Bad things happen to everyone and everything—including the devices that store our data. Everything from customer information to financial statements can be lost in a single ransomware attack or natural disaster. That’s why it’s crucial to back your company’s data up onto an encrypted, remote server. After hours spent researching online backup services, we found that IDrive®’s storage capacity, reliability, and ability to handle a variety of uses make it the best online backup service for most people.
The Best Online Backup Service for Most
IDrive has been a steady presence in the online backup market since it was founded 27 years ago, and its services have kept up with the times. With IDrive, you can back up unlimited iPhone, Mac, PC, iPad, and Android devices to one account. IDrive also offers:
- Online file syncing
- Snapshots feature that saves up to 30 versions of each file
- Sector- or file-level backup
- 256-bit AES encryption
- Full, incremental, and differential backup methods
- Good old-fashioned floppy disk backup
With a free plan for solopreneurs who are just starting out and several business tiers for those who need more backup space, IDrive has what most users need from an online backup service.
The Best Online Backup Service Options to Consider
- iDrive – Best for most
- Backblaze – Best for quickly backing up everything on your computer
- Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud – Best for backups with an extra layer of security
- OpenDrive – Best for collaborative backups
- Arq Backup – Best customizable online backup service
When It Makes Sense to Invest In Online Backup Services
If you don’t want to lose your electronic business assets to a flood, virus, fire, or theft, an online backup service is essential. Yes, you can back your computer up onto an external hard drive, but even that drive can be ruined.
If you’re a solopreneur building online cooking courses to sell, you could lose all your videos and teaching materials after clicking one bad link.
An airline could experience a glitch or virus, causing computers to crash and forcing it to cancel hundreds of flights.
A restaurant with a thriving newsletter and social media presence could lose all its customer information, forcing it to build its marketing campaign from the ground up—again.
In short, backing your valuable business assets up with an online backup service before catastrophes happen can prevent a lot of headaches. It can also save you considerable time and money since you won’t have to rebuild your business from scratch. So really, when it makes sense to invest in these services is as soon as possible.
#1 – IDrive — The Best for Most
IDrive’s strength lies in its versatility. It allows users to back up multiple computers onto a single account while still keeping the data from each device organized and separate. You can back up Mac, Windows, Linux, and mobile operating systems. When it comes to servers, IDrive allows backups for:
- Microsoft Exchange Server
- Microsoft SQL Server
- Microsoft Hyper-V
- System State
- Microsoft SharePoint Server
- Microsoft 365
- Oracle Server
The only drawback here is that you’ll have to get IDrive’s third-tier Business plan to enable server backup, but the pricing is reasonable.
IDrive’s user-friendly dashboard gives you the tools you need to manage all of your backups. You can schedule backups in the future, manage backups on remote devices, and quickly retrieve data.
With IDrive, you can share files with team members or restrict access to selected files. And if you need it, IDrive can comply with HIPAA, GLBA, SOX, and SEC/FINRA.
Each of IDrive’s pricing plans gives users continuous data backup, open file and network drive backup, external hard drive backup, remote computer management, disk cloning, real-time syncing, collaborative file sharing, 24/7 customer support, and backups for unlimited devices.
All plans also offer backups of Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems.
The pricing plans can be confusing to navigate because once you reach the Personal, Team, and Business plans, there are multiple pricing options. But in essence, the pricing for these plans increases as storage space does. Here’s how the pricing plans shake out:
- Basic—free and no credit card required—10 GB of storage
- Personal—starts at $79.50 a year—one user, 5 TB of storage, plans go up to 10TB
- Team—begins at $99.50 a year—five users, 5 TB of storage, business compliance, priority support, plans go up to 100 TB
- Business—begins at $99.50 a year—unlimited users, computers, and servers, 250 GB storage, business compliance, priority support, plans go up to 50TB
For a more bare-bones backup service, try IDrive e2, the newly rolled-out, S3-compatible storage system. This service begins at $4 for the first year for 1 TB of storage space.
IDrive’s layered selection of plans means there’s an affordable option for everyone. Plus, IDrive usually offers a promotional discount for the first year of service. Try IDrive’s free plan today and upgrade whenever you need to.
#2 – Backblaze — The Best for Quickly Backing Up Everything on Your Computer
If you’re a one-person business, you’re probably exhausted, overworked, and looking for simple solutions for backing up your data. The same goes for lots of small teams. Instead of signing up for an online backup service packed with bells and whistles you don’t need, we recommend Backblaze.
The minute you set up your Backblaze account, the service will begin backing up all the data on your computer—including whatever’s on any attached USBs or hard drives. There’s no file size limit and no limit to how much data you can back up.
And you don’t have to pick and choose what to save: Backblaze will get it all.
For some users, this lack of choice can be a downside. But if you don’t have the time, energy, or desire to manage what does and doesn’t get backed up, Backblaze is ideal.
This online backup service makes an encrypted mirror copy of your data and automatically keeps up with the changes you make.
Backblaze automatically saves 30 days of version history or lets you pay an extra fee for one-year or unlimited version history.
For solopreneurs and small businesses, Backblaze is the set-it-and-forget-it online backup service that saves you time and lets you focus on running your business. If you need to restore lost data, pull it from Backblaze online for free or get a USB file sent to you.
Available for Mac and Windows users, the service costs $7 a month if you pay monthly. Or, you can pay $70 for the entire year or $130 for two years. Backblaze offers a 15-day free trial of its online backup service.
#3 – Acronis — The Best for Backups With an Extra Layer of Security
What’s unique about Acronis is that it offers both secure online backup services and continuous security for your computer in one sleek package. Whether you’re working on the Acronis dashboard or are simply browsing the web on your computer, Acronis will block any cryptojacking, ransomware, or malware attacks before they can impact your data.
Acronis offers three security-plus-online-backup solutions for its customers. You can tell by their names that cyber security tops Acronis’s list of priorities.
Each plan—including the service-level Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud—comes with a 30-day free trial.
First comes Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office. The premium-level tier for this service gives solopreneurs or small businesses 1 TB of Acronis Cloud storage, creates a mirror image of the computer or system to be backed up, scans the system for malware, and securely encrypts the data.
Plans begin at $49.99 per year, and licenses can be purchased for up to five computers. We recommend beginning with the Advanced plan, which is $89.99 per year and offers 500 GB of cloud storage. Or, pay $124.99 a year for Premium, which gives you maximum cyber security plus 1 TB of storage.
Acronis Cyber Backup is ideal for midsize and large businesses. It offers protection and cloud storage for workstations, servers, virtual hosts, Google workspace, Microsoft 365, Windows Server Essentials, and virtual hosts for a wide range of prices.
Plans begin at $59 and go up to over $1,000, but you’ve got lots of flexibility here. There are so many plan combinations that you can pick from a range of security and backup capabilities to fit your business’s needs.
Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud is a backup and security system for service providers. This service offers full-stack anti-malware, exploit prevention, URL filtering, and malware reinfection prevention on top of its already-impressive security features. Plus, Acronis can be HIPAA compliant.
It also gives service providers granular or full-system backups, continuous data protection, and off-host data processing. Pricing information for service providers is available when you connect with an Acronis expert.
#4 – OpenDrive — The Best for Collaborative Backups
If you’re looking for a way to collaboratively manage online backups, OpenDrive is an excellent choice. This online backup service allows you to back up, sync, or store your documents online and then share them with team members.
Using one virtual private network, one interface, and one account across your team’s devices, you and your crew can create notes and to-do lists, attach files to notes, and write comments to go with files.
This isn’t something we saw in other online backup services, and it’s ideal for teams that work closely together both on the cloud and off.
OpenDrive also offers a task management component that helps you and your team create projects, add comments and subcomments to tasks, set priorities, and track progress.
Plus, OpenDrive gives you the capacity to share folders and files of any size with your team. OpenDrive has a HIPAA compliance program for medical providers, too.
Here’s what the business pricing plans look like:
- Custom—$7 a month—500 GB online storage, 25 GB daily bandwidth with options to upgrade, unlimited notes, up to 10 tasks, 2 users with the ability to add more
- Business—$29.95 a month—unlimited online storage, unlimited notes, unlimited tasks, 2 users with the choice to add more
- Reseller—$59.95 a month—unlimited online storage, notes, and tasks, plus full white labeling and reselling capabilities
OpenDrive also offers enterprise plans, but you’ll have to call a customer service rep to discuss your options. There’s no free business plan, but the prices are low enough that trying one month of OpenDrive Custom can give you a feel for the service without breaking the bank.
#5 – Arq Backup — The Best Customizable Online Backup Service
Mac and Windows users who want to have plenty of control over how, when, and where their data is backed up will love Arq Backup. Arq gives you more choices than other online backup services.
You can customize your backups by:
- Including network shares
- Limiting bandwidth usage
- Excluding certain files or folders
- Limiting retention, thus freeing up storage space
- Preventing backups while running on battery power
- Choosing to run backups every hour or day
- Preventing backups on certain network interfaces or Wi-Fi networks
The more coding and software development skills you have, the more you’ll get out of Arq. The company offers detailed guides for customizing backups, but you’ll need some coding chops to use them.
Arq lets users back up files of any size, as well as back up an external hard drive or network share. It keeps multiple versions of each file and stores everything securely as de-duplicated, compressed, content-addressable, encrypted files.
This online backup service comes in two plan forms: Arq 7 and Arq Premium. Arq 7 allows you to back up files to your own cloud account, including Amazon Drive, Backblaze B2, Dropbox, Google Drive, Polycloud, and Wasabi. You don’t have to choose just one, though—with Arq, you can back files up to multiple locations.
You can also pay a little more each month for 1 TB of storage on Arq’s cloud storage service, plus enjoy all the features you get in Arq 7.
Here’s what you get with each Arq Backup plan:
- Arq 7—$49.99 per computer
- Arq Premium—$59.99 per year—5 computers, 1 TB storage with the ability to purchase more, web access to all backups
Both Arq 7 and Arq Premium come with a free trial.
Methodology for Choosing the Best Online Backup Service
Choosing an online backup service can be difficult because there are tons of options out there—but they’re all pretty different. Here’s how to tell which service works best for you.
The online backup service you choose should be easy for you and everyone on your team to understand and use. If nobody on your team is technology-minded, you’ll want a simple solution like Backblaze or a comprehensive, user-friendly one like IDrive.
If you’ve got some software development experience under your belt and everyone on your team does too, you can go with Arq Backup. In exchange for the freedom you get to customize your backup plans and more, Arq is more difficult to use.
Utilize free trials to explore user interfaces, making sure they make sense for you and your team before you commit to one service.
As malware gets more sophisticated, it becomes increasingly important to protect your data with strong security measures. All of the choices on our list offer data encryption and malware detection, but some go beyond measures like these.
Make sure you choose a service that can safely and legally store the data your business generates. If you’re running a medical practice, for example, you’ll need a HIPAA-compliant online backup service like IDrive, Acronis, or OpenDrive.
Acronis offers the most stringent security measures of all the online backup services we researched, making it an excellent option for protecting highly sensitive data against cybersecurity.
Room for Growth
Do you remember the iPod days, when you thought 1 GB of storage space for an iPod Shuffle was a decent amount…only to find out that after several months of owning the thing, you had zero space left for your new favorite songs?
That’s what we want to avoid with online backup services. Whether you’re starting small or are big and hoping to grow even more, make sure the service you choose can effortlessly scale with you.
How much storage space do you get? How easy is it to add extra storage space? What impact does increased storage have on the cost?
Each of the options on our list can grow as you do, but some may fit your brand’s needs better than others. Take a look at all the pricing plans and the scope of your data as you decide which service to choose.
The Top Online Backup Services in Summary
What’s the best online backup service for solopreneurs, small- to medium-sized businesses, and larger corporations?
Our top choice for most users is IDrive. It can accommodate a wide range of needs without sinking your finances, and if you’re just starting out, you can use the free plan until you need more room to grow.
Use the methodology outlined above to explore which other options may be right for you.