Picking the backup service that best fits your needs can be a difficult process, given all the options available to you. Further complicating things for citizens of the Great White North is that no backup providers host their servers in Canada itself. Because of this, we’ve put together a list of the best cloud backup for Canada to make things easier for Canucks looking for a way to protect their files.
Online backup is the easiest and most efficient way to ensure that you’ll never lose access to your files in the event of a hard drive failure. Unlike cloud storage services, like Google Drive, backup solutions automate the process by either operating on a schedule or continuously checking your files for changes. This ensures that a copy of your files always exists somewhere on the cloud, in case you lose your local version.
Because of this, it’s much better to rely on a dedicated backup solution rather than traditional cloud storage to keep your files safe. With this in mind, let’s have a look at what makes an online backup solution good for Canadian users specifically, before diving into our top five.
The Best Online Backup for Canada
- Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office
- Zoolz Cloud Home Backup
What Makes the Best Cloud Backup for Canada
The factors that go into making a cloud backup service great in Canada aren’t much different than for anywhere else. Generally, you want a backup provider that offers either unlimited or at least large amounts of storage space at a reasonable cost.
As for security and privacy, AES 256-bit encryption is the gold standard, and it’s even better if you can manage your own encryption key, which would make the service zero-knowledge. If you like your files to be extra secure, choosing a service with two-factor authentication is also a good idea.
Server location is another important aspect for privacy, and in the case of Canadian users, this becomes a choice between speed and privacy.
Although Canada’s PIPEDA (Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act) protects against data collection, not many backup providers offer servers located in the country. This means that if you want the best performance, you’re generally stuck with data centers located in the U.S., which is a severe hit to your digital privacy.
1. IDrive: Best Online Backup for Canada
IDrive tops our list of the best online backup, in general, and this is true for Canada, as well. It comes packed with an incredible number of features.
It includes everything from disk-imaging to mobile and Office 365 backups, file sharing and pretty much anything else you could want from a backup service. Despite all these features, the client is also well-designed and easy to use.
Security and privacy is all-around excellent, featuring strong encryption, two-factor authentication and hardened data centers to protect against both physical and digital threats. The one major caveat to this is that the servers are located in the U.S., which has some of the worst cloud privacy laws in the world.
On the other hand, this means that Canadian users won’t suffer slower speeds than others due to physical distance. Unfortunately, IDrive is a slow service for pretty much anyone, so speed is a major problem regardless.
If you prefer a browser-based solution, IDrive’s web interface is solid, though it comes with a 2GB file size limit.
Other Reasons We Like IDrive
Although you don’t get unlimited storage space with IDrive, the plans offer either 2TB or 5TB, which is likely to be more than enough for most users. These plans are reasonably priced at $5.79 and $8.29 per month, respectively, but you do have to sign up for a full year up-front. If this is intimidating, IDrive offers a free storage plan with 5GB, so you can try out the service first.
The upside to the storage limits is that you can backup as many devices as you’d like. This is especially great with IDrive because you can use it to backup both desktop and mobile devices, meaning you can use the service to safeguard all of your files, regardless of what device they originate on.
If you’re looking for a backup solution for multiple users — whether that’s family members or employees at your small business — then IDrive also offers a set of business plans that might be of interest. These range from 250GB to 12.5TB of storage, priced at $8.29 to $249.96 per month, and they allow you to create multiple users.
- Lots of features
- Unlimited devices
- Excellent security & privacy
- Slow speed, despite U.S. servers
- No unlimited backup
- No monthly plans
Backblaze takes the opposite approach to backups, compared to IDrive, in almost every way. Instead of limiting your storage space, Backblaze instead only lets you backup a single device per license.
Furthermore, rather than loading up on advanced features, the service focuses on providing an incredibly simple and streamlined user experience that makes it as easy as possible to backup your files.
All you need to do to backup files with Backblaze is install the client, decide on an upload schedule and let the software handle the rest. By default, it backs up almost everything stored on your device.
This is great if that’s what you’re looking for but it can be frustrating for those who want to be a bit more selective, as you’ll need to manually exclude everything you don’t want to upload.
Security and privacy is solid, for the most part, with strong encryption, SSL/TLS, two-factor authentication and hardened data centers all part of the package.
Unfortunately the service can’t be said to be zero-knowledge, as its implementation of private encryption is flawed. This is because you need to hand over your private key to Backblaze to recover your data, meaning once you’ve done this, the company has the power to decrypt your files at will.
Other Reasons We Like Backblaze
Backblaze is one of the most affordable backup services out there. For just $6 per month you get unlimited storage space and access to all of the services features. There’s also a discount if you sign up for longer, with one or two years costing $60 and $110, respectively.
Since there’s a monthly plan, you never have to commit to too much up front. There’s also a 15-day free trial that gives you access to the full range of features with no limitations, so you can test it out before paying any money.
- Unlimited storage
- Easy to use
- No disk-imaging
- No mobile backup
3. Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office
Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office is another example of online backup that offers an impressive level of functionality. You can clone your entire hard drive or upload a select number of files, as well as backup servers, mobile devices and NAS devices. There’s also a range of additional features, such as a tool to create a rescue media device, Office 365 backup, ransomware protection and more.
One of the most interesting parts of Acronis is that it offers a wide range of data centers. So Canadian users can choose whether they want to focus on performance by picking a storage location in the U.S., or privacy by going with something in, for example, Germany or Switzerland.
Security and privacy are all-around excellent, as Acronis offers strong zero-knowledge encryption, hardened data centers and SSL/TLS to protect your files from cybercriminals while they’re in transit. Unfortunately, there’s no two-factor authentication, but this is a minor blemish on what is otherwise a very secure backup service.
Other Reasons We Like Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office
Acronis offers a wide range of different plans with varying amounts of data storage. The cheapest option gives you 200GB of storage for $4.17 per month, or you can opt for 1TB instead for $8.33 per month. There’s also a 30-day free trial available if you want to give the service a test run.
Although this is a bit pricey compared to some of the other cloud storage options on this list, Acronis lets you backup a full clone of your hard drive, which doesn’t use any of your allotted space. In essence, this makes the service an unlimited backup solution for a single device.
There’s no free plan, but you can sign up for a generous trial that includes 1TB of storage for a full month. There’s also a “standard” subscription that lets you perform one full disk-image backup for a one-time fee rather than a recurring subscription, but this version is also severely limited in features.
- Flexible server locations
- Lots of features
- Essentially unlimited storage
- Slightly expensive
- Messy interface
- Laggy desktop app
Carbonite is another example of a backup storage service that focuses on ease of use rather than offering a huge number of features. It’s missing things like disk-imaging and multithreading, as well as mobile and hybrid backups, but using Carbonite to backup every file that’s stored on your computer is still incredibly simple.
Aside from the regular client interface, Carbonite also sets up a virtual drive on your computer, which you can use to manage your online storage.
Security and privacy are top-notch, with strong AES 256-bit encryption that can be made completely private, SSL/TLS to protect files in transit and support for two-factor authentication. Unfortunately, its data centers are located in the U.S., but since you can manage your own encryption key, this is less of a privacy problem than it is for Backblaze.
Other Reasons We Like Carbonite
Like Backblaze, Carbonite offers unlimited storage for $6 per month with its Basic plan. Unlike Backblaze, it offers several other plans and tiers with different functionality and supported device types.
However, there are some annoying limitations to the Basic plan, such as the fact that Carbonite won’t automatically backup video files or anything exceeding the 4GB file size limit.
That said, you can still backup these files, but you’ll need to manually select each file rather than just the folders they’re placed in. Beyond the Basic plan, there’s the Plus plan that adds automatic video backup as well as external hard drive support.
Finally there’s the Prime plan, which includes a very generous discount on courier recovery. This is a service where Carbonite will ship you a physical device containing your files when you want to restore them, which is something you generally have to pay a hefty fee for. Carbonite Prime users only have to pay $9.99 for this, though, which is incredibly cheap.
- Unlimited storage
- Easy to use
- Private encryption
- Poor download speed
- Not a lot of features
5. Zoolz Home Cloud Backup
Rounding out our top five is Zoolz Home Cloud Backup. The service sports a clean and simple interface that makes backing up your data a breeze. Although it’s not the most feature-rich service out there, it still comes with all the basic functionality you’d expect from a backup service, as well as a few extras, such as file sharing.
Another great benefit with Zoolz is that you get unlimited versioning. This means that you can decide how many past versions of files you want to keep, as well as ones you’ve deleted. There’s no upper limit to this functionality, both in terms of time and number of versions, which is excellent. Speeds are also top-notch, both for uploads and downloads.
Like all of our top picks, Zoolz has excellent security and privacy. For encryption it uses AES 256-bit, and if you want zero-knowledge encryption you can manage your own private key. Plus, SSL/TLS is used while your files are in transit. Using Amazon Web Services data centers also means that your data is safe from physical or digital intrusions while on the server.
Other Reasons We Like Zoolz Home Cloud Backup
Although Zoolz isn’t as cheap as some of our other picks, it’s still quite reasonable; 1TB of cloud storage will run you $5.83 per month. There’s also a 14-day free trial if you want to test it out before committing to anything. Unfortunately, your files will be placed in what’s called “cold storage,” which means you won’t be able to access your data instantaneously.
You can backup an unlimited number of devices with all of Zoolz’s plans, and you can even set up individual user profiles for each device, making it an excellent option for families or small businesses.
- Streamlined backup experience
- Great security & privacy
- Good speed
- Confusing pricing scheme
- Most plans offer only cold storage
- Somewhat lacking in features
Honorable Mention: BigMIND Home
BigMIND Home is another backup solution created and managed by Zoolz. It’s an easy-to-use backup service that’s especially good for photos and videos. It includes several features specifically geared toward this purpose, including a photo gallery and the ability to stream video directly from your cloud storage.
Its security is also decent, with strong encryption and two-factor authentication. Both upload and download speeds are quite good, as well, and it supports various types of backup, including hybrid storage locations and mobile devices.
All that said, BigMIND didn’t manage to make it onto our top five for a few different reasons. First among these is its price, which at $2.99 per month for a measly 100GB of cloud storage (or $12.99 per month for 1TB) is quite expensive.
It does offer a free plan with 1GB of storage, but this is too little space to be of much use. The service also lacks private encryption and other features like disk-imaging.
Honorable Mention: Carbonite Safe Server Backup
Although the regular Carbonite plans use servers located in the U.S. for its online storage, Canada was added as an extra option for the Safe Server plan back in 2018. This makes it another potential option if your primary concern is having your data stored in Canada itself so that you can feel reasonably safe from privacy intrusions.
Although this is great, we still can’t quite justify placing Carbonite Safe Server Backup in the top five as it’s not that well-suited for personal users, which is the demographic we’re focusing on for this list. That’s because it’s pretty expensive at $50 per month for just 500GB of cloud storage.
Besides the difference in price and amount of data storage, there’s not a lot that differentiates this version of Carbonite from the standard one we covered above. The one notable exception to this is that you can backup 25 different devices with the same license, which includes both desktop computers and servers.
With that, we have concluded our list of the best cloud backup for Canada. Because not many cloud backup services offer Canadian cloud storage specifically, our top picks are very similar to the ones we’d recommend for anyone, regardless of location.
That said, any of these options will serve you well, and which one you want to go for will depend on what factors you value most. However, IDrive is our number-one recommendation.
If online storage is more what you’re looking for instead, make sure to check out our list of the best cloud storage for business and best cloud storage. Canada-based Sync.com tops both lists, which should make it an easy choice for Canadians, as it’s also one of the cheapest cloud storage services.
If you’re not clear on the differences between the two, check out our guide to online backup vs cloud storage. Canadian users, in particular, will discover it’s much easier to find secure cloud storage services hosted in Canada than they will with online backup.
What did you think of our list of the best cloud backup for Canada? Did we miss one of your favorite storage services? Do you think we rated one of our picks too highly? Let us know in the comments below. Thank you for reading.
- Since most online backup solutions don’t offer any free online storage, the answer to this is also IDrive, which provides users with 5GB of free cloud storage. Because free storage is so rare for backup providers, those who are looking for free or cheap online storage are instead generally better off going for a cloud storage solution, such as Google Drive.