Disaster-Proof Your Data with Online Backup
The online backup space continues to evolve. The largest supplier of online backup, Mozy recently made news by announcing that it would no longer offer an unlimited storage option, due to excessive storage demands by a small percentage of users. Carbonite still offers an unlimited plan for $54.95 a year and IDrive recently announced a very affordable unlimited plan at $49.99 a year. "Unlimited" isn't exactly infinite, though. These plans limit you to the amount of storage on the covered computer's hard disk, and both of them slow your transfer speed if you exceed 200GB or 150GB respectively.
|Online Backup Service||Stated Price||Price for 3 PCs and 50GB Data for 1 Year||Free Plan|
|Carbonite||$54.95/year/1 PC||$164.85||15-day trial|
|CrashPlan||$49.99/yr/1 PC unlimited||$120||30 day, and free local, friend|
|IDrive||$99.50/year/50GB/5 PCs||$99.50||5GB free account|
|Jungle Disk||$3/month plus storage fees||$81||None.|
|KineticD||$2/GB/unlimited PCs||$100.00||14-day trial|
|MiMedia||$99/year/100GB/Unlimited PCs||$99.00||30-day trial|
|MozyHome||$4.95/mo/1 PC||$163.35||2GB free account|
|Nomadesk||$50/year||$50 (subject to fair use policy)||30-day free trial|
|Norton Online Backup||$49.99/25GB/5 PCs||$99.98||30-day 5GB trial|
|SOS Online Backup||$79.95/year/5 PCs||$79.95||14-day trial|
Pricing isn't the only thing changing, either. The services are adding mobile apps for devices like iPhones, iPads, and Android devices. Some, like SOS Online Backup offer not only access to your online backed-up files, but also the ability to send links to files downloads to your contacts. IDrive offers a separate iPhone app that doesn't offer that capability, but does let you back up your phone's contacts and photos—for free. KineticD has added a remote control capability to its iPhone and Web versions, which makes sense, since you're likely to have the backup app running on your main PC all the time.
Another pairing with online backup is folder syncing, which services like MiMedia and Nomadesk offer. These let you designate folders on multiple systems that will automatically be updated whenever you add or change a file in either. But perhaps the most fascinating twist on online backup comes from CrashPlan, which actually lets you specify a friend's computer as your online backup target, saving you from paying for sever storage.
Whether you're looking for whizz-bang new features or just want a safe place to keep your valuable documents and media, our reviews below will help you make the choice that best fits your needs—and your budget.