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It’s always a good idea to keep a secure backup copy of your important documents online. Sooner or later your disk will crash, it’s not about if but more like when. So, unless you have an external drive, online backup is a must. Although there are plenty of file storage services out there, only a few offer reliable storage and backup service for sensitive data. So here you go …

Mozy – The easiest online backup solution so far. Just install it on your Mac or PC, specify which files it should backup, and let it do the work. No need to worry, it will automatically keep backup files up-to-date and synchronized. You can also access and download any/all of your backup files from other computers.

Mozy - Online Backup Service

Free account is limited to 2 GB of storage, but you also get 1 GB for each friend referral. Mozy also has a premium account option, which is basically the same but comes with unlimited storage. See Mozy video screencast here. Please note that Mozy is a pure remote backup service, so backup/restore is pretty much all that you get.

Omnidrive – Unlike Mozy, Omnidrive is more of a file storage and sharing application. However, the availability of desktop client (Windows, Mac) makes it a good backup application as well. Not only does it let you keep a backup of important files online but it also provides an excellent platform for keeping files online so you can access, share and read them from any PC. Some of the features provided by Omnidrive client include: drag’n drop to upload, 2-click file sharing, and automatic synchronization with online account.

OmniDrive - Online Storage and Backup

Additionally, when you access Omnidrive online you also can:

  • View, edit, share and collaborate on office documents (Word and Excel) right in your browser [powered by Zoho].
  • Edit, resize and crop your images [Powered by Snipshot].
  • Embed any stored media file on your website, blog or profile page (i.e. MySpace).
  • Automatically store your favorite podcasts (or video feeds) directly to your account.

Free account is limited to 1GB of storage and 5GB of bandwidth. No restriction on a single file size. You can check out OmniDrive video demo here.

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Box.net – Another promising file storage service, but seems a bit less attractive than the above mentioned Omnidrive, at least based on free account offerings. There is no desktop client so it’s 100% web-based. Although Box.net provides a web-based file manager applet with a drag’n drop functionality. Files can be moved around, as well as dragged to/from PC from/to your Box.net account.

Box - Secure Online Storage and Backup

Highlights include:

  • View, share and edit office documents online.
  • Fully-functional access from mobile (m.box.net). Premium accounts only.
  • Upload files to your Box online storage by sending an email to upload@box.net.
  • Box Widget: Embed files and folders (docs, picture albums, etc.) on any webpage.

Free account is limited to 1 GB of storage (up to 10 MB / file) and to 10 GB of monthly bandwidth. See all account options in Box account types.

Steekr – SteekR offers two different desktop clients: one for scheduling automatic backups and one for direct access to your online storage box from your desktop. Available both for Mac and Windows PCs.

Steekr - Online File Sharing and Backup

Steekr also supports file collaboration, remote streaming of stored media files, file sharing, and even enables you to let your friends upload files to designated folders. On the down side, it doesn’t support viewing and editing of stored office documents. Similar to Box and Omnidirve, free accounts are limited to 1GB of storage space. No restrictions on the bandwidth usage.

  1. Dan
    November 30, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    I have lost hope on physical HDs. HD on my 2 year old MacBook pro stopped working and had to send in my HD to apple in the hope to retreive the data.

    It's been a while since this article has been commented on. I was wondering if there was a better online backup system than those described and commented upon in this page.

    What is the best (secure, fast, not so expensive, and other criteria that you feel is important) online backup sytem to date?

  2. Matthew Southgate
    October 2, 2008 at 8:36 pm

    Hi

    Turbobackup are offing free 2gig of backup space,

    We support, windows, Mac and linux

    turbobackup.co.uk

  3. Jason Patterson
    June 22, 2008 at 9:44 pm

    I have found Angel Backup ( AngelBackup.com ) to be an effective solution for my business. And their customer service has been second to none.

    Rgds,
    Jason

  4. Westbroek
    March 12, 2008 at 7:13 am

    Same problem. Tray icon started to go yellow with warnings of backups waiting. Yesterday went red at one point with in the status screen a warning that Carbonite was down. No response from support.

    • Len Pallazola - Carbonite
      March 15, 2008 at 9:11 am

      Westbroek,

      If you are still having trouble connecting to Carbonite, please log into your account at carbonite.com/manage and click on the "My Protected Computers" tab. Next, click the Reinstall button and follow the prompts to reinstall the program. You should be back up and running in just moments.

      Sincerely,

      Len Pallazola
      Manager, Customer Service Systems
      Carbonite, Inc.
      http://www.carbonite.com

      • Mikael Witte
        March 18, 2008 at 3:05 pm

        Even Carbonites website seems to be down.
        I have tried to get to it for several days but it seems all dead.

      • David
        March 25, 2008 at 4:41 pm

        Tried this repeatedly with no success.

        Allowed full access to Carbonite (Setup and Service) in virus protection and firewall programs, with no results.

        E-mailed 3 times for help, with no human reply.

        WTF

  5. Andy Baines
    January 11, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    When investigating an online backup company for my busiess I checked out nearly all companys mentioned here. Did you know not one of them and type of data restore guarantee/compensation process. This is the reason why I chose a company called perfectbackup as they offer a £1,000,000 data restore guarantee. In my opinon, not the cheapest, but certainly the best .

    • Aibek
      January 11, 2008 at 5:32 pm

      Thanks for the input.

  6. John
    January 9, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    1 of your 4 reviewed services seems to be ... dead (for good). Check this new article at http://www.webware.com/8301-1_109-9846292-2.html.

  7. Steven S.
    December 26, 2007 at 12:02 am

    I was a box.net fan for my home computers.

    I started to use BackupRight for our servers at the office, I was so impressed with the service I signed up for backupright express at home. Their customer service is awesome too.

    • Aibek
      December 26, 2007 at 11:04 am

      Unfortunately, there is no free account option. :-(

  8. Jason
    December 19, 2007 at 8:11 pm

    Check out elephantdrive (www.elephantdrive.com) as well.

    • Aibek
      December 19, 2007 at 8:17 pm

      Thanks for the link. Checked it out and unfortunately it doesn't offer any free account option.

      • Ben Widhelm
        December 20, 2007 at 12:47 pm

        Aibek,

        ElephantDrive does offer 1 GB of storage for free, forever. If you'd like to try out the Home Edition, which offers unlimited storage, you can get 30 days for free by entering this code at registration: Pq4r8H0Rig

        The service encrypts all user data before transmitting it to our service, and enables "ad-hoc" web access to backups using a lightweight java applet for decryption.

        Thanks again for the post.

        Ben Widhelm
        http://www.elephantdrive.com

  9. Matt
    December 12, 2007 at 2:31 am

    Hi,
    thanks for recommending some online backup sites. I'm a little concerned with privacy, so I'd like to encrypt my files first. What I had in mind was creating a TrueCrypt volume, e.g. slightly below 1 GB in size, and then upload that. What backup service would work with such a setup? What other recommendations do you have for safe online storage?

    • Aibek
      December 13, 2007 at 11:28 am

      Hi Matt

      I think TrueCrypt idea should work but in that case you won't be able to access (read) your files online. I also think you may experience some problems with syncing your local copy to the server.

      By the way, all of the above listed services are known to be very secure and reliable. SteekR is quite new so I am not very sure about it yet, but the other ones are VERY SOLID applications.

  10. bob
    December 11, 2007 at 3:26 pm

    Don't forget Zoogmo. It is a nice application that lets you use space on your friends' or family members' computers for automatic, encrypted backup. It is totally free and unlimited. Check it out at http://www.zoogmo.com.

  11. Cory
    December 10, 2007 at 1:21 pm

    X Drive (www.xdrive.com) is a great product which features sharing and a desktop client. It has 5GB of free space and has some very nice features with media. XDrive is now associated with AOL, so if you have an AIM screen name, you can use that as your log-in. X Drive is free, so give it a shot!

  12. Marketing Consulting
    December 10, 2007 at 12:08 pm

    Great options here. I've noticed that the amount of services like this, and their efficiency has increased greatly over the last couple years.

  13. name
    December 9, 2007 at 7:31 pm

    What about Carbonite?

    • Aibek
      December 9, 2007 at 8:07 pm

      It doesn't offer any free account option.

    • Bryant
      March 11, 2008 at 7:02 am

      I had carbonite, if you have a problem their service sucks. There are bunch of solutions that are better than Carbonite

      • None
        March 11, 2008 at 9:12 am

        Yes, Carbonite has now been down for almost TWO DAYS and yet according to the Carbonite website there are NO ISSUES!

        I have confirmed with a friend that he is also having the same problem and other current blog posts are complaining about the same thing.

        For a backup service Carbonite doesn't seem to be able to get its own house into order.

        I am seriously considering seeking a refund from Carbonite.

        • David Friend
          March 12, 2008 at 7:09 am

          Carbonite was only down for a couple of hours while we moved equipment around this past weekend. It sounds like your PC did not automatically re-connect to the server when the data center came back online, so it's possible that some table on your PC got corrupted. Go to carbonite.com/manage/manage.aspx, My Protected Computers tab, and reinstall Carbonite. If that doesn't do it, send an email to len@carbonite.com.

          Dave Friend, CEO
          Carbonite, Inc.

        • Christopher Beeston
          March 13, 2008 at 2:43 am

          For the public record, email to len@carbonite.com

          Good morning.

          You have on your hands a PR disaster.

          * There is no prominent notice on your website's home page.
          * If that was not enough, irritation is increased because your website does not scroll horizontally in Firefox.
          * The hyperlink in the blog returns File not found.

          I am am enthusiastic user of Carbonite. This is not good.

          Please:

          * fix this so that I can resume recommending your service to friends, colleagues and clients;
          * review your policies for customer care and use your website to provide timely, business critical message to customers;
          * treat this whole matter as one of the utmost importance;
          * ask David Friend to email me once the mess has been sorted out.

          Regards,

          Christopher Beeston FCA

          C J Beeston
          Chartered Accountant
          North Yorkshire
          United Kingdom

        • Christopher Beeston
          March 13, 2008 at 2:50 am

          This only gets worse.

          "This message was created automatically by mail delivery software.

          A message that you sent could not be delivered to one or more of its
          recipients. This is a permanent error. The following address(es) failed:

          len@carbonite.com
          SMTP error from remote mail server after RCPT TO::
          host smtp.carbonite.com [38.97.103.129]: 550 5.1.1 User unknown"

          Can anyone help me further?

          Many thanks.

        • None
          March 13, 2008 at 6:56 am

          Well, when I phoned Carbonite (during business hours) not only was the option to speak with someone unavailable, I was also unable to leave a message!

          Who would have thought that a backup service could go down!

        • Len Pallazola - Carbonite Inc.
          March 14, 2008 at 11:31 am

          Hi folks,

          I see that David made a typo in my e-mail address and that has added to the frustration here. You may feel free to reply to me from this site or to write to customersupport@carbonite.com with ATTN: Len in the subject line and I'll make sure your issue is resolved.

          Sincerely,

          Len Pallazola
          Manager, Customer Service Systems
          Carbonite, Inc.
          http://www.carbonite.com

  14. Bill Minton
    December 9, 2007 at 6:57 pm

    I use Fotki for pictures, since they allow so many different uploading methods (including FTP), unlimited storage for $30/yr, and the ability to re-download the original resolution images. They also allow you to do blogging there, they have forums, links to video sites, selling of your pictures, and nearly any type of album/folder security you could want.

    For everything else, I use Amazon S3 with S3Drive (http://www.suchwerk.net/sodcms_AMAZON_S3DRIVE.htm). It's hard arguing w/the pricing and fact that everything you upload is distributed to multiple data centers for redundancy.

    • Aibek
      December 13, 2007 at 11:18 am

      Thanks Bill, Fotki looks REALLY good. I heard about it before, but never really bothered to check it out. It's definitely going to MUO directory.;-)

  15. Zoli Erdos
    December 9, 2007 at 5:10 pm

    Yes, it was. For every *four* active referrals, you got 1G :-)

    • Aibek
      December 9, 2007 at 5:26 pm

      :-) :-)

  16. Peter
    December 9, 2007 at 1:56 pm

    Just a small correction. Mozy gives you 256Megs of additional storage for each referral, not 1 Gig. Mozy is a great service for remote backups. It runs in the background completely unattended and does its thing without bothering you or slowing your machine.

    • Aibek
      December 9, 2007 at 2:12 pm

      Thanks for correction
      I am pretty sure it was 1GB before. :?

    • john
      December 14, 2007 at 9:58 pm

      actually, you get 256 mb only if you have a paid account. and I am pretty sure that the referral must also use a puirchased account for you to get 256 mb.

      • Aibek
        December 14, 2007 at 11:19 pm

        It doesn't make sense. All paid accounts have unlimited storage, so why would you need another 256 MB?

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