It is always good practice to back up data remotely to some other place so that if anything happens to local place, you still have a backup of original data somewhere. You might back up to another computer on a LAN in the same room. But if the room accidentally catches fire or something similar happens, you may lose data forever. The best method is to back up to Cloud. This article talks about five of the best cloud backup services.
What to look for in cloud-based Online Backup Services
The amount of space being offered is one of the most important aspects. There are many paid options that are dedicated to back up data using HTTPS transfer, but this article will leave them out, as I intend only the free ones. Most of the online backup services offer up to 2GB free data.
I am not counting OneDrive, Google Drive and Dropbox here as they are more of collaboration and share tools. Besides they do not offer encryption which is another important factor when backing up your data. Mozy, Adrive etc., offer encryption, so your data is safe even if the remote servers are hacked. There is always a possibility of cloud services being hacked, so you would want encryption. If the online service offers good space but no encryption, you can still use VeryCrypt to encrypt your files manually and then back them up to remote servers of the cloud.
The ease of setting up data backup and ease of data restore is also an important issue. Most online backup services are SAAS (Software as a Service), meaning you have to download their software for backing up and restoring data. They are based mainly on HTTPS protocol and do not offer FTP or other faster protocols. At least, I am yet to see any online data backup service offering FTP.
Free Online Backup Services
1] Mozy is one of the best online backup service as of 2014 as it is easy to use compared to other competitors in the “free” segment. The backup storage offered is just 2GB and if you need more, you need to go paid. For smaller backup sets, Mozy is a good option as it offers a setup and forget software. You set up the options once and leave it to take care of your files. You can use Incremental back up option which backs up only the files that changed. You can also set up real time backup under which, files are backed up as soon as they changed. Mozy offers encryption for both transferring the data and on the cloud storage.
2] IDrive offers 5GB against 2GB of Mozy but I placed it second as Mozy’s software is easier to use and even a layman can configure it for real time backup. IDrive also offers encryption for both transferring the data to the cloud and at the cloud, where it is stored. Again, you can select the data backups to be Incremental or different backup sets.
3] ADrive also offers 2GB of free space. If you need more, you have to buy the space. Obviously, 2GB is not much in today’s life but if your backup needs are less, you can use the ADrive. It too offers encryption for both transferring the files and for storage on the remote storage.
4] SpiderOak is another good service that I would like to mention when talking of five free best cloud backup services. It offers 2GB for free accounts and has paid plans for higher needs. The software is easy to use. Encryption too is present. Read the SpiderOak review.
5] Symform Free Online Cloud Service Provider free plan offers you 10 GB of cloud storage. But this is not exactly only a backup service provider. It, like OneDrive, allows you to sync your folders with cloud. You can then restore to any drive and not only that, you can also view without restoring as there will be a sync software. It is better than OneDrive in a sense that it does not sync only a single folder and subfolders thereof. You can add unrelated folders to the Symform backup software and they will be backed up. I am placing this at the fifth position as it works more like a sync platform rather than being just a backup software. The problem with sync is that when you remove a file locally, the file will be removed from the synced folders on the cloud too. So you have to be a little careful about moving files and folders in your local system.
Well, these are my choices for top free online backup services. If you are using remote backup, please share with us, your favorite cloud service.
If you are looking for desktop freeware, have a look at these Imaging, Backup and Recovery Software for Windows.