Cloud backup allows both individuals and businesses alike to store information in a second location in preparation for any form of disaster that could cause data loss in the primary setting. Cloud backup is an essential element of business information efforts as it enables business continuity in the event of a disaster. In the same capacity, it enables individuals to retrieve their data and media files in the event of a hard failure or even a simple system crash. Cloud backup as a service is offered by multiple companies across the world, and each comes with its strongholds.
Choosing the best cloud backup service for your personal use or business needs a lot of consideration and precision. Here we have put together the best cloud backup providers to give you an easier time when making your selection.
If you need to know exactly what is cloud backup and what are the differences between cloud backup and cloud storage, you will find everything you need after the list of best online backup providers.
The Best Cloud Backup Providers
As you choose your ideal provider, remember that the idea is to look for the one company that will help mitigate the effects of disaster the most. After taking into account the above considerations and reviewing an extensive list of providers, here we have prepared the best cloud backup providers for your choosing.
1. iDrive: the best value for money with a very complete backup solution
- A very powerful and complete backup solution for a low price. iDrive has a lot of features that will match almost any backup need (backup of desktop or mobile devices (Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, NAS, servers, etc.).
- An unlimited number of devices can be backed up, with a limited total backup space depending on the chosen plan (5 TB or 10 TB).
- iDrive also provides a few syncing and sharing features for the backed up data. It can be seen as a simple cloud storage solution.
- It has optional Zero-Knowledge private encryption, meaning that you are the only one owning the encryption key. As a consequence, even iDrive cannot read your data, for very good privacy.
- There is currently a huge promotion for the 5 TB plan at -90% for the first year: 7.95$ instead of 79.50$. It is available here.
- iDrive data and services are located in the United States. If the privacy of your data is essential, than you should use the private encryption of iDrive to guarantee it.
WHEN TO SELECT LIVEDRIVE?
- iDrive provides a limited backup storage space, but you can use it with an ulimited amount of devices (computers, mobile devices, etc.). If you want to back up several devices, including your phones and family devices for instance, you can choose iDrive.
- The private encryption that iDrive provides is very important if you want to keep confidential data (and usually, when you backup whole devices, there is sensitive data that must be protected).
iDrive is high in our ranking due to its many useful functionalities which come at a fair price. The backup service is compatible with Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. As if not enough, it comes with command guides for users of Linux Operating Systems. With a single iDrive account, you can backup files from many computers and mobile devices. It has a feature called iDrive snapshots which lets you access past versions of data, up to 30 file versions, making it very useful in case of accidental deletion.
On matters of security, Idrive utilizes 256-bit AES encryption, which means top-notch security and privacy for your files.
But iDrive also provides an optional private Zero-Knowledge encryption for your data. If you use it, your files will be encrypted in a way that guarantees that even iDrive can not read them, as you will keep the encryption key private. This is very important if you consider that your data should be kept absolutely private and confidential. This feature somewhat balances the privacy issues that come with hosting the data in the United States.
The online file sync system syncs files in real-time across all linked devices.
iDrive plans and pricing
Free 5 GB basic plan. This plan is quite limited because of its small backup space, but it allows one to test the service. However, the current -90% promotion on the first year of the 5 TB personal plan (7.95$ for the first year) might be more interesting to really enjoy and test the service for a full year at a very low price.
$59.62 first year for one user, unlimited computers 5TB Idrive personal package
iDrive team package $74.62 first year, 5 users, 5 machines, and 5 TB storage
iDrive business for $74.62 first year, with 250 GB storage, unlimited users, computers, servers, SQL, NAS devices, And exchange.
These prices are just the starting points; you can extend the capacity and features you want according to specific needs.
Idrive has great scalability which makes it ideal for personal, small businesses, and large-scale business backup.
2. Infomaniak Swiss Backup: the best European backup solution for individuals and businesses
- All data are replicated on 3 supports, in 2 different data centers. This is great for reducing the risk of data loss as even if one data center is destroyed or compromised, data are always copied somewhere else.
- Very flexible offers: it is possible to select exactly how many devices to backup and how much total storage you need.
- You can backup any type of machine (even servers, virtual machines, NAS, etc.) if you can install software compatible with Swiss Backup (Acronis, Swift, S3 or FTP)
- The prices are decreasing regarding the commitment period you choose for reducing the costs (-10% for yearly commitment, -15% for a 2-year commitment, and -20% for a 3-year commitment).
- 90 days of free trial (except for the backup of virtual machines and Linux / Windows servers).
- No private Zero-Knowledge encryption (Infomaniak says they are working on it)
WHEN TO SELECT LIVEDRIVE?
- You prefer to trust a european backup service.
- You have machines of various types, including workstations, mobile devices, NAS, virtual machines, servers, etc.
- You want to take advantage of the huge 90-day free trial.
Infomaniak is a highly rated company located in Switzerland, popular for its multiple tech solutions for businesses and individuals. Their cloud backup solution, Swiss Backup, covers workstations, mobile devices, virtual machines, servers, NAS systems to name a few. Probably the biggest catch with Swiss Backup is it allows each user to personalize their experience. For instance, they offer Swift, S3, and FTP storage protocols with which you can create your preferred cloud backup solution. The provider stores copies of data in at least 2 data centers to improve security. Its scalability extends to a whole 500 TB to suit businesses of all scales.
Their infrastructure is ISO 14001, ISO 50001, and ISO 140001 certified. When it comes to pricing, Swiss Backup brings the best scalability, letting you choose a price for yourself based on the experience you need. 200 GB of storage starts at €3.75 while 500 TB goes for €1200 a month.
Swiss Backup is designed so that you can precisely specify your needs to obtain the perfect price for your machines and data. You can perform a simulation here and see how much it would cost, whether you are an individual with simple needs or a company with a large number of machines.
Last but not least, Swiss Backup gives a huge 90-day trial period to give you time to make the best decision for your data.
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3. Livedrive: the best backup with unlimited storage but a limited number of devices
- Data and service hosted in the United Kingdom.
- Unlimited storage for the backup of 1 or 5 PC or Mac devices
- Livedrive provides some cloud storage space that is accessible from desktop or mobile apps, to enjoy cloud storage features too (easy sync and sharing of your files from all your Windows, Mac, Android, or iOS devices). Only with the Briefcase (2 TB of cloud storage) or Pro Suite (5 TB of cloud storage) plans.
- 14 day free trial on all the plans.
- Possibility to backup a whole NAS (paying addon).
- Very good security features, but no private Zero-Knowledge encryption for your data.
- Support and apps in English only.
WHEN TO SELECT LIVEDRIVE?
- If you need to backup PC or Mac devices with a lot of storage space (Livedrive has unlimited backup storage in this case).
- If you would like to have some cloud storage features (like easily sharing files, syncing devices) in addition to your cloud backup solution.
Trusted by millions of users across the world, Livedrive is a reliable provider with data centers located in the UK. Livedrive offers military-grade security that is in line with EU privacy laws. The security encryption methods that Livedrive leverage ensure that data transits safely to and from the data centers to your business promise. For instance, they utilize 2-factor authentication (2FA) to diminish the chances of unauthorized access to user accounts. Their data centers are well guarded 24/7 and are ISO 27001 certified, with 3 tiers of physical access security protocol.
Livedrive offers and prices
Their prices encompass everyone as follows:
Plans for individuals
- Backup plan. For 8.99$ (or 7.99€) a month or 89.90$ (or 79.99€) a year, you get backup for 1 PC or Mac user with unlimited storage (but you won’t have some cloud storage space as opposed to the other plans).
- With a Briefcase package that goes for 16$ (or 10.99€) a month and 156$ (or 109.90€) a year you can back up 1 PC or Mac device with unlimited storage space, and you also have 2 TB of cloud storage, to access files from anywhere with desktop or mobile apps.
- The Pro Suite package combines Backup and Briefcase plans for 5 users. There is unlimited cloud backup storage, and 5 TB of cloud storage for 25$ (or 17.99€) a month, or 240$ (or 179.90€) a year.
Plans for companies
- Business Express: 3 included users with unlimited cloud backup space and 2 TB of cloud storage.
- Business Standard: 10 included users with unlimited cloud backup space and 10 TB of cloud storage. This plan includes everything from Business Express, plus the support of WebDAV and FTPS.
- For both Business plans, adding users or storage is possible (10 £ / month per additional user, and 5£ / month per additional Terabyte of cloud storage).
One great aspect about Livedrive is that, even if they are first of all a powerful cloud backup solution, they also include the features for a great cloud storage solution. The Briefcase and Pro Suite plans also include some space storage that is synced between the devices of your choice. It gives the users the best of both cloud backup and cloud storage worlds. For instance, customers can automatically save their photos, videos from their mobile devices, as well as easily share some files with colleagues, friends, or family members. The provided storage space (2 TB or 5 TB) is good for their price, even regarding competitors in the cloud storage market.
That and the unlimited cloud backup space make Livedrive a very good deal for most users.
The only real problem with Livedrive is that they do not provide some Zero-Knowledge private encryption. Your data is stored with strong encryption to protect them, but there is no technical guarantee that Livedrive cannot access them. This is not as much of a problem as if the data were hosted in the United States, with the privacy protection problems it implies. However, it would be much better if Livedrive. If this feature is important to you, our list of top cloud backup providers also includes some solutions with Zero-Knowledge protection, such as pCloud or iDrive.
Livedrive is ideal for personal backup or small businesses with a few employees. In particular, Livedrive is a good solution if you need cloud backup and cloud storage features, but don’t want to subscribe to two different providers.
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4. pCloud: the best simple backup solution with complete sharing and syncing features
- pCloud is also a top cloud storage solution. If you need a good backup solution and a great cloud storage solution with only one provider, this is a great pick.
- The lifetime plans (single-payment to keep your cloud backup and cloud storage for life) save a lot of money in the long run. LINK
- pCloud always keeps 5 copies of your files for reducing the risk of data loss.
- It is well-adapted to backup phone data such as photos, videos, or music.
- The pCloud Family plan is perfect to share a 2 TB cloud storage and backup space with up to 4 other persons. It is available as a lifetime plan.
- pCloud has a private Zero-Knowledge encryption with the pCloud Crypto option…
- …But it is a paying option.
- The backup features are still a bit young and not as solid as some other backup providers in this list.
- Not well-adapted to backup a whole PC, Mac, server, or NAS. It is designed to select some folders to backup continuously, within the limits of the storage space you choose (500 GB or 2 TB).
- Very good security features, but no private Zero-Knowledge encryption for your data.
- Support and apps in English only.
WHEN TO SELECT LIVEDRIVE?
- You want a simple backup solution for your most important folders and documents (photos, videos, and other files), with all the best cloud storage features (sharing, fast syncing).
- You want a solution to share your backup and storage space with your family with pCloud Family.
- You prefer to buy a lifetime cloud backup and cloud storage solution, without the recurring payments of a subscription. pCloud allows one to obtain a permanent storage space with a single payment.
Primarily, pCloud is a cloud storage solution that went ahead to enable a backup protocol for users. With pCloud Backup, you can securely back up your folders on your computer and even be in a position to access old folder versions, up to one year down the line. This solution automatically backs up data to the pCloud account without file size and speed limits. You can then access your backed-up files using different operating systems like Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, and Web. On security, Pcloud leverages TLS/SSL channel protection, 256-bit AES encryption, and sends 5 copies of data to different servers.
They have plans for individuals, families, and businesses. Their top functionalities, such as file sharing, and onetime payment options are why they already enjoy a clientele of over 14,000,000 users. For instance, a premium 500 GB worth of storage lifetime package goes for $175, while a 2 TB lifetime storage space has a price of $350.
Other Good Online Backup Solutions
Backblaze offers seamless backup for various components, including Veeam, and NAS systems, for which they have various technological optimizations. For instance, they use joint-light-touch solutions together with MSP360 to offer a simplified, feature-loaded server backup plan. Backblaze also offers optimized personal backup plans, whereby a user can back up their Mac or PC, with automatic backup capabilities. Their service is easy, fast and users can access the files from anywhere.
On security, Backblaze’s data centers have 24-hour staff, redundant power, and biometric security. All accounts have 2FA systems actualized via SMS and TOTP (time-based one-time password). Besides, you can bolster the security of your files by using a private key. Their software is Mac and PC native as opposed to using java. For restoring old file versions, Backblaze allows you to choose either 30 days, one-year, or lifetime package. Their pricing starts at $7 monthly, $70 annually, and $130 billed every two years.
Backblaze is relevant for both personal and business backup.
Bigmind is a cloud backup solution that capitalizes on security, flexibility, and intelligence using AI capabilities. Their AI analysis functionality takes the industry to a whole new level by providing solutions like audit, eDiscovery, face detection, documents text scan, and OCR to name a few. With 6 data centers located in various continents around the world, BigMIND cloud backup solution can serve diligently over one million users. BigMIND unique characteristics set the ground for the future of cloud backup. The company has a starter plan with 100 GB storage, I server, 10 users, starting at $ 15 per month. Their standard package starts at $20 per month while their premium package starts at $37.5 per month.
The provider is ideal for multiple industries, including education and health care.
Acronis Cyber Protect is a quick and volatile solution that combines backup with other technologies that optimize the safety of data. These include built-in MI-based ransomware protection and effective blockchain notarization. With this provider, you can backup personal files or entire business data in a single file which makes restoration an easy endeavor. Acronis takes the game to the next level by providing great features like drive health monitoring, variable block-size deduplication, forensic data collection, universal restore, and any-to-any migration. All these functionalities focus on optimizing security and giving users an easy and flexible time. Pricing for Acronis Cyber Protect start at $59.
It is ideal for companies that heavily rely on data and those with sensitive data.
Carbonite classifies its packages as home backup and professional backup. Carbonite is automatic, continuous, and convenient for all hard drives and devices. A more notable value addition component of the Carbonite backup solution is the Webroot virus protection that keeps the user computers safe from virus attacks and similar malicious manifestations.
The same goes for the professional packages, with emphasis on security protocols, protection against accidental deletion, hardware collapse, and data corruption of any kind. The provider couples their cloud backup solutions with other functional business solutions like migrate, Carbonite endpoint, backup for dynamic 365, and more to give users a central solution for many business data endeavors. Carbonite deals start from a basic package of $4.92 per month billed annually. Their service can work with up to 25 machines.
With the precise classification, Carbonite is good for both homes and businesses.
Jottacloud provides a cloud backup solution in two packages to suit both home users and business users. The home package allows you to keep files, photos, and videos safe whereby you can access and share as desired. Jottacloud brings collaboration closer by allowing users to edit and share with friends in real-time. To optimize the family experience, Jottacloud allows a user to share their subscription with up to 5 members. The family package starts at $7.99 a month.
From $10.99 a month, the business plan adds more collaborative capabilities, where teams can store share, co-author documents in real-time. It works conveniently for many devices and offers a great team lead system where leaders can perform management activities such as adding or removing members and coming up with reports. Users can send files easily with no limitation of size, and leaders can implement single sign-on to bolster authorized access. The company is GDPR compliant and is located In Norway, a country that ranks among the top countries globally for strong privacy laws.
Jottacloud has something for family members, small businesses, medium enterprises, and large enterprises alike.
What is Cloud Backup?
Also referred to as remote or online backup, cloud backup is the process of copying files and information to a secondary location so that the files can be retrieved anytime when the onsite original copies are lost or compromised. This is usually done as an extra layer of data security. Backup service is offered by 3rd party companies at a price that is determined by many factors such as:
- Storage required
- Number of users
- Number of times the files are retrieved
- Preferred transmission bandwidth
- Security measures implemented
- Number of servers utilized
When an individual or company invests in a reliable cloud backup solution, they rid themselves of a situation whereby data loss halts vital operations.
What are the differences between Cloud Backup and Cloud Storage?
On the other hand, cloud storage is a method of storing data on the internet as offered by cloud storage providers. Cloud storage presents many benefits over in-house storage of data which comes with risky vulnerabilities. A business that opts to operate on cloud storage does not have to invest in sophisticated on-premises data architecture, yet they enjoy benefits such as data durability and remote collaboration. Cloud storage also makes utilization of big data easier as providers are keen to offer management and analytic services. Not only do cloud solutions benefit businesses, but also individuals are wary of their personal data security and longevity.
Goals of Cloud Backup
- Preventing data loss and allowing recovering some files or your whole system when needed.
Goals of Cloud Storage
- Syncing a selection of your data between all your devices
- Facilitate access to your data on all your devices and even from a browser.
- Facilitate sharing your files with other people.
While cloud backup and cloud storage services are close in the way they operate, their goal is very different, and it is not rare to use both services.
For instance, you should never rely on a cloud storage service to restore your whole system. Even if most cloud storage providers have some features to restore individual files and documents (with features like file versioning or trash), they are simply not designed for massive restoration.
Similarly, if you need to access or share your photos, videos, or administration documents from any device, the features provided by online backup solutions will not be convenient.
When You Need a Cloud Backup Provider
As far as data-related security challenges continue to exist, data will always be at risk of loss, and it can happen to any extent. Data loss could manifest in any form, even in the most unexpected way, such as lightning hitting your home or business premises and causing a power surge that destroys hard disks alongside any on-premise backup. It is this risk of data loss that cloud backup solves, ensuring continuity in times of crisis.
Here are the main advantages that cloud backup enables:
Optimized reliability: Protection from data loss of any kind comes with great reliability. Providers improve backup reliability and dependability by offering features like monitoring, and data manipulation techniques. It is not uncommon to find backup systems with threat detection and alerting mechanisms to bolster the security of your files. Such functionalities provide you with the peace of mind you need to continue running your errands or business operations smoothly.
Smooth scalability: When you back up on business premises, your ability is limited by the infrastructural investment you make, meaning that you would need to dig deeper in your pocket if you want to scale up. What if you invest heavily in infrastructure, only to be forced to scale down due to changing business structure? Similarly, you might want to scale up or down your personal backup plan depending on developments such as the addition or loss of family members. In both scenarios, you can do away with the scalability problem by seeking the services of a 3rd party backup vendor. You only pay for what you need, and they give you the freedom to scale up or down according to seasonal change. Keep in mind that prices are also influenced by other criteria like the speed of data retrieval, and frequency of uploads.
Enhanced security: The whole point of data backup, whether on-premise or off-premise is to reduce the likelihood of data loss. Data backup would not make sense if it compromises security. That is why vendors understand the importance of maximum data security while data is in storage and transit. By implementing top-notch security measures and encryption protocols, the companies ensure improved data safety. And this privilege you get without having to employ dedicated data security experts.
Unmatched flexibility: A lot of competition in the cloud backup industry has led companies to come up with various functionalities that foster flexibility. These include data synching, mirroring, and other capabilities that would be hard to implement and maintain physically. Also, the ability to access data remotely ensures ease of continuity when disaster strikes. Flexibility is also fostered by the fact that users can access data on any device with an internet connection. These capabilities facilitate remote working, especially during these times of the COVID-19 pandemic.
How to Choose the Best Provider for Your Needs
It is important to understand what you are getting into before choosing your ideal provider. Here are the steps you need to consider when it comes to selecting the best provider:
What are your storage requirements?
The amount of storage you need is arguably the biggest factor you need to consider because you have to go for the space that befits your personal or business scale. If you generate and utilize a huge amount of data, you might consider going for a provider like Amazon Glacier that sells vast storage space for a subsidized price, even though you would not be in a position to access data immediately when in need. However, you have the freedom to go for instant access providers at a higher cost.
Best backup frequency for you
How often do you need to upload files to the backup account? Think about optimizing your data security so you can determine whether to backup daily, weekly, bi-monthly depending on your convenience and risk of crisis. For a better experience, consider real-time backup that automatically backs up files to ensure optimal protection against loss. However, this comes at a higher cost, and understandably so. If you choose to go for the real-time option, be sure to select a company that offers a version history feature so that you can fetch previous file versions.
Review your security needs
Keeping your files in the cloud comes with its fair share of risks, including potential malware attacks and data breaches. The best way to mitigate these risks is to opt for cloud backup providers that offer better encryption, such as 256-bit encryption during both storage and transfer of files. In the same interest, go for a company that guarantees you that they do not access your files whatsoever and that they require your authorization should they ever need to open files. While these extra measures and strictness are vital for various businesses, they may not be necessary for some industries, and personal backup.
Review server uptime
Imagine losing your data and contacting your backup company only for them to let you down claiming a system failure on their end. To avoid such a scenario, the company you go for should be reputable for having good enough server uptime. Otherwise, it does not make sense to opt for a company that is prone to system failures. You can check out the performance of the company you have in mind by reviewing online reviews and testimonials from their past clients, concentrating on backup success rate and general server uptime. Keep in mind that some companies assure clients of absolute uptime, and have a compensation policy if they experience inconveniencing system failures.
The location of the provider
Server latency influences the time that files take to travel from your provider to your premises, and this goes for both upload and download sessions. Also, different countries have different regulations and policies governing how providers operate and interact with both local and international clients. These laws could come into fierce play in the event of compromised security. For these reasons, it is necessary to take into consideration the country where the provider is located. People prefer to go for providers located in Germany and Switzerland as they have the best privacy policies and compliance criteria.
Consider the software integrations the company offers
In today’s vibrant business space, it is a good idea to work with a provider that fosters collaboration functionalities depending on your specific needs. This will help with remote file management, analysis, and editing which are all essential in a business continuity model. Out of the business scope, you might want to collaborate with your family members, and this should be easy as well. However, you can go for a backup provider with no such capabilities if you do not require them, and the catch here is that these solutions have considerably lower prices.
Consider provider data deletion policy
Some situations necessitate deletion of data, and a good company must have a functionally healthy policy of the same. A company that automatically deletes files when you delete them from your end is not convenient. For instance, you would permanently lose files if an employee of your kid at home accidentally deleted them from their end. A good company should also explain what happens when you part ways. In such a case, you should opt for a provider that has seamless transition functionalities.
The pricing structures
Review how different companies charge their clients. Not many companies offer lifetime one-off payments but it is worth considering the ones that do. Others will offer monthly, annual, biannual deals for you to choose from. The most important thing is to go for a pricing structure that suits your company scale and budget so you won’t have to compromise the flow of backup due to a missed payment.
Cloud backup is an essential part of business as it ensures continuity in case of disastrous file loss at the business premises. Not only is it essential for businesses, but also individuals and families alike. With an ocean of cloud backup providers in the market, choosing the ideal provider is no walk in the park. Above we have compiled the best providers to help you make a sound decision. Always be sure to define your exact needs before digging for your ideal provider.