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The Best Cloud Backup and Storage Solutions of 2020

By
Joshua Stowers
,
Business News Daily Staff
| Updated
May 01, 2020

Looking for the best cloud backup solutions? We have easy-to-read, unbiased reviews and feature comparisons of the best cloud storage providers in the industry
Best for Small Businesses
Paid plans start at $69.50 for 2TB (one user, unlimited computers).
Best for Mac Backup
Pricing starts as low as $6 per license, per month.
Best for Collaboration
Egnyte
Pricing starts as low as $8 per employee, per month.
Looking for the best cloud backup solutions? We have easy-to-read, unbiased reviews and feature comparisons of the best cloud storage providers in the industry

Protecting your business is more than mounting security cameras and locking your doors – it extends to safeguarding your online data, too. To do this, many businesses utilize cloud backup and online storage technology. To help you find a solution that's right for your business, we spent weeks examining several dozen options. To make our best pick selections, we looked at, among other things, pricing, storage space, scalability, usability, features and customer service. You can read more about the three services we recommend below and see a list of other providers if our selections don't work for you.

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Our Reviews

IDrive: Best Solution for Small Businesses

IDrive can back up unlimited devices for one flat fee.
It provides continuous real-time backup for PC, Mac, Android and iOS, along with a mobile app.
IDrive doesn't offer a plan with unlimited storage.

IDrive gives small business owners a secure way to back up, store and recover their data. With its seamless online dashboard, affordable rates, scalable services, and collaboration features, IDrive is our pick as the best cloud storage and online backup service for small businesses.

Editor's note: Looking for information on online storage and backup? Use the questionnaire below, and our vendor partners will contact you with the information you need: 

 

IDrive Pricing and Plans

Unlike many competing cloud storage companies that base their pricing on the number of devices you need to support, IDrive lets you back up unlimited devices for one flat monthly or annual fee. Pricing varies by the amount of storage you need.  

IDrive offers a free plan, which supports up to 5GB of cloud storage, as well as plans for entrepreneurs (IDrive Personal) and small businesses needing a plan for multiple users (IDrive Business). 

Here is a breakdown of each plan. 

IDrive Personal (one user, unlimited computers): 

  • 2TB at $69.50 for the first year, or $139 for two years
  • 5TB at $99.50 for the first year, or $199 for two years 

IDrive Business (unlimited users, unlimited computers and servers): 

  • 250GB at $99.50 for the first year, or $199 for two years
  • 500GB at $199.50 for the first year, or $399 for two years
  • 1.25TB at $499.50 for the first year, or $999 for two years (or $49.95 per month)
  • 2.5TB at $799.50 for the first year, or $1,599 for two years (or $79.95 per month)
  • 5TB at $1,499.50 for the first year, or $2,999 for two years (or $149.95 per month)
  • 12.5TB at $2,999.50 for the first year, or $5,999 for two years (or $299.95 per month) 

If you exceed your storage limit, IDrive charges 25 cents a month per gigabyte for the personal plan and 50 cents a month per gigabyte for business plans. You can upgrade to higher storage plans to avoid an overuse charge. IDrive doesn't offer unlimited storage plans, but customer support informed us that you can add more data to your plan as needed. 

Currently, IDrive is offering new customers 25% off the first year, or 50% off if you sign up for a two-year plan. IDrive also discounts its services for students, educational institutions or anyone with a valid, educational domain-based email address. 

The online backup service offers important features, including synchronization and restoration, device support, group management, archiving, and high-grade security. 

Whether you use a PC, Mac, iOS or Android device, IDrive stores and backs up your files in the cloud. You can access and share files on your mobile devices via IDrive's mobile app. Files and folders sync in real time; IDrive automatically syncs your computers on a scheduled or continuous basis. It provides real-time backup, which means it can detect even the smallest changes to files and back them up. 

The IDrive Snapshot retains versions of your computers or servers in storage, allowing you to back up and restore your system to how it was at previous points in time. Snapshots do not affect your plan's storage capacity. 

IDrive archives files so that none of your data is lost to carelessness. You choose if and when to manually delete files. You can also set up IDrive's archive cleanup tool, which syncs your account data with your latest backup.  

With 256-bit AES encryption, the backup service is completely secure and complies with security regulations, including HIPAA, SOX and GLBA. In the event your local server crashes, IDrive can ship a copy of your data to you. 

IDrive provides 24/7 customer support and can be reached by phone, email and live chat. The company is not accredited with the Better Business Bureau, but the agency gives it an A+ rating.

More

Backblaze: Best Solution for Mac Backup

Backblaze offers storage and backup services for both Mac and PC.
Service plans are available on monthly, annual or biennial terms.
Backblaze doesn't back up any information stored on mobile devices.

Backblaze offers comprehensive storage and backup capabilities for both Mac and PC – whether you need help backing up a few computers or several servers – which is among the reasons it's our pick for the best Mac backup software.  

Editor's Note: Looking for a cloud storage solution? Fill out the below questionnaire to have our vendor partners contact you about your needs.

 

Backblaze Pricing and Plans

Backblaze has two main offerings: its computer backup plans and its B2 Cloud Storage plan, which acts as general cloud storage for hosting and archiving. 

Backblaze's backup plans support all the user data on each backed-up computer, except for the system and program files. For example, when you back up a Mac device, that would be the top-level Library, Applications and System folders. You can back up everything under Users, which should be all the user-generated data. 

You can pay for backup plans at a monthly, annual or biennial rate; the longer contracts provide the largest discounts. To try out Backblaze with no risk, you can sign up for a 15-day free trial. 

Here is a breakdown of each plan. 

Monthly backup plan: 

  • Price: $6 per license, per month
  • Recommended for: Businesses that want maximum flexibility 

Yearly backup plan: 

  • Price: $60 per license, per year
  • Recommended for: Most small businesses (most popular plan) 

Two-year backup plan: 

  • Price: $110 per license for two years
  • Recommended for: Businesses that want the best long-term deal 

If you need to support computers, servers, NAS, endpoints or virtual machines, the B2 Cloud Storage option may be a good fit. This gives you 10GB of storage and 1GB of daily downloads for free. Pricing is based on the amount of data stored, bandwidth used and transactions performed. 

B2 Cloud Storage: 

  • Price: 0.5 cents per gigabyte stored per month and 1 cent per gigabyte downloaded per month (pay as you go) – equates to $5 per month to store 1TB of data and $10 to download and restore that data
  • Recommended for: Businesses that need general, archival or offsite data storage 

With B2 Cloud Storage, you will need a third-party application to act as a backup or storage interface. 

Both of Backblaze's backup and storage options can be used on Mac computers and have their pros and cons. When we evaluated cloud backup solutions for Mac computers, we were impressed with Backblaze's number of features. 

Backblaze is optimized for Apple computers and integrates with the macOS interface. It backs up all user data on a computer, including attached external drives. This is unlimited and continuous backup that does not impose bandwidth caps or throttling unless you set it up with bandwidth control. 

The backup interface allows you to set when and how often you back up your computers. You can also set it to automatically detect bandwidth usage and slow down when traffic increases. 

While Mac's Time Machine allows you to restore previous versions of individual files, with Backblaze, you can roll back your entire system up to 30 days, giving you protection against ransomware and other malware. You can also set versioning retention. 

If you need to perform an immediate restore, the service can ship you a hard drive with your data. Backblaze keeps files until you delete them. Even then, they are accessible via backup for 30 days. If a computer is offline, the most recent backup is kept for at least six months, if not indefinitely. 

Backblaze's business backup plans give you administrative tools to manage multiple computers. You control the admin preferences from an easy-to-use dashboard where you can set permissions and view each computer's backup status. You can also add or remove users at any time through the Business Group dashboard. 

The plan scales with your business – you can add or remove as many computers as needed. You can manage both backup and B2 Cloud Storage administrative settings from the same online interface. 

For new and current users looking for additional information about Backblaze's services and features, the company offers a blog and additional FAQs and help pages. Backblaze is accredited with the Better Business Bureau and has an A+ rating.

More

Egnyte: Best Solution for Collaboration

The free trial comes with 20GB of cloud-based storage and 1GB of FTP uploading and sharing.
Egnyte offers several useful resources for new and existing cloud storage users, including live training, demos and webinars.
Even the basic version requires IT expertise to set it up properly – it isn't as simple as signing up and uploading data.

Egnyte is a comprehensive cloud storage solution with file-sharing and collaboration tools for teams, and sophisticated administrative controls for management and IT. The platform includes backup capabilities, so you can set it up as a hybrid system for redundancy. For all of this and more, Egnyte is our pick as the best cloud storage and online backup solution for collaboration.

 

Editor's note: Looking for information on online backup? Use the questionnaire below, and our vendor partners will contact you with the information you need: 

 

 

Egnyte Pricing and Plans

Egnyte offers three storage plans for businesses, in addition to a limited team plan for very small businesses. The storage allotted to each plan is teamwide, since this platform excels in collaboration features and should be used as such. The monthly pricing is based on a prepaid annual subscription. 

Here is a breakdown of each plan. 

Team plan: 

  • Online storage: 1TB
  • Price: $10 per employee per month
  • Size: 1-3 employees 

Office plan: 

  • Online storage: 5TB
  • Price: $8 per employee, per month
  • Size: 5-25 employees 

Business plan: 

  • Online storage: 10TB
  • Price: $20 per employee, per month
  • Size: 25-100 employees 

Enterprise plan: 

  • Online storage: Scales with your needs
  • Price: Call for a quote
  • Size: 100+ employees 

The biggest difference between each plan is the amount of storage, but each plan has its own security measures, administrative and IT tools, deployment options, and hybrid integration features. The typical maximum file size is 10GB; however, Egnyte can work with you to customize a plan if you need to transfer larger files. 

Egnyte offers a 15-day free trial. You get 20GB of cloud-based storage and 1GB of FTP uploading and sharing during the trial period. 

Egnyte's rich set of features includes customization, file sharing, top-notch security and synchronization. The service offers first-rate file support – you can store nearly any type of file, including word documents, slideshows, videos, email, databases and software. You can even store music files, though you'll need a third-party player to stream them. 

Within your Egnyte portal, you and your employees can easily share files and collaborate with remote individuals from a single centralized access point. Detailed folder permissions allow you to define tight rules around access to certain data. Not only can you specify who sees shared folders, you can also set permissions that determine who in your company can edit and delete files. 

Link expiration features let you specify how long someone has access to a given document. Egnyte automatically creates a new version of a document each time a change is saved, and you can determine the number of versions you want to keep before older versions are moved to the trash folder. 

The backup service uses stringent security measures to safeguard data. File transmissions use 256-bit AES encryption over SSL. Users are authenticated with a username and password, and as an administrator, you set the access rights for all users and guests you share data with. 

As a hybrid cloud and local storage solution, Egnyte conveniently provides continuous synchronization between local files and online copies. The platform detects changes to files and syncs them, keeping both copies up to date. Hybrid storage and backup provides redundant protection, meaning if one source fails, you still have a viable source where you can access your files and back them up. 

The custom branding feature lets you integrate your own URL for the interface and portal, complete with your company's logo and messaging. This can boost brand continuity and peace of mind with your customers. 

More

Cloud Backup and Online Storage Features

The best cloud backup and online storage providers offer numerous features, including the following. 

Encryption 

Many providers offer 256-bit encryption, which meets the U.S. government's requirements for managing private data. This protection can provide some assurance that your information is safe. 

Performance  

Most cloud storage providers offer various performance tiers that include an array of additional support. Lower tiers usually include limited storage space and don't provide standard download and upload speeds when backing up data. With higher tiers, you won't have to worry about bandwidth throttling, slow recoveries or low storage capacities. 

Collaboration 

Having collaborative features included in your cloud backup provider allows your team to access shared files and data from any device. Additionally, most providers automatically synchronize data. Collaboration features include password-protected file links, shared chat threads and quick notification delivery on available documents. 

Disaster Recovery 

There are two key aspects to consider when looking for a cloud backup service: recovery point objective (RPO) and recovery time objective (RTO). RPO, according to TechTarget, is the age of the files that must be recovered in the event of a disruption. RPO is usually expressed backward in time. It can be specified in minutes, hours or days. Another way of looking at RPO, according to Advisera, is "the maximum tolerable period in which data might be lost." Essentially, it refers to the frequency of file backups. If your RPO is, say, 120 minutes, and a major incident happened, you'll lose a significant amount of data. You, therefore, want to continuously update the frequency or how often you back up your files. If your RPO is 120 minutes, you want to back up your data every two hours. 

RTO is the window of time (and service level) with which a business process must be restored following a disruption. 

Online backup solutions are traditionally designed to store data at a low cost and recover small bits of information. They are not intended to recover massive amounts of data quickly following a disaster, because backup services are notoriously slow at recovery. Recovering 100TBs from a backup service might take days, because the service must replenish all your data and copy it into the primary storage system.

Pricing

The cost of cloud backup and online storage varies by the service provider, the type of service plan,  the amount of storage and the number of users. With free plans, expect to start with 2GB to 5GB of storage space, while paid plans generally offer between 5TB and 10TB of storage. 

When selecting a service provider and plan type, evaluate how much data storage you will likely need, because many providers charge overage fees that can add up quickly. In general, small businesses should expect to pay a few hundred dollars for a cloud storage and backup service. However, the exact amount can vary greatly based on all of your specific needs. If you are looking to save money, choose the annual or biennial plan. Most providers offer discounts for longer-term commitments to the service. 

Cloud storage and online backup services can be one of your most significant business expenses. However, keep in mind that these services can save your business money in the long term, considering the alternative costs involved with financing onsite servers and maintaining in-house IT employees.

Community Expert

Kevin Rodrigues, founder of GardeningMentor.com, has worked on his affiliate marketing business for more than two years. He uses Google Drive for his business data because it's a cost-effective, secure solution that's part of the G Suite platform. 

Rodrigues says he considered using Mega instead of Google Drive because it had better pricing and security features. Ultimately, he stuck with Google Drive because of his familiarity with the platform and its integration tools. 

Rodrigues says it's crucial to back up your data to the cloud so it's easily available if one of your devices malfunctions. 

"It's also useful to be able to access your data independent of your devices," he added. "Many backup solutions provide encryption, which helps secure your data." 

Angelo Frisina, founder and CEO of Sunlight Media LLC, began using Unitrends after searching for an online storage solution. 

"Unitrends is an intelligent online data backup management solution that provides cloud storage and online backup service for my business," said Frisina. "It has AI ransomware detection, [an] all-in-one recovery series and virtual Unitrends backup appliances, and supports cloud services for DRaas, SLAs, AWS, and AZURE." 

Before choosing Unitrends, Frisina considered using Veeam, a cloud storage solution that provides cloud disaster recovery options and more availability for data retrieval. Frisina decided against Veeam due to its lack of ransomware protection. 

There are several benefits of using cloud backup and online storage solutions. Frisina says there are risks to consider when selecting the right solution. 

"The risks of using or not using a cloud storage or online backup are that data and information may be lost, stolen or hacked if not implemented for the protection of your personal and business devices," Frisina said. "Daily data capacity limits, lack of insurance if data stored is lost, and wrong methods of data transfers may provide faulty errors within the data."

Our Methodology

Our search for the best cloud backup and online storage solutions began by searching business and review websites for top providers. We then scanned the industry for a broader perspective. We compiled an initial list of nearly 40 companies. Ultimately, we narrowed our list to 10 finalists. 

To determine our best picks, we searched for companies that provide the best features and offer top-notch security. Affordability is another critical aspect for small businesses. We researched companies with affordable billing options, quality support and expansive storage capabilities. 

Although most cloud backup and online storage solutions offer numerous features and benefits, we focused on rates, storage capacity, security and scalability, cross-platform and mobile access, and customer service. 

Joshua Stowers
Joshua Stowers
Business News Daily Staff
Joshua Stowers is a business.com and Business News Daily writer who knows firsthand the ups and downs of running a small business. An entrepreneur himself, Joshua founded the fashion and art publication Elusive Magazine. He writes about the strategic operations entrepreneurs need to launch and grow their small businesses. Joshua writes about choosing the choosing and building business legal structures, implementing human-resources services, and recruiting and managing talent.
Image Credit: hanieriani / Getty Images
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