Best Online Backup for Photos 2017

obrBy Denise Sullivan — Last Updated: 12 Oct'17 2016-05-02T04:22:31+00:00Google+

Backing up photos online keeps you from losing precious memories due to loss, theft or a catastrophic event. IDrive and Backblaze offered the best bang for buck when it came to protecting images, without breaking the bank. However, our remaining three contenders also have some serious guns to offer, so don’t forget to check them out as well.

Securing data from loss is an important part of any user’s daily activities. Ensuring your virus software is up-to-date, is only a small fraction of what must be done to protect your data.

In order to help you find the best online backup for photos, we have compared each service to provide a bird’s eye view of which one to trust your pics with, since photos and videos represent milestones that help us remember important days or events.

Now, imagine not being able to see those images ever again, because you lost a phone or the computer crashed.

Why Online Backup Really Matters

Online backup protects the precious memories of yourself and every other important moment of your family’s life. Online backup services are a crucial part of keeping photos and other important documents safe from loss.

The five upcoming online backup companies we’re about to take a look at are automatic services, that protect a system in the background, so you don’t have to worry about anything getting lost (or having to take time off from being lazy/busy).

Accidental deletion is also a non-factor (most of the time), as many services will save files at least 30 days, to ensure that no one deletes something they didn’t really mean to.

IDrive

IDrive is a good, simple-to-use choice for someone who is not an expert at backing up files. Newbie town here people! But on the flip-side, IDrive does have enough options to satisfy even a seasoned user.  IDrive provides a service that’s simple and very secure. Perfect for both professionals and people who want to keep their photos in a digital safe.

Speaking of safes, IDrive Express is a great way to backup tons of data without hitting bandwidth limitations. Express also saves on time, since it works via shipping. While the ability to share files and images is something that appeals to a lot of users, there is a catch. A predefined encryption key provided by IDrive must be used. If you choose to set a personal encryption key, the ability to share with others is lost.

The system is designed around selecting which files to backup, when to back them up and where. IDrive can save files online and to a local device (connected via either USB or Wi-Fi). Files can also be selected and deselected, however, deselecting objects can be buggy at times. In order to remove them, go to the dashboard, right click the file name and then choose the remove option.

Other Reasons Why We Like IDrive

IDrive is at the top of today’s list, because there are no limitations on file size or type, a great boon for those who like to take a lot of photos. As long as the size of a file does not exceed your allotted storage space, it can be saved.

IDrive Review

File storage spaces (for a paid subscription) start at 1TB. Which is plenty of room to save precious memories. Users can also share files with others, a unique and rare ability among online backup services. IDrive’s 5GB of free space is a great way to asses whether the service is right for your needs.

Read the review here.


CrashPlan

CrashPlan offers continuous backup of image files. Which makes perfect sense for those who have a lot of memories to save, especially if continuous backup is combined with the unlimited storage option. CrashPlan’s free plan, which has no expiration date (unless the apocalypse starts early), allows users to save files to a local drive or other storage spaces.

The software backs up once a day, at a designated time, so as to not burden your bandwidth. New users get a 30-day-trial of the online backup service, paid plans can continuously backup files, not just once daily. CrashPlan uses 128-Bit AES encryption during transmission and  448-bit encryption after the data is stored on their servers. In addition, users can choose to set personal encryption keys.

Unfortunately, unlike our top pick, IDrive, there is no way to share files with others on this service. Which is why IDrive is the better option for sharing images, but if you just want a good backup service, CrashPlan does everything else (non-sharing related) more than adequately.

Other Reasons Why We Like CrashPlan

We loved CrashPlan for its truly unlimited storage offering, there are no limits on the size or type of a file. The service backs up everything with no limitation on what type of file is being saved to an account.

Crashplan Review

That being said, CrashPlan is designed to save everything on the user’s system, so there are some limits on how files are saved. But the lack of a proper sharing infrastructure did knock down the service to No. 2 on our list.

Read the review here.


Backblaze

Backblaze is a simple service perfectly designed for the novice user. It offers the ability to quickly and seamlessly save files from multiple systems and it’s very cost effective.  Backblaze is one of the few services that offer multiple ways to restore files. Including a web portal option, where customers can download a ZIP file of their data, and reinstall from the recently downloaded file.

While this option is free, it can be cumbersome to people who might not want to reinstall everything in one go. Backblaze has a hard drive delivery service (just like IDrive), named USB Hard Drive restore, to help restore large amounts of data quickly — right now they offer a max of 4TB per drive. 

Sadly, having files sent on a physical device is costly. A flash drive runs $99 and a hard drive costs $128. You can be reimbursed if the devices are returned within 30 days. Since the creators of Backblaze are concerned with security, they allow users to set their own personal encryption key. Which is further solidified by two-step authentication, in order to protect a user’s account from hackers and snoopers.

Other Reasons Why We Like Backblaze

When looking for a simple, unlimited backup service, Backblaze is the best way to go. It’s one of the few online backup services that allows users to save information off of multiple systems. All users have to do is download the software and use the same login information on each system.

Backblaze Review

Since this service offers unlimited storage, it makes sense for users to backup all their data from each device in one easy-to-access location. Backblaze offers a cool extra feature, the lost computer locator, designed to locate a lost or stolen PC.

Read the review here.


Carbonite

Carbonite is a good service for those who want to setup a backup and leave it alone. While there are some limits on what will upload automatically, the service offers unlimited storage and personalized encryption keys. Carbonite is a simple to use service that allows users to manage their picture backups down to the minute. While continuous backup may be desirable for some users, others find the bandwidth used by such a feature is too much or too expensive.

Scheduling backups to occur after business hours, is a great way to get around this issue and ensure the latest photos are saved. Carbonite offers a variety of plans. All of them come with unlimited storage space, but the basic service does have limitations.

For example, if a file is over 4GB in size (which is rarely the case if you want to backup picture files), it will not be automatically included in a backup. In addition, video files will need to be manually added to an account, because auto-video uploading is reserved for paid plans only (for the moment).

Other Reasons Why We Like Carbonite

With Carbonite, not only can you set a personal encryption key, but also schedule when to have files saved. Total time saver.

Carbonite Review Homepage

By limiting when the backup occurs, you free up the system to do work that is necessary during the day and only running the software when you aren’t going to be using the system’s bandwidth — like at night. At this time, only Windows users can subscribe to the Personal Premium or Personal Prime plans.

Read the review here.


SOS Online Backup

SOS Online Backup offers military-grade, 256-bit AES encryption to all their users. The service allows users to set their own encryption keys. But there’s no type of free trial available at the moment. SOS Online Backup offers truly unlimited storage, as they don’t delete anything from their servers. This is good, in case you accidentally delete something and don’t realize it was needed, until several months later.

This feature, which sets it apart from competitors, has a flip-side that can become a burden. If items are not manually removed from an account, a user will be inundated with data that needs to be slogged through, in order to find the one image or file that was required. You can choose to schedule a backup, or if you decide, to let the system work at all times. If a backup is ever interrupted by a power outage or slow Internet connection, SOS will simply pick up where it left off –without damaging any files.

Unfortunately, this service does not offer a free trial, users can choose from plans to protect one or five computers. If there are more than five computers to backup, additional protection plans will be needed. You can choose to pay monthly, unlike many of the competitors, since  SOS Online Backup doesn’t mind working with your system.

Other Reasons Why We Like SOS Online Backup

We loved that SOS Online Backup offers military-grade, 256-bit AES encryption. This encryption goes in place the minute users select which files to save, stays in place during transmission and after data is stored on the company’s servers.

SOS Online Backup Review

Users can also set their own encryption keys. SOS Online backup is well known for its military-grade encryption. Using 256-bit AES encryption, the service has one of the strongest transmission encryption rates of anyone on our top list.

Read the review here.


Conclusion

Keeping photos safe is important. You don’t want to lose any of precious memories due to a system crash or some other unavoidable disaster. IDrive is our pick for best online backup for photos, due to its ability to share images with others.

It’s a pretty rare feature to find in an online backup service. However, our remaining four competitors offer their own set of unique features, which may better sync with your private photo backup needs. So, at least dry run of them before making a final decision.

After which, please feel free to share your opinion and thoughts with us in the comment section below.

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