Our Top Picks

Arcserve-Logo
Arcserve
  • SSL and 256-bit AES protocol
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Disaster recovery option
Data protection and compliance laws are becoming increasingly tight. Arcserve eliminates the risk of data loss as a result of reasons beyond your control such as cyberattacks or damage.

Security is a high priority with this service provider, as evidenced by its use of two-factor authentication, SSL and 256-bit AES protocol encryption. This level of protection means that your data is safe in pretty much any eventuality. You can even backup apps and critical data and software using the disaster recovery option.

As secure as Arcserve arguably is, it’s only compatible with Linux and Windows operating systems. As many modern businesses use Mac and other Apple products, this seems like a definite oversight.

Also, the company is pretty cagey about pricing and how many devices you can backup using one subscription. Considering this cloud backup service provider has a reputation for being expensive — this lack of transparency doesn’t do them any favors. That said, some people might argue that you’re paying extra for the additional security measures and disaster recovery functionality.

Pros & Cons

Arcserve is run by IT infrastructure experts, and this really shows in the wall of security measures that are in place. Customers don’t just benefit from SSL and 256-bit AES encryption, but they also have to go through two-factor authentication on each login. This means that the likelihood of your data being mined or stolen by a hacker is next to zero. All of these experts don’t come cheap, though. Plus — you’d expect them to offer more than just basic Linux and Windows compatibility.

Pros

  • Stringent security measures
  • 24/7 customer support
  • IT infrastructure experts

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Only supports Windows and Linux

What Customers Are Saying

Arcserve has plenty of loyal customers who wouldn’t use any other cloud backup service. One business operator states that “Arcserve delivers cloud-based solutions with unbeatable security. Although I pay a little bit more than I used to, the level of data protection is much better.” Most reviewers mention that prices are high but the service is great.

Summary

Arcserve-Logo
Arcserve
  • Starting Price
    • Cloud Backup: $50/TB/month
    • Cloud Disaster Recovery: Undisclosed.
  • Encryption
    SSL
    256-bit AES protocol
  • Number of Devices
    Undisclosed
  • Browser Compatibility
    Windows
    Linux
Features
  • SSL and 256-bit AES protocol
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Disaster recovery option
Box-Logo
Box
  • Compatible with: Windows
  • Android
  • iPhone/iPad
Box has a clearly defined pricing structure that makes it easy to choose which option is best suited to your needs. Even the most expensive option is relatively affordable compared to some of the other providers on our list. All plans except the most basic starter pack, which is only $5 per month, include unlimited data storage capacity.

For the Starter subscription, you can use a minimum of three devices and a maximum of 10. A Business, Business Plus and Enterprise subscription let you use a minimum of three devices up to an unlimited number. At $15 per month for unlimited storage across unlimited devices, Box’s offering is cost-effective.

Although it has a lot to offer, people with an expert level of knowledge about cloud-based software will soon notice a couple of bugs and missing features. Nonetheless, it’s an excellent option for individuals with small businesses who are making their first foray into the cloud.

Pros & Cons

When it comes to security, Box does almost everything you need it to do. Two-factor authentication and 256-bit AES protocol encryption combine to ensure your company’s data is safe and secure. It supports file sharing, file syncing and image backup — making the thought of a data disaster a lot less daunting. On the other hand, advanced cloud users might find it too simple. It doesn’t support Linux, and its apps aren’t open source.

Pros

  • Good security features
  • File sharing
  • Continuous and scheduled backup

Cons

  • Doesn't support Linux OS
  • Lacks advanced capabilities

What Customers Are Saying

Reviewers are impressed with the accessibility and ease of use of Box. One person who’s used Box for five years comments, “I continue to use Box because it’s regularly updated, the customer support is good and there aren’t any limits on storage or the devices I can back up.”

Summary

  • Starting Price
    • Starter: $5/user/month
    • Business: $15/user/month
    • Business Plus: $25/user/month
    • Enterprise: $35/user/month
  • Encryption
    256-bit AES protocol
  • Number of Devices
    Starter: Minimum of 3; Maximum of 10
    Business: Minimum of 3; Maximum of Unlimited number of users
    Business Plus: Minimum of 3; Maximum of Unlimited number of users
    Enterprise: Minimum of 3; Maximum of Unlimited number of users
  • Browser Compatibility
    Windows
    Android
    iPhone/iPad
    Web-based
    Windows Mobile
Features
  • Compatible with: Windows
  • Android
  • iPhone/iPad
Carbonite-Logo
Carbonite
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Backup from an external drive
  • Image backup
Carbonite is automated, which makes it easy to use and get the most out of it. You can pay for the service on a per-computer basis, although there are also options for multiple computers and the additional package that includes server backup as well. Carbonite offers a full cloud-based backup and disaster recovery service from $50 per month. Although this is one of the more expensive options, with this cloud backup service — the more you pay, the more you get.

Computer-only subscriptions don’t include the highest security measures, although you’d still be protected by 128-bit encryption. Carbonite mobile apps are available for Android and iPhone, so you can back up the full range of media across your entire business. With a transparent pricing structure that tends towards the high end, Carbonite is a solid choice if you’re able to factor it into your budget.

Pros & Cons

Carbonite can be a little confusing for a new user at first. For a start, it doesn’t automatically back up large files. You’ll need to select these manually, which could get you into trouble if you aren’t careful. It doesn’t back up files for free online, either. So, it’s quite expensive to start with and you need to pay for add-ons to get the most out of it. That said, you can back up unlimited data automatically with this cloud backup service, and your data is encrypted.

Pros

  • Backup unlimited data
  • Continuous backup

Cons

  • Must manually select large files to backup
  • 128-bit encryption is for computer-only subscriptions

What Customers Are Saying

According to online reviews, Carbonite is a great choice for people who want to set the parameters and let it do the hard work. If there are any problems, it sends a notification so you can easily get it fixed. One user notes that it’s “one of the cleanest, easiest-to-use cloud-based backup platforms.”

Summary

Carbonite-Logo
Carbonite
  • Starting Price
    • One Computer: From $6/month
    • Multiple Computers: From $24/month
    • Computers + Servers: From $50/month
  • Encryption
    One - Multiple Computers: 128-bit Encryption
    Computers + Servers: 256-bit Encryption
  • Number of Devices
    Single Computer
    Multiple Computers
    Computers + Servers
  • Browser Compatibility
    Windows
    Web-based
Features
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Backup from an external drive
  • Image backup
Cohesity-Logo
Cohesity
  • Use with 10000 Virtual Machines (150GB average VM size)
  • 256-bit AES encryption
  • Recovery options
Cohesity aims to make backup and restoration of company data as effortless as possible. You enter the settings when you first get it, and it does the rest. Creating jobs is straightforward, and the security features are impressive. 256-bit AES encryption is the highest level of security available for stored data. Two-factor authentication and the ability to back up from an external hard drive make it a great choice for growing businesses that are focused on security.

There are some drawbacks with Cohesity. It doesn’t offer continuous backup and neither file syncing nor image backup are included. The pay-per-use subscription makes pricing more challenging to budget in advance, and there’s potential for the service to quickly become expensive.

Pros & Cons

It’s easy to find files and download them, but the feature users highlight as being most valuable is the rapid VM restore. The user interface is generally well-designed and intuitive, even when you’re thinking about scaling up. Another highlight is the security measures, which include two-factor authentication to secure your account and advanced encryption of the data itself.

Unfortunately, Cohesity doesn’t support image backup, continuous backup, file syncing or file sharing. Additionally, it’s one of the pricier options on this list.

Pros

  • Backup from an external drive
  • Excellent security measures

Cons

  • Unclear pricing structure
  • No continuous backup, image backup, file syncing or file sharing

What Customers Are Saying

The resounding feature that users online highlight about Cohesity is its ease of use and speedy VM restores. One professional comments that “this solution is easy to manage,” and another says the best thing about it is “instant volume mount and the SpanFS system.”

Summary

Cohesity-Logo
Cohesity
  • Starting Price
    • Pay Per Use Consumption-based Subscription
  • Encryption
    256-bit AES protocol
  • Number of Devices
    10000 Virtual Machines (150GB average VM size)
  • Browser Compatibility
    Web App
    Windows
    Android
Features
  • Use with 10000 Virtual Machines (150GB average VM size)
  • 256-bit AES encryption
  • Recovery options
Commvault-Logo
Commvault
  • Continuous and scheduled backup
  • 128-bit or 256-bit data encryption
  • Disaster recovery options
Commvault has been operating since 1996, and it has successfully navigated a rapidly adapting marketplace. It’s cagey about exactly how much you pay, asking you to get in touch with them so they can provide a bespoke offer. As one of the premium cloud backup services, it can get quite expensive — but it’s got high-end disaster recovery and backup options, too.

It doesn’t let you create backups from an external drive; however, scheduled and continuous backup is easy to set up. The support team is responsive, and there’s an online forum where members of the community help each other to troubleshoot.

There’s a small learning curve as the software is slightly more advanced than on some of the other platforms. It might take a while to understand and make the most of its capabilities, even though it lacks some basic functionality.

Pros & Cons

Although there are plenty of impressive features to play around with in Commvault, it can be difficult to navigate and implement simple tasks. You’d expect file sync and backup from an external hard drive to be included in its myriad menu options. However, it’s capable of producing insightful, detailed reports and the important bits — security, recovery and backup — are covered.

Pros

  • Excellent reporting
  • Easy to set up disaster recovery

Cons

  • Can be expensive
  • Bulky interface

What Customers Are Saying

Customers are happy with the overall experience of using Commvault, but several of them remark that it’s not the easiest-to-use cloud-based storage solution. One business owner says they’re “still finding new things” even after using it for a while. They also call it resilient and powerful.

Summary

Commvault-Logo
Commvault
  • Starting Price
    • Undisclosed
  • Encryption
    128-bit or 256-bit data encryption
  • Number of Devices
    Undisclosed
  • Browser Compatibility
    Windows
    Android
    iPhone/iPad
    Mac
    Web-based
    Windows Mobile
Features
  • Continuous and scheduled backup
  • 128-bit or 256-bit data encryption
  • Disaster recovery options
Data-Deposit-Box-Logo
Data Deposit Box
  • 448-bit Blowfish encryption
  • Scheduled and continuous backup
  • Disaster recovery
For business owners who don’t want to be tied down to a contract, Data Deposit Box offers a pay-as-you-go option. Although it doesn’t have as many backup options as some of our other choices, it’s got a few standout features that helped get it onto this list. It has an easy-to-use disaster recovery function, and you can arrange scheduled or continuous backup in advance and not worry about it again. This almost makes up for the lack of image backup, file syncing and the fact that you don’t have the option to back up from an external hard drive.

Data Deposit Box is the only provider we came across that uses 448-bit Blowfish encryption to protect your data. This block cipher offers an encryption rate with no viable cryptanalysis — or code break — to date. So, even though it doesn’t use two-factor authentication, your data is still in safe hands.

Pros & Cons

The Data Deposit Box client is easy to use, with simple navigation and a clean, straightforward user interface. You can easily backup and restore data, and you have peace of mind that everything is secured with reliable 448-bit Blowfish encryption. Still, some people might be put off by the fact that you’re able to log in without using a two-factor login process. Plus, some users have commented that support can take a few days to get back to you by email.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Pay as you go options
  • Unlimited devices

Cons

  • Support can take a couple of days to respond
  • No two-factor authentication

What Customers Are Saying

Small- to medium-business owners are particularly complimentary about the functionality and simplicity of Data Deposit Box. One plant manager states that they “liked most the ease of use of the product and speed.”

Summary

Data-Deposit-Box-Logo
Data Deposit Box
  • Starting Price
    • $20 / Month
    • $0.10 FOR EACH ADDITIONAL GB
  • Encryption
    448-bit Blowfish encryption
  • Number of Devices
    Unlimited
  • Browser Compatibility
    Windows
    Android
    iPhone/iPad
    Mac
    Web-based
    Windows Mobile
Features
  • 448-bit Blowfish encryption
  • Scheduled and continuous backup
  • Disaster recovery
Druva-inSync-Logo
Druva inSync
  • 256-bit AES protocol
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Scheduled and continuous backup
As one of the most expensive solutions on the market, people have high expectations of Druva inSync. In most instances, it does deliver. However, if you’re a small business with less than 10 people, it might not be the right time to invest in this cloud backup service. Growing SMBs with a lot of data across a lot of devices should consider a comprehensive solution like this one.

Secure file sharing, enterprise-grade backup, data-loss prevention and data governance capabilities combine with tight security measures to make Druva inSync a good choice if you have a bigger budget. You benefit from unlimited storage capacity, and you can use as many devices as you need. Plus, it’s compatible with Linux, Windows and Mac operating systems — so cloud experts and beginners alike will be satisfied.

Pros & Cons

Druva inSync includes all of the main security features we prioritize in a cloud backup service. Two-factor authentication, 256-bit AES protocol encryption and compatibility with Linux, Mac and Windows make it one of the most secure cloud-based solutions out there. For a tool with so much functionality, it’s relatively simple to use, even for beginners. Unfortunately, there’s no image backup — which you’d expect for the price. The mobile app isn’t user-friendly as the main client, either.

Pros

  • Stringent security measures
  • Compatible with Linux, Mac and Windows
  • Easy-to-use disaster recovery functionality

Cons

  • No image backup
  • No right-click restore from the mobile app

What Customers Are Saying

IT executives and business owners alike are impressed by the speed and efficiency of Druva inSync. One customer says that the “cloud-based backup of client data works well, use of bandwidth is appropriately managed in order to ensure it does not saturate the link.”

Summary

Druva-inSync-Logo
Druva inSync
  • Starting Price
    • Phoenix Business: $210 per TB/month
    • Phoenix Enterprise: $240 per TB/month
    • Phoenix Elite: $300 per TB/month
    • *per-TB of data after deduplication & compression (aka back-end TB)
  • Encryption
    256-bit AES protocol
  • Number of Devices
    Unlimited
  • Browser Compatibility
    Windows, Mac, Linux
Features
  • 256-bit AES protocol
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Scheduled and continuous backup
Egnyte-Logo
Egnyte
  • 256-bit AES protocol
  • Compatible with: Windows, Linux, Android, iPhone/iPad, Mac
Egnyte covers everyone from small two- or three-person enterprises right up to larger businesses with more demanding needs. Its pricing plans are clearly defined on the website, so you can make an informed decision before signing up for the service. Smaller businesses might feel limited by the capacity to store 5 TB per month, especially once ready to start scaling up. However, for the price, it’s a good starting point. To get unlimited storage, you’ll need to invest in the Enterprise subscription plan, which you’ll need to get an individual quote for.

The number of devices you can use is defined by the pricing plan, too. You can use between 5 and 25 on the most basic Office plan, 25 to 100 for Business up to unlimited devices for the Enterprise plan. It’s compatible with pretty much every operating system and type of device, including Windows, Linux, Mac, web-based and mobile data.

Each plan is protected by one of the most stringent forms of security as well, with 256-bit AES encryption for all users. The only limitations with this cloud-based backup service will be felt by companies that don’t choose the Enterprise plan. If you do go for the enterprise plan, you benefit from unlimited storage on an unlimited number of devices.

All plans include two-factor authentication, disaster recovery, image backup, file syncing, file sharing, continuous and scheduled backup, and you can conduct initial backups from an external drive.

Pros & Cons

One of the clearest benefits of using Egnyte is the excellent security measures for prices a small business can afford. That said, as soon as you scale up, you’ll need to upgrade your plan because the amount of storage and devices is limited with the cheaper plans. Additionally, if you need to transfer large files, you’ll need to get a customized plan. No matter which subscription you choose, you get access to the full range of features.

Pros

  • Clear pricing structure
  • Great security with block-level sync for all files

Cons

  • You need to pay more to get the best features
  • Transferring large files requires a customized plan

What Customers Are Saying

Customers are impressed by how easy to use and adaptable Egnyte is. One business owner comments that “the service offers impressive file support, letting you store almost anything, including word documents, videos, emails, databases, software and even music files.”

Summary

  • Starting Price
    • Office: $8/employee/month
    • Business: $15/employee/month
    • Enterprise: By quote
  • Encryption
    256-bit AES protocol
  • Number of Devices
    Office: 5-25 Users
    Enterprise: 25-100 Employees
    Enterprise: Unlimited Employees
  • Browser Compatibility
    Windows
    Linux
    Android
    iPhone/iPad
    Mac
    Web-based
    Windows Mobile
Features
  • 256-bit AES protocol
  • Compatible with: Windows, Linux, Android, iPhone/iPad, Mac
IBackup-Logo
IBackup
  • 256-bit AES protocol encryption
  • File sharing and file syncing
  • Scheduled and continuous backup
IBackup is customizable according to the needs of your company, and it’s easy to use and fast. Setup is quick and easy, and there are plenty of different options for scheduling backups. When it comes to speed, it’s one of the best on the market. However, the pricing structure is confusing — especially if you’re new to cloud backup services. As one of the more premium offerings online, it can get pretty expensive.

Restoring files is straightforward, with a mirroring option that lets you restore files straight to the original location on the backed-up computer. If the device is lost or stolen, users can restore data using the web-based client. In terms of security, IBackup uses top-of-the-range 256-bit AES protocol encryption and two-factor authentication to secure your data. On top of that, it uses advanced software to monitor its servers 24/7.

It’s not the most feature-dense cloud-based backup option, so you don’t have the option to back up from an external drive, and it’s not compatible with Apple devices. However, it’s one of the best options for secure file sharing. You get the option to email download links and set limits on how many and how long they can be accessed by the recipient.

Pros & Cons

For small businesses that are on the verge of scaling up and larger SMBs, IBackup is an efficient and easy-to-use high-end cloud storage solution. File sharing support and top-notch security measures make it a great choice for those who can afford it. However, bear in mind that you won’t be able to perform backups from an external hard drive.

Pros

  • Great file sharing tools
  • Supports unlimited devices

Cons

  • Can't backup from an external hard drive
  • Not cost-effective for users with fewer than 10 computers

What Customers Are Saying

IT managers and business owners generally think that IBackup is reliable and user-friendly. One customer says, “IBackup has been an indispensable tool following the scaling up of my business and a move to a new office. It’s not the cheapest, but it’s easy to use and effective.”

Summary

  • Starting Price
    • Starts at: $9.95/month (10 GB)
  • Encryption
    256-bit AES protocol
  • Number of Devices
    Undisclosed
  • Browser Compatibility
    Web App
    Windows
    Android
Features
  • 256-bit AES protocol encryption
  • File sharing and file syncing
  • Scheduled and continuous backup
Livedrive-Logo
Livedrive
  • 256-bit AES protocol secure encryption
  • Compatible with — Windows, Android, iPhone/iPad, Mac, Windows Mobile
Livedrive is one of the most customizable and affordable cloud backup services on the list. Users benefit from unlimited storage for an exceptionally low price, but this is at the cost of some desirable features. For example, there’s no disaster recovery function, and you can only backup folders — not specific files or hard drives. Plus, it’s quite selective about the types of files it backs up.

However, if you’re a company with fewer than 10 employees and you’re looking for a simple option for storage and backup, Livedrive can be ideal. You can also opt for an online-only storage plan that doesn’t offer any backup functionality at all.

Even though it’s pretty limited with regards to features, it does boast AES-256 encryption — which is the level of security used by the military. As such, any files you choose to back up or store with Livedrive are well-protected. However, two-factor authentication is not mandatory and image backup isn’t an option.

Pros & Cons

With two backup plans to choose from, you can choose the one that’s best for your business. The downside is the lack of disaster recovery. It’s also worth noting that image backup isn’t included — but with 256-bit AES protocol secure encryption — your data is secure.

Pros

  • Affordable cloud storage for small businesses
  • Continuous and scheduled backup

Cons

  • No disaster recovery

What Customers Are Saying

Start-up business owners are particularly impressed with Livedrive, with one person remarking that “it delivers a solid backup plan and a cost-effective way to add more devices, all with a simple, easy-to-use mobile app and computer interface.”

Summary

Livedrive-Logo
Livedrive
  • Starting Price
    • Backup: £6.99 /month
    • Pro Suite: £15 /month
    • Briefcase: £10 /month
  • Encryption
    256-bit AES protocol
  • Number of Devices
    Backup: 1 PC or Mac User Account Backup
    Pro Suite: 5x PC or Mac User Account Backup; Tablet & Mobile Backups
    Briefcase: Desktop & Mobile apps
  • Browser Compatibility
    Windows
    Android
    iPhone/iPad
    Mac
    Web-based
    Windows Mobile
Features
  • 256-bit AES protocol secure encryption
  • Compatible with — Windows, Android, iPhone/iPad, Mac, Windows Mobile
OwnCloud-Logo
ownCloud
  • Automatic photo backup from your mobile device (iOS, Android)
  • Virtual File System for desktop app (files get synced only on demand)
  • Version history for files in the web app
ownCloud is an excellent choice for smaller enterprises that want full control over how data is managed. It syncs effortlessly with Windows, Mac, iOS and Android and has all the security features we expect to see in a cloud backup service for business. Two-factor authentication and 256-bit AES protocol encryption mean you can backup and store data with peace of mind that it’s protected.

Even though you can’t schedule backup at specific times, you can set it to happen continuously. It’s open-source software, so you’ll notice that bugs are fixed quickly, and it always sports the latest features. Plus, transfer speed is exceptionally fast if you’re hosting locally. On the flip side, viewing and manipulating files within the client can be slow and tiresome.

You’ll also need to understand the nature of a self-hosted cloud-based backup service. It requires you to manage software updates, backups, infrastructure and security. For a larger business, this might not be viable. However, for smaller businesses, this level of control and customization could be perfect.

Pros & Cons

Lots of solopreneurs and start-ups love ownCloud for its affordability, unlimited storage capacity and frequent updates. There’s no option to back up an entire system, so you’ll manually need to select the data you wish to protect. Security is a standout feature, with two-factor authentication and 256-bit AES protocol encryption.

Pros

  • 256-bit AES protocol and 2FA
  • Disaster recovery

Cons

  • No scheduled backup capability

What Customers Are Saying

Most current customers recommend ownCloud as an excellent storage option for individuals and businesses with fewer than 10 employees. One person comments, “It’s easy to set up and you can use multiple subscriptions to service a bigger user base.”

Summary

OwnCloud-Logo
ownCloud
  • Starting Price
    • Standard: Starting at $3,750 / €3,000 for 50 users
    • Enterprise Subscription: Starting at $9,000 / €7,200 for 50 users
  • Encryption
    256-bit AES protocol
  • Number of Devices
    Standard: Starting at 100 users
    Enterprise Subscription: Starting at 100 users
    Custom Subscription: 10,000 and above
  • Browser Compatibility
    Windows
    Android
    iPhone/iPad
    Mac
    Web-based
    Windows Mobile
Features
  • Automatic photo backup from your mobile device (iOS, Android)
  • Virtual File System for desktop app (files get synced only on demand)
  • Version history for files in the web app

How We Chose the Best Cloud Backup Service

Data is one of the most valuable commodities around. As a small- to medium-sized business, losing data as a result of theft, fire or technical issues could be catastrophic. Plus, with the cost of property continuing to rise, dedicating precious square footage of space in your building to servers just isn't sensible. Enter cloud backup services. You can access your data from these dedicated high-storage-capacity servers no matter where you're located. As such, even if the worst happens and your computers are damaged or compromised in any way, you can restore it all in a heartbeat. You can't overestimate the peace of mind that comes from knowing your business could effortlessly survive a sudden blackout, cyber-attack or natural disaster. There are many cloud backup services out there. We've whittled them down to the 15 most cost-effective and feature-packed offerings on the web. Prices and packages vary significantly from provider to provider, but we've identified three main priorities to focus on to pick the best one for your needs. When it comes to cloud backup services, security, recovery and backup options are the primary features you should be looking for.

Backup Options

If your data is backed up off-site, it's all completely safe from unforeseen circumstances in your building. This extra layer of security alone is valuable, but lots of cloud backup services offer even more to their clients. For example, continuous backup, scheduled backup and image backup capabilities give you even greater control over your storage options. The more storage your subscription plan entitles you to, the better. We've tried to include a mixture of more expensive plans with unlimited storage and more affordable ones with a bit less.

Recovery Options

We think that recovery is almost as important as backup, so all but one of the providers on our list offers recovery options as well. When you choose a plan that includes recovery options, the cloud backup service company keeps multiple copies of your data in various locations. In many cases, you can back up your system data in its entirety for a full disaster recovery solution.

Security

Every company on our list meets stringent standards of encryption, with multiple security measures in place. Two-factor authentication, 256-bit AES protocol and SSL encryption are just a few of the ways they can go above and beyond to try and guarantee the absolute safety of your data.

What Is a Cloud Backup Service?

The cloud can be a confusing term, but it simply refers to outsourcing on-demand computing resources and services. It’s essentially a pool of shared resources for storing, backing up, processing and managing data that you can access online from any location. With cloud computing, you no longer need to dedicate space within your building to a server room or maintain IT infrastructure on site.

A cloud backup service is an ultra-secure type of data backup where information is sent in an encrypted form to a remote, cloud-based network. A third-party vendor charges you for the cost of storing and securing your data in case of theft, damage or loss of equipment. It’s easy to set up a cloud backup service:

  1. Choose a cloud-based backup service provider.
  2. Install it.
  3. Choose what you want to back up.

Most providers give you the option to add new files, control the allocated bandwidth, set a backup schedule and tweak security features so you get the most out of your service. Once your system is customized, you won’t need to worry about it until it’s time to scale up. Data is backed up automatically, so you make minimal effort.

In most cases, you can set up the backup process so it runs according to an automated schedule or synchronizes, so it updates when it senses changes to files and software. You can then access this data from multiple access points and share files and software with fellow cloud users. Information is copied at the production site or from an external drive and transferred to a remote storage system. Cloud-based solutions are flexible, easy-to-deploy and make scaling up simple.

With so many providers to choose from, business operators should conduct research into which one is best for them. Security, storage amounts, scalability, compatibility and the number of users allowed on one subscription are all important considerations.

Benefits of Cloud Backup Services

An increasing number of business operators are turning to the cloud for backup solutions. It’s secure, reliable and saves space and time. Some of the main advantages of using a cloud-based backup service include:

  • In most cases, cloud storage is managed by a third-party service provider. This leaves you and your team free to focus on operations and delivering an excellent service.
  • It’s easy to scale the cloud up or down depending on volume requirements. If your business grows, you might need more processing power, memory and storage. This used to be expensive and necessitate overt changes like a new building or an excessive amount of hardware. If the growth is temporary or seasonal, you might be in trouble for the rest of the year. With the cloud, you can simply ask the provider about scaling up or down.
  • Backup is automatic once the initial settings are configured.
  • You can access cloud-based storage from anywhere. As such, if you have an issue, you can resolve it from a laptop or mobile device without going into the office.
  • Even if the worst happens and all of your equipment is destroyed, you still have access to all files using the cloud.
  • There are lots of different plans, so it’s easy for companies to find one to suit their exact needs.
  • Your off-site data is protected by high-grade security measures.

What to Look For in a Cloud Backup Service

The cloud is the best option for data backup because it protects you from theft of your equipment, accidental damage to computers and even in the unfortunate event that a natural disaster takes out your entire office. Because data is stored in an off-site server, you can access it from anywhere in the world at any time. In case you ever need to restore your operation, cloud-based backup could save you a lot of time and money.

These are the top features to consider when you’re choosing a cloud backup service:

  • Storage: The amount of space generally directly correlates to price, so be careful to choose enough for your company’s needs.
  • Backup frequency: It’s important that you understand the backup frequency of the service you choose. Some let you set a schedule, some sync automatically and others are backed up hourly, daily or monthly.
  • Security: Watch out for security measures such as 256-bit encryption, SSL and two-factor authentication.
  • Recovery: Disaster recovery includes the steps that are in place to protect the servers where your data is stored in case of attack or disaster.
  • Pricing: Pricing tends to be based on the amount of storage and additional features.
  • Compliance: Client data and privacy are of the utmost importance, so compliance is a priority.
  • Scalability: It’s difficult to calculate exactly how much data you need, so it’s a good idea to find one that lets you upgrade or downgrade, as necessary.

The Cost of Cloud Backup Service

Cloud backup services start at around $5 per month and range all the way up to $300. You can get subscriptions that are suitable for a small number of employees or a large number. Pricing tends to be based on the number of features and amount of storage, with better deals if you choose annual payments instead of monthly.

Pricing varies so much that it’s a good idea to conduct thorough research into the features and extras that you need — if any. There are completely basic options for businesses with less than five employees, and there are complex companies that can accommodate unlimited data for an unlimited number of devices.