According to a report released by Microsoft in January 2017, Windows 10 has been installed on over 200 million devices. If you’re also a Windows user, like me, looking for the right cloud backup solution, then you are in the correct place.
Microsoft does have its own cloud storage service, OneDrive, but it’s a service which syncs all your files to its cloud server. And in the case of a virus attack, if a file gets corrupted, then the same corruption will be copied to OneDrive’s servers as well. On top of that, Microsoft has an open door policy to the NSA, which means the U.S. government can look into your data, whenever they want.
That is why you need a reliable cloud backup service, that’s not OneDrive.
Cloud backup has become not only a way to safeguard against PC meltdowns, but also an important venue through which to collaborate, share data and safeguard information.
And with Microsoft claiming over 200 million Windows 10 installations, using cloud backup on your Windows machine is a splendid idea. And that’s why we’re going to break down the top three benefits of online backup, before introducing the top five best cloud backup apps for Windows.
A full, unlimited, totally comprehensive cloud backup package can be bought right now — for less than a cup of latte. So that’s one big advantage right there, it’s a competitive industry that survives by offering lower prices than the competition, or providing better services for the same price.
And prices scale as they climb. So even when a business or enterprise looks for high-level cloud backup services, the prices remain competitive for larger entities as well.
Due to the cloud’s digital nature, all of your data will naturally be immune to floods, earthquakes, hurricanes and other none man-made disasters.
However, speaking of human engineered ills: viruses, trojans and cyber-crime — are issues that plague the modern era like God plagued Egypt. The great news is, cloud backup solutions are equipped to be safe from cyber intrusions, thanks to state of the art encryption, privacy policies and secure firewalls.
3. Recovery and File Versioning
Well, let’s not forget about cloud backup’s main job — data protection and retrieval. Online backup keeps a duplicate copy of info in massive data centers placed around the globe, if and when something does happen to your PC, just click “retrieve” and the data will return.
Another cool perk associated with cloud backups is the ability to select and restore previous iterations of a file. This process is called file versioning, and it’s a great way to make revisions, compare versions and go back in time. Different cloud backup services offer varying levels of file versioning.
CrashPlan offers decent backup speeds, based on a cross-platform Java client. The service has a near perfect balance between ease-of-use and user-centered features.
CrashPlan is perfect for people who hate cloud backups that run in the background and slow down Internet speeds, especially when they’re trying to do some important work. CrashPlan can do backup scheduling and order backups to start when the user is away from their computer for whatever amount of time.
Apart from that, the additional settings include compression and data de-duplication. There is a history tab which provides log info too.
It also has another handy feature, which lets you backup data to a friend’s network drive.
CrashPlan encrypts data before moving it to your friend’s drive, and it can only get decrypted with your password. CrashPlan is an extremely advanced and affordable cloud backup service, but it could prove to be too complicated for absolute noobs.
Why We Like it
CrashPlan comes with unlimited storage and a variety of settings.
This cloud backup service is perfect for tech geeks, who always want to control when and how data gets uploaded to the cloud.
You can also exclude certain file types from a backup and decide the file versioning feature’s frequency.
It has 448-bit Blowfish private encryption and 256-bit server side encryption.
Carbonite is very similar to CrashPlan when it comes to storage and pricing plans, but it doesn’t provide as many customization options.
For example, if you choose to backup manually, you won’t be able to browse and upload a file from the application itself. Instead, go to Windows Explorer, right-click on the file or folder you want to upload, and choose Carbonite.
If Carbonite’s logo on the taskbar is green, that means files are getting uploaded, yellow means files are waiting to get uploaded, and white with a green border means all your files have uploaded. All in all, this cloud backup service is for people who want control over their backups, who don’t wish to spend time choosing an exact myriad of settings.
Why We Like it
Carbonite offers simplicity. As soon as you install it on a system, it will start scanning the system’s drive for files to backup.
If you choose automatic backup, then it will upload all documents, photos, music and emails saved on your system.
Carbonite also has a color code system which lets you know the status of a backup without having to open its desktop app.
Backblaze is designed for people who want a simple “click and backup” solution. There is an option to select hard drives to backup and automate bandwidth throttling or decide to customize its speed.
Technically, there is a backup scheduler, but it doesn’t give you the kind of flexibility expected from typical schedulers.
You can choose from continuous backup, once a day backup, or backing up whenever you want to. While Backblaze starts backing up all your data once it’s installed, the app does exclude system files, but users can add them if they so desire.
You can also add particular folders to an exclusion list, to stop them from getting backed up. Backblaze also has private encryption keys, secured via 128-bit local encryption and 256-bit server side encryption.
It has file versioning and keeps deleted files for over 30 days. Since everything in Backblaze is automated, it can be frustrating for people who want more customization.
Why We Like it
Backblaze was designed for the grandma who always needs help opening an e-mail.
No complicated options, schedules or any of that kinda stuff.
The available settings are also very simple.
In fact, when you look at its desktop app, there are only three buttons:
IDrive is the only cloud backup on our list with a file syncing feature. In fact, you can turn any folder on a system into a dedicated sync folder.
This solution would obviously solve a lot of problems for people who constantly juggle data between personal and work computers. But remember, a sync folder will copy every change uploaded to the cloud server, even viruses and other nasty stuff.
Of course, IDrive does regular backups too and does them well. When IDrive gets installed, it automatically selects all your important folders and uploads them.
But of course, you can select specific folders to exclude or tell the app outright to let you manually backup. IDrive’s only true downside is that the highest amount of available storage is 10TB.
Why We Like it
IDrive integrates very smoothly with Windows Explorer.
And that’s not all; it also has features like Disk image backup, and can backups servers including:
IDrive can also deliver customer data right to their doors, via the company’s Express service.
Just like our previous top four services, SOS Online auto-scans your system and recommends which folders to upload. Once the app has scanned through your drive, it displays every data type category, along with their total size and number of files.
It will only start uploading recommended files/folders when you approve. Coming to security, SOS Online offers two levels of encryption – UltraSafe and UltraSafe Max.
While both provide you with private encryption, but with UltraSafe Max, even your password won’t be sent to their servers. Choosing this option means you’ll be unable to access files from SOS’s web or mobile apps.
Why We Like it
With one of the neatest desktop apps around, SOS totally won me over.
It can also backup up to five different machines, alongside local drive and social media backup. It also provides:
Windows is the most used and popular operating system in the world, but it is also the most vulnerable one. No one can have their cake and eat it — apparently. Which is why it’s important to keep data backed up in a secure cloud backup service that’s:
Easy to use
Within your budget
Provides the features you need
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With the five best cloud backup Windows services, hopefully, you can now start checking out our reviews, test run a few of the services via their free plans or trial periods — before making a final decision.
Thanks for sticking till the end, and as a reward, feel free to leave a comment below sharing your thoughts and opinions.