While unlimited online backup might sound like a promise that’s too good to be true, Backblaze and CrashPlan came out on top today, by making this pledge a reality. However, our remaining three contenders each have unique features to offer, alongside unlimited backup. So join us on Cloudwards.net, as we check out 2017’s best unlimited backup services.
Unlimited online backup sounds like a pipe dream, but it’s not. With data centers expanding in storage capacity and scalability, plus the advent of big data hybrid cloud technology, a lot of companies can now offer real unlimited backup at cheap rates.
What is Unlimited Cloud Backup?
Unlimited cloud backup means a user can backup as much data as they want, without running out of space. It’s a great solution for people with more than a terabyte of data that needs to have a second, non-destructible copy laying around, or for people who regularly deal with large files. Unfortunately, many users have come to find out, that not every cloud service offers truly unlimited backup, even if they claim to do so.
We’re here to summarize and breakdown cloud backup services that actually do not limit the amount of space you use to backup files, neither do they throttle your bandwidth. We’ve also scoured the web in search of services with the traits mentioned above, alongside good pricing, extra features and as much security as they can provide. While most online backup services will provide coverage for computers and mobile devices, on the same account, they often limit what you can upload.
Creating the difficult situation of having to choose what gets backed up and what doesn’t. Backup companies often utilize many ways to limit their clients, such as bandwidth throttling, large data caps, and slow backups. Remember, it’s not true unlimited backup if there’s a cap on how much data can be stored in one location, even if the upper limit is several terabytes.
No one likes being at the mercy of their electronics, and having a backup plan for your laptop or smartphone when it does inevitably crash, isn’t an idea one should disregard lightly. Why? Well, one of the major benefits of unlimited online backup is the ability to access data from anywhere and at anytime, even when your personal computer device isn’t available for the task (for what ever reason).
A Word to The Impatient…
“Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.”
A lot of people who are new to online backup, fall prey to the folly of impatience, during the initial backup phase (hence the bible quote). No matter how fast or unlimited an online backup provider is, the first backup always takes a lot of time. Since backup software usually scans an entire hard disk, then uploads everything individually the first time, an initial backup can take days to weeks; depending on how much data there is.
After the initial backup is complete, incremental ones only take new files into consideration, so the process usually lasts less than a few minutes. The good news in both cases is, the software in charge of uploading files to the net usually works in the background, so that you’re free to continue using your laptop as per normal, while the software does it’s thing silently.
Before diving into the article, let’s first explain how it’s setup. What we’re providing here is a small breakdown of each service, a summary of why we liked it, and a list of pros and cons. We firmly recommend clicking the “Read review” button under every summary, for a full in-depth review of the respective service in question. Now that you know how the article works let’s get on with the show!
Best Online Services for Unlimited Backup 2017
$ 5.00 per month Unlimited GBStorage All Plans
|Visit BackblazeBackblaze Review|
$ 5.99 per month Unlimited GBStorage All Plans
|Visit CrashPlanCrashPlan Review|
$ 5.00 per month Unlimited GBStorage All Plans
|Visit CarboniteCarbonite Review|
$ 8.00 per month Unlimited GBStorage All Plans
|Visit LivedriveLivedrive Review|
$ 7.84 per month Unlimited GBStorage All Plans
|Visit JottacloudJottacloud Review|
Backblaze is at the top of our list because it just offers the best set of services, at the cheapest rates, and it also has very good privacy features to boot. Backblaze offers unlimited backup space, alongside unlimited upload speeds and file sizes — all for five bucks a month. The service is ideal for users who are new to the online backup world and have a ton of data on their PC, tablet, or smartphone.
Backblaze’s software is a true set-and-forget deal, as it will auto-scan an HDD and start automatically backing up the files it finds. Of course, users can choose to adjust their bandwidth to meet personal usage needs, or to avoid breaching their ISP’s data caps. While Backblaze offers enough room to store everything on your laptop and mobile devices, users can select which files to exclude from the backup process.
In case anything gets accidentally deleted, copies of the data will remain available for restoration, for up to 30 days. Speaking of restoration, Backblaze offers multiple ways to restore files. You can download them directly from the web app. Which triggers a zip file download onto your desktop; of course, it’s free of charge.
Why We Like Backblaze:
With no file size limitation, no upload speed limitation, and an unlimited account, Backblaze is perfect for those who want to backup everything on their computer. This service does have features others fall short on, such as multiple ways to restore files and the ability to locate a lost PC.
Users can request a USB flash drive or External Hard Drive from the company, for a fee. The USB flash drive costs $99, while the four terabyte hard disk costs $189. Cooler yet, you get to keep the hard drive forever. The company will also FedEx a 4TB USB drive to users, who don’t want to download their backed up data.
- Lost computer locator
- 30 day deleted file recovery
- Two-factor authentication
- Personalized encryption keys
- Multiple restore methods cost extra
- Lacks file sharing features
- Slow restores via web app
- No multi-PC licenses
CrashPlan offers good pricing, cross-platform integration, control over almost every facet of its functionality, plus a slew of extra backup features. Just like Backblaze, CrashPlan does not limit file types, size, bandwidth or backup space; and customers can set custom bandwidth limitations too.
Users can load any file type, at any size and not have to worry about the system rejecting it or running out of space. CrashPlan offers a free 15-day trial service for users, which we firmly recommend you try out.
After the trial ends, all files have to be restored to a local partition, network attached system (NAS), or external storage device. Users with a subscription to CrashPlan can opt to have their data saved continuously. Paid users also get the added benefit of unlimited file version retention. Which allows users to keep as many versions of their files as they wish, for as long as they like.
Why We Like CrashPlan:
CrashPlan comes with great mobile apps. They’re sleek, well integrated into iOS and Android, and come with a lot of desktop features. The creators of CrashPlan also know how important data security is to users. The service offers 448-bit encryption, after data is transferred to their server, alongside personal encryption key settings.
- 448-bit encryption
- Seeded backup
- Good mobile apps
- Windows, Mac & Linux apps
- No File Explorer integration
- Lacks file sharing
- Slow backups outside the U.S.
Lacks file syncing
Carbonite offers users the freedom to set a schedule and delegate backups on an auto-timed system. There’s also unlimited storage for a single PC, plus encryption keys. Carbonite is designed to be used by the average person, who’s new to online backup and doesn’t have a lot of data. The service offers easy to navigate software and intuitive options. Consumers can setup a backup schedule, then sit back and enjoy as files get stored offsite automatically.
The great part about Carbonite is its customization. Even if you’re a novice, setting up a time for the program to run and select specific folder or files to backup is easy. If you are unsure which files are necessary, just let the software backup the entire hard disk. Carbonite has unlimited storage and does not restrict file types.
While Carbonite is an excellent choice, there service has a few drawbacks worth noting. For starters, the initial backup of an entire system can take days or even weeks, if your schedule doesn’t allow for continuous backup. Also, video files are not automatically backed up, they have to be manually uploaded. The same restriction apply to files over 4GB, and users on the Basic plan cannot save external hard drives.
Why We Like Carbonite:
We liked the ease of use and freedom you get with Carbonite. Most service providers will allow you to set a schedule for backup, but they’re often not very intuitive and can be confusing for new users. Carbonite is simple to setup and provides the freedom to backup everything or just specific files.
Experienced users can choose to utilize personal encryption keys, for added security. Of course, the key is not retained by Carbonite. So if it’s ever lost or forgotten, there is no way to retrieve it.
- Personalized encryption keys
- Backup scheduler
- File versioning
- 30 day deleted files restoration
- No collaboration features
- No phone support
- No sharing features
- No Windows Phone support
Considered expensive and poorly designed, Livedrive is a service the user should only pick for its particular set of options, since it does come with a lot of extra and unique features. Livedrive is the kind of service you might need under certain circumstances, as it comes with unique features, which are unavailable from most other unlimited cloud backup services.
As a matter of fact, the service’s feature set may be attractive to developers, or users who need to use FTP, WebDAV and NAS backup. The Pro Suite plan comes with file sharing, alongside multi-device syncing and cloud storage as well.
However, to get all of that, users need to put up with hidden pricing, terrible desktop software (which fails to integrate its options into a single window) and clunky smartphone apps. Livedrive provides useful features through the periscope of a terrible user experience, at high prices, glued onto difficult to cancel plans.
Why We Like Livedrive:
Livedrive is not a novice friendly backup software, but it is easy enough for experienced users to utilize. The interface gives users a real-time estimate of how long the backup will take, a feature we appreciated very much. It also shows users accurate speed and bandwidth usage via the onscreen indicators.
- Decent file sharing
- FTP/WebDAV access
- Total system backup
- Unlimited backup space
- Bad user experience
- Hidden pricing
- Extra restore software
- Generally expensive
Jottacloud combines online backup with file syncing and sharing, topped off with unlimited storage, easy usability and good upload and download speeds. For those who want sharing functionality and unlimited cloud backup, Jottacloud is a reliable option. The company operates under strict European privacy laws, which essentially means users will be free from the NSA’s prying eye.
Jottacloud offers unlimited storage within low-cost subscription packages, and users can choose to schedule backups when it is convenient, to avoid wasting precious bandwidth. The company also offers a free plan, which can be used to try out the service, but it is limited to 5GB of space.
While not all file types are accepted, the most common ones are, including image, video, and document types. Only those who use specialty file types will find this a limitation which can’t be overlooked. Unfortunately, no file type will be protected by local encryption, since it’s a missing feature on Jottacloud.
Why We Like Jottacloud:
Jottacloud is located exclusively in Europe, with its base in Norway. The service is a decent option for people who don’t want to store their files in U.S. data centers. On iOS-based devices, Jottacloud stands out for the image auto-upload feature. The company also provides unlimited backup and syncing, at pretty fast speeds.
- Unlimited storage
- iOS app auto-saves pics
- File sharing features
- Norwegian privacy laws
- Lacks local encryption
- Versioning restricted to 5 copies
- Slower uploads on large files
- Restoring from web not intuitive
For the money, you can’t go wrong with Backblaze or Carbonite, as both have features most consumers use regularly. They’re also secure and designed to provide exceptional customer experiences. However, for features beyond those provided by our top two picks, we highly recommend thorough research into the remaining contenders.
Especially Livedrive, since that service is a double edged sword. Make use of the free plans and trial periods given by each unlimited backup provider, test them out according to your personal needs, before deciding which one to pick. Thanks for reading, and please don’t forget to let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!