- Best Online Backup for Archiving 2021
- What Makes Online Backup the Best for Cold Storage
- Best Online Backup for Archiving: Acronis True Image
- Other Reasons We Like Acronis True Image
We usually focus on backing up data, but file archiving is backing up with a twist: you archive files that you rarely need to use or change. Another difference is that by archiving, you move your files to the cloud instead of copying them. That helps you save space, so we’ve decided to create the best online backup for archiving roundup.
Another upside is that cloud services offering architecture for backup and archiving can reduce the storage cost of your archive, since you don’t need to access it often. Restoring takes more time, though.
This type of storage is usually called “cold storage,” and some of the services on our list have plans that offer it. Others provide the regular “hot” storage, which is more expensive (read our hot storage vs cold storage guide for a better explanation of the two).
We’ve selected the services on this list from our best online backup for small business roundup, but also from our best online backup list.
Archiving your files to the cloud will reduce the risk of losing your files due to a hard drive failure. For more on what backup services can do, visit our online backup library.
Best Online Backup for Archiving 2021
- Acronis True Image — Feature rich and secure
- Zoolz Business — Cheap large archiving solution
- Jottacloud — Cheap unlimited backup option with great mobile apps
- IDrive Business — Offers true archiving and backup shipping
- BigMind Business — Good and cheap cold storage service
What Makes Online Backup the Best for Cold Storage
Our top criteria in this roundup is value because it’s best if you can archive a lot of files for cheap. Ideally a service should also have many plans because that helps you pick one that’s most suited to your needs. Plus, it’s great if the provider offers a free plan or trial so you can test the service before deciding to subscribe.
The service should be easy to use. That means you will be able to archive your files and forget about them until you need to access them. When that happens, you should be able to do it in a straightforward way. Plus, the service should work on most operating systems and provide access via web and mobile.
Transferring your files may take a long time, depending on your bandwidth, how close you are to a server and the backup service. A service with a global network of servers will usually be the fastest. We also like to see the option to enable multi-threaded uploads.
The cloud security of a backup service should be strong. That depends on the level of file encryption, as well as which protocol and encryption protect your files in transit and more.
Best Online Backup for Archiving: Acronis True Image
Acronis True Image is a home backup service that’s near the top of our best online backup services. It provides many features, including a data archiving tool, which can move your files to the cloud and delete the local copy.
Before you can use it, though, you will have to subscribe either to its “advanced” or “premium” plans. The “advanced” plan provides 250GB of backup space for one computer for $49.99 per year. For an extra $20, you can add 250GB of space or add two computers, up to a maximum of five.
The “premium” plan gets you 1TB for $99.99 per year. You can’t backup more computers than you can with the “advanced” plan, but every added computer raises the price by $50. You can also increase your space by 1TB for $40 per year, up to a maximum of 5TB.
If you think Acronis True Image might be a good fit, you can use the free 30-day trial to make sure you’re getting what you need.
You will archive your files using the desktop client, which has a modern and intuitive design. It also gives you a way to quickly access your archived files from your operating system’s file explorer. The desktop client is available for Windows and macOS, but not on Linux. If you need Linux support, read our best online backup for Linux roundup.
Another way to access your archive space is from the web client, which is attractive and straightforward. Plus, smartphone apps for Android and iOS are easy to use, and they let you access your files and backup while you’re on the go.
Other Reasons We Like Acronis True Image
Acronis True Image uses AES 256-bit encryption to secure files at rest and the TLS/SSL protocol protects your data in transfer (more about it in our SSL vs. TLS comparison). Plus, Acronis Active Protection 2.0 protects you from ransomware attacks. Private encryption is available, too.
There’s no two-factor authentication, though, which is a big miss. Because of that, make sure you create a strong password.
Acronis has a proprietary global network of servers, which helped it reach fast transfer speeds on our test. You can see the results in our Acronis True Image review.
We’ve placed Acronis at the top thanks to its flexible plans, quick access to your archive, solid security and fast transfer speeds.
- Quick access to your archive
- Desktop & mobile backup
- Fast backup
- No two-factor authentication
- Could be a better value
Zoolz Cloud Backup for Business
Unlike the previous entry, Zoolz Cloud Backup for Business is geared toward, well, businesses. That said, it provides archiving without the steep prices that business backup services usually have.
That’s because all of its plans provide cold storage. The cheapest plan is the 2TB plan, which goes for $79.90 per year. If you need more, you can subscribe to the 5TB plan for $199.90 per year. More expensive plans enable you to pay per month. If you end up needing hot storage, you can buy it in 1TB increments for $400, up to 4TB per year.
If you’re not sure about Zoolz, make sure to use its 14-day free trial to help you make up your mind. It comes with 50GB of hot and cold storage.
Zoolz’s desktop client is available for Windows and macOS. Its main window shows all the necessary information about your backup, and the buttons at the bottom let you select data for backup, tweak the settings and initiate the restore process. Overall, the desktop client is straightforward and attractive.
There are no mobile apps, but you can use the web client to access your backup. It shows a lot of information while being clear and not overwhelming. Read more about all this in our Zoolz Cloud Backup for Business review.
Other Reasons We Like Zoolz Cloud Backup for Business
Zoolz Cloud Backup for Business protects your data before it leaves your computer using AES 256-bit encryption, and you can manage the encryption key yourself. Plus, Zoolz protects your files in transit using the SSL protocol. However, Zoolz doesn’t provide two-factor authentication.
Zoolz uses Amazon’s AWS infrastructure, but that didn’t help it reach fast upload speeds in our speed tests. However, there’s a mode that dedicates all available bandwidth to Acronis True Image and also an option to turn on multi-threaded backups. Both methods will speed up your transfer.
It was a close call between Acronis True Image and Zoolz Cloud Backup for Business, but ultimately we decided to place Zoolz Cloud Backup second because it lacks mobile apps and can’t access your archive from the desktop like Acronis can.
- Cheap 2TB plan
- Private encryption
- Multi-threaded backup
- No mobile access
- No two-factor authentication
Jottacloud is a cloud storage and backup service from Norway that provides an online archive you can use to upload your files.
Jottacloud’s “personal” plan provides unlimited backup space. It’s $7.56 per month, but the yearly discounted price is $75.58, which works out to be $6.30 per month.
If you need a plan for multiple users, you can use the “family” or “business” plans. The cheapest family plan gets you 1TB for $6.46 per month or $64.60 per year. The same amount of space for unlimited business users is $10.84 per month, or $130.13 per year.
You need to use the web client to archive files. That’s because the desktop client can’t archive your files and it’s clunky. With the web client, though, it takes only a single click to access your archive, and then you can upload your files and folders to it.
Jottacloud’s mobile apps are pleasant to use, and they let you access your archive and backup your photos. Plus, you can clear your phone of all the photos that you have been backed up. That means you get archiving for your photos, too.
Other Reasons We Like Jottacloud
Jottacloud uses the TLS/SSL protocol to protect your files in transit from your computer to a server. Once on a server, AES 256-bit encryption will scramble your files at rest. It’s not private, though. That said, Jottacloud features two-factor authentication, which will protect your credentials.
Jottacloud’s data centers are in Norway, so your distance from it will reflect on your transfer speed. We were relatively close, in Belgrade, Serbia, when we tested Jottacloud, but if you aren’t, you can speed up your transfers if you enable multi-threaded backup.
Jottacloud has pricing plans that offer great value, but it lacks private encryption and requires you to use the web client to archive files. That said, there’s more to Jottacloud, as you can read in our Jottacloud review.
- Unlimited storage space
- Free 5GB of storage
- Can archive photos from smartphones
- No private encryption
- Must archive using the web client
- Clunky desktop client
IDrive for Business
IDrive is a capable service for personal and business users alike. It offers true archiving, which means it won’t ever delete your files unless you explicitly delete them from the cloud. Thanks to that, it made this list.
IDrive can backup unlimited devices, and all plans provide an equal amount of sync space as they do backup space.
The cheapest business plan gets you 250GB for $74.62 per year. For 500GB, you will have to dish out $149.62 per year. The following plans go up to 12.5TB and enable you to pay per month, too.
There are also personal plans that provide 2TB for $52.12 per year and 5TB for $74.62 per year. If you’re not sure that IDrive is the right choice, you can use its 5GB free plan to test it before subscribing.
IDrive’s desktop client works on Windows and macOS, but not Linux. It’s not among the most attractive clients, but it’s straightforward. You can also use the web app to upload your files to the “sync and cloud storage” space, which works great for archiving your files.
The mobile app is easy to use, thanks to its minimal and intuitive design. You can use it to access your backup and photo timeline, as well as to backup your phone data. Because of that, IDrive made our best online backup for mobile roundup.
Other Reasons We Like IDrive for Business
IDrive uses the TLS/SSL protocol to protect your files in transit and 256-bit AES encryption to scramble them at rest. You can also enable private encryption when you first set up IDrive.
Two-factor authentication is available, too, and you can remotely disable sync for the devices on your account. That helps if someone steals your device.
IDrive isn’t fast on initial uploads, but you can use a courier service called IDrive Express to backup and recover your files. If you want to learn more about IDrive, read our IDrive review.
- Unlimited device backup
- Low cost
- True archiving
- Private encryption
BigMIND Business is another product from Zoolz (as is BIGMind Home). It’s packed with features and lets you archive your files using its special subscription plan called “smart archive,” which provides 1TB of cold storage for $40 per month. Plus, it can support up to 50 servers and 500 users.
If you need more space, you can add 1TB for $40 per month, up to 10TB. The plan also provides AI photo detection, which is useful if you’re working with photos.
BigMIND’s desktop client, like the one from Zoolz Cloud, works on Windows and Mac, and it shows everything you need to know about your backup at a glance. Overall, it’s easy and simple to use.
The main view of the web client is the dashboard, and it also shows all the relevant information about your entire business backup. It’s clear, attractive and straightforward to use.
You can also use the mobile client to upload data, including call logs, contacts, photos, messages, videos and other file types. Plus, you can instruct the app to clear your phone of videos and images you’ve backed up.
Other Reasons We Like BigMIND Business
BigMIND Business manages your encryption key by default, and there’s no way to enable private encryption. That said, the encryption level is AES 256-bit, and BigMIND utilizes the SSL protocol to protect files in transit. Plus, two-factor authentication is available to protect your credentials.
We’re satisfied with how performed in our upload tests, but its download speed leaves much to be desired. However, you can turn on “multi-threaded download” to speed it up, and you can switch to “turbo mode” to allocate more bandwidth to BigMIND. If you want to see speed test results, read our BigMIND Business review.
- Fast uploads
- Multi-threaded download
- No private encryption
All these services are capable of archiving your files, but the biggest difference comes from the price, ease of access to your archive and transfer speed. Thanks to fast speeds and good ease of use, we’ve placed Acronis True Image at the top, even though its plans offer less value than other services (excluding BigMIND Business).
If your primary focus is paying less for more, other services on this list are a great choice, if you can live with their specific drawbacks. Do you favor any of the others more than Acronis True Image? Tell us all about it in the comments below. Thank you for reading.