Top 5 online backup services

We round up some of the best online backup services

MozyHome

Mozy, a subsidiary of enterprise storage giant EMC, is an online backup service that offers different plans for home users and businesses. With MozyHome, there’s a free plan providing 2GB of storage, and paid plans are available for 50GB for a single computer at US$5.99 per month, and 125GB for three computers at US$9.99 per month.

Like Carbonite, MozyHome takes a no-fuss approach to online backup and puts emphasis on security and simplicity. It does however, provide more options for restoring files — via the desktop client, web interface, mailed DVD, or mobile apps, and allow the user to have a local backup in addition to the online backup with just the Mozy program doing both jobs. It may not have the more advanced features of other providers, but consumers will still find MozyHome a reliable backup solution that works as it should.

IBackup

IBackup is a feature-packed online backup and storage service. The typical home user will probably be overwhelmed by the array of features that IBackup offers — and the price tag that goes with it — but businesses will certainly benefit from the enterprise-level solutions available here. For instance, few other service providers can boast of the capability to backup Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SQL Server, and Oracle databases, and even fewer can integrate regulatory compliance into their backup systems. IBackup does both.

Priced at about US$1 per GB per month (most basic economy plan is 10GB at US$9.95 monthly), the cost of IBackup may be too steep for the average consumer. But those who can make the most of its features will certainly get their money’s worth with this service.

Dropbox

Dropbox is another backup solution that also has syncing and sharing capabilities. With this service, files are easy to manage because all folders and files that are to be synchronized or backed up are simply dragged and dropped into the My Dropbox folder. Any file edited in this folder will automatically sync with all computers and mobile devices within the user’s network, as well as updated in the Dropbox cloud.

The basic plan of 2GB storage is free but if you opt to upgrade to a paid plan, the only choices are the Pro 50 Plan (US$9.99/month) and Pro 100 Plan (US$19.99). Home users can find cheaper alternatives that by default, will backup all data on their computer. Small businesses and/or virtual offices however, will find a powerful and secure collaboration and file sharing solution with Dropbox. A number of my friends use Dropbox to regularly exchange those 1GB blocks of photos from the weekend's water skiing. I must admit I have used this free service hundreds of times myself.

There are many more online backup services out there, and the fact that these providers continue to increase is proof that online backup is the way to go.

Don’t put your important documents, family videos and photos, and music collection to needless risk. While you may not have a data loss sob story to share now, you may very well have one in the future unless you backup online.

Do you think your favourite online backup service should have made this list? Feel free to leave a comment. David Parkinson is the managing director of DCA Computer Technologies a computer retailer and support provider. Read more articles at the DCA Computers blog, follow DCA Computers on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

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