Jottacloud is a backup service mixed with the features and design of a cloud storage service. It comes from privacy-friendly Norway.
It’s relatively inexpensive and easy to use. Plus, it has sync and share features, a photo app that manages your photos, a command line tool and more. It’ll also backup all your file types. You won’t have to worry about running out of backup space, either, because it’s unlimited.
That said, the service has downsides, including lacking block-level file copying and private encryption. Those are big misses considering most of the best online backup services have them.
Jottacloud might not be the best choice for everyone, but it’s easy to give it a try thanks to its free plans. If you want to learn more about it first, stick with us as we go into more detail in this Jottacloud review.
Strengths & Weaknesses
- Unlimited backup
- Syncs devices
- File sharing
- Based in Norway
- Great photo backup
- Free 5GB of storage
- Backs up rare file types
- Good value
- Fast transfers
- Command line tool
- Not zero-knowledge
- Can’t backup individual files
- Can’t backup locally
- No block-level file copying
- Few backup and restoration options
- No incremental backup
Alternatives for Jottacloud
Jottacloud lets you backup personal and business computers to the cloud. It can also backup your network-attached storage devices and external drives. Once you complete your backup, you can be sure you won’t lose your files because of hard drive crashes or other software glitches.
Unlike typical backup services, Jottacloud provides device synchronization and file sharing capabilities. Device sync, so your photos, documents, videos and other files are mirrored on multiple devices, meaning you won’t have to transfer them manually. Changes to those files are reflected, too.
Jottacloud also provides an online archive, so you can move files to it if you need to free space on your computer.
File sharing lets you share your backed up files with teammates and friends, so you won’t have to use USB sticks, external drives or other devices to send them. Jottacloud lets you create a sharing link, while the Jottacloud Photos app lets you post directly to Facebook or Twitter.
Those features are common to the best cloud storage services, but few backup services have them. IDrive and SpiderOak ONE stand out among those that do because they’re among our best online backup services. You can read more about them in our IDrive review and SpiderOak ONE review. If you’re not clear about the difference between backup and storage, read our explanation.
Media enthusiasts will be happy to hear that Jottacloud lets you upload and manage photos and videos in an app tailored for such a purpose. Plus, Jottacloud Photos doesn’t compress photos or videos. It supports many formats, including RAW. You can stream uploaded videos to your browser or device, too.
Jottacloud Photos also lets you create albums and share your content, which isn’t common for backup solutions. The most notable exception is BigMIND Home, which is packed with features, including AI-powered face and text detection for photos. You can learn more about BigMIND Home in our BigMIND Home review.
Jottacloud lets you preview your document files using Office Online, too. You can also use Office Online to create documents.
If you’re a power user, you’ll be glad to know that Jottacloud has a command line client that you can use to backup folders.
Jottacloud is available for Windows, macOS and Linux, and it can work on desktops, servers, NAS devices and even Raspberry Pi.
Other features are common among cloud backup services include image backup, scheduling and file versioning. File versioning lets you restore previous versions of files if you make unwanted file changes or fall prey to ransomware. If you want more protection against it, read our ransomware protection guide.
Jottacloud’s implementation only saves the last five versions, so if you need more, read our best online backup for versioning roundup.
Jottacloud can run continuous backup, which means it’ll run backup whenever you edit a backed up file or add a new file to a folder tagged for backup.
Missing features include incremental backup and the ability to backup to a local device, which means you can’t enjoy hybrid backup. Private encryption is missing, too, but we’re going to talk about that in the “security” section. If backup features are interesting to you, consult our online backup library to learn more.
Jottacloud Features Overview
- : No
- : AES 256-bit
Jottacloud has six plans divided between home and business users. Two are free.
- 1 User
- : 5 GB
- 1 User
- : Unlimited GB
- 2 users
- : 1000 GB
- 2 users
- : 5000 GB
- Unlimited users
- : 10000 GB
It’s nice that Jottacloud has two free plans. Other backup services, such as Backblaze and CrashPlan for Small Business, don’t offer free backup. Still, 5GB is slim pickings when it comes to backing up a computer, but it’s sufficient to try the service.
On top of that, the Personal plan costs almost twice as much as Carbonite’s and Backblaze’s, both of which also offer unlimited backup. Still, neither Carbonite nor Backblaze offer device sync and file sharing features. Jottacloud’s Personal plan is $7.92 per month, but the price comes down to $6.59 per month if you pay for the whole year which is $79.19.
For more information about services that offer unlimited backup space, read our best unlimited online backup roundup.
The Family plan is $11.36 per month and provides 5TB of backup space for five users. If you pay for a year in advance, the price is $9.46 per month or $113.61 per year.
Jottacloud also has two premium plans for businesses. Business Small can accommodate two users who share 1TB of backup space. It’s $7.92 or $95 for the year. Paying for the year upfront doesn’t get you a discount.
The same is true for Business Large, which provides the same amount of space but lets you have unlimited users. It’s $11.36 per month or $136.34 per year.
Both plans are good value. The closest matches to them are Acronis True Image’s and IDrive’s business plans, but they’re more expensive. Acronis True Image’s Premium 1TB plan is $8.33 per month for only one computer, while IDrive’s 1.25TB plan is $31.22 per month.
If you’re running out of space with Jottacloud, you can get 1TB for an additional $6.72 per month. Business plans include admin tools, such as the admin console, and report generation. Single sign-on is also available. Prices for business exclude VAT.
Ease of Use
It’s easy to sign up for Jottacloud. Once you do, you get a free subscription that you can upgrade later. To set up your backup, you need to download and install the desktop client.
It works on Windows and macOS. If you’re on Team Penguin, consult our best online backup for Linux for ideas.
The installation only takes a little while. Once it’s done, you need to log in to your account. The next window shows default folders selected by Jottacloud for backup. On Windows, those are “desktop,” “my documents” and “my pictures.” If you don’t need them, you can uncheck them and include others when you enter the app.
After showing you the default folders, Jottacloud gives you the option to turn sync on as well as change the default location of the sync folder.
The desktop client’s design isn’t among the prettiest we’ve tested, but it’s not among the ugliest, either. We like how simple and clear it is. Buttons along the top let you initiate the backup or restore processes, view your transfers or access the settings. There’s also a search bar, but it didn’t work for us.
That said, it’s clunky because you have to pick the files you want to backup manually or drag and drop them over the center pane.
Other solutions include the option to select the most common file types or a tree hierarchy that lets you quickly find the files you need. Jottacloud requires you to go through your files system and select folders for backup. You can only choose folders and not individual files.
The web client recently updated its interface, and it shows. It’s fast and easy to use. You use the menu on the left to navigate between your backups, photos, trash, chat support, settings and the upgrade storage page. Other than that, the menu in the top right corner lets you see how much space you have left, install the app and log out.
There are separate views for your synced, backed up, shared and archived files. You can upload files to your Jottacloud sync space, but you can’t upload to the backup space. To upload, you need to select files using the “+” menu or drag and drop them. Uploading to the archive works the same way, with the difference being that those files won’t be synced to other devices.
The mobile app is available for Android and iOS. It’s attractive and easy to use. It lets you automatically backup photos and videos, but it can’t backup your mobile data. If you need that, you can use IDrive or BigMIND Home. For more options, read our best online backup for mobile article.
Still, Jottacloud’s mobile app lets you sync files to your other devices, free space by uploading photos and deleting them from your phone and download files from the cloud for offline use.
We haven’t experienced issues, but some long-time users have reported bugs in Google Play Store. The app has a 3.7-star rating on it and over 10,000 downloads.
File Backup & Restoration
You need to open the desktop app and click the “backup” tab to create a backup plan. Next, you can drag and drop folders over the application window or click “add folder” to select them using your file explorer. Once you do that, the backup will begin and you can add folders as needed.
The process is easy but limited. You can only backup folders, not individual files or an entire drive. Most backup services we review can backup at the file level. Jottacloud says that “any type of file can be stored,” and true to that, we didn’t have a problem uploading any of the common file types or executables.
You can exclude files and folders from your backup, but you can’t exclude file types like you can with many other backup tools.
Jottacloud lets you perform automatic backup, which is continuous, or schedule it. You can run backups every day at a specific time, every weekday or on weekends. Plus, you can specify how long the backup should run. If you want, you can create a custom schedule, too.
Jottacloud’s scheduling isn’t as customizable as some better tools. For example, Acronis True Image has more options, including monthly backup and backing up on event. It can also send you notifications about your backup status. Learn more about it in our Acronis True Image review.
A bigger miss for Jottacloud is that it doesn’t perform incremental, block-level backups. Incremental backup transfers only the changed portions of a file rather than transferring all of it. That saves time and bandwidth. Most backup services, including IDrive, BigMIND Home and Carbonite, can perform incremental backups.
The restore process also only lets you restore folders from your backup. To restore your data, you need to click the “restore” button. Next, choose the file or folder you want to restore and click “start download.” You need to specify which folder you want to restore to, but there’s no option to restore to the original location like you get with many backup services.
You can also use the restore process to retrieve data from your trash bin, photos or archive, which is convenient.
The backup and restoration processes are straightforward if you have a simple backup plan with a small number of files and folders. Things get more complicated when you add a lot of files and folders to the list. Plus, you can’t create multiple backup plans or complex ones.
Jottacloud keeps its data centers in Norway, so the closer you are to that country the better your connection speeds will be. Your speeds also depend on your internet service provider.
To test the service, we used an Ethernet connection in Belgrade, Serbia, that had an upload speed of 10 megabits per second and a download speed of 31 Mbps. In theory, those speeds should help us upload our 1GB test folder in about 14 minutes and to download it in a little over four minutes without any overhead.
|First attempt:||Second attempt:||Average:|
Jottacloud wasn’t close to the theoretical time, but it was still fast compared to other services. The average upload speed was 22 minutes and 41 seconds. The download speed was slower than it should be, though. It took six minutes and 26 seconds to download our 1GB zipped folder.
If the backup and restore processes interfere with your work, you can throttle the upload and download speeds from the settings menu.
The TLS/SSL protocol protects your files in transit from your computer to a server. Once they’re there, Jottacloud uses AES 256-bit encryption to scramble your files at rest.
That said, Jottacloud creates and manages your encryption key and doesn’t support user-generated keys. That method is fast and convenient, but your data is at risk if the servers are breached or a rogue employee decides to take a peek at your data.
Jottacloud doesn’t support private encryption because it’d conflict with its ability to preview, share and synchronize files. Still, individuals concerned about privacy might take issue with that. We’ll talk more about privacy in the next section.
If private encryption is a must for you, you may want to consider IDrive, Carbonite or SpiderOak ONE.
Jottacloud features two-factor authentication. If you enable it, you need to enter a security code in addition to your normal credentials when logging in from an unfamiliar computer. That helps prevent anyone who might’ve stolen your credentials from accessing your account.
Jottacloud promises it won’t monitor the information you store in its privacy guarantee. It also says:
- It won’t hand over user data to authorities unless a warrant issued by the Norwegian court of law is presented.
- It won’t exchange, store or process user data through a third-party service, such as Amazon.
- Its employees won’t open, access or read your files without your written consent.
- Its employees must sign non-disclosure agreements.
When you face an issue, you can browse the help center or contact support via chat or phone.
The help center is divided into categories to help you find the answer to your problem. If it proves to be difficult you can use the search bar to look for it. Some of the articles are thin, but most have enough information and screenshots to help. They’re also clear.
If the help center doesn’t have an answer, you can contact the technical support team. You can only do so on weekdays, though, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for phone support and from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. for chat. All times are UTC+2. We asked multiple questions via chat and the team responded quickly. The answers were helpful, too.
Jottacloud doesn’t tick all the cloud backup boxes. It lacks incremental backup, advanced scheduling options and the ability to create multiple and complex backup plans. Plus, it only lets you select folders to backup. Because it has features from the cloud storage handbook it doesn’t have private encryption.
That said, the upside is that you can use those features to sync and share your files. Jottacloud also lets you play videos and preview photos using the Jottacloud Photos app. You can open, create and edit Office documents, too, thanks to Office Online. Advanced users will enjoy the command line tool.
The service is relatively cheap and offers unlimited backup. Uploading files is blazing fast. That can’t be said about the download speed, which is just horrible.
In the end, Jottacloud is a mixed bag. Whether it’s going to fit your needs comes down to whether you’re going to get more from its storage-like features than you’re going to lose by not having staple cloud backup features.
What do you think about Jottacloud? Tell us in the comments below. Thank you for reading.