With the death of my NAS a year ago, I looked at many online backup solutions. I needed a multi-OS solution since I have a MacBook, a Linux (Ubuntu) desktop and some Windows desktop.
And as a good geek, I didn’t had any other backups, everything on one single disk NAS. So when it died, the archives that were on the disc died with it.
My Seagate FreeAgent lasted 26 months and I paid 210$. When we divide the price of the NAS by it’s lifetime, it’s cost is then 8.06$ per month plus electricity. For a multidisc NAS it easily climbs to 750$ (if it lasts 50 months, it’s 15$/month). Most cloud solutions costs less then that.
Cloud drive solutions are usually a live copy of your live files on the cloud. You can share them. When you delete them from your disk, it gets deleted from the cloud drive too (at the next synchronization).
The Microsoft cloud solution, that works on OS X and iOS, is available for 6.99$USD/month (7$CAD/month) for 1Tb with one month free. And you get 5Gb with the free account.
Dropbox is well known and you can share some folders with others. You get your first 2Gb free, and you can add up to 500Mb per person that creates an account with your reference. You can have some folders on a computer and others on an other one, so it might be used as a backup solution.
The paid version is 8,25$USD/month USD (12.99$CAD/month) for 1Tb.
The google drive solution is 9.99$USD/month (9.99$CAD/month) for 1Tb, and with the free account you get 15Gb.
The Apple cloud drive solution is 9.99$USD/month (12.99$CAD/month) for 1Tb, and you start 5Gb for free. And it can save stuff from your iOS devices too, iBook, photos and video.
The next solutions are truly backup solutions that keeps your data for a certain amount of time. A lot of them is 30 days, this is what we are talking when we talk about backups. And those solutions are usually cheaper, since it’s a copy of the file and not made for sharing. But it’s not an archiving solution.
This is the solution I was using the DripBit solution since 2015-06-18 up until 2016-06-19 (Only one year) when the company closed without notice. I bought on MacLife Deals a 3Tb Lifetime subscription for 54.99USD. It was doing a good job. The interface was mainly for Windows, but worked well with OSX. DripBit was “leasing” space and software from Live Drive (The next solution), which looks more professional.
With Live Drive you have unlimited space for 8USD/month, as long as your data is on all your disk and attached drives within the last 30 days. After 30 days, it gets deleted. And for 16$USD/month, using the same application, you can have a 2Tb (the equivalent of 8$/month for 1Tb) cloud drive (Briefcase).
For 5USD$ a month (or less if you pay yearly), you can have a “fast and reliable” solution (I can’t see the difference between LiveDrive and BackBlaze) to backup your whole data. Including any drive attached. The files stays on the backup for 30 days after being deleted (or not attached for 30 days for removable drives). They have a Refer-a-friend program that gets you a free month when a friend subscribes.
You can an restore files online, or the whole backup by ordering($$$) a physical disk with you data.
I put Evernote in the other solution, since you can send files to Evernote and get them back sometimes later. Mostly for document, e-mails, or notes. For 60Mb/month of upload, it’s free (using 2 devices). For 46.99$/year (3.92USD/month) you can upload up to 1Gb per months. This could be a good archiving solution for documents. And the have a very good search engin to find your document back.
In summary, Cloud Drive are useful, but they do not keep deleted files for very long. Cloud Backup solution is mostly what people needs, but you must select your provider wisely because they might bankrupt without notice. But not a lot a solutions are available for archiving files.
Now I’m using an online service has a backup. I’m currently using most of the cloud drive solutions (the free versions), the BackBlaze backup solution, and Evernote. It cost me 8.08USD$ per month (paid yearly, it’s almost the same price has the Seagate free agent) to have a reliable solution without the risk of hardware failure. I think it’s a mind freeing solution.