5 Best Cloud Backup Providers for Mac 2017

TL;DR: Hard drives fail, even Mac computers are not safe from hardware malfunction or theft. That’s why you need to backup your computer, ideally, off-site with a secure cloud backup solution. We love Carbonite for its ease-of-use and our runner-up Crashplan, for it vast array of features. 

The emergence of cloud technology has seen a considerable increase in demand for online storage over traditional storage options, such as the portable hard disks and backup solutions. The shift to cloud backup is primarily due to the improved security and flexible accessibility options it offers.

Finding The Right Cloud Backup for Mac

The risks associated with using physical backup devices is not just limited to malicious attacks, but also physical theft, fires, short circuits, and other such incidents. Though most operating systems can handle the move to a cloud environment, Macs, however, are a different story.

Macs can’t transition to a cloud computing environment in as straightforward a manner as Windows. Not all services are compatible, so finding the best cloud backup for Mac provider is a top priority.

Let’s take a closer look at the top cloud backup solutions for Macs and the features they offer. 

Our method…

We’ve tested over 20 cloud backup solutions for Mac, discarded the ones that were either too expensive or were offering something else than backup. Then, we distilled the list to the top 5 providers we liked best.  

All services listed here are solid cloud backup solutions that you can use with your personal and sometimes even for your business files. We believe it’s crucial to have your data saved at an off-site location to be protected from theft or disasters. Luckily, cloud backup is very affordable these days. So, let us know which solution you picked!

Mauricio Prinzlau – Cloud storage expert at
By Mauricio Prinzlau – Cloud storage expert at www.cloudwards.net

Best Cloud Backup For Mac –  2017 Comparison

Rank Company
Score
Price Link
1 Winner

www.carbonite.com
$ 5.00 per month Unlimited GBStorage All Plans
Visit CarboniteCarbonite Review
2
www.idrive.com
$ 4.34 per month 1000 GBStorage All Plans
Visit IDriveIDrive Review
3
www.crashplan.com
$ 5.99 per month Unlimited GBStorage All Plans
Visit CrashPlanCrashPlan Review
4
www.backblaze.com
$ 5.00 per month Unlimited GBStorage All Plans
Visit BackblazeBackblaze Review
5
www.sosonlinebackup.com
$ 4.99 per month 50 GBStorage All Plans
Visit SOS Online BackupSOS Online Backup Review

Our #1 Pick: Carbonite Online Backup

Carbonite is the first online backup service that started offering unlimited storage space for a fixed price, instead of volume-based packages. It was founded by their current CTO, Jeff Flowers, and CEO David Friend, in 2005.

Carbonite Review Homepage
Visit www.carbonite.com

Backup and File Sharing

Carbonite offers unlimited storage space and does not have a maximum file size cap. It allows users to archive old versions of files for reference (even after modifications have taken place). The archived files can be accessed for a period of up to 90 days.

Carbonite offers multiple backup options like incremental backup (to update changed portions of files), continuous backup (for real-time update of changes to files), automatic backup through a scheduler (executed as per the user’s choice), and external hard disk storage as well.

The support for the manual adjustment of bandwidth by users is provided at the time of the backup process. 

 

Why We Like Carbonite

Carbonite is an excellent choice for even the most technologically illiterate users. It offers an easy interface and automatic file backup to the cloud and even lets you restore files on your mobile device. 

If you need help they have US-based support staff to help you out. Overall, using Carbonite on a Mac is a pleasant and swift experience.

Mauricio Prinzlau – Cloud storage expert at
By Mauricio Prinzlau – Cloud storage expert at www.cloudwards.net
PlanPrice PlanStorageDetails
Basic
$59.99 1 Year
Unlimited GB

Price is per year per computer. No monthly billing available. Doesn't include external hard drives.

Plus
$99.99 1 Year
Unlimited GB

Includes external hard drive backup. Mirror image backup.

Prime
$149.99 1 Year
Unlimited GB

Includes automatic video backup. Courier service.

This service provider allows for easy file synchronization across various devices so that the most recent version of all files is accessible for all users. File sharing is possible for internal service subscribers, as well as via a public link that can be shared with non-subscribers.

Carbonite Pros

  • Extremely easy to use
  • Free 30 day trial
  • Unlimited cloud backup storage
  • Mirrors your entire system for restore 
  • US-based phone and tech support

Carbonite Cons

  • Files over 4GB are not backed up automatically
  • Need to select video files to back them up
  • Mac software still inferior to Windows client 

Security

High-level encryption is necessary to protect data that is stored on the cloud. Carbonite encrypts data with their own encryption system instead of third-party services, making them very secure.

Top of the line encryption standards are maintained during data transfer (128-bit secure transfer connections) and storage (448-bit Blowfish encryption). Only subscribed users can obtain/own the encryption key, making these files nearly impossible to decrypt. 

The service provider owns, operates, and maintains the data centers and servers itself. Carbonite makes sure that backed up data is protected in case of natural disasters or incidents. This is possible because the provider backs up data at more than one physical location through geo-redundant storage.

Only registered subscribers can control access to shared files, allowing them to determine who can view or edit specific files or locations. It also comes with a remote wipe feature, which allows users to delete files remotely from their computer in case the Mac device is lost or is stolen.

Support

They have a sound support system in place and offer a variety of FAQs, Tutorials, and Forums/Knowledgebase, which serve as the first point of search for any issues or queries that customers may have. Customers can also contact the dedicated support team via multiple mediums such as email, live chat, or telephone.

Mobile Access

Carbonite offers mobile applications for both Android and iOS platforms, but can only backup photos and videos as of now. However, it automatically synchronizes files and provides access to backed up files while on-the-go.

Pricing

The “Basic” personal backup plan starts at $59.99 per year, with the “Plus” plan priced at $99.99 per year and the “Prime” plan at $149.99 per year. 

2# Runner-up: IDrive 

This is the flagship product of IDrive Inc., that was founded in 1995 as Pro Softnet Corporation, based in Los Angeles County, California. The product was initially known as IBackup and was renamed to IDrive in 2003.

Backup and File Sharing

This cloud backup service offers support for unlimited devices.

It only offers four terabytes of space, which is good for home users and small businesses that are just switching over to cloud backup. However, the maximum file size cap is very good at ten gigabytes. It also offers continuous, as well as incremental backup features, making sure your backup files stay up to date at all times.

It also offers scheduled backup services so users can setup regular, full-system backups. The provider notifies users via email when a backup run is completed. The service also offers users with the flexibility to adjust bandwidth during backup runs.

IDrive has the capacity to archive almost 30 previous versions of files, and they are not counted in the storage space. It offers good file sharing capabilities, giving users access to files from any device.

 

Why we like IDrive

IDrive is a feature-packed online backup service that works excellent on a Macintosh computer. The standard plan gives you 1TB of cloud backup storage which should be plenty for the average user. 

IDrive lets you sync and share files, while also being one of the most secure services out there. 

Mauricio Prinzlau – Cloud storage expert at
By Mauricio Prinzlau – Cloud storage expert at www.cloudwards.net
PlanPrice PlanStorageDetails
FreeFree5 GB
Personal 1TB
$52.12 1 Year
$104.25 2 Years
1000 GB
Personal 10TB
$374.62 1 Year
$749.25 2 Years
10000 GB
Business 250GB
$74.62 1 Year
$149.25 2 Years
250 GB
Business 500GB
$149.62 1 Year
$299.25 2 Years
500 GB
Business 1.25TB
$374.62 1 Year
$749.25 2 Years
1250 GB

Files are easily accessible through an online dashboard that lets users manage backups, adjust settings, upload files, share files, and view activity logs. Customers can send email invitations to other IDrive users to grant them “view-only” access to the stored files.

IDrive Pros

  • Very high level of security
  • Very fast backups (one of the fastest overall services in our tests)
  • Good integration of smart phone backup and sync
  • Affordable plans 
  • A LOT of features

IDrive Cons

  • Sometimes overwhelming amount of features
  • No unlimited plan, like other competitors
  • Mobile apps lack features of the web app

Security

This provider offers geo-redundant storage too. It also owns and maintains its own data centers and servers with no third-party involvement. The data centers are climate controlled and physically secured with video surveillance as well. Data protection is ensured during transfers through 128-bit secure transfer connections, with 256-bit encryption before transfers or storage.

The data files remain encrypted throughout the transfer and are only decrypted with the user-owned key. The option to remotely delete files from Mac computers in case of theft is also a useful addition.

Support

IDrive offers extensive customer support in the form of live chat, email, and telephone assistance. It maintains a vast knowledge base for various common issues/problems faced by consumers through its FAQs page and video tutorials.

Mobile Access

IDrive is one of the best service providers with regards to mobile access. It offers mobile apps for Windows phones, as well as Android and iOS devices.

It can also backup all mobile data, such as videos, contacts, text messages, and photos. Such comprehensive backup features make IDrive a very attractive offering.

Pricing

IDrive pricing starts from $44.62 a year for their Personal plan, with their Business plan starting at $74.60 a year. 

#3 Crashplan: Unlimited Cloud Backup for your Mac

CrashPlan was developed by the American software company, Code42, which was founded in 2001 by Matthew Dornquast, Mitch Coopet, and Brian Bispala. In 2007, Code42 developed the CrashPlan backup service.

Backup and File Sharing

This backup storage service offers unlimited storage space and enables customers to upload files of any size. A major advantage of this service provider is that it allows storage of previous versions of any file for the entire duration of the customer account with CrashPlan.

In other words, it supports unlimited archiving so users can always access any of the older file versions. CrashPlan offers its customers multiple, high-utility backup options such as incremental backups, automatic backups, and continuous backups.

In comparison to Carbonite and IDrive, this service provider offers all their backup features, except for file sharing. Users are unable to share their stored data with other people. 

Why we like Crashplan

Crashplan is probably one of the few services who take the claim of unlimited cloud backup seriously, you can set Crashplan to backup unlimited file versions, never remove any deleted files from their cloud, and remove any file size limits. 

In our tests, we had some speed issues so that Crashplan performed a bit slower than the rest. This result may vary depending on your Internet speed and location. 

Mauricio Prinzlau – Cloud storage expert at
By Mauricio Prinzlau – Cloud storage expert at www.cloudwards.net

 

Crashplan Pros

  • Truly unlimited cloud backup, including external hard drives and NAS.
  • Abundant array of features with granular control and network settings
  • Very ease to use
  • Free “backup to friend” feature

Crashplan Cons

  • Sometimes slow backup speeds from locations other than US
  • Occasional high usage of memory

 

Security

It uses 448-bit encryption to maintain data protection during storage and before transfers. Secure data transfer is ensured through 128-bit secure transfer connections. CrashPlan provides customers with sole ownership of the encryption key. Similar to other service providers, CrashPlan has its own servers and data centers that are empowered with:

  • 24×7 surveillance
  • Backup power
  • Climate control
  • Fire-suppression systems

The only feature missing is geo-redundant storage that protects data in case of damage to their data centers.

Support

The official website of CrashPlan offers troubleshooting help along with how-to guides through its large knowledgebase, and multiple tutorials. It offers round-the-clock customer support over email, live chat, and telephone.

Mobile Access

The provider offers mobile apps for Android, iOS, and the Windows Mobile platforms. The apps give users remote access to back up data. The only drawback is that there is no backup of the mobile device itself.

Pricing

Pricing for CrashPlan starts at $5 per month (for annual subscriptions) or $5.99 per month for monthly subscriptions for home users. For businesses, their plans start at $10 per month, per computer. 

#4 Backblaze: Possibly the easiest Mac cloud backup

When Gleb Budman co-founded Backblaze in 2007 his mission was simple: provide an affordable cloud backup solution for everybody. Almost 10 years later, they still offer unlimited cloud backup for only $5 per month. Read on to know what we think about it. 

Backing up files

Backblaze has one of the most simplistic approaches to backup: install their software on your Mac, hit start backup, and that’s it. Backblaze just backs up everything on your computer. Backblaze offers unlimited cloud backup, so you never have to worry about running out of space. 

A lot of people ask us if this business model is sustainable, and our answer is yes. You see, not everybody is a power user who backs up terabytes and terabytes of files, the majority of people only need a couple of gigabytes, that’s why Backblaze can operate profitably, and still offer unlimited cloud backup. 

Simplicity is also found in their pricing and plans: there is only one plan available for your Mac (or Windows). $5 per month per computer equips you with everything you need to upload all of your files to the Backblaze cloud. 

Some people may argue Backblaze’s approach is a bit too flat, not giving a lot of options for which archives and files one can or cannot backup.The restrictions come in handy if you’re not very computer savvy, or if you install a backup system for other people. 

That being said, there are options to set a bandwidth limit, or exclude certain files from backup. Backblaze also backs up your external hard drives if you connect them at least once every 30 days. 

Why we like Backblaze

Backup doesn’t have to be difficult. Backblaze’s mission is to backup every computer in America, and they make is dead simple. We like this approach because everybody should have a cloud backup in case their hard drives fail. 

For some Backblaze may be a bit too simple, for others this is just what they need to get started. File restores work perfectly, though meta data is not backed up and you can only restore via the web interface. 

Mauricio Prinzlau – Cloud storage expert at
By Mauricio Prinzlau – Cloud storage expert at www.cloudwards.net

Backblaze Pros

  • Simple setup, works well on the Mac
  • Fast backup speeds
  • No file size or storage limits
  • Exclude certain file types from backups
  • High level of security with personal encryption key

Backblaze Cons

  • Lacks features, such as backup scheduling, folder selection or backup sets
  • Doesn’t backup meta data 
  • Limited version history of 30 days

 

PlanPrice PlanStorageDetails
Unlimited Personal
$ 5 Monthly
$ 60.00 1 Year
$ 50.00 (-17%)
$ 120.00 2 Years
$ 90.00 (-25%)
Unlimited GB

Plan is for one computer.

#5: SOS Online Backup

Headquartered in El Segundo, California, SOS Online Backup was founded in 2001. The company changed its name to Infrascale, Inc in 2012 and named their cloud backup service, SOS Online Backup. It has six data centers in the USA, and one data center each in India, Ukraine, Australia, South Africa, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

This cloud backup provider offers all the important backup options such as automatic, continuous, and incremental backups. However, they do not allow users to manually adjust bandwidth during backup runs. 

All other backup features, such as unlimited storage space, unlimited file sizes, and unlimited archiving, are exactly similar to what’s offered by CrashPlan.

However, it has one major advantage over CrashPlan, because of the availability of file sharing. Users can grant access to the online data through a public, share link, but users cannot control the level of access.

Why we like SOS Online Backup

SOS Online Backup was one of the first players on the market offering cloud backup to consumers. While they have been very expensive a couple of years ago, they now adapted to the unlimited storage model like the above mentioned competitors. 

The Mac client, however, comes with a couple of restrictions in comparison to the Windows app, that’s why we place SOS Online Backup on the fifth place in our ranking. 

Mauricio Prinzlau – Cloud storage expert at
By Mauricio Prinzlau – Cloud storage expert at www.cloudwards.net

 

PlanPrice PlanStorageDetails
50GB
$ 4.99 Monthly
$ 59.88 1 Year
$ 44.99 (-25%)
50 GB

All personal plans include up to 5 PCs & Macs, unlimited mobiles
but no server support
and chat support Only

100GB
$ 7.99 Monthly
$ 95.88 1 Year
$ 79.99 (-17%)
100 GB
150GB
$ 9.99 Monthly
$ 119.88 1 Year
$ 99.99 (-17%)
150 GB
250GB
$ 12.99 Monthly
$ 155.88 1 Year
$ 129.99 (-17%)
250 GB
500GB
$ 20.99 Monthly
$ 251.88 1 Year
$ 199.99 (-21%)
500 GB
1TB
$ 39.99 Monthly
$ 479.88 1 Year
$ 399.99 (-17%)
1000 GB
5TB
$ 159.99 Monthly
$ 1,919.88 1 Year
$ 1,599.99 (-17%)
5000 GB
10TB
$ 299.99 Monthly
$ 3,599.88 1 Year
$ 2,999.99 (-17%)
10000 GB

SOS Online Backup Pros

  • Unlimited online backup
  • Support of external hard drives and even NAS devices
  • Strong security.

 

SOS Online Backup Cons

  • Mac client lacks features of the Windows client
  • User interface needs an improvement
  • Mobile apps are very basic

Security

It offers solid security features with military-grade encryption provided before and during transfers and storage as well. SOS provides geo-redundant storage, customer-owned encryption keys and maintains its own data centers and servers.

However, it does not come with a “remote wipe” feature as some other services do.

Support

It offers a comprehensive knowledge base and FAQs for self-help and has a dedicated support team available for customers over telephone, email and live chat.

Mobile Access

SOS offers comprehensive apps for Android and iOS devices, making it possible for users to back up all the data on their mobile devices as well. The backed up videos, photos, contacts, and messages can all be accessed via the app without any issues.

Pricing

SOS Online Backup starts at $7.99 per month, with other plans available for specific usage scenarios. 

Rank Company Score Price Storage Link
1 Winner
$ 5.00 per monthAll Plans
Unlimited GB www.carbonite.com
2
$ 4.34 per monthAll Plans
1000 GB www.idrive.com
3
$ 5.99 per monthAll Plans
Unlimited GB www.crashplan.com
4
$ 5.00 per monthAll Plans
Unlimited GB www.backblaze.com
5
$ 4.99 per monthAll Plans
50 GB www.sosonlinebackup.com

Wrapping up…

Backing up your Macintosh computer is necessary because the question is not if but when a hard drive fails or other accidents happen. We hope the list of services give you a good starting point to finding the best service for your needs. It basically doesn’t matter which of the solutions above you choose. All are good and will backup your files. 

There are some minor differences among them, some allow file sharing and syncing, other have unlimited version history. Make sure you decide on what’s important to you. But the most important thing is not to procrastinate, decide as soon as possible on a service so you can avoid tragic data loss. 

Do you use a cloud-based backup service for your Mac computer? What features do you usually look for in a backup service? Please leave your comments below. We’d love to hear from you, and thanks for reading!

9 thoughts on “Cloud Backup for Mac – Top 5 Solutions”

  1. Carbonite is an excellent service, however currently there personal plans do not allow backup of external hard drives. Only for PC’s

    1. Check out this workaround – Back up your Mac to a PC (treat it like an external drive) and back it AND its external drive to Carbonite’s Personal Plus plan (on sale right now for 30% savings on a 3-year purchase.)

      How-to site: http://goo.gl/MxravQ
      Carbonite Info & Purchase: http://goo.gl/FfgJDS

  2. Carbonite does NOT allow scheduling backups on the Mac. That feature is only available on Windows. So on the Mac, it runs whenever it pleases, regardless of what you may be trying to do.

  3. I have had Carbonite for years. CarboniteDaemonn frequently uses upwards of 95% of CPU and causes the fans to run until I disable backups. I don’t know for sure but believe it shortened the life of my last MacBook Pro to less than four years. I have seen many people complain about this.

    Also, when my machine did crash, my restore to my new MacBook Pro was anything but simple, required their help, and an enormous amount of time when my files all restored to my desktop.

    I would be very interested in your comments on this. Thank you.

    1. I am asking because I am thinking about replacing Carbonite when my subscription expires in April of next year. In the meantime, I frequently have to disable backup to stop the fans and hogging of resources.

  4. I used to use Carbonite but stopped because of a serious flaw (fatal flaw, in my opinion). This was at least true when I used them.

    Backed up files are purged from the backup if they disappear from the local disk. This in effect renders the backup useless if you don’t notice the file is missing before the purge time elapses.

    What use is backup software if the very files you were backing up are not available?

    1. Hi Victor,
      this is common practice if you go for ‘unlimited’ cloud backup services like Carbonite, they will have a grace period of mostly 30 days that will give you time to recover lost files. Backblaze and other services work in the same way, if that’s not an option for you, you have to choose a limited cloud backup provider. There will be limitations on the storage but they won’t delete files if they can’t find a local copy on your machine.

  5. I’ve been struggling to get Carbonite working on my Mac for 3 days now. It works beautifully on my Windows machine, but doesn’t seem to be stable on the Mac. Their customer service is top notch however.

    1. Hey Doug,
      I’ve been testing Carbonite for Mac for quite a while now and for me it does work fine. Can tell what the problem is and what MacOS you’re using?

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