How to Choose an Online Backup Service?

obrBy Ben Schmitt — Last Updated: 19 Oct'17 2013-01-11T07:19:09+00:00Google+

Choosing an online backup service seems to be like a difficult, if not impossible task. There are so many services with similar features that makes it very hard to choose the right service for your needs. There is no perfect online backup service out there. It all comes down to what you need and what the service has to offer. In this article you’ll learn how to actually know what you need and then how to choose a service wisely.

If you’re looking for an online backup service, you are already on the right track: you probably know that one backup on an external hard drive cannot be enough. You know that if something happens to that hard drive all of your precious data is gone. So you need a backup off-site, ideally with an online backup provider that gives you storage in the cloud to perform your backups.

What to Know Prior to Choosing an Online Backup Service

If you want to know what is the right online backup service for your needs you need to ask yourself a couple of questions to be aware of what kind of features you need. So here is a little help that gives you an idea where you might want to start thinking about:

How Much Storage Do You Actually Need?

The number one reason why you actually have to pay for an online backup service is that you occupy storage space on the company’s servers with your data. It’s just like renting an apartment where you occupy the piece of the space available in a building that belongs to your landlord.

Figuring our how much space you need

So the first thing you should do is evaluate your storage needs. You might want to analyze specific folders where to store photos, music or other documents, or you just have a look at how much space you have used on your hard drive. Most of the time, you can do this with a right-click on your hard drive and then select “Properties” or “Information“, depending on your operating system. If you want to know more about how to backup your computer you should read our guide

Use Our Online Backup Comparison Chart

After knowing your storage needs you should use our online backup comparison chart that you can find on our homepage. It is very easy to use as you only have to plug in the amount of gigabyte you need and it will come up with a recommendation for you.

Dropbox vs Google Drive
Google Drive Speed Chart

Also, you can check the provider list and most important features on a comparison table. Now, you are one step closer to getting your first backup in the cloud up and running.

What Features Do You Need?

Now it is time to think about what you need your online backup service to do. You have to think about things like, do you need file synchronization? Do you need to share files with friends and family? How long would you like the backup service to retain older file versions? The best way to get an overview of online backup features is comparing several providers.

You just have to select the providers who are interested in from our comparison chart and you’ll get an in-depth feature comparison that will show you what features might be interesting to you. Many online backup services offer similar features, and our top providers do not differ a lot apart from file synchronization and storage capacity. Backblaze, for example offers unlimited online backup while with SOS Online Backup you have to choose how much storage you want to have.

Check Out The Free Trial

One of the best things you can do is actually sign up for a free trial of a service that interests you. Many services offer a free trial period of 30 days or even more so you have plenty of time to test if the service is right for you and how the backup performance.

Cloud Storage
Free Stuff

You don’t need to backup all of your files at once to get a feeling of how a provider works. It’s enough when you upload a couple of gigabyte. After the free trial expires you can decide if you like the service and pay for it or if you’d rather try out another one on our list.

Choose The Right Plan

Choosing the right plan for your online backup can be a tough task. But with steps 1 – 4 you should be on a good way. Many online backup services offer special discounts if you commit yourself to a period of a year or more. Savings of up to 20 or 30% are not uncommon. That’s why we recommend getting a yearly or biannual plan. But of course, if you feel more comfortable you can choose to pay monthly as well.

SugarSync's Latest Pricing Schemes

Do keep in mind, that many online backup services do not have a money back guarantee because they offer a generous free trial. So you need to make sure you are satisfied with your selection. If you feel unsure you can contact us anytime.

Conclusion

Now that you’ve signed up for an online backup service you can start (or finish) your online backup. Keep in mind that getting all your files into the cloud over the Internet may take several weeks depending on your Internet connection.

We love to hear feedback from people who finally managed to get an online backup enjoying peace of mind knowing that their data is protected. If you don’t like to look at our comparison chart here is a chart of top online backup services that might fit your needs.

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