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Best Online Backup for 2016

We review and compare the top cloud providers

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Best Cloud Backup

Imagine you're working on a final paper for your thesis or putting the finishing touches on your lifelong memoir, when suddenly, you're confronted by the blue screen of death. A common problem for PC users is that their devices unexpectedly crash. So what do you do to prevent catastrophic data loss? Keep backups of all of your most important files.

Many people own their own backup device, which is a good option as long as you faithfully update your backups hard drives. However, if you want something that will automatically backup your files, you should consider online backup.

Best Online Backup: What to Consider

Online backup services aren't much different from other backups out there, whether it is a physical device (such as an external hard drive), or even a file hosting service (like DropBox). They're all made to help you out when your computer starts having problems or when you're worried about losing precious information. However, the majority of us don't constantly backup our files and data, and those of us that have an "automatic backup" rarely use it, which is crazy to think we play it so precariously when it comes to our data.

Cloud backup mean that your stored information is safe, regardless of tangible destruction, such as what could happen if your device or hard drive gets damaged.

Whether you are a business owner or are just considering safeguarding information on your computer devices, you should consider cloud backup for safety. According to the US Small Business Administration, online backups can be an exceptionally smart idea to backup your data and can help you maintain safety beyond relying on just one method, such as with external hard drives.

Choosing The Best Online Backup Service

Life happens, and disaster can strike at the most inopportune moments, and when this occurs, data can be lost. From random hard drive crashes to earthquakes; protecting your files, photos, documents, videos, music, and whatever other priceless information you have saved on your computer or hard drive is an essential nowadays.

Cloud backup is a great backup plan "just in case" because if you ever find yourself in a situation where your data is lost, you'll be thankful you will be able to retrieve it easily.

Choosing the best online cloud backup company for your particular needs should take into account a variety of factors. Different people have different requirements and different data to protect, so it's important to understand what you're going to need, and what you should be protecting.

Having a look at a cloud services comparison, or scoping out different online backup reviews should be very helpful. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind when deciding what online backup services will work for you.

  • Price: Most of the top cloud providers are subscription-based, and many are very affordable. Some will offer monthly plans, which may require 1 or 2 year subscriptions. Some may offer free trials, and others may limit the number of PC's/ devices that are covered. Research the prices and what they entail per each company you are interested in using.
  • What Are You Backing Up? Some service providers are specific about the types of files that can be stored, so you should be aware of what you're able to store on the cloud. Some cloud services do not protect program or system files. There are also those that do not allow cloud backup for folders or files that are from network or external drives. And then there are some cloud services that will backup your entire hard drive; so find out what you need to get the ideal coverage.
  • How Sensitive is Your Data? Different companies offer different levels of protection. Most use SSL to encrypt data as it gets uploaded into the cloud, and this should be a bare minimum. Other means of protection include encrypting data once it is stored, otherwise it may be susceptible to others accessing it.
  • Security: Cloud storage can be extremely secure, however on the flip side of this, sometimes the password security plus encryption can be so secure that if you forget/ lose your password, even the company may not be able to help you retrieve it.
  • Web Access: Do you want a service provider that allows you to access your information via the Web?
  • Mobile Access: Do you want a cloud storage company that allows you to access your information via app?

The Best Online Backup Services

Based on my research and in-depth online backup reviews, the following companies are the top cloud providers currently. This comparison is intended to help guide you as you choose the right company for safely storing your files as needed.

SugarSync Backup Review

  • Pros
  • Ease of use
  • High-end security
  • File syncing and sharing
  • File archiving and file manager
  • Multiple backup and system restore options
  • Cons
  • Telephone support is available for business only

A great option for keeping your files safe is to have an online backup service; even better, one you don't have to monitor and do manually in case you forget to download that 9-page report you just finished. SugarSync takes care of that by giving you multiple backup options, such as syncing specific files or just whenever a file is modified/saved. Another good feature they have is the ability to access the data and files anywhere you have an internet connection, making this a great choice for people who don't wish to lug around their computers to work or school.

SugarSync is very easy-to-use and is designed to look like the Microsoft Windows Explorer window, making it very user-friendly for those already accustomed to the Windows OS. Data is backed up on more than one cloud in case a file becomes corrupted, ensuring that there is always a backup, even if the backup breaks. Plus, in case your entire computer starts to breakdown, you can create system restore points to return your computer to normal, or as normal as possible.

The only major problem with this company is the lack of telephone support for quick assistance, however there are so many helpful resources available on the SugarSync website, it's possible you will rarely ever need to call anyone.

I decided to dig a little deeper to find out what I could about SugarSync before I decided that it deserved the number one spot on my online backup services review. I really wanted to know what customers like you thought about it, and I did as much research as I could, aiming for online backup reviews on SugarSync wherever I could find them. Funny enough, I didn't find much. The internet, and it's lack of dirt on this cloud provider has ruled SugarSync as cloud king and I couldn't agree more. They have everything you're looking for in a backup service, and even their mobile app is handy; which we all love to use these days.

SugarSync is right up there with the top online backup services. It's easy to use, it organizes your files for you, and its cross-platform functionality makes it easy to sync between PCs, Macs, and smartphones. Hands down, the best company in the cloud services game.

BackBlaze Backup Review

  • Pros
  • High-end security
  • Automatic backups
  • Low price for unlimited storage
  • Multiple forms of customer support
  • Mobile apps
  • Cons
  • No file sharing
  • Unclear about other features aside from backups

For one of the cheapest (but great) online backup services out on the market, you should check out BackBlaze. You're not going to believe it, but for a mere few bucks, you get unlimited storage. Yes, you read that right, "unlimited storage." Plus, you get file archiving with this package. It is unclear for how long older versions of files will last, but the feature is still present and available.

BackBlaze has the usual features that come with online backup services. There's the top-notch security to keep your files protected, the ability to set backups automatically, and a little extra added. There is excellent customer support available from email or phone to a help desk accessible by all customers. Plus, as with most online backup services these days, you can access your files from a mobile app (currently it is only supporting Apple).

The lack of file sharing is a bit of a bummer here in case you have a project or presentation to work on. In which case, you may as well take your laptop or external HD with you. I looked around the net when doing the research for our review and found a few clashing notes. There is no mobile access yet there is an app, so if you do your own research, be sure to double check everything like I did.

In addition, there isn't a lot of information on the features provided, whether in a review or on the BackBlaze site itself. I've also recognized that BackBlaze isn't as well-known as other backup services you may have heard of, but lesser known doesn't have a direct connection to quality.

And, most importantly, we wouldn't give it the rating we did if BackBlaze wasn't worth trying out. According to what I've read, it's one of the top competitors in the industry today, and so I put it up there with the top three.

BackBlaze was tricky to review, however unlimited low-cost storage and great customer service land it into my number 2 spot. It has some really excellent features at low prices, but the features it lacks hurt the overall package. However, not enough to lower the rating more than it is; definitely worth a go.

SOS Online Backup Review

  • Pros
  • Truly unlimited storage space
  • High security standards
  • Access on mobile devices
  • Automated backup
  • Very competitive pricing
  • Cons
  • Can't control bandwidth usage

SOS Online Backup is a backup storage service that comes with a desk top program and a mobile app. Their aim is to securely back up your files and to make them readily available across all of your devices.

The space provided is unlimited, truly unlimited. Other services use that word in a way that is misleading and in some cases untrue. They say unlimited but what they really mean is that they give you plenty of space but if you somehow manage to use more than they allow in their fair use policy the will require you to upgrade to new plan. When SOS says they offer infinite storage they mean it. There is no limit to how large or how many files you can upload.

When you use the service, the system runs quietly in the background of your computer. You can choose if you want hourly, daily or monthly updates. You can even choose what time of day you want to receive updates and whether or not you want to receive updates via email. The system takes up very little of your system resources, so it shouldn't affect your computer's performance in a dramatic way.

SOS has high security standards and takes no risks with your data. Files are protected while they are uploaded to the cloud with a strong 256-bit encryption and once they arrive they are protected with a second layer of encryption.

SOS Online Backup is a comprehensive online backup service that offers truly unlimited storage space as well as several other features. However, the one feature this company is missing is the ability to control the amount of bandwidth. For this, SOS has earned the number 3 spot in my cloud backup reviews.

SafeSync Backup Review

  • Pros
  • Ease of use
  • User-friendly interface
  • High-end security
  • Scheduled backups
  • Mobile app access
  • Cons
  • Maxes out sharing at 3 computers
  • File storage maxes at 100GB
  • No email support

Backing up files needs to be easy, it shouldn't be as stressful as the very thing it's preventing: loss of data. That's why businesses build services like SafeSync, an online backup service that can always sync and backup your data securely. The interface is user-friendly, so whether you grew up with computers, or you're as old as fire, you should be able to figure out how SafeSync works. Built with incredible security features, SafeSync was nearly a perfect score before I looked at some of their cons.

With SafeSync you can store as much as 100GB, and that is extremely low in relation to what their competition offers. Plus, the price for such a low amount of storage is outrageous when competitors are charging much less for unlimited storage.

In addition, you can only share files with three computers. This isn't iTunes, this isn't piracy; these are your files and you should be able to access them wherever you are, and such limitations on your own data (for a high price) is disconcerting.

However, there is some shining light for SafeSync, if you are able to fall within their limits. For example, they are great with mobile devices, from which you are able to do anything from accessing files to setting up last-minute backups.

Online backup services are in heavy competition these days in the industry and for good reason. Features, pricing, file sharing, file access, and ease of use are the main things customers are looking for when they want an online backup service. Although SafeSync does have its limits, we gave it a good review for the features it has that many of us desire when backing up precious data. They are a decent option for sure.

SafeSync, although not my first choice, is a good pick if you want some of the best security possible for your files and don't mind the expense. The remote access from a mobile phone is a fantastic, modern touch as well.

MyPC Backup Review

  • Pros
  • High-end security
  • File archiving and sharing
  • Sync multiple computers
  • Automatic backups
  • Mobile apps
  • Cons
  • Moderate upload speed
  • Wavering reliability

It's always a bit of a frantic moment when you lose some important papers or accidentally overwrite a computer file. Before you throw a fit, check your backup. If you don't have one, then you're out of luck, but next time you won't be with MyPC Backup! Hooked up with automatic backups, you'll never have to worry about losing files again. And if you accidentally overwrite a file, have no fear-MyPC Backup also features file archiving along with sharing, so you can always find an older version of your file; whether on the cloud or on another computer.

Unlimited storage is a geek's blessing when it comes to online backups, and MyPC Backup has it. Plus, you can access your files anywhere from any computer as long as you can access the internet. You can also use some mobile apps to get on the cloud if you choose. MyPC Backup uses the same type of security measures used by banks to ensure data is kept safe, so your files are completely protected and in good hands. According to customers, aside from wavering reliability and sometimes moderate upload speed, this online backup is worth every penny.

Normally, an online backup service like this would get a better rating, but there were many mixed reviews about MyPC Backup on the net. The pros and cons are clear, and how they match up against others in the industry puts them at #5 in my review.

Are Online Backup Services Secure?

What Does Online Backup Offer and is it Secure? I took to the internet to find out which online backup services were the best, dug up some dirt, and gave them a rating in my review. Some things to look at when reading my reviews are the storage capacity of each service and their pricing. Some services may offer unlimited storage for a low price and other services charge as much as $100 per year for limited storage. It's not very competitive and easy to spot, so be sure to read everything if you're thinking of checking out one of our listed providers.

Will My Online Backup Files Be Safe? Yes, in a variety of ways. Additionally, with online backup being one of the big things the internet has brought us, there's still a problem that many face. Are accidentally overwriting files, or upgrading a file only to wish you could go back to an older version concerns of yours? Well, that problem is a thing of the past, because many of these online backup services feature file archiving (or versioning) which basically means you can save several versions of a file so you can go back to it at any time unless you delete it from your storage of course. This makes cloud backup an immensely useful option for secure storage of data.

Other Considerations for Finding the Best Online Backup

Online backing up can be one of the best things you do to safeguard any of your digital information long term. Whether it's for business documents, college papers, or photos and videos of your children, cloud backup services can be a convenient and cost-effective security measure. Here are some of its main features, and why you need it:

  • Your files can be accessed from anywhere (depending on the service you use).
  • Security. While no online backup method is 100% secure, some services are better than others. The best brands offer excellent security features, but it's important to be aware that even the most sophisticated measures can still be susceptible to intrusion.
  • The best services for cloud backups will not be free; however, they are very affordable.
  • Do your homework. Read through as many online backup reviews or check out a cloud services comparison to get a decisive, detailed overview that examines different companies. Seeing what certain companies offer in regards to the features you need will make it simpler to find the right company.

Best Cloud Backup for Mac

Is there really a best online backup for mac? For those with Macs, you may be wondering if any cloud backup services are applicable to your device's needs, however, it's safe to say that most are. However, one thing to keep in mind about backing up the information on your Mac is that it's not a swift, quick process.

Ease of use and backup speed (which is reliant upon your internet provider and modem) are especially important for an effective backup with your Mac, so choose a company whose system supports this. Value and versatility are, of course important aspects to choosing an online backup service, so choose wisely with the company that handles your needs best.

How to Develop the Best Cloud Backup Strategy

Online backup services can secure your information and offer peace of mind. The time-tested system used by the general consensus of those familiar with having a backup strategy think of it as 3-2-1.

Here's what you should keep in mind regarding the basic rules for ensuring none of your important information is lost. Cloud backup is essential for protecting your computer and its contents during any type of "what-if" situation, so I absolutely recommend everyone protect themselves in this manner.

  • 3 copies of all essential files, documents, photos and info protects you very well ensuring you have literal backups of your backup.
  • 2 formats for storing your files, such as a hard drive and cloud storage, or with an external hard drive.
  • 1 offsite location of storage, so that if you were to lose one of your methods of storage due to circumstances at your primary location, you will still have backup stored elsewhere. Using cloud storage options for this is ideal because it is omnipresent and offsite or onsite, depending on your needs.

Online Backup Review Recap

The best online backup services should keep your information safe and secure. They should also have enough space to hold the amount of data you need. Lastly, you should consider the price and perks of the service before you make your decision. I truly hope that all of the information and my in-depth reviews have been useful and insightful.

It is imperative to know and understand what you need from an online cloud storage service in order to choose the best company, however, once you do, you will be thankful your information is secure. It's also quite important to understand the difference between online backup and software backup so that you secure your information properly. In the event of a hard drive crash or other unexpected occurrence, that may have otherwise leveled your info, having it safe, backed up, and protected via the cloud is one of the most important things you can do to safeguard your digital life.

From precious family photos to securing your business information, don't risk it without online backup. It's an affordable and incredibly versatile method to having just a little extra security and much convenience.

Best Online Backup FAQs

Are my files safe when backed up online?

Yes and no. Yes, a quality online backup service is as safe and secure as anything else is in the cyber world. No, online backup is not 100% hacker proof, but then again your own computer isn't either.

The top online backup services use Blowfish or AES encryptions, which means they are as secure as they can be. If you are worried about the service having access to your files you can have your own password used, that only you know.

As long as your computer is connected to the internet your files are at an acceptable level of risk. If you want to entrust your files to an online backup provider they will be relatively safe behind their sturdy encryptions.

What is online backup?

Online backup services store your files on the internet or in remote servers. The amount and accessibility of the storage varies from service to service. This ideally allows you to more easily backup your files in order to keep the safe from damage, corruption, and theft.

Some services allow access to files from any computer connected to the internet so that you can get to your files from anywhere. Online backup can also be set up to automatically back up any new files that you add to your computer. Online backup services are available for personal and large-scale corporate use.

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Advertiser Disclosure

In order for MoneySavingPro to remain a consumer free service, many of the companies covered in our industry reviews compensate MoneySavingPro for new sign ups.

However, the results of our comparison tools, the rankings of the providers and the information presented is not affected by compensation. Indeed, many of these companies approach us for an advertising partnership after we have already written a published their reviews.

While we try to research and review as many providers as possible in the 100+ industries we cover, we have not reviewed every company available.

Our rating system is independent of compensation and reflects our true understanding of the industry and the company based on a variety of factors. The companies that receive the highest rating will always be the providers that we believe offer the best value to the consumer.

Advertiser Disclosure

In order for MoneySavingPro to remain a consumer free service, many of the companies covered in our industry reviews compensate MoneySavingPro for new sign ups.

However, the results of our comparison tools, the rankings of the providers and the information presented is not affected by compensation. Indeed, many of these companies approach us for an advertising partnership after we have already written a published their reviews.

While we try to research and review as many providers as possible in the 100+ industries we cover, we have not reviewed every company available.

Our rating system is independent of compensation and reflects our true understanding of the industry and the company based on a variety of factors. The companies that receive the highest rating will always be the providers that we believe offer the best value to the consumer.