Cloudwards.net may earn a small commission from some purchases made through our site. However, any affiliate earnings do not affect how we review services.

Fastest Online Backup Services 2022: Best Cloud Backup Services for Speed

Depending on what you’re using online backup for, speed can be critically important or a secondary consideration. If you need your backups to upload and download as fast as possible, keep reading to see which service is the fastest online backup.

Aleksander Hougen
By Aleksander Hougen (Managing Editor)
— Last Updated: 2022-02-01T14:22:49+00:00 Facts checked by Eugenie Tiu

When considering online backup services, speed can be an important factor. However, it’s something that can be hard to test yourself without investing a lot of time and money. For that reason, we’ve tested the major backup providers to determine which is the fastest online backup service.

Key Takeaways:

The first thing to understand is when we’re talking about the “fastest backup,” we’re really talking about two metrics combined: the upload speed and the download speed. For our overall winners, we’ve taken both into account. We’ve also separated the two metrics further down to see which service has the fastest uploads and which has the fastest downloads.

If you’re interested in more than speed, we recommend reading our list of the best online backup services. While there is overlap between the fastest and best cloud backups, it’s not one-to-one. If you’re more interested in cloud storage, check out our look at the fastest cloud storage services and our list of the best cloud storage providers.

  • Taking into account both upload and download speeds, Jottacloud is the fastest. It has the fastest upload speeds and second fastest download speeds of the backup services we tested.

  • That depends on your internet connection speed and the size of your backup. Unless you want to do the math yourself, you can use a calculator to figure out how long your backup should take under ideal conditions. Bear in mind, connection speeds are almost never completely stable.

  • The reason why a backup service is slow depends on the service. It might only have one data center and too many users or the servers could be located on the other side of the planet from you.

What Are the Fastest Online Backup Services?

To determine the fastest online backup service, we ran tests on 10 of the most popular and well-known online backup services. Only six can be considered fast by any stretch of the imagination, and the remaining four have consistently sluggish download or upload speeds.

The 6 Fastest Cloud Backup Services

  1. Jottacloud — Fastest online backup as well as great security and privacy
  2. pCloud — Cloud storage with backup functionality and excellent speeds
  3. IDrive — Best overall backup service and greatly improved speeds
  4. BackupVault — Lightning-fast backup that’s let down by its terrible pricing model
  5. BigMind Home — Online backup with decent speeds but high prices
  6. Acronis Cyber Protect — Online backup with great download speeds but mediocre upload

Among the six fastest providers, the first four are in a league of their own. All four have consistently fast upload and download speeds, staying relatively close to the theoretical limit.

Average Minutes of Upload Time, 5GB Folder

BigMind Home and Acronis Cyber Protect on the other hand, while not slow, aren’t fast. BigMind has acceptable, if mediocre, upload speeds, and Acronis only makes it on the shortlist because of its downloads.

Average Minutes of Download Time, 5GB Folder

Looking at averages, the median upload speed for a 5GB folder is 11 minutes and 50 seconds, while the median download speed is a lot faster at 7 minutes and 40 seconds. 

The mean speed, on the other hand, is heavily affected by outliers, bringing the numbers up to 38 minutes and 38 seconds for uploads and 15 minutes and 7 seconds for downloads.

With that out of the way, it’s worth explaining how we tested the services and what our results are based on.

Online Backup Service Speed Testing Process

It’s important to understand how we got these results before we dig into them. Connection speeds are rarely stable, which makes getting an objective test result difficult. 

To get around this problem, we used a Windows 365 cloud computer with a theoretical connection speed of 1 Gbps. This let us throttle the speed down to 100 Mbps, ensuring the bandwidth available to each service remained constant throughout the tests.

For our upload and download tests, we used a 5GB folder filled with all sorts of file types, including Word documents, TXT files, images, 4K video, audio and ZIP archives. We uploaded and downloaded this folder twice and averaged the results, which we used to rank the fastest (and slowest) backup services.

It’s worth noting the physical location of the cloud computer is in Dublin, Ireland, which can slightly affect transfer speeds for services hosting their data centers geographically far away from the European continent.

Comparing the Data: Fastest Online Backup Services

Before we get to the fastest services, let’s take a quick look at the data, including services that didn’t make the list above. Since upload speeds and download speeds vary considerably, we’ll compare the results for each transfer direction separately.

Upload

Upload speeds is where we see the greatest variation between services, so that’s where we’ll start. The table below contains the upload test results for all 10 services in this comparison.

Backup Service:First attemptSecond attemptAverage
1. Jottacloud0:06:420:06:440:06:43
2. IDrive0:07:570:07:480:07:52
3. pCloud0:08:550:07:300:08:12
4. BackupVault0:08:180:08:510:08:34
5. BigMind Home0:10:350:10:250:10:30
6. Carbonite0:15:480:10:300:13:09
7. Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office0:42:430:23:210:33:02
8. Backblaze0:44:000:51:500:47:55
9. CrashPlan1:02:001:06:451:04:22
10. SpiderOak One Backup3:02:023:10:013:06:01

We can see the providers break into four rough categories. There are the speed demons Jottacloud, IDrive, pCloud and BackupVault, all of which performed excellently. Next are BigMind Home and Carbonite, which have decent, if not particularly impressive, speeds.

Finally, there are the slowpokes, Acronis Cyber Protect, Backblaze, CrashPlan and SpiderOak One Backup. Acronis partially redeems itself by being faster than the other three and offering excellent download speeds. You’ll want to steer clear of the three lowest ranked services if upload speeds are crucial to your backup needs.

Download

It’s time to take a look at download speeds. If your backup needs are focused on disaster recovery, chances are these results are what matter most to you as every minute saved could be crucial.

Backup Service:First attemptSecond attemptAverage
1. pCloud0:06:410:06:430:06:42
2. Jottacloud0:07:150:07:100:07:12
3. Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office0:07:190:07:190:07:19
4. IDrive0:07:140:07:370:07:25
5. BackupVault0:07:410:07:380:07:39
6. BigMind Home0:07:050:08:200:07:40
7. CrashPlan0:08:100:07:230:07:46
8. Backblaze0:08:150:08:000:08:07
9. SpiderOak0:08:570:07:350:08:16
10. Carbonite1:20:401:25:201:23:00

As you can see, the differences between services’ download speeds are minimal (at least compared to the differences in upload), with the notable exception of Carbonite. Going from the fastest service to the slowest (barring Carbonite), we only see a difference of 1 minute and 34 seconds, which translates to between 20% and 25%.

Carbonite is an extreme outlier, taking well over an hour on both tests to download the folder. We’ll have more on that later.

The 3 Fastest Cloud Backup Services: Upload

Upload speed is by far the more competitive category for crowning the fastest backup service. While there’s little variation in download speeds, upload speeds range from close to the theoretical limit to hours.

1. Jottacloud

Jottacloud
Though Jottacloud isn’t as popular as others on this list, its speeds beat every other provider we’ve tested.

Jottacloud isn’t as well known as other backup providers on this list, and it languishes at the lower end of our list of the best backup providers. However, it crushes every other service in this comparison. Not only does it have the fastest upload speeds, it also does remarkably well with downloads, as we’ll see in the next section.

Jottacloud Upload Speeds

First attempt:Second attempt:Average:
0:06:420:06:440:06:43

Simply put, these results are incredible. On average, Jottacloud is only three seconds above the theoretical speed limit of 6 minutes and 40 seconds, which is about as good as it can get in terms of speed. Check out our Jottacloud review if you want to learn more about the service.

2. IDrive

zero knowledge storage idrive cta
IDrive is our overall pick for the best online backup, and this is reflected in its performance.

IDrive has long been our favorite cloud backup provider at Cloudwards, but it’s always had an Achilles heel in its transfer speeds. We were surprised to see that IDrive seems to have cleared up these issues and transformed into one of the faster backup providers, at least in terms of uploads (although it doesn’t do badly with downloads either).

IDrive Upload Speeds

First attempt:Second attempt:Average:
0:07:570:07:480:07:52

Not only are these speeds good, they’re also stable, with less than 10 seconds separating the two results. This is great news for IDrive, and hopefully, it’ll help address some of the concerns we’ve seen in comments on our IDrive review.

3. pCloud

Best offline storage pCloud CTA
Although pCloud focuses on cloud storage features, it lets you set up automated backups.

While pCloud is primarily a cloud storage service — check out our online backup vs cloud storage breakdown to understand the difference — it recently introduced backup functionality that earned it a place here.

Cloud storage providers tend to be faster than their online backup counterparts, and pCloud is no exception. Although it’s in third place for uploads, it’s not far behind Jottacloud and IDrive.

pCloud Upload Speeds

First attempt:Second attempt:Average:
0:08:550:07:300:08:12

With only 20 seconds separating it from IDrive, pCloud is undoubtedly fast in the upload department, and as we’re about to see, it does even better with downloads.

The 3 Fastest Cloud Backup Services: Download

Things are a lot tighter when it comes to download speeds. This isn’t surprising, as there’s a lot more work and computations for a backup service to perform when uploading files compared to downloading them. With the exception of Carbonite, every service we tested managed to download our test folder in less than eight and a half minutes.

We’re dealing with small differences here, so keep that in mind as we go over the backup services with the fastest download speeds.

1. pCloud

pCloud homepage
Although third place for uploads, pCloud has the fastest downloads out of every cloud backup service we tested.

While pCloud sat in third place for upload speeds — falling behind Jottacloud and IDrive by a minute and a half or 20 seconds, respectively — it downloads files 30 seconds faster than Jottacloud. This might not sound like a lot, but with the margins we have in our download results, it’s a significant difference.

pCloud Download Speeds

First attempt:Second attempt:Average:
0:06:410:06:430:06:42

Like Jottacloud with uploads, pCloud’s download speeds are close to the theoretical speed limit of our network. Clearly, the service doesn’t have much room to improve its speeds in either direction. You can read our pCloud review to see if it holds up in other ways (spoiler: it does).

2. Jottacloud

linux cloud backup jottacloud cta
Jottacloud doesn’t do as well for downloads as it does for uploads, but it still lands in a respectable second place.

Next up is our upload champion, Jottacloud, which also manages incredible download speeds. Although slower than pCloud, 7 minutes and 12 seconds is still an acceptable result, and unless you’re counting every second like we were, you probably wouldn’t notice the difference.

Jottacloud Download Speeds

First attempt:Second attempt:Average:
0:07:150:07:100:07:12

Jottacloud is a fast service, earning a spot in our top three for both uploads and downloads. However, it’s worth pointing out that while Jottacloud advertises itself as having unlimited online storage, there’s a soft cap that relates to speed. If you surpass 5TB, Jottacloud will throttle your uploads, which partially explains how it manages to retain fast speeds and unlimited backup space.

3. Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office

acronis uk data centres
Acronis Cyber Protect is an ideal choice for excellent security features and fast downloads, but its upload speeds definitely leave a lot to be desired.

Despite its upload performance, Acronis managed to squeak its way on to our shortlist of the fastest services, owing to its excellent download speeds. That said, even though it’s in the top three for downloads, we wouldn’t recommend Acronis to someone who needs the fastest speeds possible because of its slow uploads.

Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office Download Speeds

First attempt:Second attempt:Average:
0:07:190:07:190:07:19

Still, those whose primary concern is rapid disaster recovery will be happy with Acronis. It also shows a remarkable stability we haven’t seen from other providers, with both test results taking the exact same amount of time. Make sure to check out our Acronis Cyber Protect review to learn more.

The Slowest Cloud Backup Services

Now that we’ve covered the fastest backup services, it’s time to cover the slowest. Out of the four providers we’re about to cover, three — Backblaze, SpiderOak One and CrashPlan —  had acceptable download speeds but atrocious upload speeds.

Average Minutes of Upload Time, 5GB Folder

Carbonite, on the other hand, had mediocre upload speeds but terrible download speeds.

Average Minutes of Download Time, 5GB Folder

An interesting thing to note here is all the services that offer unlimited backup space only achieved mediocre or bad results, with the notable exception of Jottacloud, which provides unlimited storage but with a soft cap.

1. Carbonite

best uk backup carbonite cta
Carbonite only offers mediocre upload speeds and incredibly slow downloads.

We’ll start our rundown of the slowest services with the odd one out: Carbonite. Although its upload speeds aren’t terrible, its download speeds are shockingly bad.

Carbonite Backup Speeds

First attempt:Second attempt:Average:
Upload0:15:480:10:300:13:09
Download1:20:401:25:201:23:00

What this means is Carbonite is a decent choice if you need to backup your data quickly, but it fails entirely if you need to be able to recover from a disaster as fast as possible. 

That said, Carbonite has the best upload speeds among unlimited services, with the exception of Jottacloud, so if you’re on the hunt for unlimited storage you might want to head to our Carbonite review.

2. CrashPlan

crashplan cta
Despite being aimed at businesses — where speed is more likely to matter — CrashPlan performs terribly for uploads.

Unlike Carbonite, CrashPlan struggles with uploads but has fine download speeds. This is a much less surprising result, as there’s far more for the service to do when it’s uploading files than when it’s downloading them.

CrashPlan Backup Speeds

First attempt:Second attempt:Average:
Upload1:02:001:06:451:04:22
Download0:08:100:07:230:07:46

Taking over an hour to upload our test folder is terrible, and there’s no satisfactory way to explain why CrashPlan takes this long to perform its uploads. As we talk about in our CrashPlan review, this is a particular problem for a service aimed at businesses where speed is more likely to be critically important.

3. Backblaze

backblaze cta
Backblaze is our favorite unlimited backup provider, but not because of its speeds.

Backblaze is probably the most popular backup service out there, and it’s our top choice for the best unlimited backup service. That said, if you need both unlimited storage space and fast upload speeds, look elsewhere.

Backblaze Backup Speeds

First attempt:Second attempt:Average:
Upload0:44:000:51:500:47:55
Download0:08:150:08:000:08:07

Backblaze does OK downloading your files and recovering from accidental data loss, but its upload speeds are sluggish. They’re not as bad as the other slow services, but they’re still slow enough to earn it a dishonorable mention. Be sure to check out our Backblaze review, though, if you think the unlimited storage might make up for the poor speed.

4. SpiderOak One

best backup spideroak cta
SpiderOak is a great choice for security enthusiasts, but it’s less so for anyone who needs to upload data to the cloud quickly.

SpiderOak One is another case of a backup service with decent download speeds but terribly slow uploads.

SpiderOak One Backup Speeds

First attempt:Second attempt:Average:
Upload3:02:023:10:013:06:01
Download0:08:570:07:350:08:16

These are the slowest upload speeds among services we tested, with the closest result being CrashPlan, which finished a whopping two hours qduicker than SpiderOak did. That said, if you’re just looking for a secure online backup service, read our SpiderOak review to see if it can make up for its terrible speeds.

Final Thoughts: Best Backup Services for Speed

That’s it for our look at which online backup providers offer the best speeds. We recommend considering IDrive, Jottacloud, pCloud, BackupVault or BigMind. Besides good speed, these providers offer a comprehensive set of online backup features. Acronis isn’t bad, either, but its upload speeds are disappointing.

What did you think of our comparison? Are there services you think we should have included but didn’t? Were you surprised by any of the results? Let us know in the comments below. Thank you for reading.