- Strengths & Weaknesses
- Alternatives for Zoolz Cloud Backup for Business
- Zoolz Cloud Backup for Business Standard Features
- Zoolz Cloud Backup for Business Special Features
- Zoolz Cloud Backup for Business Overview
Zoolz Cloud Backup for Business Review
Zoolz Cloud Backup for Business is a powerful backups solution aimed at businesses and their servers. While it lacks the flexibility of its brother BigMIND, it has slightly better security, as you can read in our full Zoolz Business review.
Long-time readers will recognize Zoolz as the company behind BigMIND Home and BigMIND for Business. The difference between Zoolz Cloud Backup and BigMIND is that Zoolz Cloud Backup for Business can only protect various servers and SQL databases, along with regular computers.
However, BigMIND Business can also backup your data from various cloud storage services, as well as Facebook and Instagram. On top of that, it has photo-detection features, advanced search, optical character recognition, two-factor authentication and more. If this sounds more like your cup of tea, read our BigMIND Business review.
That said, BigMIND doesn’t provide private encryption, but Zoolz Business does. Private encryption is the best method to ensure that only you can read your files. You can read more about it in our “security” section.
If these services don’t suit you, consult our best online backup for small business guide for other ideas. Otherwise, stick with us as we go under the hood to see what Zoolz Cloud Backup is packing. We’ll start with features, below.
Strengths & Weaknesses
- Private encryption
- Multithreaded backup
- Block-level backup
- Backup by file type
- Great pricing
- Unlimited file versioning
- Unlimited deleted file retention
- Short response time from support
- No mobile access
- No two-factor authentication
- No Linux support
Alternatives for Zoolz Cloud Backup for Business
2TB - 200TB$6.66 / month(All Plans)
5GB - 1TB$4.14 / month(save 15%)(All Plans)
250GB - 13TB$8.29 / month(All Plans)
Unlimited GB$4.58 / month(save 23%)(All Plans)
1TB - Unlimited GB$2.50 / month(All Plans)
Zoolz Cloud Backup for Business might not be the feature powerhouse that BigMIND is, but it still has a few tricks up its sleeve. Those include all the standard features we’d expect a business backup to have.
Zoolz Cloud Backup for Business Standard Features
Standard features help you recover your important business files in the event that your devices malfunction. The primary suspect for failure is your hard drive, and you can read our article about how long your hard drive will last for an estimate. You can also lose data on your hard drive from acts of nature or if someone steals it.
If you use Zoolz Cloud Backup for Business, though, you can backup all your drives to the cloud. In fact, there’s no limit to the number of computers, servers, external drives and NAS devices you can backup. If the last option has you confused, read our what is NAS guide to educate yourself.
You can’t backup your mobile device, though. If you need to do that, read our best online backup for mobile roundup. Similarly, there’s no Linux support, so if you want it, consult our best online backup for Linux (it lists home backup solutions, though).
Zoolz Cloud can natively backup Windows Server, but if you want to backup other servers and databases, you need to use their default options to generate files which you backup using Zoolz.
That’s required for Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft SQL Server (BigMIND Business has a dedicated feature for this), MySQL database, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Access database, Act! database and Adobe Lightroom catalog.
That’s a fine set of backup features, but we’d like to see support for Linux servers, Oracle servers, Hyper-V and VMware. If you need a solution like that, read our IDrive for Business review.
Hybrid backup is available thanks to Zoolz’s Hybrid+ technology. It lets you backup your data to a local drive, in addition to the cloud. That enables you to have a second layer of protection for your data. It also means that you will be able to restore files quickly, because it’s faster to restore them a local device than the cloud.
Plus, if you use hybrid backup, you can implement the 3-2-1 backup rule. For more information about the benefits of hybrid backup and how to set it up, read our hybrid backup for SMBs guide.
There’s no continuous backup, but other features are available, including a backup scheduler, backup policies, reports, unlimited versioning and indefinite deleted-file retention. We’re going to talk about the details of these features below in the “ease of use” and “backup and restore” categories. For all things backup, visit our business backup library.
Zoolz Cloud Backup for Business Special Features
Once your backup is in the cloud, you will be able to share files and folders from within it. Regardless of which ones you want to share, you can do so by creating a link, specifying users to share with or sending an email. In all three cases, you can set the share name, password and expiration date.
If you share by email, you can attach a message. When you specify users, you can give them either a “view and download” permission or “full access.” There’s also a “shared with me” page, which makes it easy to see what others have shared with you.
Businesses that need to backup photos will benefit from being able to see a thumbnail preview of RAW images. It’s also possible to preview regular images.
Overall, Zoolz Cloud Backup for Business has features that will satisfy most businesses, but it lacks continuous backup and mobile backup, which aren’t small misses.
Zoolz Cloud Backup for Business Overview
|External Drive Backup|
|Mobile Device Backup|
|Block-Level File Copying|
|Courier Recovery Service|
|Mobile App Access|
|Deleted File Retention|
|Set User Roles|
|Set Business Backup Rules|
|Access User Backup|
|Monitor Connected Devices|
|Encryption Protocol||AES 256-bit|
|Hardened Data Centers|
|Proxy Server Settings|
|Live Chat Support|
Zoolz Cloud Backup for Business provides a solid degree of flexibility because it has seven plans you can choose from. If you need more backup space than they provide, you can contact Zoolz to get an estimate for your big-data needs.
- No monthly plan available.
Keep in mind that these plans are all cold storage, meaning that, although you can backup your data like you usually do, you won’t be able to instantly restore it. That’s because cold storage requires three to 12 hours to start the restore process. Thanks to that, cold storage is best suited for archiving files that you don’t need to restore often.
Read our hot storage vs cold storage comparison for more information.
However, if you need to quickly restore your files, you can add “instant storage” to your account. The prices are below:
|Instant Storage 2TB||$66.67 / month
$800 / yearly
|Instant Storage 3TB||$100 / month
$1200 / yearly
|Instant Storage 4TB||$116.67 / month
$1400 / yearly
Cold-storage prices are a good value, especially when compared to a service like Carbonite Safe Backup Pro. With it, getting 500GB of storage space will cost you $599.99 per year, compared to Zoolz’s 2TB for $79.90 per year. Granted, that’s cold storage, but even if you add 1TB of instant storage, the price comes up to $479.90 per year, which is still cheaper.
It’s a closer match when compared to IDrive for Business, which has a 2.5TB plan for $799.50 per year and provides hot storage (all other IDrive’s plans do, too).
You can’t get 2.5TB of hot storage with Zoolz, but you can get 2TB for $800 per year or 3TB for $1,200. That’s in addition to the cold storage pricing plan. If we take the cheaper option, you end up with 2TB for $879. If you go with the more expensive one, you get 3TB for $1,279. Add the basic 2TB of cold storage to that and you got yourself a great deal.
However, if you only need hot storage and 4TB of it isn’t enough (the maximum that Zoolz offers), read our IDrive for Business review for more details about it. As an added bonus, IDrive lets you backup your mobile devices.
Ease of Use
To manage your backup, you’ll use Zoolz’s desktop client, which is available for Windows and macOS. Its main window shows your backup status, time of the last backup, time until the next backup and how much backup space is in use.
The large, obvious buttons at the bottom let you select data for backup, tweak the settings and initiate the restore process. Overall, the desktop client is straightforward and attractive.
There’s another button in the top-left corner. It lets you initiate backup, restore, perform a search, synchronize the client, check for updates and launch the Zoolz Cloud Backup web client.
The web client’s default view is the dashboard. It shows your number of users, the servers, your account status, the amount of instant and cold storage you have used, quick action links, your activity and alerts. We like how it shows a lot of information while being clear and not overwhelming.
The menu along the top lets you review backups from your computers, manage users and servers, define policies, tweak the settings and preview various reports.
The “users/servers” page lets you add users via email, register them yourself or invite them in bulk using a CSV file. Adding servers is also simple: you only have to click the “add server” button, specify admin details, generate a server token and then download the server setup file.
You can also perform automatic deployment, which lets you set up multiple Zoolz clients users at the same time. If you have many users, you can search through them using labels. Once you find a specific user or group of users, you can change their policies, provided that you have assigned one in the first place.
To assign a policy, you first need to create it, which you can do from the “policies” page. A policy lets you mandate certain rules that you want your users to follow.
You can define which data goes in instant storage versus cold storage. The available types are the same as for the desktop client, and you can also manually select files and folders by specifying a path.
You can also define various extensions, which refine what you want to include or exclude. If you want to exclude specific files and folders, you can specify their path.
The “Hybrid+” tab lets you enable Hybrid+ and define the path where it saves your data. You can add specific folder paths that refine that global path.
Zoolz for Business Features
You can tweak various feature options from the settings tab, including bandwidth throttling, backup schedule, security settings and general settings. General settings include RAW image processing, backup markers, adding Zoolz to system startup and more.
The last tab in the “policies” page is “privileges,” which lets you specify what your users are able to do. You can enable them to delete data, share, change their password and username, and more. On top of that, you can define a four-digit passcode that will be required whenever the user opens, uninstalls or restores data from the client.
The “reports” page has various reports you can generate, including alerts, bandwidth usage, billing and the Orwellian client locator, which shows your users on a world map.
You’ll have to settle for using a web client to manage your backups because Zoolz doesn’t have a mobile app, which would help you access your backup on the go. We tried to log in to BigMIND, but we were directed to log in to Zoolz Viewer, which isn’t available to download from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.
File Backup & Restoration
The desktop client isn’t a one-click backup solution, but it lets you either select specific folders in your file system for backup or automatically backup files based on categories, such as mail, documents, music, videos, office files, financial files and more. This makes it easy to backup many files at once.
As you select data for backup, a bar near the bottom will tell you how much cold and hot storage you’re using and how much you have left. If you want to backup to cold storage, you have to select the “cold storage” tab, which also lets you backup using either of the two previously mentioned methods.
We like how there’s a tree structure that helps you quickly select files and folders for backup. Some solutions require you to go through your files system or provide their own file browser, which tends to be slower than the one native to your OS.
After you select data for your initial backup, the next page will let you tweak the backup settings. They include backup scheduling, bandwidth throttling, hybrid backup and security options that let you enable private encryption (available only during the initial setup).
Zoolz For Business Scheduling
The scheduler lets you run backup as often as every five minutes, with a range up to every 24 hours. You can also make your backups run and end on certain times during specific days.
That’s a fine set of options, but there’s no way to specify weekly or monthly backup schedules. Additionally, like we said earlier, it’s missing continuous backup. This would be useful because it monitors your backup set and automatically tags new and changed files for backup, which decreases your work.
Once you finish tweaking the settings, your backup can start. That’s all there is to creating your first backup. It’s straightforward and fast.
To start the restore process, hit the big “restore” button.
Next, you’ll see a window, which lets you select files and folders for backup. After you do that, hit “next.”
In the following window, you can choose to restore your files to their original or new location, enable Hybrid+, restore files from only a specific data range and choose what happens to existing files when restoring them to their original location (you can “overwrite,” “always replace” or “don’t replace” files). Click “next” and your restore can start.
We’ve described the basic backup and restore processes using a Windows machine. Depending on your setup, your backup and restore might be a little different.
Restoring with Zoolz
You can also use the “users/servers” page from the web client to initiate a remote restore. To do that, click on any user and select the desired machine associated with that user. Next, choose the files and folders you wish to restore. After that, click the “more” button. This will launch a pop-up window that you can use to tweak your restore settings and start it.
Zoolz also offers a courier backup and recovery service called “Zoolz Import/Export.” It’s available in North America and Europe regions, and has two variants: Snowball Appliance and “Bring Your Own Hard disk.” Zoolz recommends that you use Amazon’s Snowball if your backup is bigger than 10TB, and to use your own hard drive if it’s bigger than 2TB.
If you go the Snowball route, you need to pay $500 plus processing fees. The processing fee varies based on the size of your data, but a 10TB processing fee is $100 and a 50TB processing fee is $300. Amazon AWS supplies the device, and you have 10 days to copy your data to it and send it back. Each additional day you take to return it will cost you $15 per day.
Sending data to backup on your hard drive will cost you depending on the size of your backup. The prices are in the table:
|Size of Your Data:||Price:|
The prices that we’ve listed are for backing up only. If you need to restore data from Zoolz using your hard drive or a Snowball supplied from AWS, the prices will be calculated by Zoolz. Also note that you can only restore from “instant” storage. Restoring from cold storage is only allowed if you need to restore more than 50TB of data.
Having a courier-recovery service is always a welcome addition, but Zoolz’s service is expensive compared to IDrive Express. Plus, when used to backup data, IDrive Express is free up to three times per year for Business users. Restoring data also comes with free return shipping for U.S. customers.
That said, we don’t find any faults with the backup process because it’s straightforward to set up and easy to tweak afterward. The restore process is also a breeze.
We said that the initial backup can take a long time, but that shouldn’t be the case with Zoolz. How long Zoolz takes depends, among other factors, on your ISP and how close you are Amazon’s servers. Because Amazon has a global network, chances are you’re not too far from one. The closer you are, the better your speeds will be.
We tested the speed of Zoolz’ transfers by performing backup and restore tests using our 1GB zipped test folder. We ran our tests from Belgrade, Serbia, via a WiFi network with an upload speed of 9.74 Mbps and a download speed of 43.72 Mbps. Here are our results:
|First attempt:||Second attempt:||Average:|
Without any overhead, our speeds should enable us to backup a 1GB folder in about 14 minutes and 41 seconds, and restore it in around three minutes and 16 seconds. The results, as you can see from the table, are slower than that.
That said, encryption and deduplication processes represent a realistic overhead, which always slows down the backup process. Some services are three or four times slower than what we’d expect, so this is a good result. Plus, the download time is close to what we’d expect, in theory.
Note that we used the “smart” mode for uploading files, which balances Zoolz’s use of your connection bandwidth so it doesn’t interfere with your work, but there’s another one called “turbo” that’s probably even faster. You can also enable “multithreaded upload” to increase your backup speed.
If those settings take over too much of your system resources, you can throttle your bandwidth or enable presentation mode, which pauses backups while you display presentations, play video games or watch movies.
Zoolz Cloud Backup for Business protects your data before it leaves your computer using AES 256-bit encryption. This ensures that nobody will be able to read your files while they’re sitting on a server.
Zoolz manages your encryption key by default, but you can manage it yourself, if you want. Like we mentioned, you need to do that during the initial setup of your backup.
Because you can manage your encryption key — plus the fact that Zoolz encrypts your files before they leave your computer — Zoolz’s encryption is classified as private, end-to-end encryption, which you can learn more about it in our what is zero-knowledge in the cloud explanation.
However, there’s a drawback to it: Zoolz won’t be able to reset your password if you forget it. If you think you there’s a high chance you will, give one of the best password managers a try.
On top of private encryption, Zoolz protects your files in transit using the SSL protocol. If you don’t know much about it, read our SSL vs. TLS comparison.
Zoolz keeps all your files on Amazon’s AWS storage. Your data is copied to multiple facilities to ensure that they won’t be affected by hardware failures and other disasters. That’s similar to how RAID works.
Plus, Amazon’s data centers are reviewed at least once per year for sufficient security controls. They also have 24/7 surveillance, guards, security control checkpoints and access logs, among other security measures.
Zoolz doesn’t provide two-factor authentication. If it did, you would enjoy another layer of protection for your account on top of your password. With it, hackers who might have stolen your password wouldn’t be able to access your account without an additional security code. However, because the feature is missing, make sure you create a strong password.
Zoolz Cloud Backup for Business provides private encryption, so your files will be safe from prying eyes.
Genie9, the parent company of Zoolz, has headquarters in London, which is fortunate because the privacy laws there are stronger than they are in the U.S., which has a controversial history, including the PRISM project and laws such as the CLOUD Act.
Plus, the UK adheres to the General Data Protection Regulation, which protects data privacy, though we’ll see what effect Brexit will have on that.
What Genie9 Collects
When you register for an account with Genie9, you provide information that may include your name, company name, number of employees, industry, phone number, your title, city, state, country, zip code, username and a confirmed email address. You also provide file-system information, including names of files and directories, which is necessary for backup.
The company may also save your IP address, and you can allow it to collect preference and demographic information from you.
What Genie9 Uses Collected Data For
Genie9 says that the information is only used for running and improving its services and providing support to users. It may also use the provided information to contact you and send you advertisements for products, promotions and more.
That said, Genie9 vows not to give your personal information to third parties unless it’s to help deliver specific services. Third parties have to adhere to safe harbor privacy principles or ensure that they follow privacy protection equal to Genie9’s. If that’s not suitable for you, you can opt out of having your personal information transferred to such third parties.
You may also choose to remove your personal information by contacting Genie9 and canceling your account. You can do that by logging in to your account, as well.
Zoolz maintains a knowledgebase, which is split into several categories to help you quickly find an answer to your question. If it doesn’t, you can always use the search bar to find an answer.
The articles are easy to read, and screenshots help you along. Some give a solution to a specific issue in the form of a “how to” while others are explanations.
If the knowledgebase doesn’t help, you can contact technical support via the request form. We sent out a couple of questions and received a response in two and a half hours. That’s great response time. We learned from an agent that email support strives to operate 20 hours per day, seven days a week.
There’s no telephone support, and the UK and international phone numbers available on the site are only for sales. There’s also no technical support via chat, but you can get general information about Zoolz from sales agents, who are polite and helpful.
Overall, Zoolz Cloud Backup for Business is a capable service. It’s fast and lets you backup unlimited computers, servers and external devices. Plus, it supports unlimited users. You can also enjoy features such as hybrid backup, photo preview and file sharing. Unlimited versioning and indefinite file retention also make working with Zoolz easier.
It’s simple to manage users and servers, and the policy-creation feature lets you define various rules for users and quickly apply them.
The only real drawbacks are the lack of two-factor authentication and a mobile app. These are staple features, and their absence is strange, to say the least. If this would negatively impact your business, consult our business backup reviews for alternative services. And if you’re in need a non business focused service, check out our best online backup providers.
What do you think of Zoolz Cloud Backup for Business? Have you used it? If you have anything to share, let us know in the comments below. Thank you for reading.