SOS Backup Online Free Trial Findings

SOS Online Backup Business Is A Top Contender

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SOS Backup Online Review

We decided to take another look at SOS Backup Online (Business Free Trial – 14 day) since it had been a while and we have had some specific requests from clients to recommend the best small business online backup.

The more online backup reviews we do the more we realize that there still is no one size fits all, perfect online backup software; each has it’s pros and cons and features that we really wish they would have and sometimes cannot fathom why they don’t.

In the end, though, it’s all about having your data safely backed up in the cloud when you need it with a speedy restore process providing 100% accuracy of your file contents. Most everything else COULD be considered optional.

What We Found Out About SOS Backup Online

First let’s start out with a distinction, every backup we tried in this SOS free trial was into the cloud, “online” vs “local”. And that is coincidentally our first finding we would like to report.

Local Backup To USB Hard Drive

“Local” backup, ie backup to a hard drive or other USB or network device is becoming a must to many of our clients. Maybe it’s to speed the ability of large restores, maybe just for peace of mind. While SOS does not perform a local backup simultaneously like Mozy, it does allow you to separately configure and run backups to a local hard drive in addition to their server farm in the cloud.

The testing we did was strictly to the cloud, but we saw no reason to believe that local backup is not just as solid.

Choosing Files To Backup

The backup file selection process was similar to many where they offer a wizard to find your files for you since, well, most of us don’t seem to know where our data resides. The initial scan with some mapped drives of remote server shares took a bit and could not stop it.

But after that we were able to select “Do Not Scan” and do the file selection manually.

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Easy To Backup Network Drive

Cloud backup of network drives couldn’t be easier or more full featured, something especially critical for business cloud backup. As you can see from the screen shot on the right, you do NOT have to map a network drive to backup online with SOS Business AND you get the opportunity to list credentials that the program should useĀ  if needed.

This feature makes unattended, even not logged in online backup of network drives so much easier and more fool proof.

Many a user – using other products – has found out the hard way that scheduled backups have not been including files on a network share because of permissions issues. Just because you have authenticated access at the time of file selection does not mean it will automatically be there at backup time.

Local files are simple to select for backup so not much further needs to be said on that.

Reporting Could Be Improved

Speaking of missing files in the backup, the old offline backup method was to check the scheduled backup reports that would be (optionally, recommended) emailed to a backup administrator listing summary and/or detail right down to the files backed up. Certainly, though, any files SKIPPED should be listed in the backup report with the error code at a minimum specifying why the file or database was skipped.

With SOS backup online reporting can be emailed to multiple recipients but really doesn’t say much of value other than that a backup did occur.

We reported more on this issue in a previous post.

Restoring Files From SOS Backup Online

Since getting your data back from your small business cloud backup provided is the whole point as mentioned above, we were anxious to not only restore some files and compare them to the original but also check out the versioning feature.

One particular file we had been backing up with our free trial account included a todo list of sorts that was changed frequently.

We had scheduled backups running every hour to make sure we had plenty of versions to play around with.

Here you can see what the options to restore from the unlimited versions in SOS Business looks like:

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Drop Down List For Each File With Multiple Versions To Choose From

This feature to us, is awesome.

Time goes by just too quickly to limit ourselves to 30 days, heck, we’ve put a project aside for more than 30 days and would have been ready to swear it was less than 3 weeks. So what good is an online backup solution where after 30 days all of your versions are, well, NOT history?

Other cloud backup providers give you 30 versions and, while that sounds like plenty, if you have the backup set for “continuous” or “hourly” like we did with this SOS Business free trial then 30 versions might not take you back even 2 days!

Unlimited Versions Does NOT Count Against Your Space Quota

Here is the key to those unlimited versions, in two ways:

  1. The unlimited versions do not fill up your space quota and cost you more money to rent more space. Only the original file backup counts against the space of your account. That’s a plus for you.
  2. The company saves your bandwidth and their server space by a process known as de-duplication and delta (or change) backup whereby they backup the changes in files, not the entire file each and every time. This does require some system smarts to get you back your data properly, but this is a time honed process by most EVERY player in the data storage and cloud backup business and it is come to be reliable. This saves THEM on server space (and their bandwidth) they otherwise could not afford.

Summary

SOS backup online and local is an excellent small business cloud backup solution; and it’s almost identical to the SOS online backup home edition, so we highly recommend the company for both sets of needs.

While they do have iOS and Android apps we just don’t see that need to much on the business side and if you are really into streaming media to your smartphone you would probably be better off looking at SugarSync.

For multiple computers in a small business and cloud backup of network drives, servers, online backup for NAS devices, SOS is an excellent choice that will protect your data and give you the features you need to protect your data and restore it when necessary.

Check out SOS Backup Now

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