Top 3 Cloud Storage and Online Backup Solutions For Mac

Do you constantly juggle between work laptop and a Mac at home? How many times have you forgotten a file to the office just because it was on your Mac at home?

Physical storage might seem like a quick option to store all your data, but is it the most efficient option?

Also, external hard drives can fail or malfunction, and repairing them could take weeks. Most hard disk companies do provide good warranties, but that does not apply to user data. In fact, some of them charge extra for retrieving data from a malfunctioned hard disk.

Some users like to copy their device data to a different Mac, just to have redundancy. But, even Mac hard drives can fail, and completely give up on you.

There are two major issues with copying data to different machines:

  • Waste of storage because of redundant files
  • Different versions of the same file create irregularity

But, by using cloud storage, all those problems can be easily solved. You can access your data from wherever you are, until and unless you have an internet connection. Since there is a single copy of every file, there is no room for discrepancy, and you will only be viewing and editing the main file.

With so many cloud backup services available in the market, picking out the perfect one for your Mac can seem like a difficult decision.

Lucky for you, we have put together a list of the best cloud storage solutions.

#1 iDrive

idrive logo

With both file syncing and backup options along with forever free 5GB storage space, iDrive is clearly the best choice for Mac.

Founded by Raghav Kulkarni, iDrive is a division of Pro Softnet Corporation and it is headquartered in California. iDrive recently launched 1 TB and 2 TB wireless devices for cloud storage and local backups. The company claims to have over two million customers.

File Syncing

iDrive lets users sync files and back them up as well. Since folders for file syncing and backup are separate, you can use iDrive for backing up the entire Mac. While the Sync section can store files that are needed on a day-to-day basis.

Storage and Space

The total iDrive storage space is also divided equally for backup and syncing. So if you get a 1 TB plan, then 1 TB will be provided for backup, while another 1 TB will be available for syncing. Technically, with a 1 TB plan, you get 2 TB storage space.

Key Features​

With a maximum file size limit of 10 GB, iDrive is packed with features including:

  • Continuous and incremental backups
  • Automatic full system backups
  • Backup bandwidth adjustment
  • Deleted files are stored for an unlimited time
  • Easy file and folder sharing

​Security and Encryption

iDrive has a 256-bit encryption both on the local side and server side. Users can activate private encryption, and the encryption key isn’t shared on iDrive servers. But this also means that if you forget your encryption key, you won’t be able to access your data.

File Versioning​

iDrive can save over 30 different versions of the same file, and the best part is that those different versions aren’t counted against the main storage space.

File Sharing​

File sharing is available through email, direct links, and social media. While images stored in iDrive can be viewed, documents have to be downloaded first. When a file is shared with other users, you can choose to give view-only access, or let the other users download files.

Ease of Use

All the uploaded files can be accessed through the dashboard present on iDrive’s website. The dashboard is also the place you can view logs, account settings, and the number of files currently being shared.

With features like syncing, sharing, and incremental backups, iDrive is clearly one of the top online backup solutions for Mac users.

#2 Carbonite

carbonite png logo

Instead of volume based packages, Carbonite provides unlimited storage for a fixed price, which means you can get a Carbonite subscription and never worry about space.

Founded by David Friend back in 2005, Carbonite was the first cloud service to provide unlimited storage plans, and soon, rest of the companies followed. Last year, the company acquired MailStore for $20 million and EVault for $14 million. Currently, Carbonite has over 1.5 billion customers.

With an easy interface and automatic cloud backups, Carbonite can be used by even the most technologically challenged folks.

With no limit on maximum file size, Carbonite provides various backup options including incremental backup, continuous backup, and scheduled backup.

Apart from these, Carbonite also offers other features including:

  • File versioning to over 90 different versions
  • Securing deleted files for over 20 days
  • Bandwidth throttling
  • Network Drive backups

Security and Encryption

Obviously, encryption is one of the most important factors while buying a cloud storage service. For data transfer, Carbonite provides 128-bit secure connection while a 448-bit Blowfish encryption is used for storage.

File Sharing​

File sharing is available on Carbonite, but folder sharing is not. From the website dashboard, users can control shared files and determine who can view the selected files.

Access Files Remotely

Carbonite provides an excellent remote wipe features which allow users to delete files remotely from their computer. It could be used in case your Mac is lost or stolen.

Since the company has its own servers and provides geo-redundant storage, the chances of users not being able to access their data are very, very less.

File Restoration​

Coming to restoration, there is a one-click option to restore all of the data uploaded on Carbonite, or users can only restore selected files. Data can also be restored on mobile devices, but sadly, there is no way to backup mobile data.

Unlimited Storage​

Since the service provides unlimited storage, the pricing plans are standard. Though, users do get discounts when they opt for annual plans instead of monthly ones.

Overall, Carbonite is an affordable and sophisticated cloud storage provider, making it one of the best options for Mac users.

#3 Backblaze

backblaze logo

Backblaze is a fully automated cloud storage service which is superbly easy to operate, even for newbies, and just like Carbonite, it provides unlimited cloud storage too.

Founded in 2007, Gleb Budman co-founded Backblaze with a very simple idea – to make cloud storage affordable and accessible for everyone around the world. That is the reason why Backblaze, an award winning cloud storage service, still offers unlimited cloud backup for just $5. It took the company five years to raise $5 million in funds after bootstrapping, but ultimately it was worth it.

How To Use​

Backblaze takes a very simple approach to backup, all you have to do is – download the Backblaze desktop app, install it, click on ‘Start backup’, and that’s about it. You don’t need to spend hours picking out which files to backup, and which ones to leave out.

File Backup​

Backblaze automatically scans your drive and starts backing up everything. Well, technically, not everything. It doesn’t backup system files. Though there is no provision for selecting what files to backup, it does allow users to choose what not to backup. To add files to the ‘no-backup’ list, go to the settings.

Key Features

  • No file size limit
  • Continuous and incremental backup
  • Backup scheduling
  • Easy mobile access
  • File versioning

Without any intruding pop-ups, Backblaze functions smoothly in the background. It can also backup external hard drives just as smoothly, but users need to connect the hard disk to the Backblaze installed system at least once in 30 days, or Backblaze deletes all the hard drive data from its servers.

Yes, some users might not be happy with the limited options Backblaze provides. While iDrive and Carbonite cloud storage can be completely tailored, there aren’t many options offered on Backblaze. But this could be a great cloud storage for users who aren’t very tech-savvy.

If you are looking for a straightforward and efficient cloud storage service which functions all on its own without much guidance needed, then Backblaze is perfect for you.

Why Backing Up Your Mac Devices Is So Important

Backing up Mac data to external hard drives is time-consuming, and you always have to remember to do that. Also, with no incremental backup or versioning options available for external drives, storing data on them is not useful at all.

For instance, if you perform a full backup on an external hard drive and then don’t take a backup until the next seven days, then during this time, all the modified and new files won’t be backed up. So, if you lose your data between these seven days, you will only get a partial recovery.

On the other hand, cloud backup providers perform a continuous and incremental backup in the background automatically.

For Mac users, iCloud is a simple choice, since Apple’s cloud storage service integrates well with all the other Apple devices. But iCloud is not a cross-platform service, which means there are no apps available for Windows or Android.

Also, with no local side encryption, iCloud isn’t as secure. Not to mention, the cloud service has already been hacked once.

But the biggest problem with iCloud is its high rates. The highest plan available is for 1 TB storage that costs $9.99 per month. On the other hand, Backblaze and Carbonite offer unlimited storage for half of that price, and they have private encryption as well.

In the end, the right investment would be to choose an affordable cloud storage company with private encryption, file syncing and iOS app.

  • September 16, 2016
  • Blog
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