Best Online Backups

By Peter Zaborszky

5 Best Mac Cloud Backup

Here’s a scary statistic from Google, who did a test on 100k hard drives. “6% of hard disks will experience data loss in 1 year”. That is really high. A lot higher than I thought. It just proves that backups are not something that you should worry about at some point in the future. My Mac has photos, my work, game saves, everything that’s important to me. If I lost that, it would probably have a panic attack, then cry for a few weeks. How about you?

Online Backup companies have exploded recently, there are loads of services now, and the great thing is, their software is automatic and backs up everything you have automatically. Even if you don’t need a full hard disk backup, you’ve just changed a file you shouldn’t have, you can recover the old file. Pretty neat!

So which company should you choose out of the 60-70 that I’ve seen? Well, I’ve done detailed reviews of over 50 which you can read on the site, but here is a summary of the top 5 for mac. You can see a summary table below, under which I review the services.

Summary

Rank Provider Starting
Price
Review Link
1 Logo

$3.96/mo Read Review Visit Site

2

LiveDrive $6/mo Read Review Visit Site

3

free for 5GB Read Review Visit Site

4

$4.58/mo Read Review Visit Site

5

$5.99/month Read Review Visit Site

Take a look below to see slightly more detailed views about each provider.

Here’s our comprehensive guide about which online backup is best for mac!


Winner – Backblaze – From $3.96/month

We can’t rave enough about Backblaze. Built by ex-Apple employees, Backblaze is very elegant, polished and simple yet powerful. All the traits you would expect if Apple ever makes a cloud backup solution.

Sure, the desktop client app is very easy and simple to use, but it also offer advance features and unlike some companies, won’t skimp on them. It won’t satiate the uber power-users who would enjoy a solution like CrashPlan but in its own right, Backblaze is a perfect harmony of both features and simplicity.

Pricing is very simple too as you only have to pay just $5 a month or $3.96 a month if you prepay for 2 years in advance ($95). Either way, the pricing is a steal since it costs just one morning coffee and nothing more. Or even lower, maybe. At that price, you are getting unlimited cloud backup storage and blazing fast speed. Plus there is no individual file size limit so you can fully utilize the unlimited storage it offers. There is no bandwidth throttling either, unlike some. You can also easily backup external hard drives too. Here is our comprehensive review on Backblaze.

Visit BackBlaze


2. LiveDrive – $6 per month

LiveDrive Logo

Positives: Simple, Great price, Reliable, Instant backups

Negatives: Cheapest package limited to 1 machine

LiveDrive has come a long way as a company. They are based in the UK, and have released new versions of their website and software quite a few times. Finally 6 months ago, they dropped their prices. These improvements and price drops have now made them the 2nd best backup company for Mac out there. Their basic package is just $6 per month and that’s with unlimited storage.

Their more expensive packages support NAS drives, multiple devices, and have folder syncing. These are $12 and $19 per month, which is still a good price (and with unlimited space of course!)

Visit LiveDrive


3. Dropbox

Positives: Well known, Great interface

Negatives: Expensive, Sharing reduces your space, Folder solution

Although Dropbox is not specifically a backup software service, Dropbox syncs data between devices linked to a user’s account, making it a competitive backup option. Dropbox also offers a free plan, allowing 2GB of storage and up to 16GB of storage when users refer others to use the Dropbox service. For $9.99/month, you get 50GB of storage. For $19.99/month, you get 100GB of storage.

The way Dropbox syncs your files is unique. Software installation creates a main folder. Whenever you drag a file into this folder, Dropbox automatically syncs the file to your account and to any other devices that have Dropbox installed. Users will know when their files are syncing, will be synced, or have already been synced based on the syncing icons atop file icons within the main folder. You can also log into their website to access your account and thereby all of your files in their complete form.

By default, Dropbox saves 30 days worth of version history for all files across all Dropbox account types, whether free or paid. Neither deleted files nor revised file versions count against storage data. To get indefinite version history for an unlimited amount of files, Dropbox offers a Packrat add=on feature for $39.99/year. This feature also keeps track of all files you delete and enables users to undelete these files. The Packrat feature cannot retrieve file versions older than 30 days, however.

Although Dropbox isn’t specifically designed as a backup solution, its ability to sync files across multiple devices and storage space services make it a terrific solution for online backup. With their unique system, users can utilize Dropbox in smart and creative ways. Visit Dropbox here.

Visit Dropbox


4. Carbonite

Positives: Big brand, Cheap

Negatives: Mac software worse than windows, No DVD restores

Carbonite uses automated syncing to backup your files. As long as your computer is connected to the internet, you don’t have to worry about manually backing up files. Additionally, each home subscription services comes with unlimited storage space.

However, Carbonite offers more for Windows users than it does for Mac users. The Windows version of their software provides 90 days of version history for all files. It also keeps deleted files and folders for up to 30 days. Mac users do not get any version history for files nor any advanced throttling options, like those that are available on the Windows version.

So should you choose to use Carbonite, you will pay $4.58/month per computer for unlimited storage on one computer. If you choose to commit to their services for three years, the price drops to $3.61/month per computer for unlimited storage on one computer. Carbonite also allows backup for most of your files, excluding those files that are executable, temporary, system, or larger than 4GB. Carbonite also backs up external drives, not including removable storage like flash storage or memory cards. Remote access to files is available through their website, allowing users to view files on their account through mobile devices.

On the Mac, Carbonite stays as a preference pane. The software contains very few features and functions minimally compared to the other backup solutions on this list. Users will notice limited options for backup scheduling and bandwidth usage. Only through their low priority mode can you backup files and adjust bandwidth usage. But their software will let you know whether your files have been backed up or will be backed up. You will also know if your files are excluded from backup.

Their restoration service only works through the internet and will prove extremely arduous for those with a lot to backup. You cannot request neither DVDs nor hard drives for shipping to your address. Thus, I wish you good luck with file restoration using Carbonite. You can test out Carbonite here.

Visit Carbonite


5. Mozy

Positives: Next day air restore, 3 months free if paid upfront

Negatives: Restore is difficult, Not unlimited space

Unlike its other competitors, Mozy does not offer unlimited storage. But it does provide adequate storage for most backup needs. For up to 50GB of storage on one computer, Mozy charges $5.99/month or $9.99/month for 125GB per computer. If you commit to one year of their services, you can get one free month of storage. When you commit to 2 years of their services, you get three free months of storage extra.

Mozy also runs as a preference pane and has easy to use features. Mozy allows users to control bandwidth usage, specify certain files for backup and filter others, adjust backup scheduling, and keep browser logs to view processes performed. Files can also be accessed on mobile devices. For those who have a throttled internet connection, Mozy’s software gives you the option of limiting bandwidth usage.

Although Mozy won’t backup applications and a couple of other file formats, it backs up almost everything else. This company also backs up external drives, like those connected via USB or Firewire. Mozy also implements the use of “block-level incremental backup,” only backing up changed or new portions of files. They claim that block-level backup saves bandwidth and ensures future backup is lightning fast. They also have a Stash feature that allows syncing to other devices.

You can also order DVDs for file restoration, but it is costly. They charge for setup, amount of data stored, and shipment. Since they only ship using next day air by FedEx, you can easily lose out on $100 just for their DVD restore option for 60GB of stored files. They also offer web-based restoration, but it is rather bad and has a horrible interface. If you choose to use their web restoration services, you will get several disk images to download. Each download is about 1GB in size and will take a long time. For the average user, this is about 60GB of downloads. Both restoration options are far from admirable and more painful than they have to be.

Visit Mozy


Which is the Best Option for Me?

When comparing these six online backup for Macs based on cost, storage space, and user benefits and features, ZipCloud easily wins. CrashPlan is also a terrific choice as its features are far better than those of its other competitors. Nevertheless, most of the basic services provided are common between the six companies on this list. For Mac users seeking dependability, easy restoration options, and consistency without the side effect of a slower PC, consider using both CrashPlan and ZipCloud.

I have tested all of the companies on this list because I am both a writer and a photographer. I have had to backup many files, which I have amassed over the years. I find that CrashPlan fulfills everything I need from an online backup for Mac provider. I also use Dropbox for extremely easy access to all of my files, whenever and wherever I need them.

I am sure many of my readers have varied experiences and different opinions about the products on my list, so please share your thoughts in the comments below!


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One Response to 5 Best Mac Cloud Backup

  1. at345 says:

    I’ve used both livedrive and carbonite, and they were ok, but I’m looking for a new one again. What do you recommend with versionsning?

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