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Online (Cloud) Backup Services Reviewed

written by: Tolga BALCI•edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 5/23/2011

In our previous article in the series, we recommended you to backup your files online, i.e. to the cloud. You didn't think that we would leave you without reviewing the online backup sites, did you? Let's find out which one is doing best.

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    Humyo & Adrive


    Humyo offers 30 GB of online storage. The service provider divides this space into two: 25 Gigabytes for multimedia files and 5 Gigabytes for other files. This means if you want to save your files in a compressed archive, than you just have this 5 Gigabyte part. Humyo offers the most beautiful software to keep your files in sync with your online space. The software is intuitive and you just get going even if you have never used such an application. However, it doesn't have an option to schedule backups. The web site is easy to navigate and you can easily go to your space and work with your files. Your files are not encrypted when you are uploading or downloading. Encryption is only offered to the paid subscribers. The website's uptime is very good and it is very stable. The only downside is the software is Windows-only. As a Linux user, I could not get the software to work with Wine. But I am waiting, since on the website they advertise that a Linux client will be available in 2009. Another thing, the multiple file uploading web interface worked terribly in Linux. (Please leave a message to me if you could get it to work in Linux (Firefox)). You can get 100 Gigabytes for USD 6.99 per month or USD 69.99 per year.


    Adrive offers 50 Gigabytes of space for free. It does not divide the space into two like Humyo, but it has a file size limit of 2 Gigabyte. So, if you will upload your files at once in an archive, do not forget to split it to 2 Gigabyte chunks. Adrive does not provide a software for Windows, Linux or Mac for the free users. Plus, file history recovery is USD 25. So, if you accidentally made changes to a file and saved it, you have to pay Adrive to go back to the previous version. Encryption is not available in either direction, uploading or downloading. for free users. I wish Adrive could offer more for the free users (the majority of the home users). For USD 6.95 per month or USD 69.50 per year, you can upgrade to a "Signature" subscription which is 50 Gigabytes plus all the available options (encryption, software etc..)

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    Dropbox, Gigabank & Crashplan


    Compared to Humyo and Adrive, Dropbox drops the storage space to 2 Gigabytes. The upside of this service is that its software has a very small footprint and available for Windows, Linux, and Mac. The software works with Nautilus in Linux so do not forget to install this file manager before installing dropbox. After the installation you will see a Dropbox folder. Whatever file you put inside this folder is uploaded to your web space. I have this installed on my computer to backup everything other than my multimedia files and so far I am very satisfied. Plus, Dropbox has file versioning. Suppose that you have made 10 changes to a document and want to go back to the 6th change. You can easily go back with a single click on the website.


    Gigabank is a real 'giga'bank, but I wish they were 'gigas'bank. The service only offers 1 Gigabyte of storage space for free users. Plus the software only runs on Windows XP and Vista. Mac and Linux users are out of the question. However, when you upgrade your storage to premium, Gigabank keeps your files for five years. If you look at the pricing, they ask for EUR 59.90 for 10 Gigabyte, which means EUR 1 per month. It is not a bad deal as long as Gigabyte is on the market for the coming 5 years.


    Crashplan is another online backup site. The service is advertised very well and seems too good to be true: unlimited space, Windows, Mac and Linux compatible software, multiple offsite servers even for free users. The other side of the coin is that free users can not have real time backups in contrast to other services. The backup takes place daily. Crashplan is free for personal use and the plans are available for business users.

    The verdict: My personal favorite is Humyo. I would recommend it definitely, but the only drawback, which is valid for all providers, is the long-term viability of the company. If they can survive, contrary to the companies that went down after the dot com bubble, they will probably take the first place.

Online Data Backup

Everyday the number of our files are increasing. We need to have copies somewhere to prepare for a computer failure. In this series we first look at the background of the Internet/backup and then analyze the online backup systems that are available to every online user.
  1. Online Backup - Cloud Computing Services
  2. Online (Cloud) Backup Services Reviewed