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5 Best Backups for File Versioning

Have you ever edited a file, and then changed your mind about it a few days later? Written over an essential point that you decide you want to make after all? Getting around these setbacks can be really time-consuming, so it’s useful that online backups offer file versioning to make things easier.

So what is file versioning?

If you backup files using a program with file versioning, you can go back to drafts of your work that you’ve since saved over. For example, if you deleted a paragraph from a paper a week ago and now you want it back, you can search through all of the previously saved versions of that document until you find a copy that contains the text you’re looking for.

It’s also very useful if your files get corrupted, as you can simply open a version of the document from before it happened and keep working as planned.

While some providers let you access every previously saved iteration of your files, others place restrictions on how many versions can be stored (eg. only the 30 most recent), or how long they can be kept for (eg. only versions from the past 15 days). For the best in file versioning, we think you need as much flexibility as possible, as well as a restoration process that you don’t need a manual to complete. Luckily for all of us, there are five providers that do a pretty great job of both of these things – you can find our guide to the 5 best backups for file versioning below!

5 Best Backups for File Versioning Summary

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Editors Choice Award

Winner

CrashPlan

5/5

5 Best Backups for File Versioning

  • ProsPROS
  • Access unlimited version history
    Restore versions of both files and folders
    Easy to use software
    Unlimited storage space
    End-to-end encryption
  • ConsCONS
  • No file sharing options
    Standard plan backs up from 1 PC only

CrashPlan, with unlimited storage space, end-to-end encryption and easy to use software, is an excellent fit for most backup requirements – and file versioning is no different. Giving you access to unlimited version history, and providing an easy way to restore previous versions of both files and folders, it was the obvious choice to take the top spot.

CrashPlan also stands out here because it breaks from versioning tradition – and is better for it. Most backup providers only let you retrieve a single version at a time, locating it by navigating directly from the document you want to restore. CrashPlan, on the other hand, lets you pick a date and time and then gives you access to all of the files that were backed up at that moment. We really like this system, as it’s perfect if your hard drive gets infected with a virus and doesn’t make it needlessly difficult to find individual files, either.

All of CrashPlan’s software is pretty easy to use, and restoring previous versions is no different. A minute or two of experimental clicking got us to the right location, and it took less than a minute to find the file we were looking for and download it back to our PC. Subscriptions start at just $5.99 per month, with a 60-day free trial to give you a taste of what’s on offer. For our part, we think it’s well worth the money.

Follow the link to find out more and sign up to CrashPlan today!

Visit CrashPlan »

60-day free trial

2nd place

ElephantDrive

4.5/5

ElephantDrive

  • ProsPROS
  • Unlimited version history
    Easy to access and restore versions
    Good range of features
    Strong security
  • ConsCONS
  • Software can be tricky to use

While ElephantDrive typically excels in niche areas such as NAS backups, the service as a whole offers solid features – including impressive file versioning. Once a file is backed up, you’ll be given unlimited access to its previous versions, which can be accessed simply by clicking on the document of your choice and selecting the ‘Previous Versions’ option.

If you’d like to limit how much space your version history is taking up, ElephantDrive gives you the option to restrict how many revisions you hang on to, as well letting you delete previous copies that you’re sure you won’t be needing again.

Primarily designed for business customers, ElephantDrive doesn’t have the most user-friendly software, although versioning shouldn’t cause too many problems. Good security and features including sync and share also add to its appeal, making it a good choice if you don’t mind a few challenges when it comes to getting set up.

There are plenty of price plans to choose from with ElephantDrive, ranging from $7 per month for 100GB of space to $119 per month for 2TB, as well as a 2GB free account. Find out more by clicking the button below!

 

Visit ElephantDrive »


3rd place

Memopal

4.2/5

Memopal

  • ProsPROS
  • Unlimited version history
    Customizable versioning process
    Easy to find & restore previous versions
    Excellent features
    Good security
  • ConsCONS
  • All versions take up storage space

Once again, there’s access to unlimited file versions on offer here, with Memopal offering an integrated versioning service that automatically stores all of your file revisions. As unlimited storage space isn’t part of the deal, you’ll also get the opportunity to select how many versions you want to keep of each file – helping you to keep plenty of space free.

Previous versions are easy to retrieve, too, as a search for any file name will come up with its version history as well as its most up to date form, and any copy can be restored with just a click.

Complementing a great versioning system, Memopal’s software is simple and accessible across the board, and you’ll get access to a great range of features including sync and share options, archiving and the ability to backup from an unlimited number of devices. There’s also end-to-end encryption to keep your files safe.

Memopal users can opt for their free subscription to get started, or can pay $7.25 per month for 500GB of storage space. Visit their site today to find out more!

Visit Memopal »


4th place

SOS

4/5

SOS

  • ProsPROS
  • Unlimited version history
    Lots of customization options
    Excellent security
  • ConsCONS
  • Difficult to find & restore versions
    Software can be confusing to use

With unlimited file versioning on offer, SOS is an excellent choice not just to backup and restore your files, but to access previous drafts of them too. As well as being able to restore any and all previous copies of your files, you’ll also be able to decide how many versions you want to keep, and delete any that you’re sure you’re ready to let go.

For inexperienced users, navigating SOS’s interface can be a challenge, with previous versions taking a little work to find and recover. If you’re looking for a highly customizable service with top-notch security and plenty of advanced options, however, then it’s a very good choice.

SOS personal subscriptions allow you to backup data from up to 5 PCs and an unlimited number of mobile devices, with prices starting from $4.99 per month for 50GB of storage space. Head over to their website to find out more!

Visit SOS »


5th place

SpiderOak

3.7/5

SpiderOak

  • ProsPROS
  • Access to unlimited version history
    Easy to find & restore versions
    Excellent security
    Good range of features
  • ConsCONS
  • Versions all take up storage space
    No way to cap version quantity
    Software can be difficult to use

SpiderOak is perhaps best known for top-of-the-range security, but it performs very well when it comes to extras like file versioning as well.

Accessing and retrieving versions is as easy as you could hope for with SpiderOak – a very high-quality provider that’s nonetheless not always known for its ease of use. It’s hard to go wrong here, however, as everything’s pretty intuitive – all you’ll need to do is navigate to your chosen file, where you’ll be able to see how many versions SpiderOak has saved, courtesy of a bracketed number at the end of the filename (ie. “Document1.pdf (6)”). Clicking on the link will let you browse through previous versions and download them in just the same way that you’d restore any file.

One disadvantage of SpiderOak is that file versions do eat into your (limited) storage space. Although there’s no option to cap how many versions are saved, you can delete ones that you no longer want, simply by selecting ‘remove’ when you might otherwise click ‘download’. More advanced users can also get rid of all of the versions attached to any device by using the ‘purge-historical-versions’ option while running SpiderOak from the command line.

With one of the best versioning systems on the market, excellent security and great features, SpiderOak is well worth your consideration. Click below to check it out now!

 

Visit SpiderOak »


How much space do previous versions take up?

You might be wondering just how much space file versions take up, especially if you’re using a plan that doesn’t offer unlimited storage.

Luckily, in most cases, you won’t find that every version takes up another document’s worth of space – instead, providers typically promise that all of the versions of one particular file will only take up as much space as the largest copy. So if you have 50 versions of a Word document that range from 20KB to 150KB in size, all of them combined will only take up 150KB.

Disclaimer: Although pretty common, not all providers take this approach – so make sure to check if you’re worried about running out of room!

Deleted file recovery

Another feature that often goes hand in hand with versioning is deleted file recovery – the ability to restore files after you’ve removed them from your account. In most cases, this acts as something like a recycle bin – a place where dead articles go to rest, and where you can revive them from if you change your mind.

Our criteria

It’s very common for online backup providers to only let you access a limited number of file versions, usually based on a time limit (ie. those created in the last 30 days) or a maximum quantity (for example, just keeping the 30 most recent versions of every file).

While this setup is still very useful, if accessing previous versions of your files is an important part of how you backup, a less limited service might come in handy.

As a result, we looked only at the most extensive file versioning options out there when it came to creating our list – and we found some good contenders. We also took into consideration how easy it is to find and save previous versions, and the overall quality of the software – including its usability, features, and value for money.

Conclusion

Having access to previous versions of your files adds an extra layer of security to backups, and makes it even easier to be sure that you won’t lose any essential data. The providers discussed here all offer the best in file versioning, with other great features on offer too – if you’re interested in signing up for any of them, check out their websites for more information.

5 Best Backups for File Versioning Summary

Rank Company Score Price Link
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$5.42 / month Visit Site

1

CrashPlan Logo
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$5.00 / monthVisit Site

2

ElephantDrive Logo
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$9.95 / monthVisit Site

3

Memopal Logo
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$7.25 / monthVisit Site

4

SOS Logo
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$3.74 / monthVisit Site

5

SpiderOak Logo
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$7.00 / monthVisit Site