What plans do you have if your laptop is stolen, your hard disc fails, or you erase something crucial by accident? What if a natural disaster destroyed all of your electronic files?
One of the greatest methods to guard against these and other forms of data loss is to use a backup service.
In this post, we'll compare and contrast the top options for online backups—with offline features too :).
Table of Contents:
Best Online Backup for the UK ☄️: The Selection
We researched the installation processes, user-friendliness, key tools, and pricing structures of the leading online backup software vendors for your perusal below. Overall, this is a very useful personal and small business tool.
Keep in mind, we used to make a distinction between offline and cloud-based backup services… (The first option creates a duplicate of your files that you may then save elsewhere, such as on an external hard drive. Your data is encrypted before being sent to the backup service's servers.)
But nowadays, because there are benefits to both approaches, more and more backup services are providing online and offline capabilities together.
1. IDrive — Best Overall Online Backup
Having a backup is crucial—it's the only certain technique to prevent data loss.
Because of this, backup services are so useful, and for many, IDrive is the best option.
For a cheaper price than most of its competitors, IDrive provides more storage capacity than most individuals would ever need, with the scalability to serve a busy sales & marketing agency or enterprise.
IDrive is also excellent in its own right. The backup software allows you to set it and forget it, which is precisely how backup software should be. IDrive is the best backup program in our opinion since it provides excellent value and consistently excellent service.
Unlimited backups with 10GB of free space
IDrive’s free edition offers 10GB of storage capacity.
Registration for this doesn't require a credit card. Although 10 isn't enough for most individuals to back up their whole computer, it's plenty of capacity for a sizable collection of files like photos and documents. It's also quite kindhearted of them. There is often no trial or free version of backup software.
Furthermore, it's important to know that all IDrive editions—including the free one—may save local data to a remote location, such as an external or network drive.
A lot of providers don't provide local backup at all, and the ones that do, like Carbonite Safe, sometimes cost extra. Moreover, all of IDrive's services allow you to back up unlimited devices.
The base annual price of the IDrive Personal plan, which includes 5TB of space, is £65. Year one is discounted (£48).
Compare that to SpiderOak One Backup, which provides 150GB for £57 per year and 5TB for £264. Elephant Drive's annual fees are £83 for 1TB of storage, and £412 for 5TB.
While the yearly plan gets you unlimited storage space with Backblaze, it's important to note that plan only works for backing up a single computer and doesn't support mobile devices. All of this points to IDrive being the most cost-effective option for single users.
A Business plan on IDrive begins at £83 per month for 5TB of storage for five users and five PCs and scales up from there. As far as commercial backups go, it holds its own. For comparison, Elephant Drive's annual fee for 2 terabytes of enterprise storage is £330, whereas SpiderOak's fee for 5 terabytes is just £264.
Windows, Mac & Linux Compatability
Desktop clients are available for both Microsoft Windows 7 and later versions and Apple Mac OS X. If you contact the support staff and ask for it, you can acquire a command-line-only version of IDrive for Linux optimised for use on servers.
Additionally, there are native mobile apps for both iOS and Android.
Get started without providing financial data… 🏝️
If you choose the free edition of IDrive, you may create an account without providing any financial information. After signing up, you'll be allowed to download the IDrive app for multiple platforms. Any number of devices may be backed up, but the software must be installed on each one.
After setup is complete, you may log in to your account and choose the data you want to back up on a regular basis. You may back up individual folders, such as those containing your papers and images, or you can back up your whole hard drive. You decide.
One of IDrive's primary selling points is its user-friendly backup service setup wizard.
Verdict 👑 - Our Winner!
You can trust your data to this comprehensive backup service.
Discover lightning-fast file uploads and an unbelievable number of features. There is no more cost-effective backup solution available. However, depending on your requirements, you may also want to consider alternative apps.
2. Acronis — Powerful Online Backups with Anti-Malware but Slower
Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office provides a plethora of choices for online backup and security.
Maybe more than you'll ever need.
As an example of how powerfully feature-packed this is, it can clone specific discs and partitions, back up any combination of data and folders, and restore your complete PC. Previously known as Acronis True Image.
While we found the security features did not meet the standards of the best anti-malware software we’ve seen, the backup functions are strong: store them in a local folder, a shared network folder, or, for an additional fee, in Acronis' own cloud storage.
Folders on several computers or on your local machine and in the cloud may be synchronised with ease. Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office, like other well-rated online backup services, can take a copy of your system at any time while you're using it and restore it exactly as it was before.
Fairly Competitive Basic Costs
Cyber Protect Home Office is available from Acronis for either a monthly membership fee or a one-time purchase. It's a wonderful touch that you may test the product for 30 days without submitting any financial information. Furthermore, there are no restrictions on the number of mobile devices you may have with a plan that allows them.
If you look at the price per gigabyte, it's also not a great option for cloud storage ☁️. In contrast, Acronis Cyber Protect provides a plethora of protection capabilities in exchange for a yearly subscription, some of which performed well in our hands-on testing.
There are three very generous editions of Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office to choose from. The free edition of Acronis' software still has more features than the majority of consumers need.
- An annual subscription for one computer under the Essentials plan costs only £39.99. Data may be backed up and restored on both local and remote devices, and ransomware is also prevented.
- For an additional £69.99 annually, you can upgrade to the “Advanced” edition, which includes 500 GB of cloud storage space with Acronis, enhanced malware protection, and cloud-to-cloud backups of your Microsoft 365 data.
- If you don't have your own certificate authority, the Premium plan's £91.24 a year will provide you with 1 terabyte of cloud storage (upgradable to 5 terabytes) and the ability to certify files using blockchain technology and use digital signatures on files. Subscriptions that originally only covered one computer may now be expanded to cover up to five devices.
Sandbox and Other Powerful Features—But at a Premium
Disk and system cleaning tools are included in all releases.
Try&Decide is a promotion that creates a sandbox in which you may safely experiment with new software or visit dubious websites; thereafter, you can decide whether to remove the program or restore the system to its original state with only a few clicks.
But the high cost of upgrades for Acronis Cyber Protect was a major issue.
One reviewer first paid £36.49 for the Essentials plan, but afterwards attempted to pay an additional £65.99 for the Advanced plan.
You might expect that Acronis's price difference would be £29.20. An upgrade, however, was shown to cost an extra £50.99. As a result, clients are basically charged an additional £22.09 for missing out on the Advanced version in the first place.
Turning off auto-renewal payments or opening a support request in the user portal will end your subscription.
Acronis Cyber Protect is the product to look at if you require catastrophe recovery services for your organisation. Consumers may choose between IDrive and Backblaze when it comes to catastrophe recovery services.
In this regard, the beginning price of Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office falls somewhat in the centre of the other options considered here.
Price Comparison - IDrive Wins
The annual fees for Carbonite Safe and Backblaze, respectively, are £43.80 and £61.19, and both services provide unlimited backup space for those prices; however, their single-computer licences have a price cap of £435.00.
When compared to Dropbox, IDrive's annual fee of £57.94 is far more reasonable, especially considering that it allows for unlimited storage across all of your devices and 5TB of storage space.
Favourable Verdict… 🦾
Backing up a whole disc image, which Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office does by default, has clear benefits.
The service excels because of its user-friendly interface, backup customization options, and additional security features like ransomware protection and digital signatures. However, in our backup testing, Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office was sluggish to upload data, and we had doubts about other functions.
Furthermore, both its website and mobile applications suffer from poor usability. It's a matter of personal preference as to how much its shortcomings affect you, yet it does many things quite well.
We like how it has a backup system as well as security features. Including data backups in your concept of security is a positive start in the right direction.
3. SpiderOak’s One Backup — Best Online Backup for Privacy
You may be hesitant to utilise an online backup service because of online privacy concerns, despite the fact that doing so is essential.
Take a look at SpiderOak One Backup if you're the kind of person who takes their data security seriously.
In addition to its no-knowledge policy for protecting your personal and online business data—and its user-friendly desktop interface—we also like its scalability and the fact that it can save an endless number of versions.
What is the Price Tag for SpiderOak One?📊
While the service's online storage fees are higher than those of its rivals, users may back up an unlimited number of devices with a single subscription. Unfortunately, multifactor authentication for website logins is currently not supported by SpiderOak One Backup.
We appreciate that the 21-day trial of SpiderOak One Backup doesn't call for any kind of financial commitment on your part. It's important to compare the monthly and annual plans if you're thinking about signing up as a subscriber, since they differ significantly.
The breakdown of costs is shown below. Despite their high sticker prices, each of these packages may be used on an infinite number of gadgets. Keep in mind that even if a technology service provider advertises “unlimited” use, the provider may nonetheless impose usage limits if the service is utilised in excess of what is considered fair use.
By way of illustration, if a service is labelled as “personal”, but it is being used to run a major corporation, the user may be in breach of the conditions.
In addition to internal discs, network volumes, and portable media may all be backed up using SpiderOak One Backup. Carbonite Safe and similar services charge extra for such features.
If you're interested in purchasing SpiderOak One Backup monthly, choose one of the following monthly plans:
- £4 = 150GB
- £8 = 400GB
- £10 = 2TB
- £21 = 5TB
You can receive more storage for the same price if you pay yearly.
SpiderOak One Backup Provides Confidentiality and Safety
The robustness of SpiderOak One Backup comes from the company's commitment to safety. According to its “no-knowledge policy”, it will not access or monitor any of your data in any manner.
This means that TLS/SSL encryption and certificate pinning is used for all communications with and from the SpiderOak servers (a method of preventing man-in-middle-attacks). In short, no one else can read what you have stored.
Your SpiderOak backups are encrypted with your account password, as previously explained. To protect your account from brute force and rainbow table assaults, your password is hashed using salted PBKDF2. SpiderOak claims that its encryption method combines 2048-bit RSA and 256-bit AES. All of those safeguards are there to protect the confidentiality of your information. It also implies that if you lose your SpiderOak account password, nobody there can help you reset it.
When compared to standard online backup services, this configuration is unique. You may use IDrive and Acronis Cyber Protect Home to store files encrypted with private keys independent of the account password. Although the firms will be unable to assist you in recovering your data in the event that you lose your key, they will be able to change your account password.
SpiderOak One Backup's openness, both in its help materials and during usage, merits praise. When you sign in to your account on the web, for instance, the service explains in plain English the trade-offs in privacy that are part and parcel of using the service.
The last part of the warning states that the no-knowledge restriction is only strictly enforced for the desktop version of the software. It's possible you won't utilise the web interface since it doesn't provide two-factor authentication. The functionality has been “in beta” for quite some time, as of this writing. This safety feature is supported by a wide variety of online backup providers.
Verdict 🌴 - Decent Privacy
If security and confidentiality are your main priorities when choosing a backup solution, SpiderOak One Backup should be towards the top of your list.
The desktop software is likewise excellent, and one of the finest we've tried.
Although SpiderOak's online storage plans are on the pricier side, they allow you to save limitless file versions and support an unlimited number of devices. However, we would want the ability to back up mobile devices, and the service should include multi-factor authentication for online logins.
Account data (such as login and password), billing data, and data about the devices used to access the service (operating system, approximate amount of data stored on its service, IP address, any system error messages, and the date and time of each request).
It is the company's stated intention to utilise this information for internal service management and development, as well as customer profiling. The fact that SpiderOak “never sells your information or shares it with third-party advertising” is music to our ears.
Remember that SpiderOak will share data “if we feel it is reasonably required to comply with a law, rule, or legitimate legal process”, but this is a regular procedure.
4. Backblaze — Top Online Backup for Single Machine Unlimited Storage
We’ve reviewed Backblaze before, which stands out for its Mac performance.
When it comes to online backup services, Backblaze demonstrates that you don't need to spend a lot of money or deal with a lot of hassle.
The backup space is infinite for a single PC and the installation is simple.
Backblaze's all-inclusive backup strategy is great for beginners, but power users may want more customization options for a busy business protecting its payroll data. Our upload speed testing showed that the service was reliable, but it lacks the ability to back up mobile devices and does not have a folder-syncing feature.
What is the Going Rate for Backblaze?
When compared to other online backup services, Backblaze is a good value for those who just need to protect a single machine. Backblaze's annual fee of £43.80 buys you unlimited cloud backup space for a single machine.
If you'd rather pay £79.60 every two years, that option is available, too. Unlike IDrive's 5GB free account, Backblaze's free option is a temporary 15-day trial.
In comparison to SpiderOak One, which offers just 150GB of storage for £50.34 per year, Backblaze's unlimited storage is quite generous. In contrast, with Backblaze, you'll need separate licences for any machine you want to back up.
This means, if you need to back up five machines, the annual fee jumps to £215. Other services, such as SpiderOak and Acronis True Image, allow you to back up a number of devices at once.
By transferring the licence or inheriting the backup state on the new device, you may switch which device is linked with Backblaze.
After a licence is transferred, all previously-created backups on Backblaze are permanently deleted. Backblaze will remember the data you backed up on the previous machine if you opt to inherit the backup state.
Comparable principles apply to other services that need a separate licence for each device. In the case of Carbonite, for instance, the programme must be removed from the old computer before it can be set up on the new one.
Complex Cancellation but has Good Support
In order to terminate a Backblaze account, customers must first remove any ongoing backups from the account on the Preferences page, then delete any unused licences from the Overview page, and then delete the account itself from the My Settings page.
The procedure is more involved than with other cloud-based backup options. More work has to be done to deactivate the B2 cloud storage feature if it was activated on your account.
However, Backblaze has a 24-hour response time for support tickets and a live chat feature that is staffed during normal business hours (Pacific Time) on weekdays.
Steps for Using Backblaze (no Linux Support)
To join Backblaze, all you need is an email address and a password. After that, Backblaze makes an individual installer tied to your account that you can swiftly download and set up.
In addition to supporting macOS and Windows, Backblaze now has applications for both Android and iOS. The Linux operating system does not support Backblaze.
After Backblaze is installed, it will search your hard drive for certain file kinds (including documents, media files, and downloads) to determine how much space will be required for the backup.
When you click Continue, it will begin backing up immediately. This is perfect for those who don't want to think about what has to be backed up. But if you want a little more say over what is transferred to the cloud, this first backup behaviour might be unpleasant.
Backblaze App for Windows
Even though you may interrupt a backup job at any time after it has begun, making changes still requires you to navigate the complex exclusion-based procedures used by Backblaze. The problems with this setup will be covered shortly.
Please be aware that although Backblaze can back up all of your user data, it cannot be utilised for disc imaging. You may use Acronis True Image or IDrive to create and store a backup that can be booted from without any issues. However, unlike Carbonite, which requires an additional fee, Backblaze allows you to back up any USB hard discs that are linked to your computer.
Verdict 🔥 - Simple & Valuable for Single Users
If you're not tech savvy, don't want to fiddle with your settings, and just have one computer and antivirus software for extra protection, then Backblaze is the perfect solution for you.
It requires no effort to set up and operates automatically to safeguard your data. We find the encryption functions to be extremely useful.
However, you might want a more feature-rich mobile app and a method of backup that wasn't contingent on excluding certain data. If you're looking for a backup and security solution in one, consider Acronis or our winner, IDrive.
5. OpenDrive — Popular Online Backup Custom Service for Small Budgets
If you want to back up your data to the cloud and sync/share them across devices, OpenDrive is a good value choice.
On the value point, the service has customizable price tiers, an easy-to-use online interface, a 24/7 backup service, and two-factor authentication.
However, OpenDrive's desktop interface is cluttered, its backup and restore choices are subpar, and the service's upload speeds were below average in our testing. In addition, it would be helpful if we could encrypt the whole of a backup using a secret key.
Custom Plans: How Much Does OpenDrive Set You Back?
Free users of OpenDrive get access to 5 GB of storage space, with daily bandwidth capped at 1 GB. File uploads are capped at 100 MB in size, and upload rates are capped at 200 kbps with this package.
You can get started with the free account without providing any financial information by only providing an email address and a password. If you need more space, IDrive has a permanent free 5GB account.
For £82 annually, you may upgrade to the Personal Limitless plan and get unlimited uploads and storage space for an unlimited number of devices.
With a personal subscription, you may take as many notes as you want, set up to ten tasks in your project management software, and back up to an external drive. OpenDrive's Unlimited Business Plan costs £246 annually and provides unlimited tasks in addition to unlimited notes.
What Custom Plans Get You…
With a Custom plan, you may choose important details like storage space, data transfer, and user count.
For a custom plan, the first user will pay £41 per year for 500GB of online storage, and each subsequent user will be charged 81 pence per month. You should know that there is a steep price rise if you need more space or more transfer speed. For instance, the price of the Personal Unlimited plan is same to the price of a bespoke plan that provides 1TB of storage for two users.
To put that in perspective, IDrive's 2TB plan, which is compatible with an unlimited number of devices, costs £57 annually. With Backblaze, you can back up one computer for only £49 a year, but you can only use the unlimited storage plan for backup purposes.
OpenDrive supports a wide variety of platforms with its client software, including Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android, in addition to a WordPress plugin. WebDAV and an application programming interface (API) are also provided.
The web interface is the only option for Linux users. OpenDrive works in tandem with the Finder on macOS and the Windows File Explorer.
With OpenDrive ‘Secure Folder’, Your Data is Safe and Private… with Caveats.
If safety is your number one priority, don't utilise any other OpenDrive feature than the Secure Folder.
You'll need to generate a private key 🗝️ to utilise the Secure Folder's encryption technology, which is compliant with the AES-256 standard and requires you to log in with a password.
But OpenDrive won't be able to assist you to get back in if you lose your private key. The contents of this encrypted folder are private and can only be viewed by the owner using the program installed on their computer.
With services like Acronis True Image, Backblaze, Carbonite, IDrive, and SpiderOak One, you can lock down your whole backup collection with a single private key. Uploads to OpenDrive's servers, whether to the Secure Folder or to a standard folder, are made securely over the HTTPS protocol.
OpenDrive also employs Seagate self-encrypting drives in its servers, according to a company spokeswoman.
We like the update that made two-factor authentication for online access possible with OpenDrive. The current set of supported authentication methods includes SMS and Authy. In testing, both strategies performed equally well. 2FA is available with IDrive and Livedrive.
Verdict - Improved but Still Lacks ☄️
Even if there have been improvements, several vital capabilities are still missing.
We prefer Livedrive since it has limitless storage space and useful programmes, in addition to being able to manage the essentials of backup without any problems. In addition, since we last reviewed Livedrive, we're glad to see that two-factor authentication is now a supported feature.
However, Livedrive is expensive, doesn't provide continuous backup, and restricts file encryption to the Briefcase (and not with a private key).
If you're looking for a more robust online backup solution, we recommend either IDrive or Acronis True Image, both of which have strong use, speed, and overall quality.
If you'd prefer not to save your backups online, we've compiled a list of the best external hard drives and the best local backup software.
6. Livedrive — Decent Online Backup Service With 2FA Protections
The use of a cloud-based backup service is a sensible precaution to take against the inadvertent deletion of crucial data.
Livedrive is an easy-to-use backup solution that provides unrestricted capacity and powerful programs for both desktop and mobile devices.
Livedrive has a lot of useful features, but it costs a lot of money per month and lacks some basic ones like the ability to schedule backups or encrypt them. However, the inclusion of 2FA is a welcome improvement that we much appreciate.
How Much Does it Cost to Use Livedrive?
Livedrive is more costly than competing backup services. Take IDrive as an example; for £56 a year, you can sync two terabytes of data across an infinite number of devices.
Backblaze's annual fee of £49 for a single device gives you access to limitless cloud storage. Syncing folders is free with most providers, including SpiderOak One and OpenDrive.
Livedrive provides three different subscription options for consumers, each with a unique feature set and pricing structure that stands out among online backup services.
Backup, the entry-level plan, costs £7.40 monthly (or £74 annually). It provides you with limitless storage capacity that may be utilised for one PC or Mac.
While the Briefcase plan only costs £13 per month (£128 per year), it does not contain any kind of backup features. Livedrive's Briefcase enables you to view, modify, and sync data between devices and on the web; it functions similarly to a Dropbox folder.
Two terabytes of space, plus desktop and mobile apps—that's what you get with this package. No limits are placed on the total number of standard external drives that may be backed up, however, NAS backups are an additional cost.
The annual cost of the £20 monthly Pro Suite membership is £190. You're allowed to instal it on up to five computers (PC or Mac) and an infinite number of mobile devices.
Both the backup space and the briefcase space are limitless with this package. All of Livedrive's paid programmes come with a free 14-day trial that requires a valid credit card. Similar services, such as iDrive and OpenDrive, offer free trials, but we do not.
The Livedrive App Has Good Compatibility but No Linux
It takes more work than we'd like to cancel a Livedrive account. Customers who want to terminate their accounts must do so by contacting the Cancellation staff in the United Kingdom through phone, ticket, or the online cancellation form. Only one Cancel button should exist in the web interface.
The Livedrive app is compatible with Android, iOS, and Mac OS X. According to a spokesperson from Livedrive, the company has switched its applications to newer development platforms since the time of our previous assessment, which should enhance speed.
Livedrive is also available as a free download from the Microsoft Store for Xbox and Windows 10 devices; however, it does not provide access to all of the service's features. However, you may see anything that has been published and shared, as well as add files to your Briefcase, from the Store version.
Verdict - Limited Alternative with Unlimited Storage…
OpenDrive is an online backup alternative worth considering if you value storage flexibility and a sleek web interface.
OpenDrive has a restricted number of backup encryption choices and a disconnected desktop interface, both of which may be reasons to avoid it. Both IDrive and Acronis True Image are excellent choices for backup and security, but IDrive has a low price and fast performance.
Some people choose not to save their data on the cloud and instead use local backup services or invest in external hard drives.
Best Online Backup for the UK — Buying Guide
Avoid losing data due to ransomware, hard drive failure, or natural calamities by taking precautions with your PCs and mobile devices.
With our first-rate backup services, you can effortlessly back up your data both online and locally. Let’s explore what you should know when choosing…
It's Important to Back Up Your Computer, But Why? 🚀
More than 1,300 flights were cancelled by Delta Airlines back in August 2022, costing the firm over GBP£80 million. This was not due to bad weather or mechanical issues, but rather a failure of the airline's computer systems.
Don't believe it can't happen to you just because it happened to Delta, a major firm.
A sudden failure may happen with any piece of technology, whether a brand-new iMac or an old PC running Windows 7. Unfortunately, ransomware (Guide: Best Malware Software) and hard disc failure both make it difficult, if not impossible, to retrieve the data on a computer.
For causes other than a technical malfunction, such as robbery or a natural catastrophe, data loss may occur. Personal and professional assets such as papers, bookkeeping, plans, and spreadsheets should be safeguarded. This is exactly what backup services and programs do.
In recent years, Microsoft Windows and Apple's macOS have both significantly improved their native backup utilities.
Both Windows 10 and Windows 11 include full-disk backup options called File History, while macOS has its own backup programme called Time Machine. iCloud and OneDrive, both cloud storage services, are included with both.
All of them are worthwhile, but they fall short in some respects, primarily because they can't replace the dedicated best online backup for the UK software.
- Data Stats You Don’t Want to Lose Out On… 📊: eCom Shopper Stats for the UK
How Online Backup Systems Work: Your Options
A backup program's basic function is to create a duplicate of your contents in a location other than your primary hard disc.
It might be another disc, an external drive, a network-attached storage device, a rewritable disc, or “the cloud”, which refers to servers hosted by a third party.
You may easily recover the files from the backups if you ever lose the originals due to a calamity, accidental deletion, or overwriting.
Keep in mind that you'll need to keep updating your backups of the data on a frequent basis for this to be effective. It is possible to arrange daily, weekly, monthly, or continuous checks of your hard disc for new and updated data using the majority of backup applications (or at least, say, every 15 minutes). You may usually additionally instruct the backup service to keep an eye out for new or modified files as they are created.
Optional finer-grained settings include full, incremental, and differential backup modes…
The first is self-explanatory: a complete copy of the data you've chosen to back up is created. Differential backup stores all changes since the previous complete backup, whereas incremental backup just saves those that have occurred since the last incremental backup.
When restoring a file to its original state from an incremental backup, you will require both the most recent full backup and all of the incremental backup data in between, but with a differential backup, you will only need the most recent differential backup data and the original full backup.
Disk images go beyond basic file duplication by creating a complete replica of the hard drive, including the operating system and any other software installed on it. A disc image is a complete copy of a hard drive that may be used to restore an entire system in the event of a drive failure. A disc image may be updated almost in real-time by certain products.
However, the greater level of security requires more work during the initial setup and subsequent restores. Restoring a system image from inside your primary operating system is often not viable, thus you will need to run a pre-boot environment from startup media.
Advantages of the cloud…
Backups may be made locally on a hard drive or remotely in the cloud (Guide: How Secure is the Cloud?). When you use an online backup service, your data is encrypted before being sent over the internet and stored on secure servers.
The main advantage of this strategy is that your information will be stored at a location that is safe from any natural disasters that may occur in your area. It's not as fast as loading local copies, and there are yearly costs involved.
Don't mix cloud storage and file synchronisation, which services like Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, and OneDrive provide, with online backup.
Though they do use cloud storage, such services aren't built to safeguard your system data, much less your photos, videos, and documents. In most circumstances, they will only sync a single folder (and all of its subfolders) to the cloud, however, they may in rare cases also provide collaborative document editing. There is more to what backup services and software can accomplish.
Backup users at home have distinct requirements from those at a company. Check out our compilation of the best online backup for the UK list for companies if you're looking for a more extensive cloud solution for your organisation. You'll pay more, but these packages support more devices and have more robust management tools.
Learn more ☁️: How Does Cloud Storage Work?
Creating Backup Schedules 💡
Different backup services have different methods of implementation and operation.
The completely hands-off Backblaze, for instance, encrypts and uploads all your crucial data automatically, without requiring any user intervention.
Both IDrive and Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office (formerly known as Acronis True Image) allow you to choose individual files for backup. You should be aware that some services won't let you back up certain file formats or won't let you use certain sources (such as an external or network disc). Verify that your chosen backup system is compatible with all of your data storage mediums.
There are three standard methods for determining the frequency of backups.
- Once a day, once a week, or once a month is the most popular choice.
- The second, and our preferred method, is continuous backup, which involves uploading files every time they are modified and saved. To avoid hogging bandwidth or space, these services will only upload the revised sections of your files.
- It's also possible to manually transfer files. While this level of precision in control may appeal to certain users, it is essential that you remember to execute the backups on a frequent basis for this strategy to be successful.
Common Questions 📚 — Top Online Backup for the UK
What is the security level of online backup services?
To safeguard your data, you may encrypt it using a private key on many cloud storage providers (basically a password you choose and need if you want to decrypt your backup files). Knowing that you are responsible for remembering your own encryption key if you want to handle its management yourself.
If you lose your password to an online backup service, the service and app will not be able to assist you to recover it. It may seem bad, but from a privacy and security perspective, having no one except yourself able to access your backups is great. This includes neither corporate personnel nor law enforcement. To avoid forgetting your private encryption key, use a password manager.
Besides protecting your files, some services also provide a host of other benefits. For instance, Acronis has security options like active ransomware prevention. IDrive, Backblaze, Livedrive, and OpenDrive are just a few of the backup apps that provide multifactor authentication (MFA).
We also value services whose privacy rules are straightforward and simple to understand. If an online backup service advertises that it sells your data to other parties, you may want to look elsewhere for a service that respects your privacy.
What is the best way to restore files using online backup services?
Any backup service is useless if it doesn't make it easy to restore lost data. For instance, if you use a backup provider, you should be able to search for certain files inside that backup. Replicating a full folder tree is preferable so that larger data losses may be remedied more quickly.
If you purchase a plan for only one computer, keep in mind that if you ever swap your primary device or if you need to recover data from a broken computer to a replacement, you may have to transfer your account to the new PC.
Using versioning, which is available in many services, you may keep snapshots of your data at various points in time, which can then be restored to reflect any changes you may have made. It's helpful if you ever need to restore data from an older save or if your most recent save somehow gets damaged. It is up to the individual organisation to choose how many backups should be created and for how long.
Some services, like Dropbox, only allow you to save a certain number of backups for a certain amount of time, like 30 days, while SpiderOak One Backup (formerly known as SpiderOak One) can keep an infinite number of copies of your files indefinitely.
How can I access my computer files from any device?
Having online backups means you can get to your data whenever you need them, no matter where you happen to be. The absolute minimum for an online backup service is the ability to access your data via a web browser or mobile app. In addition, several include file-sharing features, with the finest allowing you to restrict access with a password and set a deletion date.
There is a broad spectrum of app quality and usefulness. While some solutions just provide basic document and media file downloads from current backups, the more feature-rich solutions also allow you to back up data on mobile devices and even manage backups on other computers remotely.
How can I make my online backups faster?
How rapidly internet backup services encrypt, compress, and transfer data to their servers determines how quickly they really operate. If you need to restore a big quantity of data from a backup, time may be an issue. The backup application's impact on the system's and network's resources may be reduced if it has a high performance.
All of our most recent velocity evaluations were completed in 2021. Fast upload rates may undoubtedly make first and future backups less disruptive, but this should not be the deciding factor in which one you employ.
ShadowProtect SPX Desktop isn't included in the chart since it only does backups on a single machine. However, the same firm that created ShadowProtect also has alternative online backup options that are available for purchase.
Often referred to as “courier services”, bulk upload and restoration services are your best bet for rapid and easy data backups. A blank drive will be sent to you by the firm, and you will be responsible for filling it with your information before returning it. When it comes time to recover your files, some firms will even ship you an external drive already containing them. There are a variety of prices for these services from providers like IDrive, Backblaze, and Carbonite.
It's been said that there are only two types of individuals in the world: those that regularly back up their data, and those who have never experienced a data loss. It's not ideal to give backups of your data a second thought once a disaster has already occurred.
Choose a reliable backup strategy. It's possible, for instance, that you'd like to safeguard your information on an external hard drive using local backup software, rather than or in addition to storing them in the cloud.
Several of these tools provide you with the option to back up both online and locally, so you won't have to decide between the two.
Tried out one of these online backups? Let us know in the comments 💬.