Which Online Backup Service Should I Use?

I already do backups locally but I really would like to consider a cloud-based backup service. So I wanted to reach out to the community to see who is using what and what’s been really good to work with. Normally I’d put this on Twitter but organizing all of the feedback, along with regular tweets, becomes a bit crazy and the comments are better for future reference.

So which online backup services should I consider?

Rey Bango


  1. I’ve been using Mozy and Mozy Pro for a couple years, including a save-my-ass restore on a SQL Server database that went off without a hitch. Recommended.

  2. I had been using Mozy, but their client was pretty buggy (at least on my Mac) and they did away with their unlimited plan, so I switched over to Backblaze. Quite happy with them, the only complaint I have is that you can’t restore files from the application, you have to sign in online to download a zip file.

  3. I currently use Mozy – switching to BackBlaze in a couple of months due to better pricing for unlimited backups.

  4. I really recommend @crashplan (http://www.crashplan.com). After using Mozy for almost 2 years, I decided to move when they removed their “unlimited” plan. I store over 500GB of data between 4 machines: Mac, PC & Linux. Really reliable and as soon as the file is completed sending it is able to be restored, I haven’t seen this feature with other services. Most require a “full-backup” to be complete for any restore. They also offer local and pc-to-pc backups for free.

  5. I currently use Jungle Disk only downside it can be a bit pricey depending on how much data you need. Also my coworker switched from Mozy to Backblaze and he said nothing but good things about them.

  6. I’m using Carbonite and I like it.
    But after I pay it for Carbonite, I discovered Crashplan that is cheaper if you want to backup more than one computer.

    Carbonite only backups internal HDDs!

    • There is actually a way to back up external drives on Carbonite, though unsupported, I’ve never had a problem. You just need to map a folder on your c: drive to your external drive, and voila.

  7. I think that while carbonite may be good, something like JungleDisk, in conjunction with S3, may be better.
    With S3 and Jungledisk you pay for what you use. Also, Jungledisk encrypts everything locally with a strong encryption, AES256, I think, before uploading it to the cloud.

    Apparently, they added Rackspace storage and some point as well.

    It is definitely worth a look.

  8. backblaze.
    $5 per month per computer

    Best bar-none far as I am concerned.

  9. I use BackBlaze and so far so good although I have to admit I haven’t had to rely on it because nothing has failed to a point where I’ve needed it yet.

  10. I use https://www.jungledisk.com/ and have for a while now. I’ve tried mozy and a few others but jungle disk wish the cheapest one that let me back up data on a NAS. I think I pay $2.00 a month for Jungle Disk proper and then whatever the AWS usage fees are. I can’t remember how much data I have up there but it’s a good amount and I usually pay less than $10.00 a month. I also use the same account on multiple machines.

  11. I actually use Dropbox as a simultaneous backup and cloud storage service. Not sure if you’re looking for a more dedicated solution, but here’s a link to sign up: http://db.tt/ZJPi1em. I should also note that I don’t have that many files to begin with, so its somewhat limited capacity is more than sufficient for me, but you might prefer something that provides more space.

  12. We have a service called Splarchive that enables you to e-mail in the documents that you care about (URL’s, MS Office docs, PDF’s and forwarded e-mails) where everything is converted to PDF and available for searching, viewing and download onto your desktop, tablet or smartphone.

    You end up with a single place to login to view your documents and all of your documents consolidated into a format (PDF) that you know you will be able to view tomorrow and 20 years from now (you can download a zip of your PDF’s anytime).

    We built it in ColdFusion with ample chunks of jQuery.

    Try it at splarchive.com

  13. I’ve used carbonite for years and have no complaints. I’ve started to use crashplan lately for my local, versioned backup and I’ve been think about adding on their cloud solution once my carbonite subscription runs out. I have no experience with crashplan’s cloud solution but it would integrate well with my local backup solution.

  14. I started using CrashPlan this month and am happy with it so far. One of my criteria was that it has to work on OS X, Linux, and Windows. Had that not been a factor I may have settled on something else that’s only on OS X and Windows.

  15. I use a local hard drive for my OS and for my cloud backup I just use Dropbox. I don’t have a huge music or video library, well I do but I don’t feel those are important enough to warrant more than a simple local backup. I use my Dropbox folder as my user folder and thats where I put all my dev work as well so it works nicely as a backup/sharing/sometimes syncing and testing solution

  16. Dropbox for it’s simplicty, robustness and speed. No snapshotting – save a file and it’s backed up straight away.

  17. I tried using Mozy in the past, but had nothing but problems with the Windows client. It would constantly just stop working–with no rhyme or reason. The only fix was to wipe my data, uninstall and re-install. After a few times of that and trying several upgrades of the Mozy client I gave up. Not only did it take forever to re-upload my data, the fact that was so unreliable was enough for my to give up on Mozy.

    At the moment, I’m just backing up to a local NAS and also syncing important data between my PCs and laptops.

  18. I’ve been happily using Mozy for years now. There was a time when the Mac client was very buggy, but those days are long gone. I also like that they’re owned by EMC.

  19. I’m also a CrashPlan user – use it to manage both my local and online backup.

    Love the ability to define backup sets. I can configure my wife’s local backups to happen all the time, and then just have online happen at night, so it doesn’t clog our inter-tubes.

    Love it, it’s a great service.

  20. Can’t beat Carbonite. I’ve been using it for a few years now and I’m really pleased with it. I also use Dropbox to sync a smaller set of files across machines. I used to have Mozy Pro on my production servers, but their client was difficult to use and complicated to setup.

    Carbonite for large amounts of data and Dropbox for syncing across machines.

  21. BackBlaze, definitely (for the team and their privacy policy). They will send you your data on an external hard-drive in case of a crash.

    Dropbox is not supposed to be used as a backup service but as a sync service. That’s not the same thing :)

  22. I’ve been using Carbonite for a couple of years. I did a restore when I purchased a new computer(PC)and it took a few days to recover all of my personal files (docs and images).

  23. I use DropBox for sharing of non-sensitive files. I like it. But the following article (and comments) would worry me if i were using it for backups of sensitive information http://tirania.org/blog/archive/2011/Apr-19.html

    I have been really happy using JungleDisk with RackSpace storage for my backups for a year or so now. Easy tools (I’m on a Mac), scheduling, encryption and data compression to minimise cost and bandwidth use. Easy control over the number of revisions of files to retain.

    Personally I only keep minimal revisions in the cloud – it’s only purpose in my plan being for disaster recovery or occasional remote access. I keep multiple revisions locally through time-machine. I totally lost patience with the UI on EMC’s Retrospect.

  24. One small point that might be helpful for some – and I found this to be true of both Mozy and Carbonite (I am currently a Carbonite customer but asked Mozy about it):

    They keep deleted files for 30 days as a rule – and those count against your usage. I didn’t think I would use much space – but I take a snapshot of a handful of website file systems and databases each day (but only keep the latest three of those) – and it turns out to have bumped me up to the next rate plan above where I expected to be.

    Not a deal killer by any means for me – but a good thing to know about in advance. And as far as I can tell – functionality wise – not deleting things instantly is about the only difference between these explicit backup services and DropBox (oh yeah, and backing up multiple folders).

  25. Keepvault provides a good mix of many of the other options: it’s very fast, affordably priced with no per computer fees, provides continuous or scheduled backup, and has an easy to use interface. Plus our support team is fast, friendly and knows what they’re talking about!

    http://www.keepvault.com/try for the free trial and 30% off!!

  26. My recommendation(s) – Mozy and/or Elephantdrive. I use both (trust no one!) and have been happy with each.

    Carbonite is a joke. They throttle your transfer down to a crawl after 35 gb. They sometimes “don’t have your data.”

    Can’t speak to Backblaze or Norton (though Norton’s pricing seems pretty high).

    Have also heard good things about Crashplan (confirmed by posts in this forum.

  27. I use SafeCopy backup for all my backup services.With this online backup service,i can backup multiple computers on a single account and they also offer a 3GB trial version for life.Well i like everything about it.Another backup service is Dropbox which works well when it comes to file sharing.

  28. If you’re on OSX or Windows, SugarSync is great. Only thing is it does not support Linux yet :( Since my data live on my Ubuntu box I went with SpiderOak, UI is a little less fancy than SugarSync but feature set is comparable.

  29. I use CrashPlan+ after reading this post and reviews. If you backup to a local device it’s free! You can backup online and unlimited data for all computers is relatively cheap. Works on Mac as well if you are a Windows/Mac person. Thanks for the crashplan+ recommendation in the comments. It helped me find a viable backup solution!

  30. I use Dropbox for sharing my files incase i want to send to anyfriend of mine and SafeCopy backup for backing up my files online.Thanks for the information

  31. CrashPlan. The biggest advantage (which I did not see others mention) is you can have as many destinations (at the same time) as you wish. One of these can be CrashPlan’s cloud storage. But you could also use S3, or even other machines. It is the “other machines” scenario that is really exciting. Backup your office machine to your home machine and vice versa. Have a good friend you trust…set each other up as backup destinations (free off-site backup!). The posibilities are limitless (actually some relatively high power of two – but you get th epoint.

  32. dropbox for small backup plan. I haven’t thought about backup my whole disk :)

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