We all know it’s good to help our fellow man, but we don’t always agree on the best way to do so. It’s difficult on an individual level. Fortunately, there are nonprofits to help us give, including more than 1.5 million such organizations in the U.S. In this Cloudwards.net guide, we’ll do our part to help them manage overhead and devote more funds where needed by reviewing the best online backup services for nonprofits.
Such organizations work with a lot of money and individuals, and usually need to keep track of it all. That equals untold terabytes of data to safeguard. Keeping all that data on an HDD might seem easy, but it’s not the safest option. Hard drives can crash or malfunction, not to mention floods, fires and other disasters can lead to damage. SSDs are more resistant to failures, but more prone to errors.
That is why we recommend using a cloud backup. Before we get to our picks from among the best online backup services, let’s look at the criteria we’ve used.
Best Online Backup for Nonprofits 2019
What Makes the Best Online Backup for Nonprofits and NGOs
Since nonprofits and NGOs are usually strapped for cash, our first criteria will be value. We’ll see that you can backup terabytes of data for little money. The more plans the service offers, the better its flexibility and what you get for the price. We also prefer services that offer a discount for nonprofits and NGOs.
Working in these organizations doesn’t mean you’re an IT wizard. That’s why we will consider how easy the online backups are to use. If user experience is straightforward and attractive, we consider that a plus.
You don’t want anyone messing with your data once it’s in the cloud. We’ll look at how services manage security. There’s always an encryption and we’ll see what kind they use, if they have two-factor authentication and how secure their data centers are. We also like to see zero-knowledge encryption because it means no one can read your data.
Backups can take a long time, but we don’t want it to last longer than it should, so a stable connection is always appreciated. Stability isn’t just about the service’s infrastructure, it also depends on how close you are to the servers and your ISP.
Now that you know our criteria, let’s get on with the rankings. We start with our top pick, IDrive.
Best Online Backup For Nonprofits and NGOs: IDrive
IDrive has been around since 1995. The company has the know-how and it shows. It’s at the top of our comparison of the best online backup services.
There are two personal plans available: one with 2TB and the other with 5TB of backup space. In addition, you get 2TB or 5TB of sync space. You can’t pay monthly, you have to sign up for one or two years. It offers a couple of discounts. For your first year, you get a discount from its standard price of $69.50. If you pay for two years, the discount is extended.
Nonprofits get a 50 percent discount on the price for 2TB, which amounts to $34.75 a year. There’s also a free 5GB plan which allows you to try the service before committing to a long-term subscription.
Using IDrive, you’ll have to manage your backup, unlike with unlimited services which backup everything. That doesn’t make for a simple user experience. Since there are many options, it might take a while to get used to (power users won’t mind). However, once it’s set up, the backup plan can run in the background. The average user shouldn’t have any issues.
IDrive encrypts your data with the AES 256-bit algorithm at-rest and in-transit. It can also decrypt your data since it holds on to your key by default, but you can retain it if you wish. To do so, you’ll need to enable private encryption before making your first backup.
Two-factor authentication is not available to protect you if someone steals your password. Make sure you have a strong password to avoid that.
Secure data centers in the United States hold IDrive’s servers. Data centers are hardened against natural disasters and fires. They employ surveillance, alarms and motion sensors to prevent intrusion.
Other Reasons Why We Like IDrive
We’d like to see better speeds on initial uploads, but, in reality, they can take a while. Fortunately, there’s a courier service that helps called IDrive Express. You can use it for downloads, too.
IDrive is cheap when you consider the huge nonprofit discount. You can back up unlimited devices and it uses private encryption to protect your data. Still, it doesn’t provide two-factor authentication, nor is it easy to use. Overall, it’s enough to make it number one in our ranking. If this mini-review got you interested, you can read more in our full IDrive review.
- Unlimited device backup
- 50% discount for nonprofits
- Private encryption
- Not easy to use
- No unlimited backup plan
SpiderOak ONE is the premier service for those looking to keep their files safe against corruption, theft and prying eyes.
The service is not cheap, but there’s a discount for SpiderOak ONE plans if you use SpiderOak for nonprofits or academic institutions. There are multiple plans, which provides flexibility, and a 21-day free trial.
The cheapest plan offers 5GB for $5 a month, the next one offers 400GB for $9 a month, then there’s a 2TB plan for $12 a month and a 5TB plan that costs $25 per month. There’s a slight discount if you pay for the year.
The desktop client feels clunky and dated. Most do, because of their focus on utility. The SpiderOak web interface is similar to the desktop client in functionality. You can’t alter your backup plan remotely and there’s no home view showing account activity. The smartphone app is limited in functionality, but easy to use.
Private encryption is the default for SpiderOak ONE. The level of encryption is AES 256-bit and files are encrypted in-transit with SSL. The company doesn’t keep your metadata in their database, but leaves it on your computer. Two-factor authentication is also available.
Even though the files are encrypted and private, SpiderOak still has data centers that are protected against virtual and physical intruders. They can also withstand natural disasters.
Other Reasons Why We Like SpiderOak ONE
There’s no courier backup or restore service, but SpiderOak has good infrastructure. According to SpiderOak customers, backup takes an hour per 1GB. As far as online backup services go, that’s fine. Our tests confirmed their claim. Initial backups will take, at least, several days. After that, everything should run faster because of block-level backup.
SpiderOak ONE is not the best choice for every user, but it’s a good choice thanks to its private encryption, good speed and nonprofit discount. If you want the nuts and bolts, check out our SpiderOak ONE review.
- Private encryption
- Decent backup speed
- Backup unlimited computers
- No courier service
CrashPlan doesn’t have personal plans because it withdrew from the consumer market in August 2017. However, its small business plan is cheap and makes for a sound investment considering other features that the service offers.
You get unlimited backup for a computer for the price of $10, charged monthly, so you can cancel at any time (unlike IDrive, check this article for a comparison). CrashPlan gives you the option to backup unlimited external drives. The price isn’t great compared to other services, but it’s far from the worst. There’s no discount for nonprofits.
The client installation and sign-in take a couple of minutes. You won’t have issues using the client, but setting up your backup could be simpler. There’s no way to backup based on type, you’ll have to do it manually, even though it’s unlimited backup.
The desktop client is intuitive and easy to navigate. If you need to supervise your backup, the web interface should work. You can use it to check user statistics and monitor file restoration.
CrashPlan provides you with end-to-end as well as at-rest encryption. The level of AES used is 256-bit. CrashPlan will hold on to your encryption keys, but you can enable private encryption. Regardless, make sure to choose a strong password, because there’s no two-factor authentication. Versioning is available to help against ransomware.
Other Reasons Why We Like CrashPlan
We don’t like it much more because CrashPlan doesn’t perform well in the speed department. You could disable some of the processes it uses while backing up your files, but we don’t recommend it. Our tests tell us that you could upload about 10GB per day.
Backing up a computer for $10 is a fine deal. Security is also on the level. If you don’t mind the slower speed, CrashPlan might be a good choice for you. Read more about its features in our thorough CrashPlan review.
- Unlimited backup
- Competitive pricing
- Backup external drives
- Doesn’t backup by file type
- No two-factor authentication
Carbonite offers unlimited storage, but it offers three plans instead of one. Basic is the cheapest at $72 per year. Plus costs $112 but includes external HDD backup and automatic video. Prime adds a courier service for $150. However, those plans don’t offer a discount.
NGOs get a 10 percent discount on Carbonite Safe Backup Pro plan, which is a plan targeting small businesses. For $287.99 a year, you’ll get 250GB of cloud backup and you’ll be able to backup unlimited computers. If you subscribe in advance for two years, you get an additional discount of 5 percent. If you subscribe for three years, you get 10 percent.
Working with Carbonite is simple. The desktop client (for Windows or macOS) is easy to install. You only need to perform one step when initiating backup, because most of the process is automated. Carbonite even makes it easy to check the status of your files by providing color codes.
There’s also a web client you can use to check the status of your backup, manage your account and access your files. Carbonite Mobile lets you do those operations on Android or iOS. The interface is minimal. We mean that in a good way, as it isn’t cluttered.
Carbonite will protect data stored on its servers using 128-bit AES encryption. It will hold onto the encryption key for you, but you can enable private encryption. If you enable it, Carbonite will upgrade the encryption level to 256-bit AES. Carbonite requires you to make a strong password. If someone manages to crack it, two-factor authentication is there to help you.
Other Reasons Why We Like Carbonite
There’s not much more as Carbonite’s backup process isn’t fast, unlike some of its competitors. If you’re interested in reading more, head to our in-depth Carbonite review.
- Backup by file type
- Unlimited computers
- Courier backup service
- Very slow
Unlike regular online backup, CloudBerry Backup doesn’t include bundled storage space and will not store files. It functions more like a dashboard that helps you manage backup plans on other cloud platforms. In tech terms, it’s called Infrastructure-as-a-Service, or IaaS. If you need to manage multiple computers and servers, CloudBerry might be the best solution for you.
CloudBerry charges differently because there’s no storage included. You’ll need to buy a one-time license and pay for your backup of choice. For example, you’ll need to pay $5.57 per month for 250GB on Amazon S3. We recommend Wasabi as it’s cheap and scalable ($0.0039 per stored GB and $0.04 per downloaded GB).
There’s a lot to set up in order to backup with CloudBerry. You must add all cloud storage accounts individually (you can choose from 65 storage destinations). There’s a lot of options to choose from and that can be daunting.
The web access only supports Amazon S3 and your PC has to act as a host with CloudBerry Backup running. It does get the job done, but doesn’t provide many features. There’s no mobile app and that’s understandable, considering how many providers CloudBerry can connect to.
You can tighten CloudBerry’s security, though what you can achieve depends on the storage partner. CloudBerry uses SSL in transit, but encrypting on the source side and at-rest depends on the providers.
With the right partner, CloudBerry supports up to 256-bit AES on the client side. Many backup companies only support encryption on the server side, which means you don’t control the encryption key and anyone with credentials can read your data. That’s why CloudBerry’s client-side encryption can be a huge help. Just make sure you don’t lose your password, because no one can retrieve it for you.
Other Reasons Why We Like CloudBerry Backup
Since you transfer your backup to third-party services, testing CloudBerry’s speed is not possible. Our tests showed good results, but they were done in a best-case scenario. CloudBerry doesn’t support encryption and compression which would have slowed the process down for our chosen services.
CloudBerry is different from classic online backup services. It’s cheap and scalable, but not easy for users who are not in love with IT. Even though it’s not for everyone, it still manages to do what it was designed for.
- Support for many different platforms
- Local, cloud & direct cloud-to-cloud backup
- One-time payment
- No included storage
- Requires third-party storage
- Not for casual users
Not many services cater to nonprofits, but there are several to choose from. Choosing the right one can make a huge difference in your day-to-day work, not to mention the impact on your finances. We feel that IDrive should be your top choice, as it offers a huge discount, unlimited computers and private encryption.CrashPlan and SpiderOak ONE are reliable substitutes, while you should consider the last two only if you like their specific features.
What do you think about our choices? Do you know of any other service that offers a discount for nonprofits? Let us know in the comments. Thank you for reading.