Most backup services focus on providing the actual server space for your files, but CloudBerry Backup takes a different approach. Instead of offering its own servers for storage, it gives you the option of different storage providers so that you can manage all your accounts and backups from one place. Keep reading this CloudBerry Backup review to find out if this unique approach to backups is worth your time.
The software was initially created and managed by CloudBerry Labs, but that company has since changed hands and rebranded itself as MSP360. Somewhat confusingly, the software retains the old CloudBerry Backup name, despite the website using the new branding.
CloudBerry Backup comes packed with a multitude of options and tools, making it a great piece of software for power users who prefer a DIY approach. However, if you’re just looking for a streamlined backup, CloudBerry probably isn’t the solution for you. Although the interface is well organized, its design feels like something straight out of the early 2000s.
Nonetheless, its security, privacy and speed are all excellent, provided you partner CloudBerry Backup with the right storage provider. Luckily, there’s a lot of options, ranging from Amazon S3 or Amazon Glacier to Microsoft Azure. We’ve reviewed most of these options, so check out our lists of the best online backup services and best cloud storage providers.
Strengths & Weaknesses
- Packed with features
- Provides a lot of control
- Compatible with many storage providers
- Great security & privacy
- Good speed
- Responsive customer service
- User interface feels ancient
- Not for basic users
- Questionable annual maintenance fee
Alternatives for Cloudberry Backup by MSP360
CloudBerry Backup comes with a lot of features, with everything from image-based backups and multithreading to hybrid backups and plans for disaster recovery. Backups can be scheduled and throttled, and its powerful versioning means that you’ll never lose track of deleted or changed files.
CloudBerry Backup is available on Windows, Mac and Linux, and it also offers mobile apps on both Android and iOS, though these are just for managing your desktop backup rather than providing a backup solution for mobile devices. If you want a service to backup your mobile devices, check out our IDrive review.
If you’re looking for server backup, CloudBerry Backup provides this with its more expensive plans, which support the Windows server, Microsoft SQL server and Microsoft Exchange server.
CloudBerry Backup supports both image-based and hybrid backup, which can be performed manually, on a set schedule or continuously (meaning it scans your files and runs a backup whenever a change is detected). You can also enable throttling based on memory usage, bandwidth or available disk space.
Your backup is performed by default using multithreading and a block-level algorithm, meaning you won’t waste network capacity reuploading entire files when only a small part of them have been changed.
Whenever you change or delete files, CloudBerry Backup’s versioning lets you retain the old versions and deleted files for as long as you want, and there’s no limit on how many of these you want to keep.
Aside from the backup features themselves, you can use CloudBerry Backup to create a bootable USB drive or ISO file from your system image, which is a great thing to have in the case of system failure.
There’s also a disk capacity tool which lets you analyze what files and folders are taking up most of the storage space on your computer. The client also supports proxy servers.
CloudBerry Backup Features Overview
|External Drive Backup|
|Mobile Device Backup|
|Unlimited Backup||Only on Ultimate Plan|
|Block-Level File Copying|
|Courier Recovery Service|
|Mobile App Access|
|Deleted File Retention|
|Encryption Protocol||AES 256-bit|
|Hardened Data Centers||n/a|
|Proxy Server Settings|
|Live Chat Support|
Backup services usually have monthly or annual subscription options. However, because CloudBerry Backup doesn’t actually provide any storage space, its cost comes in the form of a one-time purchase up front.
However, unless you opt for the most expensive edition, there are some rather odd limitations.
Despite CloudBerry not actually having to pay for the servers that host your data, the only version of CloudBerry Backup that allows you to perform unlimited backups is the Ultimate version. Costing $299.99, this will be far more expensive than most users are willing to stomach.
Instead, the Desktop Pro version limits you to 5TB of data, which is probably more than enough in most circumstances. If you’re looking for unlimited backup for your business, then CrashPlan is a great option. Carbonite also offers unlimited storage space and is a great CrashPlan alternative for private users. Check out our Carbonite review for more information.
The Desktop Pro version doesn’t allow for server backups. If this is what you’re looking for, you can opt for one of the Server plans instead. Although these are still pricier than the Desktop Pro plan, they’re not as outrageously expensive as the Ultimate edition.
- : Annual Maintenance Fee: $10
- : 5000 GB
- : Annual Maintenance Fee: $24
- : Unlimited GB
- : Annual Maintenance Fee: $30
- : Unlimited GB
- : Annual Maintenance Fee: $46
- : Unlimited GB
- : Annual Maintenance Fee: $60
- : Unlimited GB
CloudBerry Free Plan
There is a free version of CloudBerry Backup available, but it comes with some pretty significant limitations. With the free version of Desktop, you won’t be able to backup more than 200GB of data, regardless of how much storage you have from your actual backup provider. Additionally, image-based backups, encryption and customer support are also not available.
You can also sign up for a free 15-day trial, which gives you access to all the features of the Desktop Pro edition so that you can give it a try before spending any of your hard-earned cash.
Ease of Use
Ease of use and features are criteria that are often negatively correlated with each other, as the more features you include, the more difficult it usually becomes to use the software, as can be seen with Acronis (read our Acronis vs CloudBerry comparison).
Although the look of CloudBerry Backup makes it feel like it was designed for Windows XP, it bucks this trend by providing a simple layout that’s easy to use, even if it’s packed to the brim with tools and settings.
Despite the antiquated design, everything is well-organized and easy to find. The main “welcome” panel gives you an overview of your settings and plans, as well as your most recent backups and restores.
Along the top of the screen you have several buttons to set up various types of backup and restore plans, create a bootable USB and search your backup storage.
In the “tools” tab located in the top left of the application, you can access the CloudBerry Backup options, launch the disk capacity tool mentioned earlier and import or export your configuration if you want to set up the same backup settings on a separate computer.
Below these buttons you have the tabs for the main view of the application, where you can switch from the “welcome” screen we detailed earlier to your backup plans, restore plans, backup storage and history.
In the “backup plans” section, you’ll find a list of all the plans you’ve set up, as well as a few that come preconfigured by default, such as your documents, bookmarks and picture folders. By expanding a plan, you can see all of its details, including the schedule, encryption and results from the last run, plus various buttons that allow you to edit, delete or clone the plan.
The next tab over gives you a very similar overview of your restore plans, with all the same details and actions available in the previous tab.
The “backup storage” tab provides you with an overview of all your linked accounts and the data stored with each cloud storage provider. You can choose to display your backups in a standard tree structure or have them organized by size.
Finally, in the “history” tab, you get a detailed log of all the backups and restores you’ve performed, which includes the file size as well as the result of the operation, the time that it occurred and its duration.
Although there’s no web interface included with CloudBerry Backup, there is a mobile app. As mentioned earlier, the app doesn’t let you backup your mobile devices, but it does provide an easy-to-use mobile portal to manage your backups and even remotely initiate them if you can’t do so directly on your desktop device.
File Backup & Restoration
Backing up and restoring your data with CloudBerry may seem complicated at first, but the process itself is actually quite straightforward. It also gives you a whole lot of settings to fiddle with to ensure that your managed backup behaves exactly the way you want.
You can backup to the cloud or a local device, implement various throttling and scheduling settings, and enable multiple types of notifications.
CloudBerry Backup lets you set up multiple backup plans that run independently of one another, so that you can easily store your data with multiple providers, such as Amazon S3 and Google Cloud.
To create a backup plan, you first have to choose what storage service you want to use and connect your account to CloudBerry Backup. There are a lot of options here, including Amazon S3 or Amazon Glacier, Google Cloud (not to be confused with Google Drive), Wasabi, Rackspace and more.
Which option is the best depends entirely on your needs. For example, if you’re looking for cold storage, then Amazon Glacier is a great choice.
After you’ve added the cloud backup account of your choice, you can click on either “files” or “image based,” which will open up the setup wizard for your backup plan. The first step is choosing between “local or cloud backup” or “hybrid backup,” followed by selecting the storage service you want to use for the plan, if you’ve added more than one.
Next, set a name for your plan and choose between “advanced,” “simple” and “custom” mode. “Advanced” mode lets you apply encryption and block-level backup, while the “simple” alternative lets you access your backup with your storage provider’s dedicated client, rather than just the CloudBerry Backup software itself.
The next window gives you access to some advanced options, such as fast NTFS scans (speeding up scans for file changes at the cost of increased memory usage) and forcing the use of volume shadow-copy service (which allows you to use files while they’re being backed up).
If you’ve decided on the “advanced” settings, you can select the files you want to backup. If you’re doing an image-based backup, this window shows you a list of partitions on your system, rather than your files and folders.
Once you’ve selected everything you want to backup, you can choose what filters you want to apply to the plan. This includes skipping system files, filtering out certain file types and more.
The next window lets you enable compression (which reduces the amount of cloud storage space used) and encryption (provided that your cloud backup provider supports it).
Next up is your retention policy, which decides how long deleted items are kept on the server and how many old versions of changed files you want to have.
As you’re nearing the end of the process, you get to decide the schedule, which can be set to specific dates, on certain days of the week, in real time or manually (meaning you have to initiate the backup yourself).
Finally, the last two windows let you set up certain actions that run automatically before a backup initiates or after it finishes, and then whether or not you want to be notified in some way at the completion of a backup.
Once you’ve gone through all of that, CloudBerry Backup gives you a summary of your plan for you to look over, after which you’re done.
Setting up a restore plan is slightly less complicated. You start by clicking the “restore” button in the main taskbar and then selecting what cloud storage provider you want to restore from.
You can then choose whether you want to run the restore just once or to also save the plan for future use.
Next you pick whether you want to restore files and folders or do a full system image.
The next window lets you pick whether you want to restore the latest version or restore from a specific point in time.
Next, you pick what files (or what system image) you want to restore from your backed up data list.
Moving on, you get to choose the destination. This can be in a new location or in the data’s original location. Here, you can also specify whether you want to restore deleted files and if you want to overwrite the files at your destination.
The following window lets you decide whether you want to decrypt the files. Bear in mind that if you encrypted the files during your backup, you’ll have to decrypt them now. Otherwise, you’ll have to manually decrypt the files later for them to be accessible once downloaded.
Finally, you can set up notifications for when the restore finishes, which can be delivered either as an email or an entry in the Windows event log.
CloudBerry doesn’t provide the actual server space you’ll be storing your files on, so its speed is highly dependent on the secondary service you choose to partner it with.
Since initial backups are often huge, it’s critical for a backup service to provide speeds as close to the theoretical limit as possible. From our tests, we’ve determined that CloudBerry Backup can go as fast as the storage provider lets it.
For our tests, we uploaded and downloaded a 3.51GB folder containing various types of files, such as video, pictures and text files. We used a connection with an upload speed and download speed of 50Mbps, which in theory means that the backup and restore should finish in 10 minutes, but more realistically we hope to see them finish in about 15 to 20 minutes.
|First attempt:||Second attempt:||Average:|
As you can see, these results fall squarely within the range we were hoping for and, in the case of the uploads, actually exceeded our expectations. For these tests, we connected CloudBerry Backup to Backblaze B2, which is the version of Backblaze intended for business users. If you’d like to learn more about the version for private use, check out our Backblaze review.
You’ll be entrusting your backup provider with potentially sensitive data, so the security it provides is of crucial importance. However, because CloudBerry doesn’t provide the server space itself, there are significant limits to the security it can provide on its own, as it relies heavily on the measures taken by the company that controls the actual data centers.
That said, CloudBerry Backup does an excellent job of facilitating secure transfers to your storage provider of choice. As long as the secondary service supports it, CloudBerry Backup offers up to AES 256-bit encryption, which is more than enough to keep your data out of the hands of cybercriminals or even the authorities.
The encryption can be set as private, meaning that only you possess the key required to unlock it. When your files are in transit, they’re protected by TLS, meaning they’re not vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks as they travel to their destination.
If you’re not quite clear on what all this encryption talk actually means, be sure to read our description of encryption for a crash course on the terminology.
CloudBerry Backup supports two-factor authentication, which greatly improves your security by requiring additional verification before you log in, though you have to set this up with your storage provider. The service also used to offer ransomware protection, but this was removed after CloudBerry Labs determined that it provided little benefit to users.
In essence, the only information CloudBerry collects on you is what you provide when you register an account, meaning your name, email address and payment details. The company also collects certain anonymized information, such as your IP address and device details, but these are not tied to your name or identity in any way.
The privacy statement clearly states that this information is shared in only two ways. First, with trusted third-party partners that enable CloudBerry to provide its service (think PayPal for payment information, etc.) and to comply with laws and regulations, at the request of law enforcement.
In terms of privacy regulations, CloudBerry complies with GDPR and HIPAA, but this is once again completely reliant on the secondary cloud storage you connect the service with.
Since you generally entrust backup providers with potentially critical data, it’s important that they have a robust customer service department that provides quick and quality answers to any queries.
Even though CloudBerry isn’t really handling your data, we still wanted to check how good its customer support is, and the company does well here, sporting several avenues for contact as well as rapid responses.
If you need assistance with the software, you can either send a support ticket through the email form or contact the company by phone. Unfortunately, there are phone numbers available for only three countries — the U.S., the UK and Brazil — so if you’re calling from anywhere else, it might cost you quite a bit.
We sent a query through the email form and received a response within a few hours, which is excellent. When we didn’t reply right away, the support department even reached out to us via phone as well as by sending an additional follow-up email.
You can also search through the company’s extensive knowledgebase, or put your question or issue to the user forum.
That’s it for our review of CloudBerry Backup. All in all, this is a powerful tool for managing multiple backups to different providers, which gives you plenty of control over every aspect of your backup.
CloudBerry Backup might not be the best solution for someone just looking for a simple way to backup some data to the cloud. However, for power users, it provides a great degree of control and flexibility.
Although the free version comes with some serious limitations, it’s still very usable, provided you don’t need to backup more than 200GB and don’t need to do any disk imaging.
We do think paying an annual maintenance fee for a service that doesn’t provide any server space is a bit uncalled for, but all in all, the price is not outrageous in the grand scheme of things.
Pricing aside, CloudBerry Backup provides excellent speed, security and privacy, as well as a very responsive customer service department if you encounter any issues. When you pair all this with its wealth of features and ease of use, you get an excellent piece of software for those who are looking to get as much as possible out of their backup process.
What did you think of our CloudBerry Backup review? Do you agree that this is a powerful tool for advanced users but might be a lot more than the average person needs? Let us know in the comments below. Thank you for reading.