Backing up your dearest data to a secure, encrypted server in a remote location gives you a warm fuzzy feeling. The very fact that your backup is automatically offsite makes this a very cool concept. Online backups also have an added bonus of allow you to share files easily – as well as being able to access your files when you travel. Be aware though that some services will not offer this as they do not think it's secure enough.
Not having to buy any hardware is another big plus. But the lingering question is what happens to my data if this crowd a zillion miles away is not here tomorrow morning! Of course it will coincide with my PC crashing – that's how it always works ..
So with this slowly chilling thought in mind you will find below a review of the five best online backup providers.
If you are one of those people who just want to know the winner – then TADA!
After we examined lots of Online Backup services, we chose six that are on their game: Acpana Data Deposit Box, Connected Data Protector, FirstBackup, Pro-Softnet's Ibackup, Xdrive also @Backup, Amerivault, DataVault, Intronis Technologies EsureIT, Iomega Istorage Online , Novastor Online Backup Service, Register.com, and SwapDrive.
Choosing a Backup Service
It appears that a lot of the offers differ mainly on price and capacity – the ones below all offer file encryption and compression, good privacy and thin desktop client. These differences lie primarily in price, capacity, usability, and online management of your files. It appears longer-term plans are discounted; All but Expana have an annual plan, and FirstBackup also offers quarterly pricing.
Each of these online backup providers will do a good job with your valuable data but for temporary use you can not beat Data Deposit Box's pay-for-what-you-use pricing. Ibackup is inexpensive, but its interface is clunky. Xdrive's easy to use with a big 5GB plan comes out our preferred service.
Connected Data Protector and FirstBackup are good services for anyone who does not want or need Web-based access. Connected Data Protector is less expensive on a monthly basis. FirstBackup being cheaper annually.
Data Deposit Box
At 1 cent per megabyte per month, for the first gigabyte you'd pay only $ 1 a month or $ 12 a year for 100MB. The added cost for anything above that first gigabyte is only 0.3 cents per MB, which keeps Data Deposit Box competitive up to the point where you should be asking about volume discounts anyway. You can manage and share your Data Deposit Box files online, but you can also disable Web access via the client software if you're worried about security
Data Deposit Box service with pay-for-as-much-as-you-use pricing is a winner small amounts of data. Data Deposit Box's set-it-and-forget-it desktop customer automates the backup process and handles everything in the background. No scheduling, though; Instead, the client backs up files as they're changed. During our testing, the client seemed to use severely any Windows resources and did not interfere with other tasks. It uploaded our small backup and did not impact our surfing.
Connected Data Protector
Although this software was by far the fastest of the five in our tests when uploading files, it was so heavy on our 128K upstream bandwidth that surfing the Web was rubbish. You'll want to schedule backups for after midnight. The backup client is nearly as slick-looking as Xdrive's but is clunky. The ugly scanning of files that occurs every time you switch views would drive you mad.
Did we mention its also a bandwidth hog.
$ 14.95 a month or $ 164.95 yearly for 2GB of storage is OK for small businesses that want outstanding secure storage without the drama of sharing or online file management.
In our tests, this required more CPU than the Data Deposit Box client, and the upload-progress dialog box did not work that well. We found we could still browse the Web while the backup was in progress, but slowly. For security, FirstBackup omits online management and sharing, so it's not for people who put security first.
Installed as either a Windows service or a stand-alone program. We found this service quite easy to use.
FirstBackup charges $ 13.89 a month or $ 124.95 a year for the first 1GB of storage. Ibackup or Xdrive are cheaper but at $ 2.75 for each additional gigabyte, it's competitive with Data Deposit Box and Connected Data Protector for big data amounts.
Ibackup comes in two flavors. The professional version is more secure, but for that reason it omits the easy online file management and sharing that the plain-vanilla version offers. Both backup agents use a classic tabbed interface but they need work to make them more user friendly.
This service overall works quite well. The normal client also offers backup to CD / DVD in case your Internet connection is out or hideously slow.
$ 9.95 monthly or $ 99.50 per year for 5GB is as super value in the online backup market, Ibackup simply is not as easy to use as Xdrive.
At $ 9.95 monthly or $ 99.95 yearly for 5GB of online storage, Xdrive is comparable to Ibackup for best cost per gigabyte in this review. However uploads via the client were painfully slow. But, while the backups were in progress we could still surf at good pace, a worthwhile trade-off if you want to be able to do stuff while Xdrive is running.
Xdrive has a superior interface and it's apparent a lot of time has been spent in this area. Managing and sharing files online is the best we have found, thanks to Xdrive's file selector. The downloadable client is even more sexy, and Xdrive uniquely creates a Windows Network drive to which you can drag and drop files.
We found their support exemplary and best of all they offer a no obligation 30 day free trial – so what are you waiting for – online backups have come of age!