Note: This is a guest post written by Wes Burns
The idea for this blog post came to me after reading a comment from Paul in a previous Google Drive article at Craving Tech. Paul mentioned that he has hundreds of gigs worth of information and that it is tough to find a service that can offer backup for such large amounts of data. I’m not sure what Paul’s solution is, but many people in his position resort to performing backups on external hard drives.
There’s nothing wrong with using external hard drives as a backup solution, but external drives do have a few weaknesses. The most glaring weakness is that local drives are subject to sloppy backups. I don’t know anyone that enjoys sitting in front of the computer every week just to copy hundreds of gigs over to an external drive. It’s all too easy to put backup in the background and get into a habit of haphazard backups.
For that reason, I recommend online backup for those of you with large data backups. Not only does online backup work automatically, but it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. There are five storage providers in particular that provide large amounts of storage space at reasonable prices.
ZipCloud costs $4.95 per month and it gives you unlimited space. This solution is cheap, simple and effective. Just set up the software, perform your first backup and ZipCloud will monitor your computer from that point on and automatically back up all files on your computer.
Before you rush off and sign up for a ZipCloud account, you need to know one thing. The unlimited space that you get is not something that you can use to make more room on your computer. ZipCloud is only used for backing up your hard drive as it is.
Backblaze is another popular unlimited storage provider. The nice thing about Backblaze is that it costs just $5 a month if you go with a month-to-month plan. If you sign up for months at a time, you can get the prices down to $3.96 per month. One thing I like about Backblaze is that it is a transparent company that takes the extra effort to connect with the public.
Backblaze is like ZipCloud in that it is intended for use as a backup service only. Do not get Backblaze if you plan on storing everything online and then deleting it from your computer. Backblaze takes regular backups of your hard drive as it is and stores those online. Anything that you delete off your hard drive will eventually be removed from Backblaze data servers.
ADrive provides actual online data storage. You can store files in your ADrive account and make room on your home computer. You can also use ADrive to share files and edit documents online. The downside is that ADrive costs a little more than the previously mentioned “unlimited” providers.
Personal plans will let you get started with limited features and 50 GB of storage space for free. Paid plans will get you anywhere from 50 GB of space to 10 TB and even more in some cases. The prices range from $6.95 per month at the low end to $1200 a month at the high end. You can sign up for monthly plans or pay in advance.
iDrive is a reasonably priced storage company that comes with a long list of features. The two most popular plans give you 150 GB for $4.95 per month or 500 GB for $14.95 per month. iDrive is compatible with Windows, Mac and most smartphones. A few noteworthy features include an open API for custom apps, file syncing, file versioning and file sharing.
The software that comes with iDrive provides you with automatic backups that you can set up on your own schedule. You can go for regularly scheduled backups or enable continuous data backups for full time protection.
5. Mozy Business
Mozy Business is designed for extraordinarily large data sets. Mozy for Servers can back up terabytes of data with ease. If you don’t want to spend a month uploading your first backup set to Mozy’s servers, Mozy has a data shuffle service in which it will ship USB drives capable of storing 7+ TBs to your business. You can then ship those drives back to Mozy for a quick and pain-free upload.
Individual users can also opt for Mozy Home. With Mozy Home, you get 125 GBs for $9.99 per month and you can add storage space in 20 GB increments for $2 a month. These plans are a little pricey compared to the above services, so I recommend Mozy strictly for its business and server plans.
Note: This guest post was written by Wes Burns. Wes works as a full time website developer and entrepreneur. He writes extensively about the storage industry at this file storage website.