Cloud and online backups are essential for modern organizations seeking to establish additional security and redundancy of critical data.
As uptime for digital services and IT infrastructure increasingly influences a business’s bottom line, companies must take even more precautions with protecting data and systems. Whereas administrators were previously limited to on-premises backups, cloud backups — like many cloud based services — offer clients an affordable, scalable, and remote-accessible solution. For an optimal recovery strategy, organizations should adopt both local and online backups.
This article looks at cloud backup services, the best solutions in the industry, why online backups are critical, and how to choose a cloud and online backup solution.
Read more: Server Backup Software and Solutions.
Comparing the Best Cloud & Online Backup Services
|Vendor||Windows||Mac||Linux||Encrypted Storage||Versioning||Unlimited Backup||Unlimited Devices||Free Trial|
|OpenText Carbonite||✅||✅||🚫||✅||✅||✅||🚫||15 days|
|Code42 CrashPlan||✅||✅||✅||✅||✅||✅||🚫||30 days|
|Zoolz BigMIND||✅||✅||🚫||✅||✅||🚫||✅||14 days|
Best Cloud & Online Backup Services
One of Acronis’ earliest software products included its backup and disaster recovery technology. Almost two decades later, the Swiss cybersecurity company is a strong player in the cloud backup industry with Acronis Cyber Protect for individuals, businesses, and service providers.
For mission critical workloads from individual files to full systems, Acronis Cyber Protect offers an efficient backup and recovery solution for Windows and Linux servers. Acronis’ backup solutions also come with 50 integrations to popular applications from AWS, ConnectWise, Google, Microsoft, and ServiceNow.
- File and disk image backups for entire systems and bare metal restore compatibility
- Machine learning on SMART reports for drive health monitoring
- Built-in malware scanning
- Optimize existing machines with tape multiplexing and multistreaming
- Add-on protection options for disaster recovery and secure offsite cloud storage
Acronis Pros and Cons
- Easy to maintain and reliable
- Range of basic and advanced features
- Capabilities like deduplication and API management
- Lacking integrations with some popular apps
- Program can be resource-intensive
- Wait times for technical support resolution
Backblaze is an industry leader in online backups and well-known for its Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) solution, B2 Cloud Storage. Backblaze Business Backup is available for computers, network-attached storage, Veeam, and servers. Like the top cloud storage service providers, the solution comes with seamless access to B2-stored data.
Working with MSP360, Backblaze offers its server backup services for Microsoft’s Windows Server, Exchange Server, and SQL Server.
Backblaze B2 Server Backup Features
- Plug-n-play functionality for quick deployment
- Granular controls and permissions for managing multiple servers
- Compression and encryption for data in transit
- Flexible scheduling and migrating large datasets using B2 Fireball
- Featured integrations with Cloudflare, iconik, QNAP, Synology, and Veeam
Backblaze Pros and Cons
- Unlimited storage with simple pricing
- Security features like encryption and 2FA
- Strong technical support
- Website and mobile interface are a bit outdated
- Licenses limited to a single device
- Lacks support for network drives and some file syncing
Also read: Best Virtual Machine (VM) Backup Software
Acquired by software vendor OpenText in 2019, Carbonite is another market leader offering a range of cloud backup solutions for data loss protection. Carbonite Server is a comprehensive backup solution giving administrators up to four copies of system data.
For selected server systems, the Carbonite Server solution compresses backed-up data and performs incremental backups for change management. Carbonite’s solution offers extensive support for virtual machines, physical servers, and critical legacy systems, for a flexible solution in the hybrid cloud era.
Carbonite Server Features
- Schedule, monitor, and analyze backups on a daily, hourly, and minute basis
- Compressed and encrypted data in transit and at rest
- Scanning, alerting, and remediation against potential malware or ransomware
- Optional integrated hardware for a secure local and cloud backup
- Support for Windows, Linux, and hypervisors (VMware, Oracle, IBM, Solaris)
Carbonite Pros and Cons
- Strength of security and reliability
- Ease and speed of implementation
- User friendly and flexible for migration
- Slow at times with larger workloads
- No mobile app clients
- Doesn’t provide mail service for large datasets
CrashPlan is one of cybersecurity-focused Code42’s earliest products, serving more than 50,000 businesses with backup data protection. CrashPlan has plans for small businesses and enterprise organizations with over 100 endpoints.
Both plans offer unlimited file sizes, robust encryption, and technical support from CrashPlan’s dedicated disaster recovery and backup experts. With remote monitoring and management, administrators can operate remote systems via web or desktop applications.
- Option for external drive backups and control over length of file retention
- No restrictions on file types or file sizes
- 256-bit AES encryption at rest and option for Business Associate Agreement (BAA)
- Continuous backups with version retention for most recent changes
- Support for macOS, Windows, and Linux systems
CrashPlan Pros and Cons
- User-friendly management console
- Responsive customer support
- Robust performance and feature set
- High CPU utilization at times
- Difficulty managing large datasets
- No plan for unlimited devices plan
Cloud backup industry leader IDrive offers solutions for disk cloning, network-attached storage, bare-metal disaster recovery, mobile devices, and comprehensive protection for servers. With 256-AES encryption, administrators can securely manage backups for Microsoft 365, SQL, Exchange, and Sharepoint servers; VMware; Hyper-V; Oracle; and Linux servers.
Interested clients can choose from five IDrive Business plans ranging from 250GB to 5TB storage in 1 or 2-year licenses.
- Dashboard controls for managing policies related to backups, users, and reports
- Continuous data protection tracking and backing up modified files
- Support for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android device backups
- Snapshots for historical analysis, versioning, and deleted file retention
- Regulatory framework reporting support for SEC/FINRA, GLBA, SOX, and HIPAA
IDrive Pros and Cons
- Strong desktop and mobile app
- Unlimited users per plan
- Security features like encryption and 2FA
- Deployment requires some technical experience
- Outdated user interface
- No unlimited storage plans
Specializing in SaaS data protection solutions, Infrascale offers both on-premises and cloud backups for physical servers. Infrascale supports all Windows servers, macOS, VMware, and Hyper-V to give administrators flexibility in the hybrid IT environment.
The vendor’s backup solution comes with cloud failover capabilities to minimize downtime and protect against disaster events. Infrascale’s central dashboard allows clients to establish alerts, reports, and global policies to optimize restoration systems.
- Backup support for servers, databases, files, and folders
- Extract device-level audit logs and analyze historical data and trends
- Support for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS systems
- AES-256 encryption, multi-factor authentication, and anomaly detection
- Add-on for Windows bare metal systems on physical or virtual machines
Infrascale Pros and Cons
- Flexibility and ease of scaling across organization
- Quality of technical support
- Convenient solution for managed service providers
- Lacking documentation for users
- Expensive services and costly maintenance
- Unstable loading can require additional backup testing
Also read: Best Database Software & Management Systems
Jungle Disk’s initial success was one of the first backup solutions for Amazon S3 cloud storage and once a part of cloud computing vendor Rackspace. Nowadays, Jungle Disk Server Edition agents are available for Windows and Linux infrastructure, and server management for macOS systems.
Interested clients can get an instant quote for automated data backup plans for up to 100 devices. Each plan includes advanced deduplication and compression for data to save on storage costs, dedicated support, and an initial limit of 10GB ($0.15/GB thereafter).
Jungle Disk Features
- Advanced compression and deduplication for efficient storage
- Secured network drive for storing, accessing, and sharing files
- Supports desktop and servers for Windows, macOS, and Linux systems
- Support for compliance standards like HIPAA and PCI
- Add-on options for email archiving, password monitoring, and security awareness
Jungle Disk Pros and Cons
- Unlimited versioning and deleted file retention
- Fast, reliable, and scalable
- Ease of deployment and access
- Complicated user interface
- Lacking options for image and continuous backups
- Permissions within folders too simplified
With a decade of industry experience, SpiderOak provides secure communications and collaboration through its trusted application platform and flagship data restoration product, One Backup. Clients can choose from four SpiderOak One Backup plans ranging from 150GB to 5TB of storage capacity for an unlimited number of devices.
One Backup is an end-to-end encryption solution to ensure the utmost privacy while administrators sync or migrate system data across hybrid infrastructure.
SpiderOak One Backup Features
- Collaborative and secure application platform using distributed ledger technology
- Support for Windows, macOS, Linux, and Android operating systems
- Create self-destructing, temporary links to backup files
- Encryption in transit and at rest on servers
- Point-in-time recovery for responding to malware attacks
SpiderOak Pros and Cons
- Strength of security and privacy
- Unlimited devices for all plans
- Technical support and services
- Licensing is more expensive
- No mobile app clients
- Lacking phone support
Tresorit is a cloud collaboration-focused vendor offering a handful of solutions for individuals and businesses addressing email encryption, secure file sharing, content protection, and digital workplace security. For organization and team-level backups, Tresorit offers three plans covering small teams up to enterprise workloads for encrypted communications and storage.
Tresorit stands out with its external file sharing protection, but enterprise clients also can take advantage of integrations for workspace administrators, personalized staff training, and custom deployments. Plans range from 1TB to an unlimited amount of encrypted storage per user and a maximum file size of 20GB.
- Plugins for Outlook and Gmail, encrypted links, and additional link security
- External file sharing offering document analytics, link tracking, and watermarking
- Live chat, email, and phone support with option for custom deployment and training
- Support for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS systems
- Administrative controls for 2FA, device wiping, domain verification, and reporting
Tresorit Pros and Cons
- Storage capacity and performance
- Support for mobile app and Linux clients
- High availability and security
- Lacks support for simultaneous editing
- Time consuming for large workloads
- Less friendly for non-Windows infrastructure
Dedicated backup vendor Zoolz offers Genie9 for local backups, BigMIND Cloud Backup, and conventional cloud backups for businesses. BigMIND Cloud Backup options for prospective clients include four plans ranging up to 1TB in cloud storage, 500 users, and 50 servers.
Notable features across plans include intelligent media streaming, eDiscovery, AI-powered photo detection, and Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software. For organizations with regulatory requirements, Zoolz solutions are compliant with GDPR, HIPAA, GLBA, and more.
Zoolz BigMIND Features
- Track all data queries, shares, deletions, file changes, and user actions
- Support for NAS or external drive backup
- Remote restore and backup configuration
- User access management and Active Directory deployment
- Organize files by tags, search through all content, and use OCR technology for scans
Zoolz Pros and Cons
- Ease of use and user interface
- Quality of technical support
- Capabilities like security, privacy, and speed
- Lacking disaster recovery and sync capabilities
- Expensive premium subscriptions
- No mobile app and limited versioning options
Read more: Best Server Virtualization Software
What Is Online Cloud Backup and Why Is It Important?
When attached to “backup,” both cloud and online, commonly refer to the same solution — a backup established, managed, and maintained through a web service hosting remote data management infrastructure. Cloud and online backup services offer organizations secure storage and file sharing solutions with encryption, versioning, change management, and more.
Online syncing services like Google Drive, OneDrive, and Dropbox are commonly mistaken for cloud backup services because of their ability to mirror data across connected devices. However, cloud and online backup services refer to the more direct and dedicated cloud servers hosting remote backups for business-level workloads. Conversely, The services mentioned above are more similar to a cloud-based file server.
Online and cloud backups provide organizations with additional security and redundancy beyond traditional backups.
Backups have long been critical to protecting network data for the worst-case scenario. Whether it’s a natural disaster, accidental deletion, or a cyberattack, backups ensure organizations can promptly access essential data and resume operations.
Fulfilling the 3-2-1 Backup Rule
Cloud backups also align with the IT management best practices by following the 3-2-1 Principle of Backups. This principle says organizations should have three copies of backup data in at least two different forms of storage and one off-site copy.
The introduction of online and cloud backups gives organizations another type of storage, making establishing an off-site copy more accessible than ever before.
Also read: Best Server Security Tools & Software
On-Premises Backups vs Cloud Backups
|On-Premises Backups||Cloud Backups|
|On-premises or local backups are the tapes, disks, and flash drives holding redundant data for an organization. With physical access, administrators have more control over local backups, and system reloads are typically faster.||Online and cloud backups are available via SaaS vendors hosting global data centers and remote servers for backing up client data. Though clients give up physical controls, cloud backups offer extensive remote access, scalability, and reduced overhead.|
Cloud & Online Backup Features
- End-to-end encryption and security and privacy controls
- Scalable cloud storage capacity with options for upgrading
- Efficient cost for maximum allowable data
- Continuous availability and redundancy for failover
- Speed of data transfers, uploading, and downloading
- Versioning and deduplication for analyzing and migrating data
- Support for network-attached storage (NAS) devices
- Support for major operating systems (Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android)
How to Choose a Cloud Backup Service
As cloud backups are critical to modern IT infrastructure, choosing the ideal online backup service can mean continued security, privacy, and redundancy for organization data.
As the cloud backup market evolves to meet growing demand from individual consumers, advanced features and server-specific capabilities can be less straightforward at first glance. Pricing and features vary across backup solutions, so consider how organization needs and budget align. The added time to confirm whether a solution offers adequate storage capacity, encryption standard, or integrations is worth it.