We used to have bulky records and CDs you had to keep on the shelf. They’re all digital now, which makes it easy to collect tens of thousands of songs, but even in the .mp3 file format, that’ll add up. Those songs could fill hundreds of gigabytes on your hard drive. To help free space, we’ve assembled the best online backup for music, with Backblaze as leader.
Hard drives are huge. They can take your complete Bruce Springsteen, Taylor Swift and Depeche Mode collections with room to spare, but they’re not reliable. Disks can crash or break, silencing your music forever. Recovery software might help, but you can’t be sure it’ll retrieve your data, and while SSDs don’t crash as much, they experience more data errors.
Once you backup, you can be sure that no hardware malfunction, fire or theft will compromise your favorite music tracks.
Backup will not free your hard drive space, though. That’s a job for cloud storage. If that’s what you need, check out our best cloud storage list. Here, we’ll focus on getting you backup that will enable you to safeguard the most songs for the least money. We’ll talk about that and other criteria we used to make the list before we get to our picks below.
Best Online Backup for Music 2018
What Makes the Best Online Backup for Music
Value is first and foremost. Some services only offer a few plans, while others give you unlimited backup space. Those that offer unlimited backup will be at an advantage here. The more space you get for the money the better the value. We always like to see a trial or free plan, as well. If you’re looking for free backup, you can read about our top picks for it.
The service shouldn’t be a pain to use, either. Setting up your backup should be straightforward, as should be subsequent backups and recovery. Clients should run on most systems, as well as web and mobile, and the overall user experience should be smooth enough that you don’t need to call for assistance.
Your initial backup will usually take a long time to complete. How long depends on your internet connection, the infrastructure of the backup service you use and how close you are to its servers. Having block-level backup in play will help make later backups faster.
Proper security is nice to have, too, even if you’re just storing your music. Strong encryption should protect your data in the cloud, as well as in-transit. If someone steals your password, it’s best if the service offers two-factor authentication to help prevent intrusion. We also welcome zero-knowledge encryption if it’s provided.
Best Online Backup for Music: Backblaze
Backblaze has a long history, and it’s one of the most popular services today. It placed second on our list of the best online backup services and would be a great choice to backup your music.
The service keeps it simple with just one subscription plan. For $5 a month, you get unlimited backup space for one computer. Having a monthly plan is convenient, as you can cancel at any time, and most others don’t offer the option. You’ll get a $10 discount if you pay for a year in advance, $25 if you pay for two years.
It’s easy to setup your backup, since you don’t need to manage how much or what you’re backing up. Since Backblaze can backup by file type, excluding system and temporary files, you can include music files and let it do its magic. There’s no need to create a backup plan because everything is automated.
The desktop app uses a minimal-design approach, which makes using it straightforward, and the web interface won’t give you issues, either. It’s user-friendly and easy to navigate. The “overview” tab shows your account status and the “view/restore” tab lets you access your files.
Initial backups take a long time, but Backblaze is one of the fastest services. It doesn’t limit your upload or download speeds and you can increase the number of backup threads you have running for greater speeds. How close you are to Backblaze’s servers, all of which are in California, will be a factor for speed, as well.
Other Reasons We Like Backblaze
There are many security features, including private encryption. If enabled you’ll keep the encryption key. Otherwise, Backblaze will retain it. Regardless, to recover your files, you’ll have to send your passphrase to Backblaze. AES 128-bit encryption protects your data in the cloud, while SSL guards your files in-transit.
You’ll get cheap unlimited backup, a simple and intuitive user experience and fast backup speeds with Backblaze. That’s why it earns first place on our list. If you want to learn more, read our in-depth Backblaze review. If you’re not sure, you can always take advantage of the 15-day trial before deciding to subscribe.
- Unlimited backup
- Low cost
- Easy to use
- Limited to one computer
Two IDrive options fit backup for music — the 2TB and 5TB personal plans. Both are annual, because IDrive doesn’t offer monthly subscriptions. The 2TB plan will cost you $52 a year, while the 5TB plan will set you back about $75. You’ll get 2TB or 5TB of space, too, which makes for 4TB or 10TB of sync space. Before you subscribe, try the 5GB free plan.
Unlike the unlimited backup services, IDrive caps your space, which makes it more difficult to use. You’ll have to manage your backup manually by picking and choosing files. Plus, there are a lot of settings, which might overwhelm mainstream users. Once you set your plan, though, you can let IDrive run in the background without worry.
IDrive is not lightning fast. Initial backups can take a while to upload and there’s no way to initiate multi-threaded backups later like you can with Backblaze. Fortunately, there’s a free courier backup service, called IDrive Express, which helps with uploads and downloads.
Subsequent uploads are also much faster because of block-level backup.
Other Reasons We Like IDrive
IDrive uses AES 256-bit encryption in-transit and at-rest. You’ll have to enable private encryption before your first backup if you want it, though. If you don’t, IDrive will keep your key. There’s no two-factor authentication, so the only way to protect your password is to make it strong.
The service is more difficult to use than Backblaze, doesn’t offer unlimited backup and is more expensive at that. If you want a more detailed look at its features, read our IDrive review.
- Inexpensive plans
- Block-level backup
- Unlimited device backup
- Harder to use than Backblaze
- Not multi-threaded backup
CrashPlan no longer serves personal users, but you can still use its business plan to backup your music.
It costs $10 per month and provides unlimited backup space. Since the service charges you per month, you can always cancel it, unlike with most services. It’s not a bargain, especially compared to Backblaze, but it’s still a solid deal. If you have music on your external drives, you can back them up, too.
Installing the client is easy and fast. Using it is painless, but the backup operation could be simpler. There’s no backup based on file type, so you’ll have to tag folders and files you want to backup even though you’re getting unlimited space.
Navigating the desktop client is effortless, as it is with the web interface. You can use the web client to supervise your backup by consulting pages that show user statistics, create reports and monitor file restoration.
Backing up using CrashPlan isn’t fast. The speed increases if you disable file compression, encryption and deduplication processes, but we can’t recommend that you do so. You can throttle speeds if your system resources are low, though, and block-level copying will help with future backups.
Other Reasons We Like CrashPlan Pro
Like the two previous services, you can opt for private encryption. Otherwise, the company will keep your encryption key. Whatever you choose, make sure to create a strong password because there’s no two-factor authentication.
AES 256-bit encrypts files before transfer, while AES 128-bit protects them during it. Read more about security in our CrashPlan review.
- Unlimited backup
- Doesn’t backup by file type
Carbonite provides three unlimited plans to choose from: Basic, Plus and Prime. Basic gives you unlimited storage for $72 a year. On top of that, Plus adds external hard drive and automatic video backup for $112. It’s the most popular plan.
In addition to all that, Prime has courier recovery service and costs $150 a year. It’s not a good investment, though, if you don’t do full backups regularly. If you pay for two years in advance, you’ll get 5 percent off, or, if you pay for three years, you’ll get a 10 percent discount. If a year seems like too big a commitment, there’s a 15-day trial to try the service before subscribing.
The Carbonite desktop client is easy to install. Most of the process is automated, so there’s only one step when initiating backup (consult the list of files and extensions that Carbonite excludes on its website). The app will color code your files, if you enable that feature, so you can check their status more easily. It’s available for Windows and macOS.
The same features are available on the mobile app, which is available for Android and iOS. It features an attractive and clear interface that you can use to access your backed up files and automatically backup photos. You can’t backup other file types, but having unlimited photo backup is still a good deal.
Competitors, such as Backblaze and IDrive, execute initial backups much faster. After the initial transfer, however, things look better for Carbonite as block-level backup helps speed up the process.
Other Reasons We Like Carbonite
If you enable private encryption, Carbonite will use AES 256-bit to protect your files. Otherwise, it’ll use AES 128-bit. In either case, the service will hold on to your key.
Carbonite requires you to make a strong password, and it provides two-factor authentication if someone steals it. These features make for a tough security profile. For more, read our Carbonite review.
- Unlimited backup
- Backup by file type
- Caps upload/download speeds
Zoolz can keep your files in “media storage” and optimize audio files, as well as photos and videos, for viewing without buffering while they’re in cold storage.
On the Family plan you’ll get 1TB of backup space for five users and computers. It’ll set you back about $40 per year. The Heavy plan doesn’t increase the number of users or computers, but will give you 4TB of space for your music for $100 a year.
Zoolz Intelligent is the name of the Zoolz desktop client, it’s available for Windows and Mac. Generally, the backup process is straightforward. It does require you to manually select or “smart select” data you want to backup, though, which makes it more complicated than other services (Carbonite or CrashPlan, for example).
The capable web client will help you manage your account. You can see information about active users and servers on the homepage, as well as how much storage you’ve used — hot or cold — and other general stats.
The Android or iOS app will let you check your backup by using your phone. It’s pleasant and has plenty of options, including backing up videos, contacts and other files on the device.
Because the service integrates with Amazon S3, it can achieve good speeds. There are servers in the US, U.K. and Australia. Like most others, it uses block-level transfer algorithms.
Other Reasons We Like Zoolz Home
Zoolz claims it’s for support, which is reasonable. If you’d like to learn more about the service, check out our Zoolz review.
- Plays media without buffering
- Not intuitive
- Collects file metadata
Your music collection will be safer if you back it up, but not all services work equally well. Some might be complicated to use or have limited and expensive backup space. Unlike those, we think Backblaze is a great choice for backing up your music. We’ve gone beyond value and ease of use to make that pick, looking at speed and security, as well.
All the services here are among the best backup solutions we’ve tested, so if you don’t like Backblaze for some reason, you can’t go wrong with any of the others. What do you think of our list? Did we miss your favorite service? Tell us about it in the comment section.
Thank you for reading.