The Best Online Cloud Backup Service

The Best Online Cloud Backup Service

Our pick

Backblaze

Backblaze

The best online backup service

Backblaze is economical, reliable, and easy to set up.

Buying Options

$60 from Backblaze
(per year, or $6 per month)

With unlimited online storage for one computer for $60 a year, Backblaze is the most affordable backup service we tested. It’s easy to use on both Windows and Mac. With the software installed and the default settings, uploads start immediately, and they include the most commonly used folders that need backing up. Backblaze keeps file versions around for 30 days—less than we’d like—but it offers paid upgrades to adjust that retention period if you want to keep backups available for longer. Backblaze supports external drives connected to your computer and has a good combination of online support tools. But its implementation of private encryption keys sacrifices some security for usability, and its restoration process is far too time-consuming.

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Runner-up

IDrive

IDrive

More flexible, better if you have multiple computers

IDrive isn’t as easy to use as Backblaze and costs more, but it supports multiple computers and offers more customization.

Buying Options

$70 from iDrive
(per year)

At $70 a year for 5 TB of storage, IDrive costs more and stores less than Backblaze. However, IDrive allows you to back up multiple computers for that price, something Backblaze doesn’t do. IDrive is a little clunkier to use than Backblaze, but it’s more flexible, with more options for you to change how IDrive works than Backblaze has. IDrive keeps up to 30 versions of files indefinitely, which means if you delete a file on your local storage drive you can (theoretically) pull it up years later in IDrive. Keeping so many iterations of files can lead to massive amounts of storage usage, though, and IDrive doesn’t warn you if you’re nearing storage capacity, charging you overage fees instead.

Details at a glance

Backblaze IDrive
Price (per year) $60 $70
Amount of storage Unlimited 5 TB (upgradable to 10 TB for $100/year)
Number of computers One Unlimited
Operating system support Windows, Mac Windows, Mac, Linux
File versioning Unlimited 30
File retention 30 days for free, $2/month for one year, or $2/month plus $0.005/GB/month forever Unlimited
Deduplication Yes No
Backup from external drive Yes Yes
Backup from mapped drive No Yes
Continuous backups Sort of Yes, for files under 500 MB
File restore From web browser In software
In-place restoration No Windows-only
Physical restore media Yes Yes
Transfer encryption SSL SSL
Storage encryption AES-128 AES-256
Two-factor authentication Yes, app or SMS Yes, email
Private encryption key Yes Yes
File size limits No No
File sharing Yes Yes
File syncing No Yes
Image backup No Windows-only
Backblaze and IDrive have minor differences that aren’t always obvious when you’re comparing the two.

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Our pick

Backblaze

Backblaze

The best online backup service

Backblaze is economical, reliable, and easy to set up.

Buying Options

$60 from Backblaze
(per year, or $6 per month)

Runner-up

IDrive

IDrive

More flexible, better if you have multiple computers

IDrive isn’t as easy to use as Backblaze and costs more, but it supports multiple computers and offers more customization.

Buying Options

$70 from iDrive
(per year)

Source: NY Times – Wirecutter

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