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5 Best Cloud Backup Software and Services

Data is one of the most vital assets in our advanced digital world. With data, we can do everything from store information to communicate with online services. It makes perfect sense to guard it like you would your life. 

Sadly, many things can affect this vital asset. Data can be stolen, lost, or destroyed due to a natural disaster or out of malice. Ensuring adequate backup of your data is of utmost importance. 

While keeping a local backup is expected, uploading your data to an online backup service covers your bases better. They constantly sync with your local devices, so your backup in the Cloud is updated and safe. 

Here are the five best Cloud backup software and services that can give you peace of mind:

1. Acronis

Acronis True Image
The all-in-one backup, recovery, and protection solution for service providers.

Headquartered in Switzerland and Singapore (Global HQ), Acronis is a global technology company that specializes in safeguarding your data, applications, and systems from cyberattacks, hardware/human failures, and natural disasters. With globally distributed data centers, Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud shines in its advanced backup and recovery features. 

Why Choose Acronis for Backup and Sync?

Acronis Cyber Protect integrates backup with essential cyber protection via AI-based anti-malware, antivirus, encryption, and endpoint protection management. The advanced AI-based behavioral detection feature helps block malware, ransomware, and zero-day attacks so that service providers enjoy optimum uptime.

There are full-image and file-level backup and recovery for more than 20 workload types (physical, virtual, cloud, and mobile) with near-zero Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO). Extensive backup sources are supported – file, disk, mobile, application, system-state, Network Attached Storage (NAS), network shares, and ESXi configurations. 

Also, there are several backup storage options, including Acronis Cloud, public and private cloud, and local network storage. You can recover almost instantly by running backup files as a Virtual Machine (VM) or recovering to dissimilar hardware. There are advanced packs that can extend your functions. 

Built-in monitoring and reporting and disaster recovery (DR) are available. You can sync and share files anytime, anywhere, and on any device. Acronis ensures data integrity via a blockchain-based service for file notarization, eSigning, and file verification. 

Acronis Cyber Protect is a business-grade backup and cloud storage with all the necessary security essentials. 

Pros and Cons of Acronis

Pros of Acronis

  • Integrated backup, recovery, and protection solutions for service providers
  • AI-based engine
  • Anti-malware, antivirus, and ransomware protection 
  • Distributed data centers
  • Backup and recovery for more than 20 workload types
  • Several backup storage options
  • Data integrity protection
  • Globally distributed data centers

Cons of Acronis

  • Pricey, especially if you want backup and recovery only.

Pricing – How Much Will Acronis Cost?

The pricing changes depending on the selected workload type. The cheapest is for ‘Workstation' and starts from $65 with 5 GB of Acronis Cloud Storage. The eventual pricing you pay depends on your storage consumption or per workload. 

2. pCloud

pCloud excels in its backup lifetime subscription plans.

Founded in 2013 and based in Switzerland, pCloud focuses on easy-to-use cloud storage solutions for individuals and businesses. Used by around 16 million users, pCloud makes for a secure cloud backup storage. To date, pCloud has two data storage regions: the EU and the US.

Why Choose pCloud for Backup and Sync?

pCloud supports multiple devices, including desktops (Windows, Mac, and Linux) and smart devices (Android and iOS). Hence, you get to access your data anytime and from anywhere. All backups are in real-time. Install ‘pCloud Drive' and then configure the folders you wish to back up. Once done, pCloud automatically saves the folders to the Cloud. 

Any data modifications will auto-sync with the Cloud. There are no file size or speed limits, and pCloud will keep your data for up to 30 days by default. However, you can lengthen this duration up to a year with Extended File History (a paid add-on). Also, your data has theft, hard drive failure, and ransomware protection.

All plans give you collaboration features (share files and more), TLS/SSL channel protection with 256-bit AES encryption for all files, automatic sync across multiple devices, a built-in media player, file management, remote upload, and more. To improve uploading speeds, pCloud supports a block-level sync function.

Pros and Cons of pCloud

Pros of pCloud

  • Unlimited file size and speed
  • Extended File History 
  • Security protection included
  • Comprehensive file management
  • Built-in media player
  • Supports block-level sync function
  • Includes collaboration features
  • Has lifetime subscription plans

Cons of pCloud

  • Pay more for added features

Pricing – How Much Will pCloud Cost?

You can sign up for up to 10 GB of free storage. Their paid plans are by individual, family, and business. What makes pCloud unique is its lifetime subscription plans, although you have an annual option. However, opting for the lifetime plan makes more economic sense as it is a one-time payment for life.

3. Dropbox

Dropbox - A simple and popular backup solution for individuals
A simple and popular backup solution for individuals.

Dropbox was established in 2007 in California, the US. The focus is on productivity tools that remove intensive busy work from the tasks that truly matter. In 2021, Dropbox's pay users reached $16.8 million. Dropbox offers a suite of data management tools, including the Dropbox Backup solution. Dropbox's data centers are in the US, Australia, the EU, Japan, and the UK.

Why Choose Dropbox for Backup and Sync?

Dropbox Backup offers simple backup and recovery of your data to free you up for other urgent tasks. Choose the data (files and folders) via several clicks, and Dropbox Backup takes it from there to safeguard your data. Back up multiple devices through a one-time configuration. Also, access your data whenever you need them and from wherever you are via the web or mobile app.

Dropbox Backup also provides an automatic, always-on cloud backup feature that saves you from accidental deletions, drives failures, and even ransomware attacks; this means quickly restoring your data to its origins (no reorganization needed) via several clicks. Choose which version to bring back or recover your data to a new device. 

Dropbox Backup allows you to manage everything through an interface – choose the data to back up, check progress, view deleted files, and more. It stores your data separately from your shared files; no worries about any possible overwriting of information. 

Also, stored Dropbox files are encrypted using AES 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard. All data in transit utilizes Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)/Transport Layer Security (TLS). Dropbox claims to run regular tests for security vulnerabilities.

Pros and Cons of Dropbox

Pros of Dropbox

  • Clean and seamless work interface
  • Simple and flexible backup and recovery 
  • Always-on cloud backup feature 
  • Advanced security measures
  • Globally distributed data centers

Cons of Dropbox

  • The free plan comes with limited features

Pricing – How Much Will Dropbox Cost?

There are three paid plans. You can choose to purchase the Dropbox Backup plan on its own or get it together with the other Dropbox plans. The cheapest is the Individual Backup plan at $4.99/month (billed yearly). 

You get unlimited backup storage for a computer and an external drive with 30-day file recovery and connect up to three devices. However, if you need unlimited devices, look into the higher-tiered plans.

4. OneDrive

OneDrive is your best cloud backup partner for your office files
OneDrive is your best cloud backup partner for your office files.

OneDrive needs not much introduction. It is the cloud service by Microsoft that connects you to all your data. It lets you store and protect your data, share them with others, and access them from any device connected to the Internet. 

Why Choose OneDrive for Backup and Sync?

OneDrive allows you to access, edit, share, and back up your files on all your devices, anytime and wherever you are. You can do so via Microsoft OneDrive mobile app. Hence, if you lose any of these devices, your data is safe in OneDrive. If you're an avid user of Office apps, it makes sense to back up and store all your essential information with OneDrive.

Also, you scan through your mobile device and store documents, business cards, notes, and more in OneDrive. While Microsoft OneDrive Basic offers only 5GB storage for free, you get a juggernaut of cloud storage with a Microsoft 365 subscription. Hence, if you're running a large business, chances are you have a subscription to Microsoft 365. 

As such, it makes perfect sense to leverage the massive cloud storage available through OneDrive; this is a huge boon for you. After all, you have already paid for the hefty Microsoft 365 subscription, so use the vast amount of cloud storage afforded you by OneDrive.

Your data is secure in OneDrive via Microsoft's vigilant security measures, including Transport Layer Security (TLS) encryption that protects your data during transit. The OneDrive Personal Vault provides added security for your critical files.

Pros and Cons of OneDrive

Pros of OneDrive

  • Massive storage with Microsoft 365 subscription
  • Robust plans selection
  • Scan documents for storage
  • OneDrive Personal Vault
  • Globally distributed data centers 

Cons of OneDrive

  • Limited storage for free plan
  • No option to increase storage without paying more for extra features

Pricing – How Much Will OneDrive Cost?

Microsoft has a solid selection of plans. You can go for the free version that gives you 5GB storage, but that is limited. Choose between Microsoft 365 Personal and Microsoft 365 Family if you already have a Microsoft 365 subscription, as these options give you the most bang for your buck. 

However, if you're looking for storage only, check out OneDrive Standalone, with 50 GB of storage. 

5. SugarSync

SugarSync provides a powerful and configurable sync service.
SugarSync provides a powerful and configurable sync service.

Launched in 2008 and based in California, the US, SugarSync targets to provide backup, access, sync, and share your data across all devices. To date, SugarSync has millions of users worldwide. Their customers are popular brands, including Lenovo, SanDisk, BestBuy, Korea Telecom, France Telecom-Orange, BestBuy, and more. 

Why Choose SugarSync for Backup and Sync?

SugarSync helps you leverage the Cloud for all your file needs. Easily access, sync, and share your data from anywhere and across computers and devices (mobile phones). SugarSync allows you to sync an unlimited number of devices. Also, you can sync only the selected folders via multi-folder syncing. Automatic sync and backup are available. 

Any changes apply in real-time across all your devices through the Cloud. Hence, you can edit a file on your office desktop and finish it on your Mac at home or from your mobile device. Hence, you get to continuously work with no disruptions, trusting that SugarSync is syncing your files in the background, so you always get the latest backup. The core of SugarSync is its powerful and configurable sync service.

Also, you can safely share your data with anyone, including those with no SugarSync account. The Protected Folders feature affords you a simple restoration process. You can recover entire folders at once. SugarSync uses industry-standard security standards to transfer and store your files, including AES 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard. 

It keeps files that you have deleted for 30 days. While some may consider SugarSync keeping the last five versions of each file on your account sufficient, some may beg to differ. SugarSync's data centers are in the US, so if you reside there, SugarSync could be it for you.

Pros and Cons of SugarSync

Pros of SugarSync

  • Powerful and configurable sync service
  • Plans come with significant storage
  • Unlimited number of devices
  • 30-day free trial for all plans
  • Limited free plan

Cons of SugarSync

  • Limited storage for free plan

Pricing – How Much Will SugarSync Cost?

There are three personal plans and a business plan. The most popular Personal plan is at $9.99/month with 250GB. You can opt to pay monthly and cancel anytime. There's a 30-day free trial for all plans; you can access all the features. Not bad for a free trial. There's also a free 5GB plan to sync unlimited devices (limited to 90 days of usage).

Why Backing up Data is Important

Backing up your data is essential both for individuals and businesses. Your goal is to have a copy of critical information or any information required to get things back into operation in case of any data loss. However, many take for granted that everything is rosy and dandy. 

Please do not make this mistake. 

Storing a copy of your data elsewhere (USB stick, external drive, or cloud storage) facilitates data restoration to help you recover and bounce back quickly from any untoward event(s). Remember, even the tiniest loss of critical data for a brief moment could prove disastrous to a business. 

Consider not just the numerous potential regulatory penalties but also reputational damage. These are sufficient to sink any business. Hence, consistently backing up your data is crucial as it is your insurance policy and the supporting blocks of your digital disaster recovery plan. You should retain multiple copies of backup data for total peace of mind.

How to Choose a Cloud Backup Service

Do your due diligence before deciding on a cloud backup service to safeguard your data. After all, your cloud backup service provider is holding, storing, and managing your critical information.

Quality of Service

Look into the service provider's track record and reputation. Check into the testimonials and reviews. If a vendor is reputable but has been registering low performance and frequent downtimes, move on. 

You need a reliable and trusted cloud backup service provider who truly delivers. Also, consider their data centers. You'd want a data center near your location for faster access and to maintain data sovereignty.

Data Security and Integrity

Security at any data backup and sync provider is also essential. You would want to store your cookies in something other than an uncovered pot. The same applies to your information. It makes sense for cybercriminals to target data services. After all, they are a goldmine of information. 

Ensure secure data transfer, encryption, role-based access, and other critical security measures when considering your cloud backup service. 

Extra Features

Other “good to haves” include extra features and usability aspects. Your backup service must play nicely with your existing systems and tools. Finally, know your business's needs before you decide.

Wrapping Up

As a business owner, you want a simple yet comprehensive cloud backup service to back up your data in the Cloud. It is challenging to single out the best cloud backup service for your business. However, you can by balancing the service's reliability, usability, security, and price. 

We use some of the options recommended above and are sure you'll find one of them handy.

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Article by Jason Chow

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