Data is a company’s most valuable asset, and if it’s not protected, the business has low odds of survival. In fact, University of Texas study found that 94% of companies do not survive a catastrophic data loss: 43% of businesses never reopen following a catastrophic loss, and 51% close within two years after the event.
For all the benefits the cloud can offer a business, many business owners are hesitant to move away from on-premises data storage for precisely this reason: the idea of entrusting their business data to a third party makes them uncomfortable. Unfortunately, the cost of setting up an in-house data center can be prohibitive, not to mention the expense in time and hours that is necessary to maintain and monitor an in-house center. For some businesses, this creates a dilemma: hand over your vital data to a third party, or spend enormous amounts of time and money to build and maintain it on- site?
That’s where cloud backup services come in, combining the peace of mind that comes with an on-premises data center with the savings offered by cloud providers. Let’s take a look at some of the top-rated cloud backup solutions on the market.
Backblaze is one of the more popular cloud storage options for individuals and businesses. It’s easy to set up and has a user-friendly interface, so you can be up and running almost immediately after signing up. Backblaze automatically scans your hard drive to identify files that need to be backed up, and you can select or deselect the ones you want to back up. You can also set Backblaze to “continuous backup” if you want to skip the manual process.
The encryption process requires the end user to provide a specific passphrase to Backblaze before they will decrypt your data and send it back to you, which might pose some issues for business owners. On one hand, if only one person knows the passphrase and that person is unavailable, your business data is inaccessible; on the other, the more people who know the passphrase, the less secure your data is.
The other minor drawback of Backblaze is its so-so versioning capability. Business owners whose employees work off of a frequently-updated shared file or list may occasionally need to go back to an earlier version. Backblaze only saves versions for 30 days, unlike other providers that offer much longer version retention periods. Overall, Backblaze is a great cloud backup solution: it’s affordable ($60 per computer per year or
$55 per computer per year if you sign up for a 2-year plan), easy to use, and offers a lot of great features for the price.
Each cloud backup service has its own benefits and drawbacks depending on your business and your industry. OpenDrive probably isn’t for everybody, but for certain businesses, it’s a perfect fit.
OpenDrive’s prices are lower than the competition – business plans start at $7/month per user – but you get what you pay for: that $7 per month only gets you 500GB of storage, and you’re capped at 25GB of downloaded data per day. OpenDrive does offer business plans with unlimited storage, but at much higher prices than you’d pay for unlimited storage with another cloud backup service.
Implementation is simple, and OpenDrive also offers a desktop UI (it’s not very pretty, but it gets the job done), but where OpenDrive really outshines the competition is with its versioning capability. With OpenDrive, you can store up to 99 versions of each file, and there’s an unlimited retention period. The ability to retrieve historical versions of files – no matter how old – is particularly useful for businesses with strict data compliance regulations. So if your business doesn’t have a lot of data but needs to be able to retrieve old versions of it at a moment’s notice, OpenDrive could be a great option.
Carbonite is one of the most trusted cloud backup services on the market, and it’s flexible enough to fit almost any business. Like Backblaze (which is Carbonite’s main competitor), Carbonite has made the setup process as easy as possible so you can implement it and get back to your business in no time. And if the worst-case scenario happens, Carbonite makes it easy to restore your files and get back up and running quickly.
If you’re not sure how much data you’ll need to back up or your load is likely to increase in the near future, Carbonite’s unlimited storage helps eliminate the guesswork. You have the option to manually choose what files and folders you want to back up, and you can set Carbonite to perform continuous backups. Concerned that constant backups will slow down your network? Don’t be: in continuous backup mode, Carbonite only backs up new files and changes to existing files to minimize its burden on your internet connection.
Backblaze, Carbonite manages the encryption of your data. But unlike Backblaze,
Carbonite lets you set a private encryption key that gives you full control
over your data. Likewise, Carbonite’s versioning capability and 90-day version
retention is an improvement over Backblaze. Carbonite’s plans start at
$24/month for multiple computers or $50/month for computers and servers, and of
all the cloud backup services, Carbonite is the only one we’ve seen that offers
options for businesses with data compliance restrictions like HIPAA.
Backblaze and Carbonite are the two clear standout cloud backup services, but they’re not without their flaws. Depending on what your business needs, one of these competitors might be a better fit for your organization.
Cloud backup is a lot like homeowner’s insurance: it’s a necessary expense to protect against catastrophe, but once it reaches a certain price point, its theoretical value isn’t enough to justify the cost. Acronis has a lot of great features, but there are some significant drawbacks as well, and compared to the other options on this list, the price tag might be too bitter a pill to swallow.
For starters, Acronis only offers a maximum of 5TB of storage, which may not be enough for your backup needs. The base price is $99/year per workstation, but that doesn’t include backups for Microsoft Office (an additional $299/year), G Suite ($200/ year), an in-house server ($839/year for each server), or virtual hosts ($929/year).
Acronis does offer some features that no other competitor on this list does, such as ransomware protection, blockchain notarization, and instant and universal restore, which lets you easily restore your systems even on completely different hardware. The interface is also clean and easy-to-use, and you can send your backup data anywhere you need. Acronis has a “kitchen-sink” approach to the services it offers, and there’s a lot to like within those offerings. Nevertheless, most businesses are unlikely to take advantage of all the unique features, and when you factor in the cost and the storage limits, Acronis offers the least bang for your buck.
Last but not least, we have SpiderOak. Like OpenDrive, SpiderOak is a low-cost cloud backup service that comes with restrictions on your backup storage space; unlike OpenDrive, though, unlimited plans aren’t an option. SpiderOak offers different tiers with no device restrictions and higher storage limits than OpenDrive’s entry-level plan; 2TB of storage can be shared by as many devices as you want for just $14/month, or you can get 5TB of storage for $29/month.
SpiderOak is cheaper than OpenDrive and more flexible, but it’s not without its flaws. In order to use SpiderOak’s continuous or scheduled backups, you first have to manually tag each file and folder you want backed up, which can be a time-consuming and frustrating process. To save space and bandwidth, SpiderOak – like Carbonite – only uploads file changes instead of the entire file. Like OpenDrive, SpiderOak doesn’t place any restrictions on versioning; however, due to the strict cap on your data storage, that also means that you might eventually find yourself having to manually delete old versions of files to free up storage space.
One good feature
of SpiderOak is that files are client-side encrypted, so if their data center
suffers a breach, you don’t have to worry about the security of your business
data. Overall, SpiderOak has one great feature and a slew of pretty good ones, but the drawbacks might make it a tough sell for your business.
If your business data isn’t backed up, you’re risking all the hard work you’ve put in to get your business to where it is today. You can’t afford to put off preserving your data any longer – we can help you identify the cloud backup service that best fits your business needs and your budget. Just drop us a line and we’ll schedule a time to chat.