With Internet connected devices prevalent in almost every house today, finding the best online backup for home should be a top priority among families and individuals alike. The importance of ensuring everyone’s data stored in computers, smartphones and tablets is backed up, cannot be underestimated. Hence we’ve reviewed, tested and hunted down the five best solutions for online home backup.
Backing up information is an important part of securing your work, private data and anything else digital that needs to be protected from loss.
Securing personal pictures, school reports, homework and original recipes should not be left to the mercy of an easily corruptible hard drive. Determining which service is the best for your home, budget and specific needs can be quite confusing — especially if you’re new to the whole “cloud backup thingy”.
Which is why we’ve compiled the top five best online backup for home services into a list, because it’s our job to make sure you’re up to speed with the whole, “cloud backup thingy.” Online backup services allow us to be certain that all our data is safe from viruses, system meltdowns and unforeseen accidents. Eventually, every computer system will fail, but there’s no reason your data should fail with it.
Before We Get Started
In this era of technological hegemony, no one can imagine being without their computer or smartphone, unless they’re North Korean. However, if you think about it objectively, computers are one of the most unreliable pieces of equipment in any home.
Studies show that a system where a hard drive has failed once, has a 30% chance of failing again, and the chances are even higher if two drives have failed in the same system, kind of like a domino effect of failing HDDs. But, it’s not just HDD failure households need to worry about, there’s also the ever present threat of:
In 2015 alone, over 300 million new threats were detected, these threats attacked systems, crashing them, and anyone who’s used a Windows system knows — there is seldom any warning when your computer is going to crash. Before we dive into checking out the best online backups for homes, let’s first take a look at how exactly this article is structured.
What we’re providing here is an overlook at each of the five services, a few words about why we liked them, and a list of pros and cons to round everything up. We highly recommend you click the “Read review” button under every summary, for a full in-depth analysis of each service. With that disclaimer out of the way, onwards we march!
Best Online Backup for Home 2017
$ 5.00 per month Unlimited GBStorage All Plans
|Visit BackblazeBackblaze Review|
$ 5.99 per month Unlimited GBStorage All Plans
|Visit CrashPlanCrashPlan Review|
$ 5.00 per month Unlimited GBStorage All Plans
|Visit CarboniteCarbonite Review|
$ 2.99 per month 100 GBStorage All Plans
|Visit Zoolz HomeZoolz Home Review|
$ 4.99 per month 50 GBStorage All Plans
|Visit SOS Online BackupSOS Online Backup Review|
Backblaze has almost everything a home user could want, personalized encryption, no file limitations and it’s very affordable. Making it our top choice for basic or advanced home users. At $5 a month, which is less than a Toasted Graham Latte coffee, Backblaze will protect an unlimited amount of data — perfect for a single user at home with lots of files. Speaking of data uploads, tech savvy users can choose to throttle their upload speeds, in order to save on bandwidth and CPU resources.
However, scheduling a backup when you know the computer is being underutilized, will remove bandwidth limitations. Backblaze takes its security responsibilities very seriously, providing military-grade security, with a side service of personal encryption as well. Due to the nature of encryption and Backblaze’s safety policy, losing an encryption key renders it unrecoverable. In addition to this high-level security, two-factor authentication is also available.
A final cherry on our backup cake is the Locate My Computer service, which will track down any lost PC, and alert the owner to its location.
Why We Like Backblaze:
For its cost, Backblaze offers the best in online backup for home users — bar none. There are also no limits on file type or size. Additionally, users can enjoy features like auto throttling and notification alerts, when a backup is complete. While files can be accessed via the web portal from anywhere, you can’t share them with anyone.
- Personalized encryption keys
- No file storage limits
- Lost computer locator
- Very easy-to-use
- Initial backup can take weeks
- Only one PC per license
- Lacks file sharing
- Slow restores via web interface
CrashPlan offers unlimited storage to home users at pretty cheap rates, alongside strong Windows, Mac and Linux support and plenty of extra features. If you have limited experience using backup software, CrashPlan has a very intuitive user interface that’s simple to use, so we do recommend it to newcomers.
Users with a little bit more computer knowledge can easily schedule their backups, select exactly which files to store and adjust their bandwidth to accommodate other tasks. On the security end of things, CrashPlan uses 128-bit AES military grade encryption, for file transmission.
Once located on their servers, files are further encrypted with 448-bit AES security. And following Backblaze’s example, users can also add personalized encryption keys. We do feel it’s important to point out that CrashPlan does not have any file sharing or syncing capabilities, it’s essentially a pure backup service.
Why We Like CrashPlan:
We loved CrashPlan’s air-tight security standards. Their military-level AES security is enhanced by multi-level personal encryption keys. We also liked the lack of limitations on the service; storage space, file types and bandwidth usage are all unlimited. CrashPlan’s mobile apps are also fully fledged alternatives to the web app interface.
- Unlimited storage
- Military-grade security
- No bandwidth limitations
- Affordable pricing
- Lacks file-sharing
- Slow backups outside the U.S.
- No File Explorer integration
- Limited web app features
Carbonite is an excellent option for selective file restoration and retention, it’s also got a decent 30-day file versioning limit, plus the service is easy to use. What more could one ask for? Let’s find out. For the professional at home who needs to edit documents and videos, refer to photos and do any sort of comparison based task; Carbonite is definitely worthy of consideration.
There’s also military-grade security on hand to safeguard files, the Basic plan comes with an additional safety net, in the form of personalized encryption keys. Although Carbonite automatically backs up files of any kind, the sole exception to this rule are video files, which need to be manually backed up. In answer to the question we posed earlier, “what more could one ask for?,” We’d love to see support for Linux and more OS X integration across the Plus and Prime plans.
The fact that Mac users are restricted to the Basic plan is truly a shame.
Why We Like Carbonite:
Carbonite is a good option for users who want to play around with backup scheduling and revisit versioned files. The scheduling feature gives users the option to setup backups, when their PC isn’t being used. Carbonite usually runs in the background and can do so continuously, or be scheduled to run whenever the user sees fit. This is a good feature for those who don’t want to bog their CPU down with a lot of simultaneously running tasks.
- Personalized encryption keys
- Scheduled backups
- Easy file restoration
- File versioning
- No collaboration features
- Zero Linux support
- No auto-backup of video files
- Windows only mirrored backup
If you’ve got more than 1TB of information that can’t be deleted, due to either legal or personal reasons, Zoolz is the right platform for you. The service is an archiving platform designed to provide long term storage for redundant files. Zoolz is a cold storage service, which means the company provides long term storage solutions for large amounts of rarely used or accessed files.
As a result, data retrieval can take several hours, as the files “defrost” and become available, Zoolz is essentially an elephant graveyard for digital data. It’s still a great archiving option for families or roommates, because the Family plan allows up to five PCs to be backed up at once. But Zoolz isn’t about cold storage all the time, for an additional cost, home users can buy quick access cloud storage.
Which works like any normal cloud storage service, providing essentially instant access to files and folders. The Basic plan comes with 100GB of storage space, but does not include external hard a drive backup, however, higher space plans do have the option to cold store data from an external hard drive.
Why We Like Zoolz:
Zoolz is a “no limitations” backup service, with the exception of how much overall storage size is available. As long as your account has space, files can be dumped into it. The 15-day free trial comes with 50GB of space and all of the paid version’s features. Finally, if you want to cold store and backup data from an NAS drive, Zoolz is a pretty good choice.
- Active & cold storage
- External HDD backup
- Backs up NAS drives
- Hybrid backup option
- No Linux support
- Lacks continuous backup
- No multi-device syncing
- File versioning limited to 10 copies
5. SOS Online Backup
A formerly unlimited backup option, SOS Online Backup still offers very fast speeds, an intuitive user interface and never ever deletes files, until ordered to do so by you. When it comes to the amount of data SOS’s online storage service retains, we advise pruning your account from time to time. Since retaining copies of data over a long period of time can create a cluttered backup environment.
Since families seldom have one computer in the house, it is nice to know that everything can be protected with SOS’s Personal plan, which protects five computers at once. The service also backs up external and network drives, and it’s among the handful of online backup services out there that offer file sharing.
Unfortunately, SOS Online isn’t the cheapest of backup services, and the loss of its unlimited storage option is truly regrettable. Though, the company sort of makes up for that, by providing military-grade security and free customer support everyday of the week.
Why We Like SOS Online Backup:
We loved the simplicity and speed SOS Online Backup had to offer. Other than its speed and simplicity, we were also impressed by the service’s top notch security and basically unlimited file versioning. SOS Online Backup never deletes anything, even if a file gets deleted from your home computer, by mistake or intentionally. Since nothing is ever deleted, those among us who aren’t computer savvy, don’t have to worry about anything ever getting lost.
- NAS device backups
- Unlimited smart device backup
- Military-grade security
- File sharing features
- Mobile apps lack media player
- No seeded backup option
- Lacks File Explorer integration
- No Windows Phone app
Finding the best online backup for home is an extremely important task, while offline solutions like Time Machine exist, they’re only as good as the internal HDD they’re trying to protect. Thanks to their unlimited storage, strong security, good pricing and easy-to-use features, Backblaze and CrashPlan are our top picks for home backup.
However, our three remaining competitors offer unique features, such as:
- Zoolz — cold storage family option
- SOS Online Backup — no deletion policy
- Carbonite — great scheduling features
Of course, before making a decision and plopping down your cash, do read our full reviews of each service. Then test each service’s free plan or trial period, and let us know which one struck your fancy and why — thanks for reading!