Best Online Backup for Multiple Computers & Devices in 2021

Aleksandar Kochovski
By Aleksandar Kochovski (Editor)
— Last Updated: 2020-11-29T12:02:18+00:00

A modern household is highly reliant on technology, so chances are you’ve got multiple computers lying around your home. Whether its family photos, home videos or important work files for your small business, you don’t want to lose all your valuable data in a hard drive crash. Finding the best online backup for multiple computers could be the solution to that problem.

Backups can get messy if you have more than one computer. Using a different account for every device will make your backups difficult to manage. However, a single-subscription solution for all of your backups can help you sort out all your cloud-based files. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of the best cloud backup for multiple computers.

Our number-one pick is IDrive, which straddles the line between online backup and cloud storage, and lets you back up an unlimited number of computers. It also offers zero-knowledge security.

Best Online Backup for Multiple Computers

  1. IDrive — The best multiple-computer backup solution
  2. SpiderOak One — Secure online backup with unlimited device support
  3. Acronis True Image — A feature-rich and secure backup solution
  4. Zoolz Home — Fast zero-knowledge computer backup
  5. Carbonite Safe — An easy-to-use and cheap online backup option
  1. 1
    • Continuous Backup
    • Incremental Backup
    • External Drive Backup
    • NAS Backup
    • Unlimited Backup
    • Versioning
    • Private Encryption
    5 GB - 12.5 TB
    $ 579
  2. 2
    • Continuous Backup
    • Incremental Backup
    • External Drive Backup
    • NAS Backup
    • Unlimited Backup
    • Versioning
    • Private Encryption
    150 GB - 5 TB
    $ 575
  3. 3
    • Continuous Backup
    • Incremental Backup
    • External Drive Backup
    • NAS Backup
    • Unlimited Backup
    • Versioning
    • Private Encryption
    200-Unlimited GB
    $ 417
  4. 4
    • Continuous Backup
    • Incremental Backup
    • External Drive Backup
    • NAS Backup
    • Unlimited Backup
    • Versioning
    • Private Encryption
    1000 GB - 50 TB
    $ 583
  5. 5
    • Continuous Backup
    • Incremental Backup
    • External Drive Backup
    • NAS Backup
    • Unlimited Backup
    • Versioning
    • Private Encryption
    250-500 GB
    $ 2400

All of the entries on this list are among the best cloud backup services, so you can’t go wrong with any of them. If cloud storage is what you need instead, you can check out our best cloud storage list.

Before we dive into the full list, let’s take a look at why these are the go-to services when you need to backup multiple computers.

What Makes the Best Online Backup for Multiple Computers?

The first thing to look for in a backup system for several computers is a plan that can backup more than one device. Unlimited device backup would be ideal, though only a handful of services offer it. These plans have to come at a decent price, too, and they have to provide enough storage space to backup all of your computers.

Cloud security is something we value greatly here at Cloudwards, so it’s imperative for us that your data is safe from prying eyes. Zero-knowledge encryption means that only you can access your files, and two-factor authentication will block any hackers from logging into your account, even if they have your password.

Speed is another deciding factor for choosing the right cloud backup provider. Backups can take a long time to complete, but you shouldn’t have to wait an eternity for them to finish uploading. The biggest factor in a service’s speed is how close you are to its servers, so a backup platform with servers around the world will provide a speedy experience for more of its users.

Of course, you shouldn’t need a computer science degree to use a cloud backup service. The platform should be thoughtfully designed with ease of use in mind. Plus, support for different operating systems, such as Linux and Mac, is always welcome.

1. IDrive

Taking the top spot on our list is IDrive, a veteran of online backup that first opened its doors in 1995. What’s truly outstanding about IDrive is its hybrid feature set, which combines the best of online backup with the file sharing and syncing features of cloud storage. You can read your full IDrive review for a complete overview of everything it has to offer.

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IDrive’s Personal plan comes in two storage capacities and lets you backup an unlimited number of devices, including external drives. The 5TB storage plan comes at a regular price of $69.50. However, it’s currently discounted to $52.12 for the first year, and if you switch from a competing backup provider, you can get the cost all the way down to $6.95 for the first year.

The 10TB cloud storage plan costs $99.50 per year, though it currently costs only $74.62 for the first year. However, this is a limited-time discount, so don’t count on the prices to stay this low. There’s no per-month payment option, though. You can only pay a yearly fee for IDrive’s pricing plans, but there’s an additional discount if you pay for two years in advance.

You can give IDrive a try via its 5GB free trial before you make up your mind. The free plan lasts forever, so you can keep using those 5GB for storage, even if you don’t plan on paying for IDrive’s full service.

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IDrive gives you the option to keep your encryption key private before making your first backup. Your data is encrypted using 256-bit AES encryption in transit and at rest. Plus, IDrive’s data centers are physically protected against fires, earthquakes and other natural disasters, as well as any nefarious intruders.

However, IDrive’s servers are in the United States, which has some pretty terrible online privacy laws, such as the Patriot Act. However, if you choose the zero-knowledge encryption option, not even Uncle Sam can view your private files. Two-factor authentication is the icing on the cake, so you can rest assured that you’re the only one who can log in to your account.

Other Reasons We Like IDrive

As we mentioned, IDrive offers a multitude of features. In addition to your backup space, you get an equal amount of sync storage, so you basically get twice the storage space for the same price. Data in this space will be synced across all of your devices, just like it would with a cloud storage service. You can’t store backups in this space, though, but extra cloud storage can’t hurt.

You can also make image-based backups that clone your entire system to the cloud, not just your files. IDrive even makes NAS backups and server backups, if you need that sort of thing.

There’s no need to worry if you accidentally delete a file or folder from your cloud backup. IDrive retains deleted files and past versions of files indefinitely. This makes it easy to revert any accidental or unwanted changes to your backup.

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Speed can be an issue with IDrive. The closer you are to its U.S. data centers, the faster your connection will be, but the service is still pretty slow. Luckily, block-level copying will speed up any subsequent reuploads, once the initial backup has been performed.

IDrive is relatively easy to use, considering how many features it packs into its service. It’s available for Mac and Windows, but Linux support is missing. You can still use the web interface on Linux, and it functions just like the desktop app. There’s also a mobile app that lets you backup photos and videos from your phone and manage your backups remotely.

Overall, IDrive is an excellent choice for multiple computer backups. It offers zero-knowledge security and plenty of storage at a low cost. That places it above the competition and earns it first place on our list.

Pros:

  • Backup unlimited devices
  • Zero-knowledge encryption
  • Packed with features

Cons:

  • Poor speed

2. SpiderOak One

If top-of-the-line security for multiple computers is what you’re after, look no further than SpiderOak One. The runner-up on our list puts no limit on the number of computers, plus it comes with private encryption by default. However, it’s on the pricey side, and there’s no disk-imaging option, so you can’t use it to copy your entire computer.

SpiderOak’s cheapest backup plan offers only 150GB of storage for $6 per month, and the next plan up provides 400GB of cloud storage space for $11 per month. The 2TB storage plan costs $14 per month, and the 5TB one will set you back a whopping $29 per month. You can try SpiderOak’s 21-day free trial before you make your purchase.

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SpiderOak uses 256-bit AES to encrypt your data in storage, and the SSL protocol keeps your files safe in transit. This means your files are protected from hackers and man-in-the-middle attacks.

Its service is zero-knowledge by default, which means you’re the only one who can decrypt your files. However, there’s no two-factor authentication, so make sure to use a strong password.

SpiderOak has its servers in the U.S., but don’t let that fool you. Despite the U.S. being part of the Five Eyes network and its shady privacy laws, SpiderOak takes great care to keep your data away from any government bodies. In fact, it even received a recommendation from Edward Snowden as a better alternative to Dropbox.

SpiderOak doesn’t keep any metadata about your files, either. Instead, all metadata is stored on your own computer, to keep anyone else from ever accessing it. The only information SpiderOak keeps is some of your account data and payment details, which it needs to keep its service running efficiently.

Other Reasons We Like SpiderOak One

SpiderOak One is a surprisingly fast service, especially when downloading, due to server-side compression. Block-level copying is here to speed up reuploads as well. The initial upload does take quite some time, but in the end, it will all depend on where you are in the world and how close you are to SpiderOak’s American data centers.

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Like IDrive, SpiderOak has some syncing and sharing capabilities, though the sync folder uses your backup storage instead of its own dedicated storage. The sharing functionality is somewhat finicky because you have to add your files to a “share room” before you can share them.

The desktop app is easy to use and understand, even if it’s a little cumbersome. There’s also a web interface, though SpiderOak discourages you from using it because it’s less private than the desktop app. The mobile app lacks functionality, as you can only use it to manage your backup and to access your shared and synced files.

SpiderOak One has foolproof security, and it truly cares about the privacy of its users. It even has syncing and sharing features, which is a nice bonus. However, its expensive pricing plans keep it from taking the crown, so it gets a respectable second place in our showdown.

Pros:

  • Unlimited device backup
  • Excellent security & privacy
  • Fast backups & downloads

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • No image-based backup

3. Acronis True Image

Acronis has made the effort to simplify its subscription plans recently. There are now only three backup plans, which you can modify to include either three or five computers. If you purchase a Premium plan, you can add up to 5TB of extra cloud storage, as well. You have to pay extra for these upgrades, but they come at a discounted price.

The Essential plan is the cheapest option, but you can only use it to create backups locally or to an external drive. It costs $49.99 yearly for a single computer and goes up to $99.99 per year for five devices. The Advanced plan will get you 500GB of cloud storage space for $69.99 yearly or up to $119.99 per year for five devices.

The Premium plan is the most spacious and, appropriately, the most expensive of the three. The base plan costs $99.99 annually, providing 1TB of cloud storage for one computer. The prices go up to $319.99 per year for five devices and 5TB of storage. There’s also a 30-day free trial if you want to take Acronis for a spin before you subscribe.

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Acronis is a zero-knowledge service, employing the same industry-standard 256-bit AES encryption as its competitors. However, Acronis goes one step further by folding full-stack anti-malware software and ransomware protection into its service. According to independent testers, its antivirus solution has a 100-percent detection rate for viruses, with no false positives.

Beyond cybersecurity, Acronis ensures the physical safety of its data centers by protecting them from environmental disasters. Its 24/7 surveillance ensures that your files won’t fall prey to would-be data thieves.

Other Reasons We Like Acronis True Image

Acronis True Image offers a variety of features, some of which you probably won’t even need. On the backup side, there’s image-based, NAS, mobile, server and hybrid backup, as well as external drive backup, which pretty much covers everything you can backup.

Besides all the backup options, there are extra features galore, including cloud storage sync, local backups and even a rescue-media tool that lets you restore your system to a computer with different hardware. It also has a system cleanser that can delete sensitive information, plus a hard disk wipe option. There’s probably a kitchen sink somewhere in there, too.

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Acronis’ servers cover a wide area, with data centers in the U.S., EU, Japan, Singapore and Australia. This means more widespread coverage and faster speeds for more users. Reuploads are even faster, thanks to block-level uploading.

Its desktop app organizes Acronis’ many features in a way that’s easy to use, though the design itself looks a little cluttered. You can backup by file type or select specific folders to backup. The web client lets you manage backups remotely, plus there’s an app for Android and iOS that can backup your phone or tablet.

Acronis is a standout on this list for its multitude of features and security measures that go well beyond the scope of traditional online backup. You name it, Acronis has it. Well, apart from support for unlimited computers. That’s the sole reason Acronis takes the bronze medal in this comparison.

Pros:

  • Zero-knowledge encryption & malware protection
  • Wide range of features
  • Excellent server coverage

Cons:

  • Only supports up to five computers
  • Pricey storage plans

4. Zoolz Home

Unlike our previous entries, Zoolz Home provides a more stripped-down experience with Amazon Web Services as its backend. However, it’s fast, secure and most importantly, it can backup up to five computers.

Zoolz’ Family plan comes with 1TB of cloud storage space and costs $39.95 per year. That’s fine for a single computer, but the Heavy plan is more appropriate for storing multiple backups. It offers 4TB of cloud storage at a yearly cost of $99.95.

Unfortunately, all of Zoolz’ plans support only five computers at most, and you can’t pay per month. Zoolz has a free trial that offers 100GB of cloud storage if you need a taste before you make up your mind.

AES 256-bit encryption protects your files when they’re on Zoolz’ servers, and the SSL protocol safeguards them in transit. Zoolz lets you create your own custom encryption key, which only you will be able to access, which makes it a zero-knowledge service. However, like the previous entries on this list, it lacks two-factor authentication.

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Other Reasons We Like Zoolz Home

Zoolz Home is pretty fast, due to its integration with Amazon S3. Its data centers are in the U.S., UK and Australia, which means that plenty of users will have a server close by. Plus, a block-level algorithm helps speed up reuploads.

Its desktop app lets you backup by file type or by folder. It’s easy to navigate the app and there are no extra features complicating the user experience. The web client functions in much the same way as the desktop app, but there’s no mobile app to help manage your backup remotely.

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Zoolz’ sister service, called BigMIND Home, offers more functionality than Zoolz, and it has its own mobile app. However, it provides only 1TB of computer backup storage, which makes it unsuitable for multiple backups.

In an early 2020 controversy, Zoolz pulled the rug from under its Lifetime customers by subscribing them to a monthly maintenance plan. The whole fiasco was quickly abated when Zoolz promised Lifetime users they wouldn’t lose access to their data, but it left a bad taste in customers’ mouths, nonetheless.

Despite being a zero-knowledge provider, Zoolz keeps your file names and directories. It also tracks your IP address and collects other personal information. This helps Zoolz improve its service, but the situation is less than ideal. That’s why Zoolz only takes the penultimate spot on our list.

Pros:

  • Private encryption option
  • Inexpensive
  • Fast

Cons:

  • Limited number of devices
  • Collects data
  • No mobile app

5. Carbonite Safe

A truly bare-bones cloud backup, Carbonite Safe offers ease of use and unlimited backup for multiple computers at a low price. Carbonite doesn’t give you much control over your backup, so if you like to play around with settings and micromanage your backups, Carbonite isn’t the right choice for you.

Carbonite’s pricing depends on the number of computers you want to backup. There’s a 15-day free trial that you can use to test if Carbonite fits your needs. There are three plans that require you to pay a yearly fee per computer. The Basic plan costs $71.99 per computer annually, but it’s pretty light on features.

The Plus plan costs $111.99 per year for each device, and it comes with added external drive support and automatic video backup. The Prime plan adds a courier recovery service on top of the Plus perks and costs $149.99 yearly per computer.

Carbonite’s Safe Backup plans come with unlimited storage and no limit on the number of computers, though the price does multiply for each additional device you add to your license. However, there’s a soft limit on file size. Carbonite won’t backup files larger than 4GB automatically, you have to add them to the backup yourself.

Carbonite offers zero-knowledge encryption, with the caveat that restoring your backup via the browser will reveal your encryption key to Carbonite. The desktop app doesn’t have this issue, though.

Your files are protected by 128-bit AES (or 256-bit if you manage your own encryption key) while at rest and by the SSL protocol while in transit. Plus, two-factor authentication adds a layer of security to your login.

Other Reasons We Like Carbonite Safe

Carbonite Safe doesn’t offer much in the way of features. It’s as simple as it gets — you just install the desktop app and let it do its thing. This makes it exceedingly easy to use, but it greatly limits its capabilities.

Carbonite is woefully slow, especially if you only use the desktop client. Restoring backups via the browser speeds things up, but you sacrifice some privacy in return. Its servers are in the U.S., so speeds will be better there.

If you don’t like finicky services that require a complicated setup, then Carbonite is a good option. It’s a cheap solution, especially considering you get unlimited cloud storage, plus it handles multiple computers. However, its speed could be improved and using the browser interface exposes your encryption key, which is why Carbonite sits at last place.

Pros:

  • Private encryption
  • Unlimited backup storage

Cons:

  • Slow
  • Inflexible

Honorable Mention: Backblaze

Backblaze is a cloud backup platform laser-focused on providing you the fundamentals of online backup. It’s very cheap and provides unlimited storage. A Backblaze license costs only $6 per month per computer. You get unlimited cloud storage with no limits on file size. However, you have to purchase a separate license for each device you connect to the service.

Backblaze is nominally a zero-knowledge service because it lets you keep your encryption key. However, you can’t restore your files without giving Backblaze the key, which defeats the purpose. It uses 128-bit AES encryption instead of the 256-bit AES used by the other backup services, though both algorithms are practically uncrackable.

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Backblaze has data centers in the U.S. and the Netherlands, so American and European users will experience faster speeds than the rest of the world. Block-level copying will help with upload speeds after the initial backup.

Unfortunately, Backblaze just can’t compare to IDrive or the other entries on this list because you have to make a separate purchase for each device to use Backblaze for multiple computers. However, if you don’t mind the separate bills, Backblaze still lets you handle multiple backups from one account.

Final Thoughts

Families and small business owners can benefit from having all of their computers backed up. The online backup services on this list can all help you avert disaster by offering a safety net in case of a hard disk or SSD crash.

The best online backup service for the job is IDrive, offering to backup an unlimited number of devices at a good price, all while having a firm handle on security. A pricier option is SpiderOak One, which is a secure cloud backup platform that can also backup unlimited computers and comes with a recommendation from none other than Edward Snowden.

Acronis True Image is the choice for people who need more than the typical backup solution for multiple computers. It can backup only up to five computers, but it offers advanced backup options, including NAS and external drive backups, as well as top-notch antivirus software.

Zoolz Home is a zero-knowledge provider that works with a maximum of five devices. It offers excellent speed, but its recent actions have tarnished its reputation. If cheap cloud backup is all you need, Carbonite Safe could be the right backup provider for you. It offers unlimited cloud storage for unlimited computers at a low cost, but its speed is disappointing.

Do you agree with our list? Did your favorite cloud backup make the cut? Let us know in the comments below. Thank you for reading.