Below the overcast sky of Britain, there’s a lot of thieving going on. One laptop is stolen every 53 seconds, usually in a pub or on the tube. Bobbies can’t be everywhere, but that statistic is still alarming and should give you a reason to backup your data. We’ve sifted through backups and picked the best online backup for the UK already, starting with CloudBerry Backup coupled with Amazon S3.
Not only can someone steal your laptop, your hard drive might crash or malfunction. You can try to recover your data, but you can’t be sure it’ll work. Solid state drives won’t crash like regular hard drives — their failure rate is less than 1 percent — but they have more data errors.
We chose our picks for this list from our best online backup selection. If you need storage, read up on the difference and consult our article about the best cloud storage for the UK. Before we start the list, let’s go through the criteria we used to make it.
Best Online Backup for Britain 2018
What Makes Online Backup the Best for the UK
Initial backup can take a long time. Having a server that’s close will speed up your transfer because your connection will be stronger and won’t break as often.
Your connection speed will be affected by your internet service provider and the online backup you use, too. If the backup service allows you to set preferred transfer settings, increase the number of threads to boost speeds and throttle them if necessary, that’s even better. A block-level transfer algorithm will also help you after the initial backup.
With UK laws being what they are, the service should protect your privacy — read our best VPN for the UK article to protect it further — and provide strong security. Backup services should provide at-rest, in-transit and private encryption, which means no one can read your cloud data. Two-factor authentication will help against hackers who’d like to steal your credentials, as well.
A good user experience will make it easy for you to use the service. The desktop clients should work on most operating systems and their interfaces, as well as those for web and mobile, should be attractive and straightforward.
You don’t want to empty your wallet while shopping for online backup. That’s why we’ll take value into consideration to make sure you get the most bang for your buck. Preferably, a service will have many plans, too, because that increases the chances of finding a good fit.
Best Online Backup for the UK: CloudBerry Backup with Amazon S3
CloudBerry Backup is not like regular cloud backup. It won’t give you any backup space. Instead, it will act as a central hub for your backup plans on other cloud platforms. It is ideal for those who have to manage multiple services and computers.
All transfers go directly to the third-party service, which, in our case, is Amazon S3. It complements CloudBerry Backup because of its global network of servers, cheap costs and easy integration. It has three servers in London and just as many in Ireland, which should enable you to achieve faster upload and download speeds.
You can maximize CloudBerry Backup’s security, but it mostly depends on the partner service. CloudBerry Backup supports up to AES 256-bit on the client side. Since many cloud services only support server-side encryption, having it on the client side means you control the encryption key and only you can read your data.
Amazon server facilities undergo third-party audits, limit access based on the principle of least privilege, utilize detection systems, multi-factor authentication, surveillance and more. They can withstand fires, floods and earthquakes, thanks to automatic sensors, responsive equipment and data redundancy measures.
Amazon S3 is a tempting target because it’s the market leader and there have been numerous breaches. They have mostly been due to careless users, though. Still, its strong security measures are a big obstacle for potential threats.
Other Reasons We Like CloudBerry Backup with Amazon
Setting up CloudBerry Backup isn’t for the faint of heart. You must add your Amazon S3 account and create the backup plan, which requires you to choose from many options. Users who love tinkering with software will love it, while others will shy away. We have a guide on how to use CloudBerry Backup with Amazon S3 which will ease your pain.
CloudBerry Backup supports web access for one service: Amazon S3. It doesn’t have many options, but it gets the job done. Amazon requires you to create “buckets” for uploading files, which can be tricky in the beginning.
Since CloudBerry Backup doesn’t offer storage, it requires you to buy a one-time license. You’ll also have to pay for your backup of choice. For 250GB on Amazon S3, you’ll have to pay $5.57 a month. That’s not the best deal on the market, but it’s not the worst, either.CloudBerry Backup isn’t as straightforward as all-in-one solutions are, but gives you a wealth of options and providers to choose from. The service might be daunting at first, but, once you get used to it, you’ll be able to enjoy its benefits. Coupled with Amazon, it’ll provide you with good security, speeds and a decent pricing scheme. To learn more about these services read our CloudBerry Backup review and Amazon S3 review.
the Best Pros:
- Support for many platforms
- Fast speeds
- Good security
- No included storage
- Learning curve
BigMIND Home is from the same company behind Zoolz Home Cloud Backup (Zoolz Home review). It’s not surprising that the two services are similar, but BigMIND Home has novel features that Zoolz Home doesn’t.
The service has one data center in the UK, which will help its users maintain a good connection. Expect to have fast upload speeds and slow download speeds, though, because BigMIND uses Amazon Glacier, a cold storage for long-term data archiving, to backup data. If that interests you, read our Amazon Glacier review. The average upload time for 1GB of data should be about 30 minutes.
BigMIND encrypts server-side files using AES 256-bit and manages your encryption key by default. You can opt to manage it yourself while you’re setting up your backup plan, but not after. If you choose to do so, you can’t rely on BigMIND to retrieve your password. The SSL protocol will protect your files in-transit, but you’ll have to enable it yourself. 2FA is available, too.
Other Reasons We Like BigMIND
The desktop client, available for Windows or macOS, shows you your current backup status, when the last backup was, how many files are backed up and how many are pending. That information is helpful and the interface is attractive and clear.
You can see file categories and devices in the colorful and easy-to-use web interface. Its dashboard shows you how many devices are connected to BigMIND and how many are backing up. There’s also a graph that shows your backup activity over time and a pie chart that gives an overview of your file types.
BigMIND’s Personal plan costs $2.99 per month, but it’s paid annually and gives a meager 100GB of backup space for one user and three computers. The Family plan costs $6.99 a month and provides 500GB of storage space for three users, nine computers and six mobile devices. It’s a better deal, but it’s probably not enough space for so many users.
You can get 1TB of cloud backup space for $12.99 by subscribing to the Family Plus plan, but it’s not the best deal for that amount of space. It allows you to share it with four more users across 15 computers and unlimited mobile devices. To learn more, read our BigMIND review.
- Fast data uploads
- Private encryption
- Backup by file type
- Could offer better value
- Slow data recovery
Acronis has a server in London, which will help True Image users reach faster speeds on initial backups than they would using many other services. In our tests, it took just 15 minutes to backup and recover a 1GB folder. That’s using “optimal” settings, but Acronis can run on “maximum,” which is even faster.
Acronis uses AES 256-bit to encrypt your files before transferring them and the TLS/SSL protocol protects them in-transit. The encryption requires you to use a password that only you know, which makes Acronis zero-knowledge. Note there’s no 2FA to help you if you lose your password, though. Acronis uses Active Protection to defend against ransomware, as well.
The company stores data in multiple centers, all of which employ key cards, biometric scanning and monitoring to prevent intrusion and have infrastructure resistant to natural disasters.
Other Reasons We Like Acronis True Image
The desktop client is intuitive and easy to use. There’s a menu on the left, which you can use to navigate the app. Acronis gives you the option to backup by file type, instead of selecting specific files. While that takes more space, it makes creating a backup plan much easier. You can exclude files you don’t want to backup to save space.
The online dashboard enables you to do manual backups and recover files, which is useful for remote management. Steer clear of Acronis’s lifetime plan. Its downsides make it impossible for us to recommend. It’s better to choose between the two annual plans: Advanced and Premium.
Advanced provides 250GB of backup space for $49.99 or 500GB for $69.99. Premium costs $99.99 for 1TB of space and goes up to 5TB for $259.95. You can also increase the number of computers to backup, as well as your backup space, but it will cost you extra per year. Check out the full pricing table in our Acronis True Image review.
- Exceptionally fast backup
- Private, end-to-end encryption
- No two-factor authentication
- Could be cheaper
Duplicati is an open source backup solution that lets you choose your cloud service, from Amazon S3 to Dropbox, for file backup. Plus, you can use it to backup locally to an external hard drive, local server or NAS device.
Though Duplicati doesn’t provide storage capacity, it allows you to choose your provider. That’s a lot of flexibility if you don’t mind the work. Several options, including Amazon S3, Google Drive, OneDrive and others, have servers in the UK (read our Google Drive review and OneDrive review for more on these two).
How fast your transfers will be depends more on the service you choose than Duplicati, but it also plays a role. Duplicati can quickly compress and encrypt files, which has a big effect on speeds. We tested it by transferring a 1GB compressed folder to Google Drive and it took just 12 minutes to finish uploading.
After creating a backup plan, Duplicati gives you the option to encrypt files before transferring them to the cloud. It uses AES 256-bit encryption, which has never been cracked as far as anyone knows. Duplicati offers you the option to enable SSL, as well. It will slow backups, but will protect your data transfers from eavesdropping.
If you encrypt your data, you’ll need to create a password. Duplicati will warn you if it’s weak and generate a strong password for you, if you need it do so.
After that, it depends on which vendor you select to backup to. Some, such as Amazon Drive and OneDrive, don’t encrypt your data, but, since Duplicati can do that for you, it shouldn’t be a problem.
Other Reasons We Like Duplicati
Duplicati requires you to download a desktop client, but most of the user experience takes place on the web. The web interface has a clean look and it’s easy to get around using the navigation tabs on the left side. While it offers many options, the UX remains simple, though not as simple as stand-alone backup solutions.
You don’t have to pay to use Duplicati because it’s open source. All you have to do is download it from Duplicati.com. You’ll need to sign up for a compatible online backup or cloud storage, though, and that will probably cost you.
Viable options for 1TB of storage space include Dropbox for $99.99, Amazon Drive for $59.99 and Backblaze B2 for $60. Backblaze charges per gigabyte, so you can go lower or higher, depending on your needs. To learn more about prices and other features, read our Duplicati review.
- Software is free
- Client-side encryption
- Local backup options
- Weak support
- Storage sold separately
- Harder for laymen
Carbonite works with a network of Managed Service Providers. In Q2 2018, its CEO, Mohamad Ali, said the service is deploying a cloud stack — basically running Carbonite — in a data center managed by the company’s partners in Europe.
Carbonite’s initial backup process isn’t fast and doesn’t come close to competitors. Subsequent backups will be much faster, though, thanks to its block-level transfer algorithm.
The service uses AES 128-bit encryption to scramble your data on servers, but if you enable private encryption, it will use AES 256-bit. Additionally, you’ll hold the encryption key, which makes Carbonite zero-knowledge. Because of that, the service can’t reset your password. It requires you to make it strong and provides two-factor authentication if someone steals it, though.
Other Reasons We Like Carbonite
It’s simple to install the desktop client. Once you do, there’s only one step to complete the backup process as most of it works automatically. It excludes some files and extensions and doesn’t backup files that are 4GB or larger by default. If you want to include them, you’ll have to tag them manually.
Carbonite also color codes your files, so you can easily see their status during backup. You’ll have to enable this feature, though, because it’s not on by default.
Besides the desktop client, Carbonite has an attractive web interface that allows you to check your backup status, access your files and manage your account.
You can do all that with the mobile app, as well. Its interface is minimal and clear, so it won’t give you a headache. On top of storing files, you can use the app to automatically backup photos on your phone. There’s no option to do that with other file types, but unlimited backup for photos is still a good deal.
Carbonite offers three unlimited plans to choose from: Basic, Plus and Prime. The first one offers bare-bones unlimited backup for $72 a year. Plus adds external drive and automatic video backup for $112 a year and Prime enhances that with a courier recovery service for $150 a year.
To learn more, read our Carbonite review.
- Unlimited backup
- Backup by file type
- External HD backup
- No monthly subscriptions
- Status of Europe MSPs is unclear
Britain is not a remote wilderness, but some of the best backup services, such as IDrive and Backblaze, only have data centers in the U.S. However, that doesn’t mean UK backup users are completely out of luck as there are plenty of services left that are near the top of our online backup reviews ranking that do have British servers.CloudBerry Backup is our top pick, but it’s not for everyone. That’s why other services, which might suit you better, are on the list. Do you use a service we didn’t include that has servers in or close to the UK? What has been your experience with it? Let us know in the comments below. Thank you for reading.