Best Online Backup for the UK in 2021: Long Live the Cloud

If you reside in the UK, you might want to optimize your backup speeds by using a backup service that hosts servers in the country. Join us as we take a look at all the best cloud backup options for UK users.

Aleksander Hougen
By Aleksander Hougen (Editor)
— Last Updated: 2021-03-08T00:43:41+00:00

When looking for online backup, UK users generally need the same things as anyone else. The one exception is that having servers located in the UK itself is a huge bonus for both speed and privacy. Here, we’ll go through our top five picks of the best cloud backup for UK users and explain what exactly makes them the best.

Key Takeaways:

  • Acronis True Image is the best online backup service for UK users due to its London-based servers and excellent security features.
  • IDrive is a close second for those who are willing to sacrifice upload and download speeds for a rich feature set and great prices.
  • Backblaze and Carbonite take the lead if all you want is a streamlined and simple backup process that protects an entire device.
  • CloudBerry Backup brings up the rear and is intended for tech wizards or those who are already paying for third-party cloud storage.

Skipping ahead, our number one pick is Acronis True Image. Although it doesn’t get the top spot on our list of the best online backup services in general, the fact that you can pick a UK data center location during setup gives it an edge over other providers, like IDrive and Backblaze.

Besides this, Acronis is an excellent cloud backup service that provides top-notch security and privacy, zero-knowledge AES 256-bit encryption. From ransomware protection to a fully fledged suite of antivirus tools, Acronis gives you everything you could ever need to keep your data secure and prevent data loss due to theft or hard drive failure.

  • Overall, we give the top three spots to IDrive, Backblaze and Acronis True Image. However, for UK users specifically, Acronis takes the lead due to its servers located in London.

  • Sync.com and pCloud are always excellent choices for cloud storage. However, UK users might want to look at Icedrive, which is based in London and consistently our number three pick for the best cloud storage.

  • The price of cloud backup varies depending on your needs. However, you can get unlimited storage for one device with Backblaze for $6 per month, or 5TB of storage and unlimited devices for $69.50 per year with IDrive.

  1. 1
    • Continuous Backup
    • Incremental Backup
    • External Drive Backup
    • NAS Backup
    • Unlimited Backup
    • Versioning
    • Private Encryption
    200-Unlimited GB
    $ 417
  2. 2
    • Continuous Backup
    • Incremental Backup
    • External Drive Backup
    • NAS Backup
    • Unlimited Backup: No
    • Versioning
    • Private Encryption
    5 GB - 12.5 TB
    $ 579
  3. 3
    • Continuous Backup
    • Incremental Backup
    • External Drive Backup
    • NAS Backup: No
    • Unlimited Backup
    • Versioning
    • Private Encryption: No
    Unlimited GB
    $ 458
    Save 24 %
  4. 4
    • Continuous Backup
    • Incremental Backup
    • External Drive Backup: Yes but not on Basic plan (all other plans)
    • NAS Backup: Yes but only on Safe Backup Pro plan
    • Unlimited Backup
    • Versioning
    • Private Encryption
    Unlimited GB
    $ 600
  5. 5
    • Continuous Backup
    • Incremental Backup
    • External Drive Backup
    • NAS Backup
    • Unlimited Backup: Only on Ultimate Plan
    • Versioning
    • Private Encryption
    5 TB - Unlimited GB
    $ 4999

What Makes the Best Cloud Backup for the UK

The only unique criterion for this list is whether or not a service offers data centers hosted in the UK itself. Failing that, servers located in the EU are the next best thing in terms of speed, and probably even better in terms of data privacy.

Besides this, the regular backup criteria stands, including features, pricing, ease of use, security, privacy, file backup and restoration and customer support.

  1. Acronis True Image — Highly secure backup with UK servers
  2. IDrive — The best cloud backup service overall
  3. Backblaze — Easy-to-use backup with unlimited storage
  4. Carbonite — Unlimited backup with zero-knowledge encryption
  5. CloudBerry Backup — Highly customizable backup for power-users

As we mentioned in our introduction, Acronis True Image snatches first place (up from third on our overall online backup ranking) due to its extensive network of data centers, including one in the UK and several in the EU. Next up are IDrive and Backblaze, which in many ways take opposite approaches to backing up your data.

Carbonite is next, which in many ways is a similar service to Backblaze, except that it features a much less pleasant user interface and lacks some of Backblaze’s features. Finally, CloudBerry rounds out our top five due to its incredibly detailed customization options intended for the most involved power-users out there.

The Top Cloud Backup for the UK

Now that we’ve covered the criteria for our list, let’s not waste any more time and get into the details of each service, and how it earned a spot in the top five.

1. Acronis True Image

best uk backup acronis
Acronis comes with a full range of antivirus tools and has servers in the UK, to boot.

More details about Acronis True Image:

  • Pricing: Full disk image for one computer, plus 500GB for $89.99 per year
  • Provider website: www.acronis.com

Pros:

  • UK server location
  • Ransomware protection
  • Feature-rich

Cons:

  • Interface can be slow
  • A little expensive
  • Complicated pricing scheme

Acronis True Image is a mainstay of our various lists of the best backup solutions, but it usually doesn’t make it quite to the number one spot. However, it manages to do so here, as it’s the only solid backup provider that offers server locations in the UK. This is sure to boost performance for Brits. 

Besides its British data centers, Acronis also comes packed to the gills with backup features. It sports a pretty — if at times unresponsive — client that gives you access to all sorts of customization options for your backup process, including but not limited to scheduling, file versioning, throttling, block-level file copying and every backup type you can think up.

Ransomware Protection With Acronis True Image

Where most backup services focus on, you know, backup, Acronis takes a different approach by building in what amounts to a complete suite of antivirus tools, up to and including ransomware protection and disaster recovery. On top of all these extra security features, Acronis uses 256-bit AES encryption, offers private encryption key management and provides two-factor authentication.

acronis uk data centres
Acronis is a bit expensive, but you get a whole lot of extra security tools included in the price.

Although Acronis certainly isn’t the cheapest cloud backup solution out there, it’s not outrageously expensive, either. You can skip the Essentials plans altogether, as it doesn’t include any cloud storage. However, Acronis’ Advanced plan lets you perform a full backup of a single device, as well as use an additional 500GB of cloud storage on other data for $89.99 per year.

Acronis Essential One Computer
  • Storage: Unlimited GB
Acronis Essential Three Computers
  • Storage: Unlimited GB
Acronis Essential Five Computers
  • Storage: Unlimited GB
Acronis Advanced One Computer
  • Storage: 200 GB
Acronis Advanced Three Computers
  • Storage: 200 GB
Acronis Advanced Five Computers
  • Storage: 200 GB
Acronis Premium One Computer
  • Storage: 1000 GB
Acronis Premium Three Computers
  • Storage: 1000 GB
Acronis Premium Five Computers
  • Storage: 1000 GB

Given it’s feature-packed nature, we don’t have the space in this ranking to truly explore everything Acronis can do. As usual, you can head over to our full Acronis True Image review for all the details.

2. IDrive

best uk backup idrive
IDrive’s rich feature set and great prices make it a favorite here at Cloudwards.

More details about IDrive:

  • Pricing: 5GB free; 5TB for $69.50 per year
  • Provider website: www.idrive.com

Pros:

  • Cheap
  • Packed with features
  • Very secure

Cons:

  • Slow
  • No monthly plans

IDrive is usually our number one pick for cloud backup, and despite not having any UK or EU servers, it’s still an excellent choice for UK users as well. Features-wise, IDrive packs a punch, as it offers everything from disk image backup to courier recovery, backup for an unlimited number of devices, sync-and-share functionality and plenty of settings to tweak.

It’s not limited to a single type of device, either. IDrive lets you backup virtually anything, from mobile devices running iOS or Android (using the mobile app) to desktop computers running Windows, Mac or Linux, as well as servers and NAS devices.

Sync and Share Files With IDrive

One of the things that really makes IDrive stand out from the crowd is the inclusion of sync-and-share features, something you usually don’t get with dedicated backup software. This means you can create a sync folder that automatically updates across all of your devices, as well as share your files in said folder with other people.

best uk backup idrive cta
IDrive is one of the most affordable backup services out there.

Price is one of the main selling points of IDrive, as it’s plans are very affordable. You get 5GB for free, and there are two paid plans that offer 5TB for $69.50 and 10TB for $99.50 per year, respectively. It’s not quite unlimited storage, but it’s likely to be enough to backup most, if not all, of your devices. Unfortunately, there is no option for monthly billing.

Free
  • Storage: 5 GB
Personal 10TB
  • Large discount for first-time signup.
  • Storage: 10000 GB

Although there’s certainly a lot of good things to say about IDrive (it’s our overall favorite for a reason), it’s not perfect. Flaws, such as poor upload and download speeds, are certainly deal-breakers for some. So head over to our full IDrive review to learn everything you can about the service.

3. Backblaze

best uk backup backblaze
Backblaze is a great backup option if you need unlimited storage and don’t want to deal with any hassle.

More details about Backblaze:

  • Pricing: $6 per month for unlimited storage for one device
  • Provider website: www.backblaze.com

Pros:

  • Unlimited storage
  • Cheap
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Inflexible
  • Not very transparent
  • Flawed zero-knowledge encryption

Backblaze is our number two pick overall and our favorite when just looking at unlimited backup. Although it doesn’t offer a British server location, the same things that make it great for users anywhere in the world earn it a spot on this list. That is to say that it’s a quick and easy solution to backing up your files that won’t break your budget.

It’s not all bad news on the server front, either, as the lack of a British server location is somewhat made up for by Backblaze’s data center in the Netherlands. Although it’s not the best option in the EU for private data storage, it’s certainly better than many countries outside it, as you’re still protected by the GDPR.

Quickly Backup Everything With Backblaze

If all you want out of your backup service is to pay as little as possible, install the thing and hopefully never think about it again, then there’s no better option than Backblaze. Setting up the client is easily done in under five minutes, and once that’s done, it will continuously run in the background, always ensuring that all important files are kept safe.

best uk backup backblaze cta
For just $6 per month, you get unlimited storage to backup everything on a single device.

As we briefly touched on, Backblaze offers very competitive prices. For just $6 per month, or slightly less if you opt for annual or biannual billing, you get unlimited storage for a single device. There’s only one plan tier, so you won’t be locked out of any features, and while there’s no free plan, there is a 30-day free trial for you to give it a spin before committing to anything.

In summary, Backblaze is an incredibly popular backup service that owes much of this popularity to just how easy it is to set up and use, as well as it’s very affordable price. There are a few problems that hold it back, though, such as it’s flawed implementation of private encryption. So make sure to read our full Backblaze review before you make your decision.

4. Carbonite

best uk backup carbonite
Carbonite is an excellent alternative to Backblaze for those who need true zero-knowledge encryption.

More details about Carbonite:

  • Pricing: $6 per month for unlimited storage for one device
  • Provider website: www.carbonite.com

Pros:

  • Zero-knowledge encryption
  • Cheap
  • Streamlined

Cons:

  • Ugly interface
  • Lacking features
  • Poor download speeds

In fourth place we have Carbonite, an online backup service that mimics Backblaze in a lot of ways, right down to the price and the backup process itself. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have any EU or UK-based servers, which is one of the reasons it’s not higher up on this list. Although this is the primary criterion for this list, other more important factors still earn the online backup service a spot.

Much like Backblaze, Carbonite takes a streamlined approach to online backup. The client is quick and easy to set up, and once you get going, it requires little to no maintenance from the user. Unfortunately, the interface is pretty ugly, though. So, if that’s important to you, then you’ll probably want to look elsewhere.

Streamlined Zero-Knowledge Backup With Carbonite

Although Backblaze is the undisputed king of easy-to-use unlimited cloud backup services, many are put off by it’s flawed approach to zero-knowledge encryption. Due to its much better encryption practices and similar approach to backups, Carbonite becomes an excellent Backblaze alternative for those who are a bit more security-minded.

best uk backup carbonite cta
Carbonite’s prices are very similar to its competitor Backblaze.

Much like with its approach to the actual backup process, Carbonite again mimics Backblaze in terms of price. The Basic plan will run you $6 per month and let you backup everything on one device. Though where the two services differ is that Carbonite arbitrarily locks certain minor features behind its more expensive plans, which is annoying.

Carbonite Safe Basic
  • Storage: Unlimited GB
Carbonite Safe Plus
  • Storage: Unlimited GB
Carbonite Safe Prime
  • Storage: Unlimited GB
Carbonite Safe Backup Pro
  • Storage: Unlimited GB
Carbonite Safe Server Backup
  • Storage: Unlimited GB
Carbonite Safe Server Backup Ultimate
  • Storage: Unlimited GB

Although Carbonite certainly isn’t our top pick for most users, it does manage to tick a specific set of boxes that make it the best option available for a lot of people. That said, there are some pretty significant drawbacks as well. So head over to our full Carbonite review to learn more.

5. CloudBerry Backup

best uk backup cloudberry
CloudBerry is the ideal backup tool for power-users or those who already rent third-party cloud storage.

More details about CloudBerry Backup:

Pros:

  • Very in-depth
  • Feature-packed
  • Great speed

Cons:

  • Not for casual users
  • Storage space not included
  • Dated interface

For our fifth pick, we’ve selected CloudBerry. Although there’s nothing about it that appeals to UK users specifically, it’s still an excellent way to backup your devices from anywhere in the world. Since there are no servers involved (more on that later), you can easily pair CloudBerry with a cloud storage provider with servers located in the UK, should you wish.

The one thing that really sets CloudBerry apart from every other entry on this list is that it’s exclusively a piece of backup software, rather than a fully fledged backup service with included storage space. That means that you need to find your storage space elsewhere from a third party, which CloudBerry unfortunately limits to business-facing cloud storage, such as Google Cloud (not to be confused with Google Drive) and Amazon S3.

Customize Every Part of Your Backup With CloudBerry

The real selling point of CloudBerry is just how much you can tinker with it. Rather than locking you into certain settings, you can change everything from schedules to performance caps, email notifications, reports, encryption and so on. This means that for power-users, CloudBerry is the ideal backup solution, allowing them to set everything up just right.

best uk backup cloudberry cta
CloudBerry doesn’t require a monthly or annual subscription.

Since CloudBerry doesn’t come with any storage space, there’s no need for a recurring subscription. Instead, you make a one-time payment that varies by device type and version, with the basic Personal version available on Windows for $49.99, and macOS and Linux for $29.99. You can also sign up for a 21-day free trial if you’re not quite sure it’s your cup of tea.

Desktop Pro
  • Annual Maintenance Fee: $10
  • Storage: 5000 GB
Windows Server
  • Annual Maintenance Fee: $24
  • Storage: Unlimited GB
MS SQL Server
  • Annual Maintenance Fee: $30
  • Storage: Unlimited GB
MS Exchange
  • Annual Maintenance Fee: $46
  • Storage: Unlimited GB
Ultimate
  • Annual Maintenance Fee: $60
  • Storage: Unlimited GB

At the end of the day, CloudBerry certainly isn’t for everyone. That said, if you’re already sitting on a Google Cloud account or want to really exert a lot of control over your backup, there’s really no better option. It’s definitely a “hate it or love it” sort of thing, though. So make sure to read our full CloudBerry Backup review before you run off to buy it.

Honorable Mentions

With our top five out of the way, it’s time to take a quick look at two services that didn’t quite make the list but are still excellent backup systems for certain types of individuals.

pCloud

best uk backup pcloud
pCloud recently added backup functionality to what is already an excellent cloud storage service.

Although pCloud is not traditionally a backup service, it has recently moved into the field by incorporating automatic upload and other backup features into its cloud storage service. This makes pCloud a bit of a hybrid solution — much like IDrive and SpiderOak — and earns it an honorable mention in this list due to its servers located in the EU.

pCloud also ranks second on our list of the best cloud storage, which makes it an especially excellent option if you’re interested in a two-for-one deal on both online backup and cloud storage. If you’re interested in the service as a whole, make sure to check out our full pCloud review.

SpiderOak One Backup

best uk backup spideroak
SpiderOak’s privacy was hailed as the best of the best by Edward Snowden himself.

SpiderOak One is a great option for online backup, provided you don’t mind paying a premium for top-of-the-line security and privacy. The company’s zero-knowledge practices and solid privacy policy are so good, in fact, that they received a high-profile endorsement from Edward Snowden back in 2014.

Not only is it a very secure service, but SpiderOak also packs the same syncing and file-sharing options that IDrive does, making it more of a hybrid cloud storage solution, as opposed to a dedicated backup service. You can check out our SpiderOak One review for all the details as well as a guide to the differences between cloud storage and online backup to learn more.

Duplicati

best uk backup duplicati
Duplicati is a great, more consumer-focused alternative to CloudBerry that won’t cost you a penny.

If you like the idea of CloudBerry as a standalone piece of backup software that connects to third-party storage, but don’t like the price or wish it supported more consumer-friendly storage providers, then Duplicati is for you. This free, open-source software gives you most of the power to customize your backup as CloudBerry does, without costing you a single dollar.

Where CloudBerry caters to true power-users and only offers fairly intimidating business-oriented cloud services — such as Google Cloud, Amazon S3 and Microsoft Azure — Duplicati takes the opposite approach and lets you connect virtually any cloud storage provider from Dropbox to Google Drive. For a full list of supported providers, check out our Duplicati review.

Final Thoughts

That brings us to the end of our roundup of the best online backup services for the UK. Although it’s usually our third pick, Acronis manages to edge into the lead here due to its extensive network of server locations that includes data centers both domestically in the UK and within the EU. IDrive and Backblaze are next, respectively, offering a rich feature set and streamlined backup process.

Carbonite is also an excellent backup option for those who like the simplicity of Backblaze but don’t mind a worse user experience in exchange for better security and privacy. Finally, any power-user who’s already paying for small business cloud storage can’t go wrong with CloudBerry Backup.

What did you think of our list? Do you agree that Acronis’ UK servers earn it a top spot above the competition, or do you think that proximity to a data center is not the biggest deal? Let us know in the comments below. Thank you for reading.