Plans and pric­ing

PCWorld (USA) - - Reviews Best Free Backup Software -

Real time: Real-time backup means that files are backed up when­ever they change, usu­ally upon cre­ation or save. It’s also called mir­ror­ing and is handy for keep­ing an im­me­di­ately avail­able copy of rapidly chang­ing data sets. For less volatile data sets, the pay­off doesn’t com­pen­sate for the drain on sys­tem re­sources. In­stead, schedul­ing should be used.

Con­tin­u­ous backup: In this case, con­tin­u­ous sim­ply means back­ing up on a tight sched­ule, gen­er­ally ev­ery 5 to 15 min­utes, in­stead of ev­ery day or weekly. Use con­tin­u­ous backup for rapidly chang­ing data sets where trans­fer rates are too slow, or com­put­ing power is too pre­cious for real-time backup.

Per­for­mance: Most back­ups pro­ceed in the back­ground or dur­ing dead time, so per­for­mance isn’t a huge is­sue in the con­sumer space. How­ever, if you’re back­ing up mul­ti­ple ma­chines or to mul­ti­ple des­ti­na­tions, or deal­ing with very large data sets, speed is a con­sid­er­a­tion.

ANY BACKUP IS BET­TER THAN NO BACKUP

Free or paid, we highly rec­om­mend that you back up at least your es­sen­tial data against theft, mal­ware or ran­somware, and nat­u­ral dis­as­ters, not to men­tion user er­ror. Even if you work on­line, a lo­cal backup is a lot quicker to re­store. And this goes be­yond PCS: We get a lot of emails ask­ing how to get data back from a stolen phone—the users gen­er­ally don’t like the an­swer.

BEST FREE ON­LINE BACKUP: IDRIVE

There’s no more com­plete on­line backup stor­age ser­vice than idrive. And though it’s not the cheap­est, it’s still af­ford­able and comes with backup clients for nearly ev­ery PC and de­vice, in­clud­ing Win­dows Phone—a rar­ity th­ese days. The com­pany also pro­vides ad­di­tional stor­age for sync­ing all your de­vices and PCS, al­lows shar­ing of files with any­one, and has the abil­ity to back up to a lo­cal drive. idrive has two personal plans that cover one user with un­lim­ited com­put­ers and de­vices: $69.50 a year for 2TB, and $99.50 a year for 5TB. If you en­able the sep­a­rate sync ser­vice, you get an equal amount of stor­age just for that task, at no ex­tra charge.

Busi­ness plans al­low un­lim­ited users and com­put­ers, but sig­nif­i­cantly less stor­age per dol­lar, start­ing at $99.50 for 250GB. Don’t get com­pletely caught up in the price-pergi­ga­byte game: The size of your es­sen­tial data is prob­a­bly a lot smaller than what’s be­ing of­fered as a min­i­mum th­ese days, un­less you’re into HDR and 4K.

idrive also has a very nice ship-it-to-you

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