The Best Online Cloud Backup Service

Every cloud backup service we tested is a pain to use for one reason or another, but we still recommend using one. A good backup system starts with a local backup, but it should end with a subscription to an online backup service. After years of testing, we think Backblaze is the easiest to use and the best cloud backup service for most people.


The best online backup service

Backblaze is economical, reliable, and easy to set up.$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 way too slow.


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.$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. Its customer service is lackluster as well, with readers reporting it to be slow at best, and unresponsive at its worst.

Details at a glance

Price (per year)$60$70
Amount of storageUnlimited5 TB (upgradable to 10 TB for $100/year)
Number of computersOneUnlimited
Operating system supportWindows, MacWindows, Mac, Linux
File versioningUnlimited30
File retention30 days for free, $2/month for one year, or $2/month plus $0.005/GB/month foreverUnlimited
Backup from external driveYesYes
Backup from mapped driveNoYes
Continuous backupsSort ofYes, for files under 500 MB
File restoreFrom web browserIn software
In-place restorationNoWindows-only
Physical restore mediaYesYes
Transfer encryptionSSLSSL
Storage encryptionAES-128AES-256
Two-factor authenticationYes, app or SMSYes, email
Private encryption keyYesYes
File size limitsNoNo
File sharingYesYes
File syncingNoYes
Image backupNoWindows-only

Backblaze and IDrive have minor differences that aren’t always obvious when you’re comparing the two.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *