Having limitations on how much you can backup is frustrating, especially for people with large amounts of data, like photographers, video editors, photoshop professionals and musicians. Keeping large files secured and backed up is a matter of extreme importance. With that fact in mind, CrashPlan and Backblaze came out on top due to pricing, space allocation and features. However, our three remaining contenders also have unique factors to offer, and are definitely worth strong consideration.
Choosing an unlimited cloud service is a great idea, but finding one that actually provides true unlimited backup is not a walk in the park. Determining what best meets your needs, can be a daunting undertaking. To lessen the burden of this onerous task, we’ve reviewed and tested the best online backup services for large amounts of data. But, what exactly qualifies as “large data?” For the purposes of our discussion here, we’re talking about single files (videos, albums, PST files, RAW images, OS Images) that are around 4GB or bigger.
Of course, if 4GB is the starting line, the ending line can be anywhere from 50GB to 100GB. Large data files can slow down a PC, and of course, reduce the available amount of space as well. Which can become a problem, for professionals who have to deal with large files everyday. Thanks to 4K videos, RAW files, and just the basic fact that everyone is working with HD files of some sort, storage is set to skyrocket in the future.
We cannot stress enough how important it is to find an unlimited backup provider, which is stable and easy on the wallet — without skimping out on features and security. If you don’t have an online backup service that can keep up with burgeoning files sizes, you run the risk of losing a lot of information, some of which may be unrecoverable.
We haven’t even touched upon what would happen to large data files in the case of a system meltdown. Using HDD recovery software to get back Outlook PST files, music samples or Photoshop projects is not a happy experience — nor is it a smooth or reliable one either.
It’s much easier to back them up, and when the inevitable does happen, simply retrieve them from your preferred backup provider and it’s mission accomplished! Last, but by no stretch of the imagine least, is security. Major services like Dropbox, iCloud and OneDrive have all been hacked or compromised, more times than they care to admit.
$ 5.99 per month Unlimited GBStorage All Plans
|Visit CrashPlanCrashPlan Review|
$ 5.00 per month Unlimited GBStorage All Plans
$ 4.99 per month 50 GBStorage All Plans
|Visit SOS Online BackupSOS Online Backup Review|
$ 5.00 per month Unlimited GBStorage All Plans
|Visit CarboniteCarbonite Review|
$ 4.45 per month Unlimited GBStorage All Plans
|Visit AltDriveAltDrive Review|
Finding the Best Services for Backing Up Large Amounts of Data
So, finding unlimited backup providers who also offered top notch encryption, was a top priority for us here at Cloudwards.net. We’re glad to report we actually did manage to do just that, and every service here provides military grade security and personal encryption keys. But, and it’s a big but, some of the providers on our list only offer Windows encryption keys — which is a bummer.
Having unlimited online backup allows us to continue working, without worrying too much about the most common worst case scenarios (if aliens destroy the planet, there’s not much backing up your files can do to save them). However, there are some caveats to remember when it comes to backing large files.
First, it’s not going to be a quick process. Depending on your bandwidth, location and Internet speed, it can take anywhere from several days to a week (or more). Since most ISPs skimp on uploads speed, but provide great download speed, backing up files (large ones especially) can be a time consuming task. Thankfully, it usually a one time affair, if you’re backing up an entire computer, with incremental backups taking far less time.
To figure out how long it could take you to upload large files, here’s a handy calculator. And finally, before diving into the article, we would like to point out that this is not a full review of each service, it’s more of a:
- Basic summary of them
- What we liked about them
- A list of pros and cons
For full on reviews and in-depth analysis of each service, simply hit the “Read review” button, and you’ll be on your merry way to finding out a lot more about each service mentioned here.
CrashPlan leads the pack when it comes to unlimited storage. With no bandwidth limitations, unlimited file types, sizes and military-grade encryption, it is easy to see why it is at the top of our countdown. CrashPlan’s unlimited online storage is perfect for large amounts of data. Users can setup their own schedules and trigger backups whenever they want, if you want to backup while the computer system is in use, it works well too.
You can set bandwidth limits, so CrashPlan doesn’t use up too much net resources. Security is a top priority for CrashPlan. During file transmission, data is encrypted with 128-bit AES military-grade security. Once it is tucked away on their servers, the information remains secure under 448-bit AES encryption.
For added security, you can include a personalized encryption key, known only to you. You can choose which files to save and which ones to restore, the service does not delete files, until explicitly instructed by the user. Although CrashPlan auto-limits file versions to five copies, versioning can be set to unlimited in the preferences pane.
Other Reasons Why We Like CrashPlan
CrashPlan became our top choice for many reasons.
For starters, it’s serious about file encryption. When stored on their servers, data is saved under 448-bit AES encryption. During transmission from your system, to theirs, files are safe under 128-bit AES encryption. We also loved the fact that it offers Windows, Mac and Linux users essentially the same features.
- Unlimited storage space
- Personalized encryption key
- Military-grade security
- Slow when outside of the U.S.
- No File Explorer integration
- Web app lacks video player
Backblaze is a pretty affordable unlimited storage option, which places no limit on file sizes. The service also incorporates military-level protection and an optional personalized encryption key. Backblaze offers cheap unlimited storage, which is its ace card and holy grail, for large data hoarders. This service does not limit the type of file you can upload or it’s size, all selected files are automatically stored within the company’s secure servers.
Backblaze offers military-grade encryption, with a personalized encryption key option. Unlike other competitors, the encryption on offer here is available to all users, not just a select few. For those who want additional security, there’s optional two-factor authentication available as well. Backblaze does offer another unique feature, mobile and laptop locating services, in case of theft or misplacement.
If the device is ever lost or stolen, the locate setting will direct you to it.
Other Reasons Why We Like Backblaze
Backblaze backs up external hard drives, but needs to be connected at least once every 30 days to do so. The service will auto-backup of all your files, despite their size or type. We also liked the fact that plans come with a notification service, which lets you know when a backup is complete and if anything failed to save.
- Set bandwidth limits
- Personalized encryption key
- Lost computer locator
- Lacks file sharing
- Computers need multiple licenses
- Slow initial backup
SOS Online Backup
SOS Online Backup is a true archiving service, where users can delete files from their computer and not have to worry about losing anything. SOS can be considered a true active archive solution, nothing is ever deleted without a user going into the account, and manually removing it. The service also keeps an unlimited number of revisions of past files.
This ability to go back and grab information from two years ago, is both good and bad, as it can create a cumbersome backlog to search through. It can become difficult to navigate, through all of the information, just to find what you are looking for. On the other hand, users never have to worry about something being accidentally deleted, from either their hard drive or storage account.
If you’re an iOS or Android user, all you have to do is download the mobile app, and log in with a user name and password. Families can also enjoy this service, thanks to its multi-computer plan. Unfortunately, the unlimited offer was very recently canceled, and so, SOS Online Backup no longer is a viable option for storing large files.
Other Reasons Why We Like SOS Online Backup
SOS understands how important it is to keep information secure, nothing is deleted and all versions are retained, all photos, contacts, and videos are secured. Not only does it offer
unlimited storage (click here for full details) for computers, it can also add an unlimited number of smartphones and tablets to an account. While we acknowledge that this means an account can become cumbersome, you never have to worry about losing anything.
- Unlimited storage space
- Unlimited phones & tablets
- Multi-plan protects 5 PCs
- No deletion makes account bulky
- Cannot share files
- Lacks Windows mobile app
Carbonite offers unlimited storage for users with large data files, and documents accidentally deleted off the computer can be restored, for up to 30 days. Carbonite does require users to keep files on their computers, in order for them to remain backed up. This means, if you delete something and do not restore it within 30 days, the file will be removed from your online account as well (and hence permanently lost).
Although the initial backup can seem to take forever, subsequent backups do not take as long and last only a couple of hours. This is because only changed or new files are included in the storage account.
However, if you accidentally delete a file, it can be restored, as long as you do it within the correct time frame (30 days). Users who do have large files, may be annoyed to find out that big files are not automatically saved. They have to be manually added to the backup service, as the automated service does not include files over 4GB in size.
Other Reasons Why We Like Carbonite
Carbonite offers unlimited storage space (great for large data files) and strong safety. Not only does Carbonite use military-grade security, for the transmission and storage of data, but it also allows a personal encryption keys to be set. Of course, this option is only available on select plans and does not apply to all users.
- Backup scheduler
- Personal encryption key
- Deleted files retained for 30 days
- Lacks auto-video backup
- Mac/Linux limited to basic plan
- Windows only encryption key
AltDrive is an affordable unlimited backup service, where customers can setup their own backup schedule, to meet the demands of time and their PC systems.
The content below refers to a defunct version of AltDrive. Unfortunately, they’ve gone out of business completely, leaving their customers in the rain. We cannot recommend using AltDrive at this point in time. Please check our cloud storage comparison chart for alternatives.
AltDrive is an unlimited backup service, which is good news for those who want to backup everything and not have to think about it anymore. More advanced users can choose which files they backup. While this feature may be available during restoration, we were unable to get it to work properly. As with any service, the initial backup can take several hours and even days — depending on your Internet settings and speeds. If you backup during a limited window of time, the backup will take longer, compared to uploading with no time restrictions. We did like the fact that you can view backup sets online. However, the analytical data of storage amounts, files saved, etc., does not populate in real time. This information is only available once the backup completes.
Other Reasons Why We Like AltDrive
We loved that consumers can set their own backup schedule. You can decide to backup a single computer or everyone on a network. Customers can choose to backup immediately, during a specific time of day, or continuously with the software running every one to two hours. Like the competition, this service does offer unlimited storage.
Unlimited storage View backup sets online Scheduler feature View backup history online
Difficult web restore Multi-computer plan limited to 3 No sharing feature Lacks real-time web analysis
If you have several gigabytes or even terabytes of data, there’s no need to be picky about what is saved and what’s deleted. By choosing one of the unlimited plans offered by:
You can ensure large data files are protected. CrashPlan and Backblaze offered the best services, with the fewest drawbacks and cheapest prices.
However, our three remaining options may be more in-line with your large data needs. So definitely take each services’ free offer for a spin, before making any final decisions. Also, feel free to leave any questions or suggestions you may have, in the comments section below.