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Billing itself as the “one-stop online PC "c~_;~|mp|ovu ' Performance TuneUp also includes online PC self-help, customer service, and technical support. Every cloud backup service we tested is a pain to use for one reason or Customer service is uneven, with Wirecutter readers reporting it to be slow at. Identity & Social Security Number Alerts · Credit Monitoring: One-Bureau · Stolen Funds Reimbursement Up to $25,000 · Security and VPN for 5 PCs, Macs, mobile.

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    If you’re running Windows 10, Windows 8.1, or Windows 8, you’ve already got Windows Defender built in, helping to protect you against viruses, spyware, and other malware.

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    • We’ve added a note about IDrive’s support for deduplication, which added the feature to new accounts created after September 22, 2021.

    December 2, 2021

    Every cloud backup service we tested is a pain to use for one reason or another, but we still recommend using one. A good backup system starts with a local backup but should end with a subscription to an online backup service. After years of testing, we think Backblaze is the easiest to use and the best cloud backup service for most people.

    Offering unlimited online storage for one computer for $70 a year, Backblaze is the most affordable backup service we tested. It’s easy to use on both Windows and Mac. With chase credit card support software installed and the settings at their defaults, uploads start immediately and include the most commonly used folders that need backing up. Backblaze keeps file versions around for 30 days—less than we’d like—but it offers paid upgrades to adjust that retention period if you want to keep your backups available for longer. Backblaze supports external drives connected to your computer and has a good combination of online support tools. But its implementation of private encryption keys sacrifices some security for usability, and its restoration process is way too slow.

    At $80 a year for 5 TB of storage, IDrive costs more and stores less than Backblaze. For that price, however, IDrive allows you to back up multiple computers, something Backblaze doesn’t do. IDrive is also a little clunkier to use than Backblaze, but it’s more flexible, with more options for you to change how IDrive works than Backblaze has. IDrive keeps up to 30 versions of files indefinitely, which means if you delete a file on your local storage drive you can (theoretically) pull it up years later in IDrive. Keeping so many iterations of files can lead to massive amounts of storage usage, but IDrive sends you a notification email if you norton customer service phone number billing close to your quota. Customer service is uneven, with Wirecutter readers reporting it to be slow at best and unresponsive at worst.

    If you like to configure software to meet your specific needs, Arq Premium, available for Windows and Mac, offers far more customization options than Backblaze or IDrive and costs less than both for 1 TB of storage. Arq Premium supports up to five computers, and if you need more than the included 1 TB of storage, it’s an additional $0.00599 per gigabyte each month (which amounts to about $6 per terabyte each month, making it more expensive than Backblaze and IDrive for data hoarders). The Arq Premium software gives you a lot of control over how your backup works, including options to choose how long to keep files around, to select any external drives, and more. During setup, Arq Premium encourages (but doesn’t require) you to use a private encryption key for a secure backup. Its restoration process is far less cumbersome than Backblaze’s and speedier than IDrive’s, too. But Arq Premium doesn’t support continuous backups, instead relying on scheduled backups, so there’s always a chance it won’t be perfectly up to date. Although Arq appears to be a smaller company than Backblaze or IDrive, support was just as quick to respond to our questions; its documentation, however, isn’t as thorough, searchable, or readable without a glossary.

    If you just want software that works and does everything for you, stick to Backblaze. If you want to nerd out over every detail of your backups, go with Arq Premium. And if you just need as much space as possible, go with IDrive.

    Details at a glance

    BackblazeIDriveArq Premium
    Price (per year)$70$80$60
    Amount of storageUnlimited5 TB (upgradable to 10 TB for $100 per year)1 TB (can add more at a rate of $0.00599 per GB per month)
    Number of computersOneUnlimitedFive
    Operating system supportWindows, MacWindows, Mac, LinuxWindows, Mac
    File versioningUnlimited30Unlimited
    File retention30 days for free, $2 per month for one year, or $2 per month plus $0.005 per GB per month foreverUnlimitedUser-controlled
    DeduplicationYesYes1Yes
    Backup from external driveYesYesYes
    Backup from mapped driveNoYesYes
    Continuous backupsSort ofYes, for files under 500 MBNo
    File restoreFrom web browserIn softwareIn software
    In-place restorationNoWindows onlyYes
    Physical restore mediaYesYesNo
    Transfer encryptionSSLSSLSSL
    Storage encryptionAES-128AES-256AES-256
    Two-factor authenticationYes, app or SMSYes, email, SMS, or appYes
    Private encryption keyYesYesYes
    File size limitsNoNoNo
    File sharingYesYesNo
    File syncingNoYesNo
    Image backupNoWindows onlyNo

    1IDrive added a deduplication feature for all accounts created after September 22, 2021. There is currently no way to enable the feature on older accounts.

    Why you should trust us

    I’ve written about and reviewed software for a decade. In that time, I’ve used dozens of backup services, migrated data between several computers, and deleted (then recovered) hundreds of files.

    Joe Kissell, the previous author of this guide, has been studying, researching, testing, and writing about backups since 2004. He has written several books, including Backing Up Your Mac: A Joe On Tech Guide as well as dozens of articles on backups for publications such as Macworld, TidBITS, and MacTech.

    Who this is for

    If you already have a backup service you like, you probably have no reason to switch. Every backup service we tested had flaws, and finding a one-size-fits-all approach was impossible.

    Everyone should regularly back up their computer’s data. First, you should copy your important files or your entire computer to an external hard drive, making what’s called a local backup. But local backups are susceptible to many of the same hazards that threaten your computer—theft, fire, flooding—so a good backup plan should also include some kind of off-site backup in case of emergency. An online backup service (sometimes called “cloud backup”) offers the security of off-site storage for your most essential files. Think of your cloud backup as extra insurance in case something happens to your main backups.

    Most online backup services do not make copies of operating system files or application folders, at least not by default. This saves storage space online, but as a result, it’s important to remember that you still need to hold on to license keys for software.

    Small businesses—including professionals who might need to back up many multi-gigabyte files several times a day—have different needs and expectations for backups that we didn’t test for this guide.

    If you prefer taking a DIY approach and don’t mind starting a project that’ll likely become a part-time hobby, you can repurpose cheap bulk online storage, such as Amazon Glacier or Backblaze B2, using software like Duplicacy, Duplicati, MSP360, or Restic to make your own cloud backup. The price for storage on Glacier and Backblaze B2 is based on usage—often 1¢ or less per gigabyte per month—but the arrangement takes technical know-how to get up and running. We think tinkerers will be happier with the control that these options offer in comparison with most commercial services.

    The differences between cloud storage, cloud syncing, and cloud backups

    Cloud storage, cloud syncing, and cloud backup services operate similarly, sometimes even with the same software, but it’s important to know the differences:

    • Cloud storage is essentially a remote external storage drive. Think of it as putting your files on a storage drive at a friend’s house (your friend in this instance is a corporation). With cloud storage, you have to manually move your files to the cloud drive, and you can access them only through the internet. Cloud storage on its own tends to be the cheapest of these three options but doesn’t include fancier features like syncing, file sharing, or automated backups.
    • Cloud sync is like a shared remote drive, where the contents of a folder are synced across computers. This arrangement is like storing your files at your regular house and your vacation home, as well as at your friend’s house. People often use cloud sync for collaboration—such as when multiple people need access to files—because when a file is changed on one computer, that change is reflected on the others. But cloud sync is typically more expensive than other options, which makes it a poor choice for large files, and it doesn’t usually offer encryption, which makes it a bad option for private files. As with cloud storage, it’s up to you to manually move files to the folder.
    • Cloud backups are really just cloud storage, but the software behind it is different. Cloud backup software grabs nearly all the data from your computer’s storage drive and stores it in cloud storage, without your having to do anything. You’d typically access these backups only in case of an emergency, such as storage-drive failure or physical equipment damage. Cloud backup prices are typically lower than those for cloud sync, but cloud backup services rarely have sharing or syncing options. When they do, those features are clunky and don’t work well.

    Services like Box, Dropbox, iCloud, OneDrive, and Sync can work as either cloud storage or cloud sync. They’re great for sharing and syncing files you’re working on, but they aren’t the right tools to keep updated backups online. They make it hard to truly secure files—the services themselves have the means to decrypt your data—and the burden is always on you to move files to the correct folder. A handful of existing options, like Tresorit, do focus on security, but they’re not cost-effective as a backup option for everyone; if you need terabytes of storage, it would cost far more to store all your files on one of these services.

    Most people will want to use a storage or syncing service for active projects they’re working on or files they need to access for multiple devices, as well as a cloud backup to scoop up everything else automatically. If you’re meticulous and you manage your files closely, you could get away with using only cloud storage or cloud sync, but there’s no room for mistakes if you use the wrong folder or forget to move a file one day.

    What about photos?

    If you store full-size versions of your photos on your local drive, they will be backed up in the cloud backup option of your choice just like any other file.

    But if you use a service like Google Photos or Apple Photos to store photos from your phone in cloud storage, be sure to enable the service’s “download originals” or similar feature on your computer so they’re downloaded and stored properly. Depending on the size of your photo library and the size of your local storage drive, this may or may not push the limits of your storage capacity.

    If you use a third-party syncing service to store photos, such as Dropbox or OneDrive, you may need to manually add those folders to your cloud backup. You can find many photo-specific backup apps and services, including IDrive’s app for photos, but we haven’t tested them.

    We spoke with a handful of tech journalists and colleagues before updating this guide to get their approaches to photo storage, and every one of them said they had hacked together multiple services in an attempt to back up their photos in as many places as possible. Whatever third-party option you use, we highly recommend ensuring that you have local copies that get included in both your physical local backup as well as your cloud backup.

    How we picked

    Cloud backup services are imperfect. Some are too expensive, others are hard to use, and every one is ugly by modern design standards. There’s no centralized customer-review platform for cloud backup services, so researching their reliability is difficult. With all that in mind, we set out to find the least-worst option that includes the features most people need:

    • Annual price of $100 or less: Cloud backup services operate under a subscription model where you pay per month or per year. It’s usually cheaper by the year; the annual price typically ranges between $60 and $100 based on factors like the amount of storage or how many devices a service supports. Most people shouldn’t pay more than $100 for a cloud backup service.
    • Support for Windows and Mac computers: We looked for services with both Windows and Mac apps. Most services also have iPhone and Android apps, but we didn’t find them all that useful, so we didn’t test them.
    • Amount of storage and number of devices: Cloud backup plans can be either unlimited plans that cover one computer or storage-based plans that allow you to back up multiple devices. The option that’s better for you depends on how many computers you own. We looked for affordable services of both types for this guide.
    • Support to back up external drives: A backup service should allow you to back up external storage drives. An external drive is often the primary storage location for important older files, especially for laptops. Some backup services also support network-attached storage, but we didn’t make that a requirement.
    • Intuitive user experience: The software to back up your computer should be easy to use. It should never be confusing about what data it backs up, and it should run reliably in the background without overtaxing your system resources or internet bandwidth. The software should give you the ability to schedule specific backup times and adjust bandwidth speeds.
    • Support for versioning and flexible retention periods: Backups should include the most recent version of a file you created and copies of the file from previous moments in time, as well as files you deleted. Services should keep these versions for at least 30 days, but we preferred longer or customizable retention periods.
    • Continuous backups: After the initial backup period, future backups should run in the background, continuously uploading the files you change or create.
    • Deduplication: If two or more files in your backup are the same, some online backup software performs “deduplication,” which means it uploads only one copy of each unique file. This saves upload time, bandwidth, and storage space while keeping a record that the file existed in multiple places, so you can restore a version specific to any of those locations. For example, if you download a bunch of files to the desktop and then move the files to your documents folder, a cloud backup that features deduplication will upload only one copy of those files. If a service doesn’t feature deduplication, it stores both sets of files, from the desktop and the documents folder.
    • A simple and (relatively) speedy restoration experience: Most people restore files in one of two scenarios: when they accidentally delete or alter a file, or when an entire storage drive becomes inaccessible through loss or failure. For restoring individual files, we looked for services that offered options like restoring files in place (to the original folder) or to a folder of your choosing. In the case of restoring an entire drive, we often saw download speeds as low as 1 megabyte per second from every service we tested. Download (and upload) speeds all depend on the time of day, your internet speeds, the local network speeds, and your computer. Restoring by download was barely manageable for 10 GB of backups in our tests; it would be infuriatingly slow for larger restores. So we looked for services with the option for you to ask that they mail a physical drive with your backed-up files to help restore large backups on slow or capped internet connections.
    • Strong security practices: A good backup service encrypts data by default and details how it secures data in transit and at rest. It should also offer an optional “private encryption key” that increases security by locking your files behind a password that only you have. In addition, backup services should provide basic account protections, such as two-factor authentication. The most trustworthy companies also provide details about their on-site, physical security practices. The privacy policy and terms of service should be easy to read, with clear language describing how the service collects and uses any data from your account.
    • Customer support: Customer support is rarely a priority with these services, but you should be able to submit a support ticket or chat request easily and receive a response within 24 hours. Phone support is a bonus, but it isn’t common.

    Because we didn’t love our experience with any cloud backup service we tested, we highly recommend keeping a local backup alongside an offsite backup. In most cases, the local backup will be the better option to restore a computer or lost files, especially large files, which can take hours (if not days) to download from a cloud backup service. All backup services offer some sort of trial period, so we recommend using that trial period to make sure the service fits your needs before signing up for a yearly plan.

    How we tested

    We installed and tested backup software on both a Windows 10 PC and a Mac running macOS Big Sur, backing up each computer with the software’s default settings (if the software didn’t select folders, we backed up the user folders). In most cases, this process led to a backup of 12 GB to 20 GB, depending on which folders the software selected by default and whether a service included hidden files.

    During backups, we kept an eye on CPU and bandwidth usage and made sure that we could still work while the backups were running; this work included participating in video chats, having dozens of tabs open in a browser, and streaming music. Because everyone’s computer, home network, and internet service provider are different, we didn’t bother noting upload speeds during this process. These services are all slow—if you have a lot of data to back up, plan on your first backup taking days.

    We also tested how well the file-versioning systems worked by making, editing, and renaming files. We checked the restoration process by downloading and replacing older files, as well as by restoring deleted local files from our backups.

    We read reviews on sites like IGN, Lifewire, PCMag, PCWorld, and Tom’s Hardware, after which we combed through as many customer reviews as we could find on sites like Reddit and Trustpilot.

    Our pick: Backblaze

    A laptop with the home screen for Backblaze, our pick for best cloud based backup service, up on the screen.

    Backblaze is the most affordable backup software that supports both Windows and Mac, and it’s also the easiest to use of the group. Its 30-day file retention is enough for most people in case disaster strikes, though you can pay for longer retention if you need it. Backblaze can back up external drives connected to your computer and offers reasonable customer support. But its implementation of private encryption keys is weak, and its restoration process is convoluted.

    Backblaze is cheaper than IDrive if you’re backing up one computer, and it’s the least expensive backup service with unlimited storage. Since Backblaze charges per computer, you never have to worry about overage fees, whereas IDrive lets you back up as many computers as you want but charges you extra if you go over your data allotment (5 TB for the cheapest plan).

    You can back up an external storage drive to Backblaze, which is helpful if you have a second drive full of media, documents, or other infrequently used files. But Backblaze can’t handle external drives in every situation: For example, if you use backup software like Time Machine with an external drive, Backblaze cannot create its own backup from that drive.

    For most people—that is, those who don’t need to fiddle with custom settings—Backblaze is easy to set up. Once you run the installer and enter your login credentials, the software starts backing up files immediately. Most people can leave Backblaze on its default settings, under which it backs up your user folder, including photos, music, and documents. In our tests, at the default settings it operated at a speed that didn’t cause disruptions in our workday. Our initial backup of 20 GB took under three hours on an Ethernet-connected computer with a 20 Mbps upload speed, the same as on IDrive, but if you have hundreds of gigabytes of data, you can expect the process to take days, not hours. IDrive automatically selected most of the same folders and files as Backblaze did, though IDrive included more system files than Backblaze did by default.

    The simplicity of Backblaze and its straightforward default settings should be a benefit to most people. In contrast, Arq Premium asks you to choose from three different backup options, which can be confusing if you don’t know what you need: back up all drives with standard inclusions (which skips temporary and unneeded files), back up user data with standard inclusions (which backs up only the user folder), and “I will choose folders to back up” (which tasks you with opting folders in manually). Running at the same speed, the initial upload with Arq Premium took about half the time of Backblaze and IDrive.

    If you do want to dig into Backblaze’s settings, you’ll find some useful features but not as many options as in most other backup software. Instead of letting you manually select specific folders to back up, Backblaze provides an Exclusions tab and backs up everything else. This arrangement takes some getting used to, and “adding” a folder to “exclusions” might throw your brain for a loop, but once you get the hang of how it works, it’s easy to use. You can also exclude certain file types or sizes. In addition, you can change how many transfer threads (simultaneous upload processes) are available, which affects upload speed. Other options include the ability to set up continuous or scheduled backups (most people should stick to continuous), as well as to set up a Wi-Fi network block list to prevent backups from running on certain networks.

    Backblaze opts you in to its default settings, doing the opposite of IDrive, which asks you to manually enable features like continuous backup. In fact, both of our other picks provide you—or burden you, depending on your perspective—with more settings. IDrive adds basic abilities like managing bandwidth, while Arq offers the most granular options, including the ability to limit storage, to thin backups over time, and to create “immutable” backups.

    A screenshot of the Backblaze interface, our pick for best cloud based backup service, with buttons for backup and restore.

    Backblaze’s main screen is clean, simple, and easy to understand.

    A screenshot of the Backblaze interface, our pick for best cloud based backup service, showing options for backup.

    By default, Backblaze is set up to run quietly in the background, but you can set it to work harder to upload files faster.

    A screenshot of the Backblaze page, our pick for best cloud based backup service, showing which files to skip backing up.

    “Exclusions” can be a confusing way to wrap your mind around what Backblaze does and doesn’t back up, but it ends up working well once it clicks in your brain.

    By default, Backblaze includes a 30-day version history, which means that it’s basically a rolling copy of anything you’ve had on your computer in the past 30 days. If you want more, you have to pay for it: $2 a month for a one-year history, or $2 a month plus $0.005 per gigabyte per month for infinite retention. It’s best to picture Backblaze as a mirror of the folders on your local storage drive—if you delete files on your computer, or if your storage drive gets totally wiped, Backblaze will delete those files after 30 days, as well. In contrast, IDrive maintains up to 30 versions for an unlimited amount of time, while Arq Premium lets you decide exactly how long to keep files around. However, since IDrive doesn’t delete anything, that system often leads to backups of files you don’t need or want. And because IDrive doesn’t offer unlimited storage like Backblaze does, you can wind up with overage fees if you’re not careful.

    Continuous backups on Backblaze aren’t quite as continuous as we expect. Backblaze scans your storage drive and uploads new or changed files around once an hour. This means in the worst-case scenario you’d potentially lose up to an hour of work. But Backblaze tells us it does this because the practice minimizes system load and keeps usage of both CPU resources and bandwidth low; this approach also prevents the service from creating too many versions of a file being actively worked on. In comparison, IDrive offers more options for frequency with its continuous option, including uploading files in real time or in increments (10 minutes, 30 minutes, or 60 minutes). If you move a file from one folder to another, Backblaze notes the change and moves the corresponding file in the online backup but doesn’t reupload the file.

    We recommend that everyone enable a private encryption key, which adds to your backup another password that only you know.

    Backblaze’s restoration process is uncommonly convoluted, which we detail in the Flaws but not dealbreakers section below. However, we like that Backblaze offers restore-by-mail options, which are handy if you have a slow internet connection and need to restore a big chunk of data. With one of these options, you pay an up-front fee for a USB flash drive or hard drive and then send it back for a refund after you get your files. IDrive offers a similar service with IDrive Express, which is free once a year, though you still need to ship the drive back. These services can be useful for large restores but may take up to 10 days before shipping the drives out. Arq Premium doesn’t have a similar restore-by-mail option but does have a much nicer software restore option, allowing you to restore files in place or to a new folder on both Windows and Mac.

    If you aren’t sure where to start, or if you find problems, Backblaze has well-organized online documentation that covers many issues you may encounter, as well as guides for how to use the service. The company doesn’t provide phone support, but it does have live chat and email support, and we received responses to our questions within three hours during normal business hours. IDrive had a similar response time via email and also offers phone support, while Arq Premium offers support only over email and doesn’t have searchable documentation.

    Flaws but not dealbreakers

    A screenshot of the Backblaze backup's folders and files.

    Under the default settings, Backblaze encrypts your data, but that data can be decrypted with your account password. For another layer of privacy and security, we recommend that everyone enable a private encryption key, which adds to your backup another password that only you know. This means that if you lose your private password, Backblaze can’t help you recover it, but setting up this feature makes it impossible for anyone, Backblaze included, to view your backup without that password.

    Although we like that Backblaze supports an optional private encryption key, you have walmart asurion sign in enter the key in your browser before you can restore files; the files are then decrypted on Backblaze’s servers before you download them. Backblaze then immediately flushes the key from its system. This means that theoretically there’s a brief moment when, if someone had access to Backblaze’s servers, they could decrypt your files, though it’s extremely unlikely. We’d prefer a more secure no-knowledge system like that of SpiderOak One, where the decryption takes place on your computer, not on the company’s server. But Backblaze’s private encryption key still does what it needs to do: It makes your data inaccessible without the password (in case of subpoena or any other event). We think it’s secure enough for most people backing up personal files, and if you don’t like how Backblaze works, IDrive does a better job in this regard if you use the desktop app.

    One of the reasons for Backblaze’s odd implementation of a private encryption key is its even odder restoration process, which takes far too many steps. Here’s how it works:

    1. Log in to your account on the Backblaze website—you can’t restore files within the desktop app itself.
    2. Select how you want to restore the files (ZIP files, save to Backblaze’s B2 cloud storage, USB flash drive, Norton customer service phone number billing hard drive).
    3. Select the files you want to restore and click the Continue With Restore button.
    4. Wait for an email notification that your files are ready. The time required depends on how much data you’re restoring.
    5. Download the ZIP file. How long this takes varies depending on your internet connection and the size of the file, but it took me nearly 40 minutes to download a 1.3 GB ZIP file—far smaller than a full system backup would be—on a 100 Mbps connection while norton customer service phone number billing this guide.
    6. Unzip the file and move the resulting files to their original folders. If you’re restoring only a single file, that’s the only thing you’ll find in the ZIP archive. But if you’re restoring more than one file (even two files located in the same folder), the uncompressed archive contains all the hierarchical folders down to where your restored files are, which takes a while to click through.

    This restoration process is bizarrely labyrinthine. Instead of restoring files to the original location—an option in every other backup software we tested—you may have to dig through dozens of duplicate folders, on your backup and on your computer, to find your files and paste them back where they belong. It’s a cumbersome drag, and it seems like Backblaze could fix both this process and the private-key issue by moving restoration to the desktop software instead of keeping it in the web portal.

    We’ve read complaints regarding the lack of metadata—the details about a file, such as when it was created or last opened—included with restored files. In our tests, we found that both Backblaze and IDrive did not restore metadata such as file ownership and permissions, the creation date, and (for Mac owners) Finder tags and comments. While many people are barely aware of the existence of this metadata, others, and some of the apps they use, depend heavily on it.

    Backblaze’s privacy and security

    The privacy and security of your files is important, and since cloud backups are essentially a mirror of your private, offline storage drive, it’s critical that they remain protected. Here’s how Backblaze stacks up:

    • Is data encrypted? Backblaze encrypts the backup on your computer and stores it with 128-bit AES encryption. Backblaze transfers data between your computer and its servers with HTTPS encryption. As mentioned above, we don’t love how Backblaze handles private encryption keys, but we still think its security measures are strong enough for most people.
    • Do accounts meet basic security minimum requirements? Backblaze supports two-factor authentication through an app or SMS but doesn’t require it by default—if you use Backblaze, you should set up 2FA. Backblaze highlights password strength but doesn’t prevent you from using a poor or previously leaked password.
    • Does the company issue security updates to handle vulnerabilities? Backblaze updates its software frequently with both new features and security improvements. It regularly hires third-party organizations to test security and participate in a bug bounty through Bugcrowd.
    • How is data shared? Backblaze does a reasonable job of protecting your data while still complying with United States law. Backblaze doesn’t share or sell personal information but does share some account information with third-party services required to make your account work, such as payment processors, as well as third-party communication platforms that enable optional email marketing and SMS authentication. Like every cloud backup service, Backblaze shares data with law enforcement when required and uses a number of cookies and ad trackers on its website. These ad trackers aren’t located on signed-in pages, except norton customer service phone number billing placed there accidentally, which happened in February 2021 when Backblaze left a Facebook tracker on account pages for its business accounts and sent file metadata to Facebook. The company quickly corrected the mistake, but the episode does illustrate how small errors can lead to problems.
    • How is data secured on-site? Remote backups are stored on servers in the United States and Amsterdam (you can choose where your backups are stored when you create an account but not afterward), in buildings that require biometric security and ID checks (PDF).
    • Can you delete your account? You can delete backups or your entire account from the My Account page. You cannot disable automatic renewal of your subscription unless you delete your accounts.
    • Is the privacy policy readable? Backblaze’s privacy policy is easy to understand.
    • What could happen if Backblaze gets hacked? If you don’t have a private key set up so that only you can decrypt your data, everything in the backup will be accessible.

    Backblaze’s security and privacy standards are in line with those of most other options, save for SpiderOak One, which puts a heavier emphasis on privacy than other cloud backup services we tested.

    How to set up a private encryption key in Backblaze

    A screenshot of the Backblaze page, our pick for best cloud based backup service, showing private encryption key settings.

    Everyone who has a Backblaze account should set a personal encryption key. It adds a layer of security that helps prevent anyone but you from accessing your files, no matter what.

    1. Open Backblaze on your Windows or Mac computer.
    2. Click Settings, and then select the Security tab.
    3. Click Enter Your Private Encryption Key and create a password. Make it different from any other password you have. Click Set Private Key when you’re done.

    Do not forget or lose this password. If you write it down, store it in a secure place such as a safe, or put it in a password manager. If you lose the private encryption key, you will not be able to decrypt the files stored on Backblaze, and the company cannot help you recover the password.

    Runner-up: IDrive

    A laptop showing the home screen for IDrive, our pick for best cloud based backup service for those with multiple computers.

    If you have more than one computer to back up or if you prefer to have more control over different backup settings, choose IDrive. Its Windows and Mac apps aren’t as clean and easy to use as Backblaze’s, but IDrive offers more options to customize it to suit your needs. Whereas Backblaze gives you unlimited storage but restricts you to backing up one computer, IDrive allows you to back up as many computers as you want but restricts storage capacity. That storage limitation means you need to keep an eye on your storage space to avoid overages.

    The standard IDrive plan includes 5 TB of storage; you can upgrade it to 10 TB. Both options are a little more expensive than Backblaze’s services if you’re backing up only a single computer. If you exceed your storage limit, IDrive charges you 25¢ per gigabyte (the service sends you an email once you reach 90% of your storage use). This restriction could force you to spend a lot more time managing storage space than with Backblaze. But from a purely storage-related perspective, IDrive offers more than most services do for the price, including Arq Premium, which provides 1 TB of storage for $60 a year.

    Unlike Backblaze, which supports only external drives directly attached to your computer, IDrive can back up most any drive that your computer can access, including network-attached storage. But when it’s backing up your main drive, IDrive is clunkier than built-in options like Windows File History or Time Machine, and it doesn’t appear to support file versioning locally. IDrive can create (and back up) disk images on Windows but not on Mac. Disk images are useful if your entire storage drive fails, because you can roll back to a working version of your computer—operating system, programs, drivers, and all.

    A screenshot of the IDrive backup's folders and files showing which files will be backed up.

    IDrive’s main backup screen makes clear which folders it backs up.

    A screenshot of the IDrive page, our pick for best cloud based backup service, showing user-picked files to restore.

    Unlike with Backblaze, you can restore files directly from the IDrive software, though the Mac version lacks the “Restore in place” option of the Windows software.

    A screenshot of the settings page for IDrive, our pick for best cloud based backup service for those with multiple computers.

    IDrive’s settings page is far more complex than that of Backblaze, offering more customization at the cost of simplicity.

    Our initial backup of nearly 20 GB took under three hours with IDrive, about the same time as with Backblaze and Arq Premium. While IDrive was running, it used more system resources than Backblaze on both Windows and Mac, but it never prevented us from doing normal web-browsing tasks. IDrive’s interface and setup process aren’t as simple or elegant as Backblaze’s, but both are straightforward enough that they won’t confuse most people. Although the software selects the most common folders automatically, you need to enable IDrive’s continuous backups manually. Unlike Backblaze, which keeps customization to a minimum, IDrive provides plenty of settings to tinker with, including the ability to set up alerts for backups and bandwidth throttling. If you like IDrive’s pricing but prefer the minimalist approach of Backblaze, IDrive also offers simplified software in the form of its Basic Client for Windows.

    Like most modern, comprehensive backup options, IDrive saves more than just the last version of a given file. As it runs, the software copies and stores up to 30 previous versions of files, which don’t count against your storage quota. This approach can give you more flexibility if you need to restore lost work, but IDrive doesn’t tell you how to access these previous versions; if you don’t know to right-click a file to pull up the contextual menu from the restore screen, you may never realize that the version feature even exists.

    IDrive does not alert you when you get close to using up your storage or you go over—it just charges you.

    If you delete a file from your computer, IDrive keeps it in the cloud backup forever (Backblaze keeps deleted files for 30 days, while Arq Premium lets you choose how long it stores them). Since IDrive holds on to deleted files indefinitely, and they do count toward your storage quota, they can norton customer service phone number billing fill up your available space.

    Accounts created after September 22, 2021 support deduplication, so you don’t need to worry about a file taking up space in multiple folder locations. But if you created an IDrive account before then, IDrive doesn’t have this feature. So if you merely move a file from one directory to another, IDrive will have two copies of that file in the backup. If they’re large files, you’ll see your storage fill up quickly. You can partially solve this problem with IDrive’s Archive Cleanup feature, which you can set up so that IDrive deletes old files after a set number of days or based on a percentage. Unfortunately, although Archive Cleanup seems useful on paper, we found this feature buggy, often failing to delete older files. In an email, the company told us there’s no way to enable the new deduplication feature on older accounts, so if that’s something you need, you have to start over from scratch.

    IDrive has an optional continuous-backup feature that you can set to run all the time or in timed increments (10 minutes, 30 minutes, or 60 minutes), though it restricts continuous backup to files under 500 MB. We like the control offered here better than Backblaze’s less structured timing, but both services end up being a little confusing in this regard. Since IDrive doesn’t back up files over 500 MB with continuous backups, you should also schedule backups once a day.

    Unlike Backblaze, IDrive integrates file restoration into its desktop software. On Windows, you can choose between restoring files to their original location or choosing a new location manually. On Mac, no matter where you restore, the file or folders always start in a folder with the name of your backup, which means you’ll have to manually move them around to the correct locations. On both operating systems, the restore tab also includes Snapshots, where you can look through historical versions of your backups and right-click any file to download older versions. Arq Premium also allows for a similar restore experience, though unlike IDrive it includes the ability to restore files to their original location for both Windows and Macs.

    Since restoring a full system backup takes a long time with any of the services we tried, you may want to do a physical restoration in case of catastrophe. IDrive’s option is IDrive Express, a service where you can mail a storage drive with the original backup to IDrive (useful if your upload speeds are slow) or restore a backup from an external storage drive that the company ships you. It doesn’t require a deposit on the drive like Backblaze does.

    Judging from reader comments we’ve seen on this guide over the years, many people have found IDrive’s customer service lacking, often failing to help with basic troubleshooting.

    IDrive supports two-factor authentication through a variety of methods and uses 256-bit AES encryption to protect your data both when it’s at rest and when it’s transferring from your computer to the IDrive servers. This is stronger encryption than Backblaze offers, but both levels norton customer service phone number billing encryption are plenty for most people, and in either case, you should use a private encryption key. You can enable a key only when you create your first backup; you can’t do it retroactively. In the IDrive desktop apps, encryption and decryption are handled locally on your computer. But if you use the web client, IDrive uses an intermediate server that hosts the encrypted data temporarily and sends it through your web browser over SSL. Backblaze and IDrive have similar privacy policies, and IDrive’s policy notes that it will share data under subpoena from law enforcement. IDrive’s servers are in the United States in buildings with secure access. Although the company participates in security audits, they’re for internal use only. It also lacks a formal bug-bounty program, but the IDrive application is updated frequently.

    If you encounter problems, IDrive offers phone support in addition to the more standard email and chat support. Judging from reader comments we’ve seen on this guide over the years, many people have found IDrive’s customer service lacking, often failing to help with basic troubleshooting. In our tests in 2021, someone responded to our emails within two hours, and a representative answered basic questions over chat, though the response rate was very slow. The company has extensive documentation, though it’s poorly organized, so you’re better off searching for answers to your questions on Google.

    As for account management, you can disable auto-renewal and delete backups from the web portal. And IDrive frequently offers a discount on the first year of service—but be warned that if you sign up at a discounted rate, that price will jump at the end of the one- or two-year contract.

    Also great: Arq Premium

    A laptop with the home page for Arq Premium, our pick for best cloud based backup service for users who want to customize.

    If you know your way around computers and are comfortable managing setup options on your own, consider Arq Premium. At $60 a year for 1 TB of storage for up to five devices, it’s the cheapest option of our picks, and it works on both Windows and Mac. It’s not nearly as easy to use as Backblaze or IDrive, but once you get the hang of it you may appreciate its toolset, which includes the ability to back up to multiple cloud locations. It’s also the only software we tested with in-place restore on both Windows and Mac.

    Arq Premium’s 1 TB of storage is plenty for many people, but if you do go over that storage allotment, the charge is $0.00599 per gigabyte per month, which works out to about $6 per terabyte a month. From a price perspective, if you need 5 TB of cloud storage, IDrive is a better deal. The Arq software is also available on its own for a one-time fee of $50. With just the app, you can then back up to a cloud storage account of your choosing, such as Amazon S3, Backblaze B2, or Wasabi; this is more complicated to do, but it saves you money.

    Arq Premium gives you full control over how backups run, when they run, where files go, how long it keeps files, and more.

    Arq lets you back up to multiple destinations at the same time, if you choose, including to another cloud storage service and to a local storage drive (which makes it easy to implement a 3-2-1 backup plan). It gives you a lot of control for backup redundancy. In contrast, though IDrive gives you an option for local storage backups, Backblaze doesn’t, so you need to use your operating system’s built-in backup tool.

    But that abundance of options comes at the cost of ease of use. When you first launch Arq Premium, it norton customer service phone number billing you to create a backup plan. The software then guides you through the process of choosing which files to back up. If you’re not familiar with file structures or where your operating system automatically saves files, you may miss important folders or back up way more than necessary. Once you do set it up, Arq Premium gives you full control over how backups run, when they run, where files go, how long it keeps files, and more. If you just want software that works and does everything for you, stick to Backblaze. If you want to nerd out over every detail of your backups, go with Arq Premium. And if you just need as much space phone number santander customer service possible, go with IDrive.

    A screenshot of the Arq Premium interface showing sections for backup and restore.

    Arq Premium has an abundance of options to customize the software, but learning your way around how it works takes some time.

    A screenshot of the settings to restore files in the Arq Premium cloud based backup service interface.

    Unlike Backblaze, Arq Premium allows you to restore files directly from the desktop software. You can also choose where your restored files go.

    A screenshot of the settings to retain backed up files in the Arq Premium cloud based backup service interface.

    Arq Premium’s retention options provide a number of different lengths for retaining files.

    The wide assortment of options extends to file retention. Unlike Backblaze or IDrive, Arq Premium gives you complete control over what’s in your backup and how long it stays there. Chef jose andres miami can select how long it keeps files, whether it removes deleted files from backups or retains them, and whether to “thin” files over time (remove older versions). We also like that you can set a limit on the overall backup size, so you don’t end up with surprise overage bills. Like Backblaze and IDrive, Arq Premium has a deduplication function, so you don’t have to worry about the same file wasting space in several different folders.

    When we tried Arq’s support, the company responded in less than a day with customized answers that were clearly written by someone interested in helping us have the best experience.

    Arq Premium doesn’t support continuous backups and instead relies on you to set up a schedule. This is a fundamentally different philosophy than Backblaze’s set-it-and-forget-it attitude, but if you’re comfortable configuring the rest of Arq Premium’s various options, we think setting up a timed schedule to run the backup software won’t be an issue.

    It is much easier to restore deleted, lost, or changed files in Arq Premium than in Backblaze and IDrive. From the software you can restore a file anywhere you want (including in the original location), browse older versions of a file, or restore everything at once. Unlike Backblaze and IDrive, Arq Premium doesn’t offer a way to order a physical storage drive for large restorations.

    As for security, Arq Premium supports two-factor authentication on its accounts and pushes you to use a private encryption key during the setup process to encrypt files. In contrast to Backblaze and IDrive, Arq Premium offers no way to restore files from a web browser, so there’s never an exchange of your private key beyond the software itself.

    If you have problems with Arq Premium, you can get support only via email. When we tried Arq’s support, the company responded in less than a day with customized answers that were clearly written by someone interested in helping us have the best experience. That’s good, because the documentation is unsearchable and filled with difficult-to-understand jargon.

    Источник: https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/reviews/best-online-backup-service/

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    Copyright © 2021 NortonLifeLock Inc. All rights reserved. NortonLifeLock, the NortonLifeLock Logo, the Checkmark Logo, Norton, LifeLock, and the LockMan Logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of NortonLifeLock Inc. or its affiliates in the United States and other countries. Firefox is a trademark of Mozilla Foundation. Android, Google Chrome, Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google, LLC. Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc. Alexa and all related logos are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. Microsoft and the Window logo are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the U.S. and other countries. The Android robot is reproduced or modified from work created and shared by Google and used according to terms described in the Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution License. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

    Источник: https://support.norton.com/sp/en/us/home/current/contact

    Save 50% and make the most of your lawn this season.
    Save 50% on Expert Lawn Care*

    **Special price of 50% off is for first Lawn application★, Tree & Shrub application✢, and/or Mosquito application★★ only. All other restrictions apply.

    ★Requires purchase of annual plan. Special price of 50% off is for first application only, for new residential EasyPay or PrePay customers only, and applies to lawns more than 5,000 square feet. For lawns less than 5,000 square feet or for the regular lawn application price for a lawn of any size, please call for estimate. Lawns less than 5,000 square feet may qualify for a first application only price of $29.95. Valid at participating TruGreen locations. Availability of services may vary by geography. Not to be combined with or used in conjunction with any other offer or discount.

    ◆Guarantee applies to full plan customers only. ✦Purchase of full lawn plan required for Healthy Lawn Analysis, which is performed at the first visit.

    ✢ Special price is for first tree and shrub application only and for new tree and shrub residential customers only. The special price applies to installed plant material and shrubs and excludes mature, native and specialty trees such as fruit or certain ornamentals. Application includes up to 5 trees, no more than 25 ft. in height. For the regular tree and shrub application price, please call for an estimate. Not to be combined with or used in conjunction with any other offer or discount for the same service. Consumer responsible for all sales tax.

    ★★ Requires purchase of full mosquito plan. Special price of $39.95 is for first mosquito application only, for new EasyPay or PrePay residential customers only, and applies to properties up to 1 acre. For properties more than 1 acre, please call for estimate. Valid at participating TruGreen locations. Availability of services may vary by geography. Not to be combined with or used in conjunction with any other offer or discount. Additional restrictions may apply. Consumer responsible for all sales tax. ✧ Guarantee applies to full plan customers only.

    America’s #1 lawn care company based on U.S. market share of professional lawn care companies. 2018 NorthStar Partners U.S. Share Tracker. PGATOUR.COM, PGA TOUR, TPC, SHOTLINK and the SWINGING GOLFER LOGO are trademarks of PGA TOUR, Inc. BBB accredited since 7/01/2012.

    © 2021 TruGreen Limited Partnership. All rights reserved.

    Источник: https://www.trugreen.com/
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