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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.
Paid plans start at $69.50 for 2TB (one user, unlimited computers). IDrive is our choice as the best online backup and cloud storage service for small businesses because of its comprehensive cloud features, which include online backup, cloud storage and file-sharing capabilities. With a business account, you can easily perform automated synchronization through scheduled or continuous backups. If you work with a team, you can take advantage of the group management capabilities, like creating links and setting access permissions and restrictions on specific files and folders. Your data is securely transferred and stored with 256-bit AES encryption and a user-defined key that is not stored anywhere on the servers. This cloud storage and backup solution offers one basic (free) plan, two personal plans and six business plans. The basic plan is free and comes with 5GB of storage space, allowing users to try all of IDrive's features. Personal plans start at $69.50 for the first year, come with 2TB (or 5TB for $74.62) of storage space, and are best for individual or home users who need data backup and synchronization. (The personal plan only supports one user.) Business plans start at $99.50 for the first year, come with 250GB of storage space, and are best for medium to large businesses that need more advanced security and storage capabilities. For 12.5TB of space, you can spend over $2,000 for one year. For a limited time, IDrive is discounting the price of its plans 50% for first-time clients. IDrive's business plans support unlimited users, computers, and servers – the main difference between plans is the storage size and price. IDrive is one of the few companies that charge overage fees if you exceed the allotted gigabyte or terabyte limit. Overages on business plans cost 50 cents per gigabyte per month. IDrive allows you to scale your plan as your needs change. New and existing users can review IDrive's online demo to learn about its cloud service and features. If you have additional questions, you can easily reach an IDrive representative by phone, email or live chat. When we reached out to the company posing as a small business owner, we were very pleased with the clear, knowledgeable support we received. If you are looking for a full-service platform to support your cloud backup and storage needs, IDrive is a great choice.
Read IDrive Review

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.
Pricing starts as low as $6 per license, per month. Backblaze is the best cloud backup service for Mac users, thanks to its comprehensive, simple-to-use platform and affordable rates. Backblaze has two main services for small business owners: business backup plans and the B2 Cloud Storage plan. Depending on what you need, you may choose one or both solutions. Backblaze backup services easily integrate with the macOS interface and can back up data on computers and external hard drives. You can manage the frequency of backups, and set versioning retention and control admin preferences. The user management features allow you to set permissions and add and remove users. You can use the B2 Cloud Storage option for storage, file sharing, hosting or large-scale backup. This software is optimized for Mac systems and integrates with macOS to allow you to seamlessly backup and restore your system. You can return your computers to the state they were in 30 days prior, which is useful for deterring ransomware or other types of malware. Pricing for Backblaze backup and B2 Cloud Storage differ slightly. The backup plans are charged per license. You can access a monthly plan for $6 per license, per month, an annual plan for $60 per license, per year, or a biennial plan for $110 per license, per two years. B2 Cloud Storage charges based on how much data you store and download per month. You get 10GB of free storage and 1GB of free daily downloads. Anything additional is 1 cent per gigabyte stored per month and 1 cent per gigabyte downloaded per month, on a pay-as-you-go basis. B2 Cloud Storage requires a third-party application to act as a backup or storage interface. Backblaze offers a 15-day free trial. For additional information about the services, Backblaze offers several online resources, including a blog, FAQs and help pages. Backblaze representatives are available online via a request form or live chat, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. PT. We posed as a small business owner to test Backblaze's customer support firsthand, and we were very happy with the service we received. Of the cloud storage and backup companies we spoke to, Backblaze has one of the most helpful support teams we interacted with. Great customer support is a key feature to look for in a cloud storage and online backup service for your small business.
Read Backblaze Review

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.
Pricing starts as low as $8 per employee, per month. Egnyte is our choice as the best cloud storage and backup service for collaboration. Using Egnyte, you can store documents, slideshows and videos, email, databases, and software. Through Egnyte's online portal, you can manage shared folders, enable link expiration, and set folder permissions and restrictions. You can keep multiple versions of your documents accessible through file versioning and trash retention policies. Egnyte secures your file transfers and storage with 256-bit AES encryption over SSL. This is especially important for small businesses that sync and share proprietary documents. For users accessing files on mobile devices, Egnyte offers mobile security settings like passcode enforcement, native mobile device control, restricted access and remote wipe. Egnyte offers flexible and scalable plans for small businesses. For extremely small businesses with one to three users, Egnyte offers a Team plan that includes 1TB of storage for $10 per employee, per month. Teams of five to 25 employees can access 5TB of storage with the Office plan for $8 per employee per month. Larger teams, those comprising 25 to 100 employees, would use the Business plan, which features 10TB of storage and costs $20 per employee, per month. Large teams of more than 100 employees should contact Egnyte directly for a custom quote. The amount of storage each plan is to be shared among every user on your team. Although the main difference between the plans is the storage size, other features may be tiered, like administrative and IT tools, hybrid integration features, and deployment options. Egnyte offers several online resources for users, including live training, demos, webinars, white papers, e-books, infographics, Egnyte University, an online community and success stories. If you have additional questions about the features, you can contact an Egnyte agent by phone, online form or live chat. When we posed as a small business owner to test Egnyte's customer service, we found the representatives moderately helpful. But if you need in-depth help, we recommend that you call Egnyte support.
Read Egnyte Review

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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