Backing up the data from our phones, tablets, and computers is an essential task for any of us that want to ensure our precious data doesn’t get lost in the blink of an eye. Even if you do your best to keep your hardware out of harm’s way, a mechanical failure, an accidental splash of water, or an unseen power surge may be all it takes to turn your electronics into a paperweight and take your files down with it. Using cloud backups for your important files can help you avoid that scenario.The best move for security would be to keep the original copy of your data on the original device, create a local backup on an external hard drive or network-attached storage, and keep a remote backup saved in the cloud. That way, in an accident, you have a local backup handy for easy access and restoration, and in a disaster, your vital data is still safe in the cloud. Some free services like Google Drive or Dropbox provide a small amount of storage you can easily backup documents with, but if you’re backing up huge amounts of data, media, and projects, you may want to look for something more robust.We’ve tested our share of cloud backup services that’ll help you keep your data safe, whether it’s a few gigabytes or several terabytes. These are the ones we’ve deemed to be the best options.
TL;DR These are the Best Cloud Storage:
1. Backblaze
Best Cloud Storage
For just about any individual cloud storage needs, Backblaze (read our review) has you covered at one of the most affordable rates in terms of price-per-gigabyte. The premise is simple: Once you’ve installed Backblaze and subscribed for $6/month or $60/year, you’ll get your whole computer backed up. There’s not a whole lot of fuss for you. You won’t have to decide on backing up some files here and not backing up other files there. It’ll just do the whole computer with unlimited storage.Backblaze starts backing up your local files as soon as it starts, and it’ll get all the files on all your local drives, including external USB drives. Just note that it’s not going to back up your system files or programs. So, if the worst should happen to your computer, you’ll be on your own for re-downloading programs and setting your system back up how you like it. But, when it comes to your important files, you’ll be able to get those right back from Backblaze.
2. IDrive
Best Value Cloud Storage
While we still prefer Backblaze in most cases, and it offers compelling value, there are some situations where you might be able to save a bit or get more for your money with IDrive (read our review). That’s enough for it to earn its place as a strong value option. You’ll be looking at a price of about $60 a year, which isn’t bad. There are often some discounts on your first year as well, including a 75% discount on the first year for IGN readers that can bring your first year to just $14.88 when you sign up using our link.The base plan includes 1TB of cloud storage, giving you a decent amount of space to save backups. IDrive doesn’t have a device limit either, so you can use that 1TB of storage to back up multiple computers and phones. There are also plans that bump the storage space up to 5TB and 10TB. IDrive’s backups support 256-bit AES encryption, and you can make a private encryption key. You also have the ability to make backups on external and network drives. And, if you want multiple backups of the same system, IDrive Snapshots allow you to restore from up to 30 different file versions. IDrive’s service could use a bit more polish, but you have to expect some tradeoffs with a budget offering.
3. Acronis True Image 2021
Best Cloud Storage For Local and Cloud Backup
Acronis True Image (read our review) has been around for a while, making a name for itself in the local backup and disk imaging game. It still excels at that, but now it can also back up your files (and images) to the cloud too, and its also the most polished and professional backup program I’ve tested.Acronis strikes an amazing balance between its number of features and ease of use: the desktop program is intuitive and friendly, and offers just about everything you could want in a backup program. It lets you backup files and folders, make full disk images, share files from a backup, copy all your social media files, and it does end-to-end encryption properly.
Acronis is, however, a bit more expensive, coming in at $50 per year just for local and network backups without any cloud storage. If you want to get your files and system image backed up to the cloud, you’ll be looking at $90 a year for 500GB. To get into terabytes of storage, which is relatively affordable with IDrive and Backblaze, youll be paying at least $125 for 1TB and another $40 for each additional terabyte in the Premium annual subscription, and thats only for one machine. Thats not cheap, but it may be worth it to you if you want a service that’s polished, easy-to-use, and feature-rich.
4. SpiderOak One Backup
Best Secure Cloud Storage
While all of the above services allow you to encrypt your backups with a private key, IDrive and Backblaze of them require you to give your key to the service when you want to restore your files. They both erase your key as soon as the process is done, and its better than no encryption at all, but some people want their data 100% secure at all times. If youre one of these people and want a truly “no-knowledge” service that can never see your files, SpiderOak One (read our review) was made for you.The program itself is well-designed and easy to use, but security is the banner feature here: everything you back up is encrypted end-to-end, so your files are completely private, even if the government forces SpiderOak to hand over your data. Acronis has similar security, but SpiderOak is the only service that puts it front and center as its banner feature.
That peace of mind comes at a cost, however $149 per year for 2TB, not to mention some slower speeds compared to the competition but if you care about your privacy and security above all else, its worth a look.
5. SOS Online Backup
Best Cloud Storage for Unlimited Versioning
SOS Online Backup (read our review) is a decent program, but it has very few advantages over the competition save for one very unique feature. Unlike other backup services, SOS never purges old and deleted files. That means if you accidentally delete a file and discover you need it a year later, itll still be there. If you need the original version of a file youve since updated several times, itll still be there.Most services have some sort of limitation here some may only store deleted files for 30 days, while others may store files indefinitely but only keep the last 10 to 20 versions of it. Thats why SOS stands out.
There is a downside, however: SOS is extremely expensive, costing $40 per month for 1TB of space (thats $480 per year almost five times as much as Acronis and SpiderOak, the next most expensive options). The rest of the program is nothing to write home about either, so most people would be better served elsewhere. But if you absolutely need unlimited versioning, SOS Online Backup has you covered.
Whitson Gordon is a writer, gamer, and tech nerd who has been building PCs for 10 years. He eats potato chips with chopsticks so he doesn’t get grease on his mechanical keyboard.Mark Knapp is a regular contributor to IGN and an irregular Tweeter on Twitter @Techn0Mark