Jottacloud is a back up service mixed with the features and design of a cloud storage service. It comes from privacy-friendly Norway, it’s reasonably priced and easy to use; however, the lack of block-level file copying and private encryption are major issues. In this Jottacloud review, we’ll go through the problems with this, so you can work out if this service is worth it.
- Jottacloud has some good sync and share features, which not all online backups provide.
- It’s quick and easy to download and upload files to Jottacloud.
- Jottacloud is based in Norway, which is great if you need your data stored securely.
Even though Jottacloud misses out on some options that most of the best online backup services have, it does come with sync and share features, a photo app that manages your photos, a command line tool and more. It’ll also back up all file types, and you won’t have to worry about running out of back up space because it’s unlimited.
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 review of Jottacloud.
Cloudwards.net updated this article to reflect changes to the service, added new images and performed new speed tests.
Jottacloud uses industry standard AES 256-bit encryption to keep your data safe. However, you don’t hold your own encryption key, so your data could be at risk if there’s a legal request, or a data breach and your key is compromised.
Although Jottacloud advertises unlimited storage, if you store more than 5TB of data, it will cap your upload speeds. These limits aren’t too bad initially, but they can get as low as 0.1 Mbps. There also aren’t any unlimited plans that let you store commercial files — that is, anything that might help you advance your commercial or economic interests.
Despite Jottacloud calling itself both a cloud storage service and an online back up service on its website, its core functions are based in backup. Any data you backup will be saved to a large server and protected in case your device is damaged in some way.
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Strengths & Weaknesses
- Unlimited back up
- Syncs across devices
- File sharing
- Based in Norway
- Great photo back up
- Free 5GB of storage
- Backs up rare file types
- Good value
- Fast transfers
- Command line tool
- Not zero-knowledge
- Can’t back up individual files
- No block-level file copying
- Can’t back up locally
- Few back up & restoration options
Jottacloud lets you back up personal and business computers to the cloud, depending on your plan. It can also back up your network-attached storage devices, servers and external drives, so a hard drive failure won’t cause you to lose data.
Other features of Jottacloud that are common among cloud providers include bandwidth throttling, backup scheduling and file versioning. Although this versioning only saves five versions of the file — far from the best online backup for versioning — you’ll still be able to restore these previous versions if you make unwanted file changes or fall prey to ransomware.
Jottacloud also lets you create and preview your document files using Office Online, or manage your back up through the command line client. These aren’t essentials, but they’re certainly nice to have, especially if you need that third-party integration.
However, while there is a nice array of features and you can run a continuous back up, the lack of a block-level sync means that it has to back up the whole file every time, rather than just the new data. You also can’t set up a hybrid backup to protect your files locally for the best speed and protection, which isn’t great for those who subscribe to the 3-2-1 rule.
Jottacloud as Cloud Storage
Jottacloud comes with device synchronization and file-sharing capabilities, similar to a cloud storage service. This means that you can have important files sync across multiple devices, or send folders to other people. There’s even an online archive, so you can easily free up space on your computer.
Those features are common to the best cloud storage services, but few back up services have them. IDrive and SpiderOak One Backup stand out among those that do, which is why they’re among our best online backup services. You can read more about them in our IDrive review and SpiderOak One Backup review. You can also read our explanation of cloud storage vs online backup to get a better idea of the differences.
Media enthusiasts will be happy to hear that Jottacloud lets you upload and manage photos and videos in their own section. Plus, Jottacloud Photos doesn’t compress photos or videos and it supports many formats, including RAW. You can also stream uploaded videos from your browser or device.
Jottacloud Photos also lets you create albums and share your content, which isn’t common for back up 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 Features Overview
|External Drive Backup|
|Mobile Device Backup|
|Block-Level File Copying|
|Courier Recovery Service|
|Mobile App Access|
|Deleted File Retention|
|Encryption Protocol||AES 256-bit|
|Hardened Data Centers|
|Proxy Server Settings|
|Live Chat Support|
Jottacloud has two personal plans and four home plans for up to five users. The 5GB free plan is great if you want to try out the service, and the pricing is fairly similar to many cloud storage services, like Sync.com — read our Sync.com review here.
- : 1 User
- : 5GB
- : 1 User
- : Unlimited GB
- : 5 users
- : 1TB
- : 5 users
- : 5TB
- : 5 Users
- : 10TB
- : 5 Users
- : 20TB
- : 2 Users
- : 5GB
- : 2 Users
- : 1TB
- : 10 Users
- : 1TB
- : Unlimited Users
- : 1TB
However, the Personal plan costs around 50% more than Carbonite and Backblaze, both of which also offer unlimited backup. Still, neither of these providers offer device sync and file sharing features, and they’ll only back up one device.
It’s nice that Jottacloud has a free plan, and other backup services, such as Backblaze and CrashPlan for small business, don’t offer one. You can’t expect to backup much with just 5GB, but it’s sufficient to try the service.
The Jottacloud Home plans give you five users on one family account. However, at $54.99 per month, it’s actually cheaper to buy five unlimited personal plans than one 10TB Home plan. There isn’t an unlimited Home plan either, unlike CrashPlan, which allows you to pay per user with no storage caps — read our CrashPlan for small business review to learn more.
Jottacloud has three premium plans for business users who are storing files for commercial purposes, all of which exclude VAT in the prices.
The Business Small plan can accommodate two users who share 1TB of backup space for $12.99 per month. You can also go up to 10 users with Business Medium for $18.99 per month, and expand all three paid business plans by 1TB for $9.99 per month.
These plans are fine, but the Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office Premium plan costs $15.83 per month for 1TB across three computers, and charges just $3.33 per month for each additional terabyte. Considering Acronis also gives you unlimited storage for a disk-image backup on each device, Jottacloud Business can get quite costly.
The final plan, Business Large, is even more expensive. It doesn’t limit the number of users, but it costs $44.99 per month and still only gives you 1TB as standard. Ultimately, there are much better online backup providers for businesses, and at these prices, you might even save money by getting a separate cloud storage service.
Beware: Canceled Personal Accounts
It’s worth noting that Jottacloud can cancel a personal subscription that they believe is being used commercially, and some users have reported issues with legitimate personal accounts being closed this way.
We reached out to Jottacloud about these concerns, and they did confirm that they have closed accounts due to them being used “to advance a person’s commercial and economic interests.”
They eventually showed us the article “account review, abuse, and misuse,” which confirms they aren’t looking at your files. Instead, “metadata such as folder structure, file names, and checksums” is the main way they define commercial use. This might be problematic because large, well-organized folders could be incorrectly flagged, and you’ll have no way to explain yourself.
Ease of Use
It’s easy to sign up for Jottacloud. Once you do, you get a free subscription that you can upgrade later, and an option to download and install the desktop client. It works on Windows and macOS, but if you’re on Team Penguin, you should consult our guide on the best online backup for Linux to find alternatives.
Once the installation is done and you log in to your account, it’ll show you the default folders selected by Jottacloud for the backup. On Windows, those are “desktop,” “my documents” and “my pictures.” Jottacloud then gives you the option to turn sync on and to change the default location of the sync folder.
The desktop client’s design isn’t among the prettiest, but it’s also not the ugliest. It’s simple and clear, with tabs along the top that let you manage the backup or restore processes, view your transfers or access the settings. There’s also a search bar, but it can only find individual files, not folders.
That said, you have to back up folders one at a time or drag and drop them over the center pane, making the process tedious if your folders are scattered across your computer. You also can’t add files to the back up unless they’re in a folder.
Jottacloud’s Web Client and Mobile App
The web client is 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, and it’s also where you install the app and log out.
On the “files” page, there are tabs for your synced, backed up, shared and archived files. You can upload files to your Jottacloud sync space, but not the backup space. To upload files, you can use the “+” menu or drag and drop them in. Uploading to the archive works the same way, with the difference being that those files won’t be synced to other devices.
There is a mobile app available for Android and iOS. It works the same way as the web client, but also lets you automatically back up photos and videos. However, if you need to back up all of your mobile data, you’ll need to use a better online backup for mobile devices.
Still, Jottacloud’s mobile app lets you sync files to your other devices, free up space by uploading photos and deleting them from your phone and download files from the cloud for offline use.
File Backup & Restoration
To create a backup plan, you need to open the desktop app and select the “backup” tab. 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 automatically.
The process is easy, but limited. Unlike most other providers, you can only back up folders, not individual files or an entire drive. However, Jottacloud’s statement that “any type of file can be stored” seems to be true, as we didn’t have a problem uploading any of the common file types or executables.
You can exclude specific files and folders from your backup, but you can’t exclude file types like you can with many other backup tools, which is a shame.
However, the bigger miss for Jottacloud is that it doesn’t perform block-level backups. This would only transfer the changed portions of a file, rather than transferring all of it. That saves time and bandwidth, so most backup services use it, including IDrive, BigMIND Home and Carbonite.
By default, Jottacloud performs a continuous backup. You can choose to schedule it instead, which lets you decide the days and times that the backup runs, as well as how long the backup should run.
Jottacloud’s scheduling isn’t as customizable as some better tools. For example, Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office has more options, including a monthly backup and backing up on an event. It can also send you notifications about your backup status. Learn more about it in our Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office review.
Restoring Files With Jottacloud
To restore your data, you need to enter the “restore” tab. Then, choose the file or folder you want to restore and click “start download.” You’ll need to specify which folder you want to restore to, as there’s no option to restore to the original location like there is with many other backup services.
You can also use the restore process to retrieve data from your trash, photos or archive, which is convenient. However, things get more complicated when you add a lot of files and folders to the list, and there’s no overview of what you’re about to download before you click “start.”
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 a 5GB folder filled with test files and had both our upload speed and download speed at 100 Mbps. In theory, those speeds should manage each transfer in just six minutes and 40 seconds.
|First attempt:||Second attempt:||Average:|
These are pretty great speeds from Jottacloud, with the average upload speed barely over the theoretical time. The download speed was a bit slower, but it was still much faster than we would normally expect for an online backup, so you don’t need to be concerned about speed if you go with Jottacloud.
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 — read our description of encryption to learn how this works.
Jottacloud also 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 and stored data.
That said, Jottacloud creates and manages your encryption key and doesn’t support user-generated keys. This method is fast and convenient, but your data is at risk if the servers are breached or compromised in some way.
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.
Jottacloud’s privacy guarantee promises it won’t monitor the information you store. It also says it won’t hand over user data to authorities without a warrant and that it won’t exchange, store or process user data through a third-party service.
When you face an issue, you can browse the help center or contact support via phone, live chat or email. The help center is divided into categories to help you find the answer to your problem, and there’s a search bar to help look for information. Some of the articles are thin, but most have enough information and screenshots to help.
If the help center doesn’t have an answer, you can contact the technical support team. You can only do so on weekdays, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. UTC+2 for the live chat. We asked multiple questions via chat and the team responded quickly, with helpful answers.
Jottacloud doesn’t tick all the cloud backup boxes. It lacks block-level file copying, advanced scheduling options, and the ability to create multiple and complex backup plans. Plus, it only lets you select folders to back up and it doesn’t support private encryption.
That said, the upside is that you can use it to sync and share your files, play videos, preview photos using the Jottacloud Photos app and even edit Office documents, thanks to Office Online. The service is also reasonably priced for personal users and offers unlimited backup, with pretty fast speeds.
What do you think about Jottacloud? Are the extra syncing and sharing features worth having fewer online backup options? Does the lack of private encryption concern you, too? Tell us in the comments below. Thank you for reading.