on your storage provider being up to speed in this regard, as well, because CloudBerry doesn’t actually store your data itself.

All in all, CloudBerry is an excellent backup service for more advanced users, especially if you’re already familiar with IaaS providers. However, more casual users just looking for a basic backup solution will probably want something that’s a lot simpler.

Pros:

  • Flexible
  • Lots of features

Cons:

  • Requires a third-party storage provider
  • Complex
Starts from $ 4999 for 5000 GB

6. Zoolz Home Cloud Backup

Zoolz is another case of a backup solution that focuses on providing easy-to-use software without overloading the user with advanced features. It sports solid security, privacy and speed, but it also comes with some limitations in terms of features, file availability and supported platforms.

You can use Zoolz to backup desktop computers, servers and NAS devices. Sadly, it doesn’t offer any apps for iOS or Android, which means that you can’t backup your mobile devices, nor can you manage your files on the go. Hybrid backup is also supported, but disk imaging isn’t, so you won’t be able to create a complete copy of your computer.

Backups can be set to run on a schedule, but not continuously. This is unfortunate because it means Zoolz won’t automatically start uploading whenever you change a file, which is one of the main benefits of using an online backup service over traditional online storage.

The pricing structure is also somewhat complicated, with plans offering different amounts of storage space and number of devices. That said, the prices are reasonable, being roughly comparable to other services, such as IDrive.

In terms of security and privacy, Zoolz is great. Private encryption is supported and uses AES 256-bit, which is pretty much the gold standard. Zoolz’s only weakness in this regard is the lack of two-factor authentication, which would make it much harder for cybercriminals to gain access to your account.

Another great aspect of Zoolz from a privacy standpoint is that European and Australian users won’t have their data stored on servers in the U.S., which as mentioned earlier is one of the worst countries for digital privacy.

Zoolz Cold Cloud Storage

A major limitation of Zoolz is that most of the data capacity provided in its plans is what is called “cold storage.” In essence, this means that if you want to recover your files, you won’t be able to do so instantly. Although this is probably fine for most users, it does mean that you shouldn’t use the service if you expect that you’ll need instant access to your data.

At the end of the day, if you’re looking for backup software that’s easy to use and you’re not terribly concerned with having instant access to your data, then Zoolz is a great choice. On the other hand, if you want to be able to clone hard drives or run backups on your phone or tablet, then you should look elsewhere.

Pros:

  • Fast
  • Good security & privacy
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Confusing pricing scheme
  • Mostly cold storage
  • No mobile app or disk imaging
Starts from $ 416 per month for 1000 GB

7. SpiderOak ONE

SpiderOak ONE is a service that straddles the line between online backup and traditional cloud services. Because it offers extensive file sharing and syncing functionality, it’s a great choice for users who want those features in addition to standard backup functionality.

Versioning is another one of SpiderOak ONE’s strengths, as it will keep deleted and changed files for as long as you want. This means that you’ll never lose access to data because you forgot to restore something before the time limit ran out.

SpiderOak Computer Backup

Although SpiderOak ONE doesn’t support any mobile platforms, it’s compatible with all three major computer operating systems (Windows, macOS and Linux), as well as any external drive you have connected. That said, if you’re looking to backup any other kind of device, SpiderOak ONE won’t have what you’re looking for, as it doesn’t support servers or NAS devices.

Furthermore, there’s no option for hybrid backup or disk imaging, nor does SpiderOak ONE support multithreading. This is reflected in its upload speeds, which are not great. On the flipside, downloads are incredibly fast, owing to significant compression of your files while they’re sitting on the server.

Hands down, the biggest problem with SpiderOak ONE is simply how expensive it is. The basic plan, which costs $6 per month, offers only a measly 150GB of storage. By comparison, Backblaze and Carbonite offer unlimited backup for the same price, and IDrive offers 2TB for slightly less.

Another issue is the somewhat lackluster customer service. The only support option is email, so there’s no way to quickly reach out to SpiderOak ONE if you encounter a problem. This could be assuaged with a user forum, but sadly this doesn’t exist either.

Ultimately, the only real reason to use SpiderOak ONE over any of the other services listed here is if you like the functionality of something like Dropbox but also want some backup features, such as continuous uploads. If you don’t care about this, then the high price tag and lack of things like disk imaging and mobile backups make it a poor choice of service for most users.

Pros:

  • Unlimited versioning
  • File sharing and syncing
  • Excellent download speed
  • Great security & privacy
  • Unlimited devices

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • No mobile backup or disk imaging
  • Slow upload speed
Starts from $ 575 per month for 150 GB

8. BigMIND Home

BigMIND Home is another cloud backup service owned by Genie9, the company that’s also behind Zoolz. Because of this, the general user interface of BigMIND is virtually identical to Zoolz’s, which isn’t a bad thing, as they are both well designed and easy to use.

In terms of features, BigMIND supports scheduled, incremental and continuous backups. You can use the service to backup an external drive, as well as your Android and iOS devices. Support for hybrid backups, multithreading, throttling and block-level file copying is also included, and you can stream video directly from the server, which is great.

Speed is also quite good, especially when it comes to downloads, which exceeded our expectations when we ran our tests.

Like with SpiderOak ONE, one of the biggest drawbacks to BigMIND Home is its price. There are several different plans, all of which offer a different number of devices and amount of space for your files. 

The plans run from $2.99 per month for 100GB of storage for one computer and three mobile devices, to $12.99 per month for 1TB of space for five computers and 15 mobile devices.

This adds up to a pretty expensive service when compared to others on this list, especially because none of the plans include unlimited storage or devices.

Another significant problem with the online backup service is its lack of private encryption. Although security is otherwise good, the fact that BigMIND isn’t a zero-knowledge service is especially problematic given that all of its data centers are located in the U.S.

BigMIND Mobile Apps

BigMIND Home also comes with an excellent app for iOS and Android that is especially well suited to backing up photos and videos. The app comes with an AI feature that will scan your photos for objects and faces, and create categories for anything that shows up multiple times. Unfortunately, it seems quite poor at recognizing individual people, but it does well with objects.

That said, the mobile app is also quite inflexible, as you can’t select individual files for upload. Instead, you have to select entire categories (such as photos or contacts) and upload everything within them.

All in all, BigMIND Home is a decent cloud backup service if you’re looking for something to protect your photos and videos, and you don’t need that much space nor care about private encryption. Otherwise, though, it’s far too expensive to make it any higher on this list.

Pros:

  • Good for photos
  • Video streaming
  • Mobile backup

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • No private encryption
  • No disk imaging
  • Limited devices & storage space
Starts from $ 299 per month for 100 GB
Free plan available

9. Jottacloud

Jottacloud is a reasonably priced online backup service with lots of features. External drive, NAS, mobile, server and hybrid backup are all supported, as well as multithreading and speed throttling.

There is one standard feature that’s missing, though, and that’s block-level uploads. This is something that most other services offer, and not having it means that Jottacloud can easily waste a lot of your resources and bandwidth reuploading entire files when it could just be transferring the parts that have changed.

On the flipside, Jottacloud also comes with extensive file syncing and sharing functionality. This makes it another service that — like SpiderOak ONE — becomes much more attractive if you’re looking for something that’s more of a hybrid between traditional cloud storage and dedicated backup.

Although the interface design feels like it’s been ripped straight out of the mid-2000s in terms of look and feel, it’s still easy to understand and use. However, for some reason it doesn’t allow you to select individual files for backup. This can be quite annoying if, for example, you’re on the free plan and want to be more selective about how you use your 5GB of space.

When it comes to security and privacy, the biggest problem with Jottacloud is that it doesn’t support private encryption. However, the fact that its servers are located in Norway — which has some of the strictest digital privacy laws in the world — goes a long way toward alleviating this problem.

Besides not allowing you to manage your own encryption key, security is strong with AES 256-bit encryption, SSL/TLS to protect your files in transit and two-factor authentication. The prices are also reasonable; you can either choose between unlimited storage for a single computer for $7.92 per month or 5TB of space for five devices for $11.36 per month.

Jottacloud Mobile Apps

Jottacloud also offers mobile apps for Android and iOS that are especially great for photo backup and management. Besides letting you upload data from your phone or tablet, it sports a photo management interface that is very similar to Google Photos, which we think is excellent in this regard.

In conclusion, Jottacloud is a great choice if you want excellent security and privacy — as long as you trust the privacy laws of Norway — at reasonable prices both for unlimited storage or multiple devices. If backing up and managing your photos is something that’s important to you, then that’s another great reason to go for Jottacloud.

Pros:

  • Servers in Norway
  • File syncing and sharing
  • Great for photos
  • Reasonable prices

Cons:

  • No block-level uploads
  • Can’t select individual files
  • No private encryption
Starts from $ 660 per month for Unlimited GB
Free plan available Save 17 %

10. Duplicati

Duplicati is another online backup service that, like CloudBerry, doesn’t offer its own server space, relying instead on third-party providers. Unlike CloudBerry, though, it supports consumer-facing storage, such as Dropbox, Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive.

Although this makes Duplicati significantly more accessible to casual users than CloudBerry, it’s still quite a bit more involved than most of the other online backup services on this list. It also doesn’t offer any kind of mobile access, which is a problem for anyone who wants to be able to manage their backups remotely.

Customer support is also practically nonexistent, with the only option for assistance being a user-driven support forum. You can’t really hold this against Duplicati, though, given the fact that the service is entirely free and open source.

Security and privacy relies pretty much entirely on what provider you choose to pair Duplicati with. Although it supports things like zero-knowledge encryption and the SSL protocol, none of that will matter if you pair it with, for example, Google Drive.

The same is true for speed, as Duplicati can’t do anything about the connection speed to the actual servers you’ll be uploading your files to. That said, when we tested it together with Google Drive, it achieved great results.

Duplicati Web Interface

Unlike every other cloud backup service on this list, Duplicati is web-based. This means that instead of a dedicated desktop client, Duplicati operates entirely within your web browser. Although some people might prefer using a desktop client to perform their backups, the upside to this approach is that Duplicati is compatible with all major operating systems.

If you like the idea of CloudBerry but are turned off by the complexity of having to use an IaaS service, then Duplicati is the perfect solution to this problem. However, it’s still quite a bit more complex than services like Backblaze and Carbonite, so those looking for the simplest way possible to protect their files should probably look elsewhere.

Pros:

  • Free
  • Open source
  • Browser-based

Cons:

  • Complicated
  • Requires third-party storage
  • No mobile apps
Starts from $ 500 per month

What Is Online Backup?

Online backup services offer a way to protect the data stored on your device by uploading it to the cloud. At first glance, this sounds similar to cloud storage — for example, like Dropbox — but as we explain in our online cloud storage vs online backup guide, there is a key difference.

Generally, cloud storage services allow you to upload your files by manually placing them in a sync folder. A cloud backup service simplifies this process while also retaining your file structure by automatically transferring any files or folders you’ve designated for upload on a set schedule or whenever the files themselves are changed.

Why You Should Use Online Backup

Technology is unpredictable, and at any given moment there’s a chance that your device will fail catastrophically, taking with it anything you’ve stored on it as the device dies. Once that happens, not having everything backed up can have disastrous consequences.

Although manually placing anything important into a sync folder can partially protect you from this, there’s still a chance that your device will fail before you get around to doing so. 

For this reason, you’re much better off with a dedicated backup solution. Generally, this type of software can be set to automatically upload your data either on a set schedule or immediately after you change any files.

How Can I Backup My Data Online for Free?

Choosing the best free cloud backup depends on how much complexity you want. By pairing CloudBerry Backup with Microsoft Azure, you get 10GB of free space, which is more than most free backup plans out there.

That said, CloudBerry is far more complex than most providers, which is especially true if you take into account setting up IaaS services like Azure or Google Cloud. Because of this, users looking for something quick and easy in their free backup provider will probably be better served by IDrive, which offers 5GB of storage space on its free plan.

It’s worth bearing in mind that if you want something that’s free, there are far more options to choose from among cloud storage providers. To find the best cloud storage that you don’t have to spend any money on, you can check out our list of the best free cloud storage.

What Is the Best Unlimited Backup?

Out of the 10 best cloud backup services listed here, only three of them offer unlimited storage: Backblaze, Carbonite and Acronis True Image. Out of these, Backblaze is the clear winner.

What Is the Best Online Photo Backup?

Although any of the online backup services listed in this top 10 will be more than capable of backing up your photos, there are some that are much better at this task than the rest. In fact, the winner of our best online backup for photos ranking — Google Photos — doesn’t appear on this list at all.

Other great options for backing up photos include IDrive, BigMIND Home, Acronis True Image and Backblaze. If you’d like even more options for protecting your pictures, check out our list of the best online storage for photos, as well.

How We Rate Online Backup

When reviewing online backup services, we look at eight different criteria to assess how good it is. First, there’s features, which includes everything from supported backup types to scheduling, versioning and even miscellaneous functionality that doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with backups, such as file sharing.

Next is pricing and ease of use, both of which are fairly self-explanatory. After that, we have the “file backup and restoration” criterion. This takes an in-depth look at how easy it is to backup and restore your files, as well as how flexible the process is, and how much control and information you’re given.

The final four criteria — speed, security, privacy and customer service — are again pretty obvious. When measuring speed, we perform two uploads and two downloads. Both security and privacy are determined mostly by encryption standards but also physical security and data center location. Finally, for customer service we like to see a wide range of support options.

Final Thoughts

That concludes our list of the 10 best cloud backup services. All in all, we think IDrive deserves the win, despite its lackluster speeds. However, some users will probably find services like Backblaze and Carbonite to be much more in line with their needs. If you think IDrive is right for you but the poor speed turns you off, then Acronis True Image is a great alternative.

What do you think of our list of the best cloud backup solutions? Do you agree with our choice of IDrive as the overall winner, or do you think that its speed problems disqualify it from the top spot? Let us know in the comments below. Thank you for reading.

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