Online backup services work much like traditional backup software. With an online backup service, however, your important data is transmitted over the Internet and securely stored on a server in a professional data center.
The advantage of having your important data backed up off-site, away from your home or business, is that it’s safe from theft, fire, and other local disasters.
Below are short reviews of every online backup service I could find. See my Online Backup Comparison Chart for a quick feature comparison between my six favorite services.
I also keep lists of strictly Unlimited Online Backup Plans and Free Online Backup Plans if you’re interested.
Note: Online backup services, also called cloud backup services, frequently change plans and pricing. Please let me know if anything needs updated or if I missed a service.
CrashPlan+ is my favorite online backup service because of the excellent software, cost effective plans, and feature set.
CrashPlan’s interface is excellent and the features abound including a web-based restore option, continuous backup, an unprecedented 448-bit encryption level (better than your bank), and the foundation of a proven and excellent backup software program.
CrashPlan+ 10GB costs $2.99 /month and allows up to 10 GB of storage.
CrashPlan+ Unlimited is $5.99 /month and, as the plan name suggests, allows an unlimited amount of online storage.
CrashPlan+ Family Unlimited costs $13.99 /month and offers anunlimited amount of online storage across anywhere from two to ten computers.
All CrashPlan+ plans offer discounts for longer terms. You can get most plans for over 40% off if you prepay for four years.
For what it’s worth, I pay for and use CrashPlan+ at home. I’m a few years into a 4-year term, have used it to restore files, and have no complaints.
I love Backblaze mainly because it’s so straightforward with its pricing and software. I also like that there are no file size limits, meaning you can finally backup your 100GB virtual machine files and 12 hour 1080p videos!
The software interface is as simple as I’ve seen but there’s plenty of fine tuning available if you want it.
Backblaze is $5 /month /computer and allows an unlimited amount of storage. The cost can get down to a monthly $3.96 with a two year plan purchase.
Backblaze also offers a just-as-simple business plan – unlimited storage for$50 /computer /year.
If you’re concerned about backing up online being complicated or confusing, you’re going to love Backblaze.
Any exceptional backup service should be easy to use, automatic, reliable, and easy to restore from. Mozy is all of these.
To get started with Mozy, visit their website and sign up for an account. Download and install their software, tell it what files or types of files to backup, and then set it to automatically backup whenever you like.
MozyHome Free is, you guessed it, completely free and gives you up to 2 GB of storage on Mozy’s servers.
MozyHome’s pricing is tiered: $5.99/month for 50 GB from one computer and $9.99 /month for 125 GB of storage from up to three computers. Deep discounts can be had for one or two year prepayments.
Additional computers and each additional 20 GB of space can be had for an extra $2 per month, each.
Mozy used to offer an extremely popular unlimited backup plan but ended it in favor of its current tiered plan in early 2011.
Carbonite’s online backup service works in a similar way to other services – you download and configure a piece of software and the backup is handled automatically in the background.
Many people rave about Carbonite’s online backup plans – they’ve been popular options for a long time. My experience has been similarly positive. The only issue I’ve had is bandwidth throttling during the initial upload process but for most of you this will be a minor inconvenience.
The Carbonite Home online backup service costs $59 /year and allows for an unlimited amount of data backup. There a few other tiers available as well, called HomePlus and HomePremier, and run $99 /year and $149 /year, respectively. Each offers a few extras over the base service.
Carbonite also offers a limited online backup service for small business users starting at $229 /year.
SOS is a big player in the online backup world, and for good reason. All plans offer support for an unlimited number of devices, unlimited versioning, continuous data backup, network drive support, and tons more.
SOS online backup plans come in 100 GB, 150 GB, and 250 GB sizes and are priced at $9.99 /month, $15.99 /month, and $19.99 /month, respectively. You can get deep discounts on those prices if you prepay for one or two years.
SOS’s online backup plans aren’t the cheapest but it’s hard to compare apples to apples in this industry. For example, SOS’s continuous data backup feature, which backs up a new version of a file the instant it’s changed, is a killer feature that I haven’t seen elsewhere.
Livedrive is an online backup service that offers an interesting mix of backup plans, a cost effective way to add computers, and a really nice computer and mobile app interface.
The Livedrive “Backup” plan is the only unlimited online backup plan and runs $8.00 /month per computer. Add a computer for just $1.45 /month.
Their “Briefcase” and “Pro Suite” plans offer 2 TB (2,048 GB) and 5 TB(5,120 GB) of online storage and are priced at $16 /month and $25 /month, respectively. These plans offer several extras over the unlimited “Backup” plan like multi-computer backup, file editing and sharing, and more.
All Livedrive online backup plans offer significant discounts if you prepay for one or two years.
“Military grade” AES-256 encryption, an excellent interface, and competitive pricing makes any of the Livedrive plans a good choice.
© SpiderOak, Inc.
SpiderOak is one of the better choices overall among the online backup services out there. I love any company that puts the effort they did into their FAQ page. Check it out on their site.
Pricing is pretty straightforward at SpiderOak. Everyone starts out with 2 GB of online backup space for FREE. If you need more storage, you add it by the 100 GB increment for $10 /month. Need more? Add another 100 GB for another $10 /month. You get the idea. One year prepayment will save you a little over those costs.
SpiderOak also has a unique “refer a friend” program which, if you have enough friends, could get you up to 12 GB for free.
SugarSync is different…. in a good way. It’s actually much more than an online backup service.
While SugarSync does “traditional” online backup just as well or better than much of its competition, it can also sync files between all of your devices, gives you access to your backed up data from your smartphone, and much more.
SugarSync has four tiers of online backup service, including a very sizable free one:
- 5 GB for FREE
- 60 GB for $7.49 /month
- 100 GB for $9.99 /month
- 250 GB for $24.99 /month
All of the above SugarSync plans offer significant savings if you choose to prepay for one year.
SugarSync also has a business class plan staring at 1 TB of storage for 3 users for $55 /month and an unlimited users/storage plan that you’ll have to get a quote for.
If you want more than just an online repository for safety’s sake, you will no doubt be very happy with SugarSync.
Acronis, maker of the popular True Image Home backup software program, is also in the online backup business.
Only one online backup plan is offered by Acronis True Image Online: $4.95 /month for 250 GB of space. You can get the price down to around $4.17 /month if you prepay for one year.
Up to five computers can backup to your True Image Online account. Also, if you happen (or want to) own Acronis True Image Home, their online backup service can be used in conjunction with it for a one-stop local and online backup solution.
IDrive is similar in most ways to other online backup services. Some features that make IDrive stand out among the competition include mapped drive support and more frequent continuous backup.
I found the IDrive software to be no more or less intuitive than any other online backup services. However, if their unique features are high on your priority list, IDrive may be just what you’re looking for in an online backup service.
IDrive Basic is completely free and gives you up to 5 GB of storage.
IDrive Pro Personal comes in three tiers and offers support for backup from an unlimited number of computers:
- 150 GB for $49.50 /year
- 500 GB for $149.50 /year
- 1,000 GB for $299.50 /year
IDrive also has business-class pricing and storage options, up to 2,000 GBfor $1,499.50 /year.
All plans are offered in one year prepayment form only.
McAfee Online Backup is McAfee’s solution in the online backup space. They’re the makers of the popular McAfee antivirus and Internet security programs.
McAfee Online Backup is available with one option only: $59.99 /year forunlimited online backup. That’s actually a really good deal for an unlimited plan, coming out to a bit less than $5 /month.
I like that McAfee is a big name in the computer world but still prices this plan right. I also like that Online Backup is “powered by Mozy” which has as relatively long history as a reliable online backup provider.
Interestingly, Mozy dropped their unlimited plan in early 2011 but apparently you can still get that level of backup via McAfee Online Backup.
IBackup is actually the sister-service of IDrive but is focused on small to medium sized businesses instead of consumers.
Several tiers of service are offered by IBackup:
- 10 GB for $9.95 /month
- 20 GB for $19.95 /month
- 50 GB for $49.95 /month
- 100 GB for $99.95 /month
- 200 GB for $199.95 /month
- 300 GB for $299.95 /month
All of the above online backup plans offer savings if you pay by the year. However, even with the discounts, IBackup doesn’t compete well on the price front.
IBackup does have some advantages over IDrive. For example, IBackup comes with the ability to install a plugin that creates an “IBackup Drive” which is a virtual folder that you can drag files to in Windows.
13. AVG LiveKive
AVG, the makers of the popular free antivirus program, also offer an online backup service called “LiveKive.”
AVG LiveKive is $79.99 /year and allows an unlimited number of devices and an unlimited amount of data. That is, of course, unless by unlimitedyou mean less than 500 GB. Unfortunately, their fair use policy states that they may impose charges if you actually go over that amount. Too bad.
If you don’t need an “unlimited” amount of storage, AVG LiveKive also offers two limited plans to choose from – 25 GB of storage for $49.99 /year or50 GB for $59.99 /year. These plans also allow online backup from an unlimited number of computers and other devices.
All LiveKive plans automatically renew on your year anniversary unless you cancel. Unlike most other online backup services, there are no discounts for multi-year prepayments.
AVG LiveKive’s backup software works with all recent versions of Windows and Mac OS, as well as Apple iOS and Google Android via apps.
Nomadesk is an online backup provider with multiple computer access per account, lots of mobile apps, an online file manager, and more.
There’s essentially one online backup plan available from Nomadesk:unlimited storage for $10.00 /month. You can shave about 10% off that price if you prepay for one year.
If mobile access is an important factor in your hunt for the right online backup service, know that Nomadesk has apps for iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone.
Norton Online Backup is just what you’d think: an online backup offering from Norton, the makers of popular antivirus and computer security software.
Norton Online Backup has only one plan which offers 25 GB of storage at a cost of $49.99 /year (about $4.17 /month). You can backup from 5 different computers with your one account.
If 25 GB is all you need and you love Norton software, then go for this. However, I found nothing particularly interesting about Norton Online Backup vs other more feature rich offerings in my list.
Trend Micro, the company behind some of the most popular antivirus and security programs, also has its foot in the online backup space with their SafeSync service.
SafeSync has three online backup plans to choose from: 20 GB for $39.95 /year, 50 GB for $89.95 /year, and 100 GB for $149.95 /year.
You’ll find most of the more popular features among online backup services in the SafeSync product like drag-and-drop folders, syncing, sharing, bank-level encryption, and more.
I think Trend Micro is overpricing their online backup plans but I do really like the feature set and the easy to use software and mobile apps.
KineticD is an online backup provider that advertises “true month-to-month” and “true pay-as-you-go.”
For each computer you need to backup, you pay $3.95 /month, which KineticD calls a “license fee.” It it’s a server, the price goes up to $6.95 /month. After that, you pay just $0.50 /GB /month that you use.
So, for example, if you have 2 computers, that together are storing 100 GB on KineticD’s servers, your bill that month would be $57.90.
KineticD sports all the excellent features of any online backup service that’s in it for the long run, including an excellent history of data recovery, top-of-the-line security, and more.
The ElephantDrive online backup service offers several plans to choose from, all of which cover up to three computers, but I found the pricing to be less than competitive.
Below are the several “Home” plans offered by ElephantDrive, all of which can be had for less if you prepay for one year:
- 2 GB for FREE
- 100 GB for $9.95 /month
- 250 GB for $19.95 /month
- 500 GB for $39.95 /month
- 750 GB for $59.95 /month
- 1 TB (1,024 GB) for $85.95 /month
- 2 TB (2,048 GB) for $169.95 /month
ElephantDrive also offers several enterprise-level online backup plans.
One really cool feature with ElephantDrive’s service is their “Web Explorer” which you can use to upload files via the browser from wherever you may be. Many online backup services only allow backup from your approved devices and only via their proprietary software.
19. Jungle Disk
Jungle Disk is an online backup service provider that works a bit differently than most. Jungle Disk structures their pricing so you only pay for exactly what you use.
Two Jungle Disk Personal plans exist, “Simply Backup” and “Desktop Edition.” Simply Backup is just that – a simple online backup plan. Very much a set-it-and-forget type of service that has a base price of $2 /month + storage fees. The Desktop Edition runs $3 /month + storage fees and also has a virtual network drive, real-time file sync, and more.
MiMedia is an online backup service with lots of extras like free mobile apps, online media players, and more. Plus, MiMedia currently has one of the biggest free online backup plans anywhere.
Here are the five online backup tiers to choose from with MiMedia:
- 7 GB for FREE
- 100 GB for $4.99 /month
- 250 GB for $9.99 /month
- 500 GB for $20 /month
- 1 TB (1,024 GB) for $35 /month
If you’re willing to pay by the year, you can get a pretty good discount on the prices listed above.
MiMedia is an excellent choice among the online backup services, especially if you’d like to play, or share, all your backed up media right from cloud.
ADrive is an online backup service that sports some interesting features like WebDAV support, online document editing, and more.
There are dozens of online backup plans listed on ADrive’s site, ranging from$6.95 /month for 50 GB of space to $1,211.50 /month for 10 TB(10,240 GB). You can request a quote if you need more space than that, even up to “unlimited.”
All ADrive backup plans can be had at deeply discounted prices if you prepay for a longer time period, up to three years. Multi-user business plans are also available.
ADrive also has a free 50 GB plan but it’s not compatible with their automatic-backup desktop software.
MyOtherDrive is another online backup service with some really cool sharing features and a fairly competitive pricing structure.
Below are the prices for MyOtherDrive’s online backup plans:
- 2 GB for FREE
- 100 GB for $5 /month
- 500 GB for $10 /month
- 1,000 GB for $20 /month
Pay for one year upfront on either the 100 GB or 500 GB plan and you get a tiny discount. 1 TB, 2 TB, 5 TB, and 10 TB “enterprise” online backup plans are also available and are payable by the year only.
Of all the features offered by MyOtherDrive’s plans, I like their flexible collaboration options the most. You can share any of your backed up content publicly, privately by group, or privately by password.
24. BackUp Solutions
BackUp Solutions is an online backup provider with datacenters in the US, Canada, and the UK. Most online backup companies only have US datacenters, making BackUp Solutions a good option if you’re outside the States.
BackUp Solutions offers a single online backup plan for home and small business users: $9.95 /month for unlimited storage. An online server backup plan is also available.
Be sure to check out the “Security (HIPAA)” link on their website for one of the most extensive online backup security discussions I’ve seen.
Total Defense Online Backup is another service that offers a number of popular features like online and local backup with the same tool, file sharing, mobile access to all backed up data, unlimited versioning, and more.
Four online backup plans are available from Total Defense:
- 25 GB for 59.99 /year
- 50 GB for $79.99 /year
- 100 GB for $149.99 /year
- 250 GB for $374.99 /year
Total Defense doesn’t specify how many computers they support on a single account but they do say “multiple” so I’m guessing that means at least a few, possibly unlimited.
MyPCBackup is another online backup service with a really user friendly web interface and a good selection of backup plans.
The MyPCBackup Unlimited plan offers an unlimited amount of online backup space for $12.95 /month.
Two limited plans are also available: MyPCBackup Home which allows up to75 GB of online storage for $8.95 /month and MyPCBackup Premium which runs $9.95 /month for up to 250 GB of storage space.
All MyPCBackup plans can be had for several dollars per month less with longer terms, up to two years.
Note: MyPCBackup is owned by Just Develop It (JDI), which also owns ZipCloud, JustCloud, and Backup Genie, three other online backup services with similar feature sets and pricing. I didn’t feel right about profiling them individually in this list considering how incredibly similar they are.
What About Google Drive, Dropbox, Etc.?
Services like Dropbox, Google Drive, and the like, are better categorized as “online storage services” because of their lack of a desktop program or app that automatically keeps your existing data backed up or synced to their servers.
While you certainly could manually upload or sync your important folders and files with these programs, the lack of an automatic process makes them, in my opinion, unfit as true backup solutions.
Storage fees kick in after 5 GB of storage. Depending on the online storage provider you choose to use with Jungle Disk, either Amazon S3 or Rackspace Cloud Files, you pay $0.125 /GB-Month or $0.15 /GB-month, respectively, to store your files. Amazon S3 also charges $0.12 /GB downloaded (e.g. when you restore data from your backup) and a very small fee per upload and download request.
Two Jungle Disk Business plans are also available, a “Workgroup” and a “Server” edition, each with additional features and only a slightly higher base price than either Personal plan. The storage fees are the same but the first 10 GB are free.
If the static plans of other online backup services don’t appeal to you, Jungle Disk’s pay-for-what-you-use plans might be an excellent fit for you.
20. Comodo Backup
Comodo Backup is an online backup service by Comodo, maker of some very popular free computer utilities. Comodo Backup’s superb interface is a great reason to choose this service.
As far as pricing goes, you can get 250 GB of backup storage space for$9.99 /month or 1 TB (1024 GB) for $19.99 /month. Both plans can be had for a bit less if you prepay for one year.
Comodo also offers 5 GB of online backup storage for FREE. That’s not a trial, that’s forever. Granted, 5 GB isn’t a lot, but if that’s all you need to backup then you’re in luck.
I’ve always been a big fan of Comodo products, especially for novice computer users. If you’re concerned about the complexity of another online backup service’s software then Comodo Backup might be for you.