If running regular backups is important for home users, it's essential in business: You could try to protect yourself by copying files to local drives, but that takes time and effort. It also leaves you vulnerable to fire, theft and hardware failure, which is why automatically uploading your files to a cloud backup service is often a better idea.
Choosing the right backup solution can seem tricky, as there's a lot to consider. How much storage space do you really need, for instance? Must the service support versioning where multiple versions of documents are kept? How should this be managed?
Security is important, too. What sort of encryption options do you get? How is access to your data managed? What options are there for managing your users, seeing what they're doing, making sure they're complying with your policies and procedures? You're probably not going to get by with a free Dropbox account, but there are plenty of business providers ready to deliver the extras you and your company need. Here, in alphabetical order, are seven of the best. IDrive Small Business is a versatile cloud backup service which does its best to cater for just about every possible need.
You're covered on PCs running anything from Windows up. The baseline GB storage may not be enough for everyone, but hybrid backup support — the ability to save some files locally — allows you to be more selective about which files head for the cloud, and which stay nearby. Once your data is online it can be accessed via a web interface, synced with computers or mobiles, and there's even a mechanism for sharing files via email, Facebook and Twitter.
IDrive Express is a feature which enables quickly backing up or restoring your system via a physically shipped drive. Unusually, the Business plan allows three free backups per year. Despite all this functionality, the ability to create subaccounts for your storage space and a straightforward web-based management console helps you keep track of what's going on. Overall it's a likeable package, and if your budget is non-existent then also consider IDrive Personal.
There's no server backup or subaccounts, but the basic features and 5GB of storage can be yours for free. Backblaze has been delivering easy, low-cost backup services to consumers for years, so it's no surprise that its business products have the same focus on simplicity and value.
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There are no limits on capacity, for instance, or bandwidth. There's no need to browse multiple service levels and try to figure out what's right for you. The backup process is just as straightforward, with the program initially backing up all your data — which can even be on external disks and USB keys — and then backing up individual files as they change.
Your data is then accessible online via a web interface and mobile app. Bonus features include versioning, where file changes are kept for four weeks. An anti-theft feature records the IP address of your computer when it connects, and backup data can be sent on a flash drive or USB hard drive for speedy restores, anywhere in the world. Send the drive back within 30 days and they'll refund the price in full. The service now includes some handy central management tools. Admins can assign users to separate groups for custom billing, view details about their backup status and settings, and receive alerts on problems.
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In our experience BackBlaze only delivers mid-range backup performance, but that's fine for most purposes, and we think the service delivers in terms of features and value. Unlike most backup products, Carbonite Computer Backup Core is licenced to run on as many computers, external hard drives and NAS drives as you need. However, the service does deliver plenty for your money. Carbonite can manage just about every aspect of your backups, keeping training and other hassles to a minimum.
Even the initial backup is largely automatic, and incremental backups then upload changed files only. Encryption is vital in keeping data safe once it has left your system, and Carbonite uses multiple technologies, including TLS during transfer and bit Blowfish when stored. All your files are visible from a web interface, iOS and Android apps, and there are various ways to restore them: Put it all together and Carbonite Computer Backup Core is a quality package, although as mentioned, there are cheaper services around.
Some business backup providers try to compete on functionality, others on price, but CrashPlan Pro aims to do both. The service combines a low price with a lengthy list of features and controls, including some that are rarely found elsewhere. The package works on Linux, as well as PCs and Macs, for instance. There's unlimited storage space, including unlimited versioning, and it's easy to find documents by date, time or version such a useful feature that it could be a reason for choosing this product in itself.
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The service is hugely customisable. You can have continuous or scheduled backups. Online destinations, local, or both. Some genuinely intelligent features help to enhance reliability. The package can watch for new documents in your chosen folders, for instance, ensuring files are protected as soon as possible. All this can be managed from a powerful web console. You're able to monitor backup progress and settings, configure clients, enforce policies and more, although notably this is desktop-only — the console doesn't support mobile browsers.
There might be cheaper packages than CrashPlan Pro around, but on an overall level, they don't get close to its power and functionality.
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If you're a desktop user and need anything more than the backup basics, CrashPlan is definitely one for your shortlist. MozyPro is a small business-oriented cloud backup plan from Mozy, one of the most long-standing and popular backup providers. We need to point out the the freemium software lacks several key features of the paid version, including image-based backup, file compression and private encryption.
That latter miss is a big one given common cybercrime threats like data breaches and man-in-the-middle attacks. Sometimes free comes at a price. However, CloudBerry Backup freemium is otherwise the same great product, with a desktop client that supports hybrid backup, backup scheduling, block-level backup and customizable retention policies. You can discover more available features by checking our CloudBerry Backup review.
One of the things that makes CloudBerry different is that rather that lock you into its own cloud infrastructure, the company lets you pair the backup client with over 50 different cloud services. While most of those, like Amazon S3 and Microsoft Azure , will cost you a pretty penny, there are some free options, too.
The most generous of those free options is Google Drive. Anyone who creates a Google account gets 15GB of free cloud storage. With CloudBerry Backup, you can easily turn that free cloud storage into free cloud backup. All you need to do is choose Google Drive as your cloud backup destination, sign into your Google account and then complete the rest of the steps for creating your backup plan. The CloudBerry Backup client will walk you through it all, so it should be pretty simple.
From the desktop client, you can pick which folders you want to continuously backup to Google Drive. However, there are no backup features beyond that, making for a clumsy and thin backup experience. Read our Wasabi review for more details. We cover all of the subscription options in our Google Drive review. IDrive ranks as the most feature-packed backup service in this article, at least when only considering free iterations.
Unlike with CloudBerry Backup, a free IDrive plan still encrypts files sent the the cloud, both in-transit and at-rest, and lets you opt into private encryption. IDrive also has advanced scheduling features, block-level backup, file versioning and supports image-based backup. You can even use your subscription to backup your smartphone, something very few other online backup services allow.
Add to that the fact that IDrive gives you 2TB of matching file sync space, and for some the value will be greater. Now, you can only get 10GB all hot. Zoolz can also backup social media accounts, including Facebook and Instagram. Again, though, 10GB of space limits the value of those particular features. Other backup features include backup scheduling, hybrid backup, private encryption and multithreaded backup. Missing features aside, the landscape for free backup is so barren that Jottacloud makes our list with relative ease. Capabilities of note include a backup scheduler, continuous backup and file versioning.
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Jottacloud Photos might be the feature that sets the service apart the most from run-of-the-mill backup options. However, the lack of file compression also means you use up backup space more quickly. Oh, and its slow and the customer support is less than stellar. Last and, in this case, least, is Elephant Drive, with a scant 2GB of free online backup. Elephant Drive Lite, as the freebie plan is called, also limits you to file upload sizes of MB. Of course, with 2GB of file space, you can only backup 20 or so MB files anyway.
The service does, at least, provide an option for private, end-to-end encryption, so you can keep those 20 files safe. Backups can be set to run continuously, or you can schedule daily, weekly or monthly backups. While putting together our Elephant Drive review , we ran into a few technical issues when trying to restore files.
After all, they say you should never look a gift elephant in the mouth. Or something like that. The advantage of using a dedicated online backup service to protect your files rather than using cloud storage is that most such tools are designed to almost effortlessly protect your entire hard drive with features like automatic backup by file type and backup schedulers. In that case, using cloud storage to safeguard your precious files makes some sense.
The good news for you is that there are many more free cloud storage options out there than free backup, which we detail in our best free cloud storage article. We recommend pCloud , which, as noted in our pCloud review , gives you 10GB of free storage, expandable to 20GB with recommendations. Our Sync. The truth of the matter is that there are no truly great options for free online backup. CloudBerry Backup freemium paired with 15GB of free Google Drive storage is an easy winner, but even that approach has many limitations.
Backblaze, IDrive and Carbonite all fit the bill, and we even have a comparison article to help you pick between them. Offer your two cents in the comments below, and thanks for reading. Whatever you do, do not use Backblaze, they have trashed my backed up data because my hard drive failed, I didnt realise and if its not connected for 30 days they just wipe your data, two and a half years of professional photography work is lost.
Their Web Help Center clearly states that remote upload traffic for free accounts is limited. Thanks for the article.