I, along with many others, am currently having to decide which online backup to turn to now that my current provider (Crashplan) has decided it doesn’t want to have to deal with individual consumers.
Well, the comparison list is nice, but has only three filter options. Living, as one does, in the Antipodes, one of my major concerns is speed. How well do these international options actually perform, when I want to back up my local data to the Cirrus (or Cumulus, or Cumulo-Cirrus…)? While there is a combined ‘performance’ score that apparently includes upload, download and system impact, these three elements are very different and I suggest need to be separately enumerated.
So when Choice next compares online backup options, can I suggest that speed of upload and download be separated in order to assist the reader/buyer?
While I’m here, I suppose I should mention all the items I would like to see in future backup comparisons:
- Speed of backup (and whether there is an offline backup option such as me shipping them a hard drive)
- Speed of restore (and whether there is an offline restore option such as them shipping me a hard drive)
- Impact on my machine’s performance
- Security - and whether this can be set so the company has absolutely no way of reading my personal files, as well as whether there is a lazier option for people who forget passwords and are not quite so paranoid. Additionally, it is important to know how security claims have been checked. I signed up with a company called Degoo a while ago, and its app gives the user absolutely no indication of what it is doing with their data! Yes, it says it encrypts it. No, I get no indication of how/when/where, or of whether it does it properly. Many companies have shown that it is very easy to encrypt data and yet leave it vulnerable to random hackers; just saying that you “use military-grade encryption” tells the user nothing - leaving us to rely upon Choice to check this stuff.
- Versioning. One of the prime reasons for an online backup is to escape the vicious threat of ransomware. Versioning is vital to this, and so needs to be clearly identified in the up-front comparison
- Phone/tablet app availability. It is increasingly common for one to be able to share files between computer and mobile device, so it is important that the buyer know whether this is an available option - as well as whether one might manage one’s backup from the phone.
I must also admit to being extremely surprised at the rankings Choice produced in its comparison, as they do not look anything like any other comparison I have seen. When one can buy 1TB of Zoolz for a lifetime for US$50 struck me as… shocking? Zoolz also looks (or rather looked - I have just revisited the website and it has changed enormously) very much like a ‘roll-your-own backup company’, with website design and other indicators that are (were) strikingly generic. (I just noticed that Zoolz apps on Android’s Play store are from Genie9 - suggesting that Zoolz is owned by a pretty large player; not sure when they were bought, though. And a shot of its PC app looks very familiar to users of Genie Timeline.)
Can Choice please remove CrashPlan from its list of online backup providers for consumers?
Finally, should Choice separate the “unlimited data” from “limited data” backup options? there is an enormous difference between the 50gb limit of SOS Online Backup Personal, and 1TB, and “everything”.
Thanks Choice . Oh, and thanks in advance to those respondents who wish to send bouquets and brickbats to their own cloud backup providers.