SOS Online Backup Email Reports

My Advice: The Emails Aren’t Worth It


SOS Online Backup For Business

I know I shouldn’t compare cloud backup for business to “Cadillac” quality (OK, BMW, Mercedes for the younger generations) offline backup software like Veritas BackupExec (Symantec now) and Cheyenne ARCserve (now CA – Computer Associates) but I just can’t help it.

There are decades of useful history there that should be taken advantage of. With both ARCserve and BackupExec your backup logs were absolutely COMPLETE, and as I recall, separated between program operation logs (and error logging) and actual files backed up or not backed up.

There was so much info, in fact, that I complained to ARCserve that they needed to provide a better way to view it so as to easily pick out the items important to you at any particular time.

And you had your preference as to how much detail was emailed to you. It’s really not that big of a deal, programatically (yes, I am a programmer by trade..), to include this type of feature in the business cloud backup software.

Email Backup Reports From SOS For Business

That’s why I found it quite a surprise that SOS for Business allows users to turn on or off an email backup report that includes only the very bare minimum of information.


Turn On/Off Email Report Address(es)

The following screen shot shows just how little information is included in an email backup report from SOS for Business:


Bare Minimum In This SOS Email Backup Report

Now, imagine you are having it backup hourly!

It’s nice to know that there are 2 files backed up, but you have no idea which ones. Is it that spreadsheet you have been working on all day or not?

If there was a number greater than zero in the “Files that were not backed up” field, you have no idea what file(s) are not protected or why.

What Does All This Mean?

Hopefully, this is not a make or break feature in deciding with business cloud backup solution you are going to go with, because we do like SOS Online Backup for Business quite a lot. But really, can they put this in the suggestion box and get on it?

SOS has been around a long time and doing a good job. IT pros promote and install their product and would not do so if it wasn’t high quality because it would come back to bite them. It’s one thing to sell things online, it’s another to sell something face to face and be responsible for it doing the job.

Learn more about SOS for Business here

SpiderOak Starting Up With Windows – When It Shouldn’t

SpiderOak First Impressions Continued


And, What Good Is The Checkbox?

While we are waiting for SpiderOak Support to get back to us on the saga of the sluggishness we unchecked the box for SpiderOak to startup with the OS (Windows). But during the process of our SSD firmware upgrade on this PC we had the occasion to reboot several times.

Each time, SpiderOak not only started (as evidenced by the icon in the system tray) but also opened the program window for us. So we sent this screenshot to support this morning and will report back when we have an answer.

I do know that the 64bit version of SpiderOak is pretty new (v5.0.1) but this is what beta testers are for. Based on what we have been experiencing lately, though, with all of our online backup reviews, we are wondering if any of these companies use beta testers anymore (they are typically unpaid, BTW).

[Update] SpiderOak support seems to think it’s related to the OS integration feature and suggested turning that off. At the same time, he expects a fix in v5.0.2 available imminently.

We like the reputation and feature set of SpiderOak, so if you want to get started with a free-forever 2GB account, here’s the link

IDrive Online Backup: A Couple Of Negatives Encountered

IDrive Local Backup And A Design Issue


Is IDrive Design Your Problem?

IDrive Online Backup has been our #1 recommendation for some time now and we think for good reason. It works and users are overall happy with it, so what more can you want?

Well, there are many things we can want actually.

And before I go too far I want to point out that the more one digs into the companies in this industry the more you will find things you don’t like and probably shake your head like we do; so it’s not just IDrive.

Problem 1: Free Local Backup Option

The first problem was encountered when we wanted to test (and use) the new local backup option where you can use IDrive to backup your computer to a local drive like maybe a USB drive.


So we downloaded the bonus application, it’s not built in to the basic program. Hmmm, not ideal.

When we tried to install the local backup program it told us that our software was out of date and didn’t support it, then provided a handy link to download the compatible software. Great, we did. Rebooted and everything.

So we tried again to install the IDrive local backup program and got the SAME MESSAGE!

Bad News, Good News, Bad News

The bad news is that here is a programming design issue that forced us to contact support for an answer. The link provided obviously was not compatible software, it was just the latest version of the “Old Account Software”.

The good news is that support was quickly able to answer our question:

IDrive accounts created prior to 23rd November, 2011 works on a different underlying technology. So, the application is not compatible with the previous type of IDrive accounts.

Please setup a new IDrive account and you will be able to use your new account with the IDrive Portable software


So in other words I need to create a new IDrive account, abandon the old one – can’t transfer data over – and start a new one. With a free account, I guess that’s not the end of the world but the initial backup again will be a pain. I can access the account to search for an old file via the web interface.

With a paid account, all that “history” of old files that your keeping for me will be lost unless you make me pay again.

That’s bad news.

While I’m all for making improvements to your product offering and adding features/benefits, this seems to cross the line. You need to offer – even if you must charge for it – the service of transferring all data to a new account. They could do that in-house with a USB drive if there is really no other way.

Problem 2: Program Code Design – Again?

The second problem we came across in a user review elsewhere on the web that we now had the ideal chance to verify. This person claimed they were a Windows programmer by trade and that the way IDrive is coded they are actually subjecting their program – and every other Windows program you have installed – to the old DLL hell issue.

Without getting into boring detail, the idea behind Windows originally was to share basic code elements to conserve space, resources and improve speed. Naturally, few programmers could bring themselves to comply and insisted on duplicating these “.DLL” files with their own twist. Naturally, sometimes these files would conflict and Windows would crash.

Most programmers have learned and moved on into compliance but it appears that IDrive includes at least one of these modules independently. Moreover, when you uninstall IDrive, it does not completely uninstall.

In our case we found that to be true, but did not encounter any real issue, maybe because we use Windows 7 64bit, but we still had to reboot an extra time and delete some IDrive files manually.


The vast majority of people who install and use IDrive will find it to be an excellent cloud backup solution that will protect their data as expected.

Should you happen to have an account established before November 23, 2011, though, don’t expect to be able to take advantage of the latest and greatest features.

And should you need to uninstall IDrive, note that you will have to finish the uninstall manually. It’s not hard, but it does bring into question whether there really are any elements of the software left behind that could cause you “DLL hell” style troubles down the road.

Use this link to get a Free 5GB account with the latest new IDrive software and features

If you already have a (new style) IDrive account, get the IDrive Portable (Local Backup) Option:

IDrive Portable

SpiderOak First Impressions

SpiderOak Takes Privacy To The Limit


Get A 2GB Free Account For Life at SpiderOak

SpiderOak online backup grabs our attention right off the bat in a couple of ways. One, they offer a free 2GB online backup account for life. 2GB is kind of small these days, but at least it’s forever and not just 14 days or so.

Second is that SpiderOak seems to really understand privacy and security.

It mystifies us that so many people – especially the young, sorry if that’s you – place zero or very low priority on security and privacy. Our fear is that someday you will learn first hand that this was a mistake.

SpiderOak Download

After discovering some disturbing news about how IDrive is programmed in Windows earlier this week it was refreshing to see that SpiderOak download was 64 bit specific to our version of Windows 7.

Why on earth some of these other companies don’t hire some programmers who know what they are doing and use the latest, most secure techniques is simply beyond our understanding.

SpiderOak Installation was pretty straightforward, the only thing annoying us to death was that the “SpiderOak Hive” that is used for syncing data between devices is hardcoded to only be located in the users Documents folder with a shortcut placed on the desktop.

Fortunately, in the preferences you can turn off the Hive, but cannot relocate it.

Where would be prefer it?

Well, with DropBox we place it right on the desktop for easy, no hassle moving or copying of files in and out of it. The point is, we have CHOICE and it takes only a limited IQ on the part of a programmer to include the option of locating it somewhere else.

Configuring Our SpiderOak Backup

Here is where we ran into trouble when we tried to configure our SpiderOak Backup using the advanced file selection. The program stuttered, halted, froze, then jumped to where it should have gone instantly.

We contacted support, which was not obvious how to do. (Turns out you just send an email to support(at) and we promptly got an acknowledgement of our support ticket being created.

In less than a day we had a support rep asking us to send a zip file of the log files, which we did, and now over 24 hours later have yet to hear back.

So our SpiderOak review is on hold.

One reason we are anxious to review SpiderOak is its similarity to IDrive and the ability to backup network drives and NAS devices, though it appears only if you map a drive.

In the meantime, you can at least get signed up for your lifetime free 2GB SpiderOak account.

Zoolz Business Cloud Backup And Cold Storage Debut

Zoolz Is Unique New Business Cloud Backup Service


Zoolz Business Cloud Backup Open For Business

Zoolz Business cloud backup and storage is ready to roll and we are working on our Zoolz Review so you know exactly what they do and don’t offer and at what cost.

While we still have a lot to do, it’s looking pretty good so far.

Zoolz Business used Amazon AWS servers for the actual storage of your data in the cloud and there is nothing wrong with that.

Apparently, Zoolz, with their “cold storage” is the first cloud backup company to leverage Amazon’s Glacier storage service whereby your files are accessible via preview but actually take 3 – 5 hours before ready for restore, notification by email. Sounds like a good idea for all kinds of data and if a delay reduces storage cost then we are all for it.

Naturally, the data you need back right away you simply do not designate as cold storage and it is available to be restored when you need it.

How Does Zoolz Business Distinguish Themselves?

We have to say, there seems to be a new cloud backup vendor announcing themselves about every other week. And often they contact us wanting us to write about their service and promote it (for free, of course).

Zoolz Business does seem to be more than just another group of programmers who got together to outsource a server farm and white label a cloud backup service with a new website.

Instead, we are seeing something unique in the “cold storage” option and a rather COMPLETE package when it comes to features and benefits for the business customer.

Zoolz Excels In Security

One area we have already seen Zoolz Business shine a little brighter is in the area of security. Instead of making us dig for details on how your data is protected before it gets stuffed in some cloud somewhere they actually brag about how your data is protected with multiple layers of encryption.

And for once they don’t insist or even suggest you use the same password that you login to their service with as the password to decrypt your data.

Versioning Your Backups

While most of the big name cloud backup services will offer you a certain number of versions of your files or keep so many days worth of backups, Zoolz Business actually allows YOU to configure what you would like to keep and for how long. And this is customizable via policies that you can set and apply to users or servers; quite unique.

In addition, deleted files are kept forever.

Compare Zoolz Business to Major Brands

Zoolz compares on a feature for feature basis very favorably with recognized leaders in cloud business backup like Mozy Pro and Carbonite Business.

Pricing with Zoolz is not only competitive but thanks to cold storage and “pay as you go”, somewhat customizable too.

We will continue to work on our complete Zoolz review but in the meantime you may want to check out a 14 day free trial of Zoolz Business cloud backup and storage service.

Cubby Online Backup From LogMeIn

Free 5GB Cloud Storage Account


5GB Free Account From Cubby

Cubby online backup is a new offering from the people at LogMeIn, a reputable firm in the remote PC access space. Currently they are offering 5G free cloud storage accounts that seem to have some pretty decent features already, particularly for iOS (iPhone, etc).

Naturally it’s too soon to have a full review on their service, and if we say anything about them it will probably have more to do wit their good reputation with LogMeIn as opposed to cloud backup.

One of the distinguishing features, though, seems to be the ability to designate a file as “available offline” for collaborating or otherwise working on shared files when you might temporarily have no access to the internet or “cloud”.

Free Account Versus Paid Cubby Subscription

What we do know is that Cubby is not completely free, the company does intend to make a profit from this business!

In fact, it’s not really that cheap either.

The pricing so far indicates that you are charged based on users with 100GB storage each at the rate of $6.99/month, prepaid for the year. So, not cheap.

What you get for that paid subscription is additional support (hopefully something we never need), user encryption keys (wonder what happens if you switch from free account to paid account?), and direct sync.

Apparently what you cannot do is backup a network drive. (Look at IDrive or LiveDrive for cloud backup of network drives, NAS devices)

The good news is that with the free account they will bribe you with additional free cloud storage, up to 25GB, for referring your friends, relatives, enemies, whoever.

Note: Once you create a Cubby account, that login will work across the entire LogMeIn platform including LogMeIn and Join.Me.

Watch this space for our full Cubby online backup review.

Get your free 5GB cloud storage account with Cubby

TresorIt Online Backup Currently Not Worth Much

High Security Is The Only Priority Currently

TresorIt - no password recovery

TresorIt Is YOUR Vault

I was installing TresorIt yesterday on one of my Virtualbox PC’s to make sure I claimed my free 50GB online backup vault.

The screenshot at left depicts the primary feature of TresorIt and that is that your data is secure, not even they can view it or recover it for you. Though that’s not that unique of a feature, many of the online backup softwares that we review here at offer the same level of security.

The problem I did encounter is that there currently really is no way to recover your files!

A TresorIt Vault Is A Directory Like Google Drive

Right now the best way to describe what TresorIt hopes to be is something akin to Google Drive only with more security and flexibility on where the subdirectory (folder) is located on your computer and allows you to have more than one.

Anything that you put in that directory will get backed up, though I saw some scuttlebutt that there might be a 1.5GB file size limitation. There is no way to backup any other files on your PC, external drive or network location. Everything MUST be in a Tresor folder.

The problem is getting the file back.

While they PLAN a browser feature, why release the product even in beta if there is really no way to get the files from the cloud? TresorIt will dutifully backup the files in that “Tresor” folder, but if you accidentally delete a file, it is “synchronized” with your cloud Tresor and the file deleted in the cloud also. Interestingly you can turn synchronization off, so that’s a plus. Just make sure you don’t THINK it’s on when it’s not.

Again, indications found on their website indicate they PLAN for versions of files to exist, but not yet. Note, there are ways to securely share your files and perhaps you could unplug your LAN, turn off synchronization, then “share” the file with yourself at another email address, then plug your LAN connection back in.

So why release TresorIt this early in development?

What good is it to you now?

In my estimation, lock in your free 50GB, but don’t bother using it yet.

Here is a screenshot showing my “Tresor” created in the root directory of my C Drive instead of deep down somewhere in the “My Documents” folder (a concept I personally have always loathed and makes only a little sense if you have multiple users on the same computer – which I almost never do, for me or for clients. But if it works for you, great).

TresorIt Program Window

Here is the Entire Scope of TresorIt software currently

Best Online Hard Drive Backup

Best Or Cheapest Computer Backup


Online Hard Drive Backup to the "Cloud"

When it comes to online hard drive backup, the best program is the one that you used most recently when your hard drive fails! (Moral to the story: get started TODAY with a free trial if you have no backup at all currently.)

We personally do not like to refer to something as cheap if it is of good quality, but we have to please search engines so we will use that term in this post.

Understand that we will NOT recommend any online backup program that we feel is CHEAP in the sense that it is no good. If we say cheapest online hard drive backup we mean “least expensive” of what services we are willing to recommend.

As far as the various online backup services, choosing the best one can vary depending upon the features that are most valuable to you. All of these companies have workable software that is capable of selective online hard drive backup to include the data and media files important to you. Almost none of them concern themselves with system files, program files and that sort of thing.

Start With The Best Online Hard Drive Backup

Rather than concentrate on cheapest first, we thought a trip through the ones we consider the best would make more sense.

  • IDrive online backup is our top rated program, and is not that expensive either. They offer a free 5GB account for life instead of just a free trial. The software is very full featured, they backup both external hard drives and network drives (mapped), but can be just a little bit more difficult to navigate all of the advanced features. We use it personally and love it.
  • MyPCBackup is maybe not the best backup software but ranks highly because it is SIMPLE to use and just plain works. Besides that, it actually can be the CHEAPEST online hard drive backup if you follow our instructions here
  • LiveDrive is one of the very popular cloud backup programs we have reviewed that users seem to be real happy with. The basic plan offers UNLIMITED cloud storage with lots of features, just not the whole arsenal of benefits provided by their advance packages. Upgrade to other features as your needs justify it.
  • Mozy Home is a perennial favorite, but no one seems to talk about it that much. Maybe because it just works. Mozy is reasonably priced, have “caught up” with many of the other vendors when it comes to mobile apps, has great support – if you even need it, and offer a permanent 2GB free account.

This is not all of the programs available to you, as the sidebar indicates.

It really does depend on what is most important to you. The important thing is to at least get a free trial going so you can start protecting your files before you experience a hard drive failure.

One important feature of online hard drive backup is that you have off-site protection for your data. Something tragic happens to your home and your external USB hard drive backup is probably a goner along with your system. The area where I grew up is again experiencing record floods with many homes under water.

Heck, even in Texas where there were droughts (with wildfires that destroyed many homes, even entire towns) last year certain areas had massive flooding just the year before that.

A second great feature is the ability to access the files you backup online into the cloud from virtually any computer anywhere that has an internet connection.

Cheapest Online Hard Drive Backup

There are several ways of looking at the cheapest online hard drive backup, again, cheap meaning inexpensive and NOT junk.

First is the permanent free account. We mentioned up above both IDrive (5GB) and Mozy( 2GB). There are others, some with temporary offers like Zoolz, which is offering a unique “cold storage” 100GB free account, for a limited time.

The MyPCBackup special deal we mentioned above is going to be really hard to beat, but others are pretty darn cheap. One of the reasons IDrive is our top rated online backup program is because it’s so high quality and yet so inexpensive too.

Carbonite is another well known name with a quality product that USED to be unlimited but at least is still very cheap for 1 year of online backup.

Get Started!

Please, if you have no online hard drive backup now then please take a test drive of one of the ones we have mentioned here. The links to their free trials and/or free online backup accounts are on their respective review pages (see sidebar) or, here is the link for:

IDrive – our #1 pick, 5GB free account – click here

MyPCBackup – our #2 pick, cheapest – click here

Zoolz Home Offers Free 100GB Cloud Storage

Zoolz Cold Storage New Approach To Cloud Backup


Zoolz Offering 100GB Cloud Storage Free

We know that everyone wants free cloud storage and we actively promote the larger free accounts offered by companies like IDrive (5GB Free, more with referrals) because of that. Now Zoolz home cloud backup is offering a free 100GB account to the first 1 million users!

Because of this magnanimous offer, there is a waiting list while they get you setup, but it’s free, so what do you expect?

(Zoolz uses Amazon AWS as the backend server cloud storage with geo-redundancy so that’s TOP quality you are getting.)

The unique thing about Zoolz, which offers both home and business cloud backup plans, is the cold storage concept. With cold storage, you can upload your files no problem, but to download them there is a few hour delay.

Weird, right?

But if that reduces the cost for acquiring large cloud storage accounts, it’s worth it.

We will be evaluating Zoolz and Zoolz Business soon and hope to have our complete Zoolz Review up shortly.

One Ideal Application For Cold Storage

When I first read about the new cold storage plan that is the basis of the free 100GB account there was one particular application that came to mind: video.

We have a few terabytes of family video that I have ripped from VHS and VHS-C tapes in addition to the mini-DV “footage”. There is no need to retrieve that data hopefully EVER, but if there is, a 3 hour wait should not pose any kind of problem. It’s going to take a long time to download anyway (even longer to upload, BTW), so it’s just not a concern.

Since many online backup pricing plans just do not accommodate that much data, even the unlimited ones sometimes “balk” at large files and terabytes of storage, this could be a unique “niche” of success for Zoolz.

From a business standpoint, the term cold storage is really applicable as I know of law firms that rent self storage units to put boxes upon boxes of files they hope they will never have to wade through and retrieve anything out of; but they have to keep it “available” if necessary for a certain period of time.

Get in line for your free 100GB account at Zoolz Home

[Edit May 28, 2013] All the FREE 100 GB Zoolz accounts are gone, but if you click on the link above you can get 100GB for $20/year and that’s a pretty decent deal.

How Much Does MyPCBackup Cost?

How About A Big Discount Off Of MyPCBackup?

How Much Does MyPCBackup Cost?

Keep Reading To SAVE BIG On MyPCBackup

Since it’s not that easy to really see how much does MyPCBackup cost I thought maybe if we posted some screen shots and linked back to our super secret and huge MyPCBackup discount page it might be helpful to many of you.

For most of the time we have been affiliated with MyPCBackup its seems that price has been kind of hard to figure out; they want you to start a free trial first.

That’s OK, but not everyone will commit to handing out their email address and downloading software just to find out what the price of the cloud backup service is – and then they risk missing out on one of the best and cheapest cloud backup options available.

The graphic at the left is all some people care about, and the folks at MyPCBackup are happy to make it simple.

What you may not realize, though, is that they actually have 3 plans available – they are not ALL unlimited storage. They offer 75GB, 250GB and unlimited.

There really is so little difference in the cost that – after the super secret discount – that almost everyone may as well go for the unlimited and not worry about running out of cloud backup space or going over.

Let’s take a look at the plans, with the MASSIVE discount applied:

MyPCBackup 75GB Home Plan Pricing

You can see from this screen shot that MyPCBackup costs $8.95 per month on a monthly basis for the 75GB home plan, which can be knocked down to $6.95 per month if you pay by the year. Not bad, but some competitors are less.

NOW, though, look at the number with the HUGE DISCOUNT! Yeah, $1.86 per month if you pay yearly – all of $22.32

mypcbackup home 75gb plan pricing

First, The 75GB Home Plan Pricing


MyPCBackup 250GB Premium Plan Pricing

The 250GB Premium plan is apparently the most popular options. True, few customers currently need more than 250GB. This plan costs almost 10 bucks per month, right? No way. Pay by the year and it’s down to less than $8 per month.

But who pays full price? Look at the discounted offer.

mypcbackup premium 250gb plan pricing

* Most Popular - Premium Plan Pricing Offers 250GB Cloud Storage


MyPCBackup Unlimited Plan Pricing With Massive Discount – Why Not?

Unlimited cloud backup for about $35 per year, paid up front. WOW! Does anyone pay $12.95 per month? Not OnlineBackupSpot people!

mypcbackup unlimited cloud storage pricing plan

MyPCBackup Unlimited Cloud Storage Pricing At Huge Discount

This is such an awesome deal for an online backup service that just keeps adding features all the time is an incredible deal. The company has had some hiccups here and there that we have reported on this site, but it never put anyone’s data at risk (that we know of) and shouldn’t since they use the rock solid geo-diversified servers to protect your data.

Want that link again for the huge MyPCBackup discount instructions?


(Thought so 😎 )