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Best cloud backup services in 2022

man and woman stood by server room in office
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The best cloud backup (opens in new tab) services are designed to streamline the file backup process, enabling you to upload information to secure cloud servers. Many platforms double as the best cloud storage (opens in new tab) platforms, and come with automatic backup tools, enabling you to schedule regular backups as required. 

You will also find platforms with file versioning, which enables you to access previous versions of documents and other files. Security must be considered, and here, we'll dive deeper into the world of cloud backup services. We’ve tested countless options, and put together the following list to help you settle on the best cloud backup solutions for your business.

The 3 best cloud backup services available right now

IDrive: the best cloud backup service available (opens in new tab)
IDrive tops our ranking thanks to providing huge storage amounts for competitive prices. It supports unlimited devices, and provides extensive file versioning, and for a limited time, you can get 10TB for only $3.98 for the first year! (opens in new tab)

Dropbox Business: the file-sharing backup leader (opens in new tab)
Still one of the most well-known cloud storage and backup providers, Dropbox's business backup service is simple-to-use, offers market-leading file-sharing, and provides third-party app integrations, as well as competitively-priced plans.

pCloud: secure and cost-effective backups (opens in new tab)
Offering lifetime subscriptions, pCloud provides military-grade encryption to business customers, as well as extended file versioning, multi-platform compatibility, and much more across a range of individual and business plans.

Check out this exclusive cloud backup deal from Backblaze:

How much does a cloud backup service cost?

You can expect to pay anything from a few dollars a month to tens or even, in rare cases, hundreds of dollars a month for a cloud backup service. Some platforms offer lifetime licenses with a one-time fee, while others only have monthly or annual subscription options. 

One thing that you will find is that many platforms have a free-forever plan that might be good enough. These sometimes come with very generous storage, although it varies from provider to provider. 

For example, IDrive, our leading cloud backup platform, has plans from $79.50 a year for 5TB of storage. Its Team plans start at $99.50 for up to five users, five computers, and 5TB; while its unlimited computer and user Business plan costs $1,499.50 for 5TB.

Which is the best cloud backup service?

We think the best cloud backup service is IDrive, a platform that offers extremely competitive prices, support for unlimited devices, and excellent cross-platform compatibility. Dropbox Business’s file versioning is excellent and sets the cloud veteran apart, while relatively-new competitor pCloud is great for its lifetime subscription and extended file versioning capabilities.

Backblack Business Backup is another great choice, particularly for those with large amounts of data. In turn, NordLocker emphasizes cloud data security in a way no other backup platform does.

The best cloud backup services, compared
Cloud backup serviceLowest priceStorage capacityFile versioningEncryption
IDrive (opens in new tab)$79.50 a yearUp to 100TBUp to 30 versions retainedZero-knowledge
Dropbox Business (opens in new tab)$12.50 a monthAs much as needed180 daysEnd-to-end
pCloud (opens in new tab)$7.99 a monthUp to 2TBUp to one yearZero-knowledge
Backblaze Business Backup (opens in new tab)$70 a yearUnlimited30-day retentionZero-knowledge
NordLocker (opens in new tab)$3.99 a monthUp to 2TBNoneAdvanced zero-knowledge

The best cloud backup services available right now

IDrive logo

(Image credit: IDrive)
The best overall cloud backup service

Specifications

Storage capacity: Up to 100TB
File versioning: 30-days
Encryption: 256-bit AES/zero-knowledge encryption

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent cross-platform support
+
Can be used with unlimited devices
+
Great file versioning

Reasons to avoid

-
Upload and download speeds can be slow
-
User interface is a little outdated

IDrive is a clear industry leader in the cloud storage and backup space. Our pick for the best cloud storage (opens in new tab) all-round, it offers excellent backup solutions, with standout features including its support for unlimited devices, generous storage space, and unlimited user plans. 

On top of this, IDrive offers some of the best secure cloud storage (opens in new tab), and the best encrypted cloud storage (opens in new tab), we’ve seen. It uses full 256-bit AES end-to-end encryption as standard. Zero-knowledge encryption is also available, adding an extra layer of protection for important or sensitive data. 

The main downside of IDrive is its sometimes slow upload and download speeds, but this will be a minor issue for most users. There’s a neat free-forever version that you can use to test the platform. We think you’ll like it, and we’d recommend it for anyone looking for a versatile, affordable cloud backup platform that you can rely on. 

Read our full IDrive review (opens in new tab).

Dropbox logo

(Image credit: Dropbox)
Best for file retention

Specifications

Storage capacity: As much as required
File versioning: 180-days
Encryption: End-to-end encryption

Reasons to buy

+
180-day file retention by default
+
Excellent third-party app integrations
+
Great file sharing tools

Reasons to avoid

-
No zero-knowledge encryption

Dropbox Business offers excellent cloud backup services from a cloud storage giant. There are plans for businesses of all sizes, and you can add storage as required. Dropbox’s standout feature is its default 180-day file retention, which is among the best in the industry. 

On top of this, Dropbox comes with excellent file sharing and collaboration tools. There’s also a range of third-party app integrations that you can use to improve your efficiency, along with excellent administrator tools. 

The lack of zero-knowledge encryption will bother some, but we’d highly recommend taking advantage of Dropbox’s free trial and testing the platform if long-term file versioning is important to you. 

Read our full Dropbox Business review (opens in new tab), and our Dropbox review (opens in new tab) analyzing its consumer service.

pCloud logo

(Image credit: pCloud)
Best for lifetime subscriptions

Specifications

Storage capacity: Up to 2TB
File versioning: Up to one year
Encryption: Zero-knowledge encryption

Reasons to buy

+
Available on desktop, web, and mobile
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Excellent file versioning
+
No limits on file upload sizes

Reasons to avoid

-
Customer support is average
-
Collaboration tools are lacking

pCloud is an extremely popular cloud storage platform due to its attractive lifetime subscription options. Individual users can access 2TB of storage for life for just $350. Team licenses start at $7.99 per user, a month

By default, all old files and previous versions are retained for 30 days before being deleted. But extended file versioning is available and can be stretched to one year. On top of this, all Business plans come with pCloud Encryption, which enables client-side zero-knowledge encryption. 

pCloud can also be used across various platforms, with mobile, desktop, and web apps available. The Business plan enables you to add team access controls, and there are loads of tools to help you get the most out of the platform. 

Read our full pCloud review (opens in new tab).

Backblaze logo

(Image credit: Backblaze)
Best for unlimited storage

Specifications

Storage capacity: Unlimited
File versioning: 30-days
Encryption: Zero-knowledge encryption

Reasons to buy

+
Unlimited storage available
+
No restriction on file upload size
+
Very competitively priced

Reasons to avoid

-
No mobile backup tools
-
File sharing is limited

Backblaze offers advanced cloud backup services through its Backblaze Business Backup product. This is designed for businesses of all sizes, with a simple price structure and support for unlimited storage. 

A single computer license will cost you $7 a month or $70 a year. Licenses are also available for servers and other systems. If you want to add more devices, simply purchase multiple licenses. 

Another thing we liked about Backblaze was its 30-day file retention. It also uses zero-knowledge encryption, and its upload and download speeds are excellent. If you need a reliable option to back up a large system, Backblaze Business Backup is hard to go past. 

Read our full Backblaze review (opens in new tab).

NordLocker logo

(Image credit: NordLocker)

NordLocker

Best for advanced security

Specifications

Storage capacity: Up to 2TB
File versioning: None
Encryption: Zero-knowledge encryption

Reasons to buy

+
Advanced security features
+
Very easy to use
+
Drag-and-drop interface

Reasons to avoid

-
No mobile support
-
File sharing is limited

NordLocker is known to be one of the most secure cloud storage platforms in the world. From the same product family as leading VPN provider NordVPN (opens in new tab), while its cloud backup solutions aren’t anywhere near as powerful as those offered by some of the other platforms on this list, its security focus earns it a place. 

On top of this, NordLocker is very easy to use. There’s no support for mobile devices, and file sharing is limited to with other NordLocker users, but these small flaws aren’t dealbreakers. 

For $9.99 a month, you can access 2TB of highly secure cloud storage, 24/7 priority support, and a suite of extra security tools. This makes it a great option for those who need to store small amounts of very important data or other information.


Cloud backup FAQs

Looking for more information about the best cloud backup services? Our FAQ will help you understand the benefits of backing up files in the cloud.

What is cloud backup?

The term cloud backup refers to the process of uploading a copy of your files or other data to the cloud for secure storage. Backups can be performed manually, and many cloud backup services include versatile automatic backup tools. Following a backup, you can access and restore your files from any device with an internet connection.

How do I back up my data to the cloud?

Before you can back up your data to the cloud, you will need to purchase a cloud backup service subscription. This will give you the tools you need. Each backup platform is different, so follow the prompts for the one you use. In general, though, backups are very easy to perform, and you shouldn’t have any trouble.

Are there any disadvantages to using cloud backup services?

Cloud backups have loads of advantages over using traditional backup methods, but they do have their downsides. For one, upload and download speeds will be limited by your network. Prices can get expensive if you have large amounts of data, and there’s always the risk—albeit a small one—that an issue with your service provider will lead to the loss of your data.

Benefits of the best cloud backup services

Data security
Backing up important files and other data is an excellent way to ensure they aren’t lost. With the right cloud backup service, you will also benefit from advanced security to ensure the integrity of your data is protected at all times.

Affordability
When compared to traditional local (opens in new tab) backup solutions, cloud backups present a much more affordable option. You won’t have to worry about controlling any of your own infrastructure, and you will only ever pay for what you need.

Accessibility
With the cloud, you can access files and other information from virtually anywhere with an internet connection. This opens up endless opportunities for things like remote working and keeping track of the office when you’re on holiday.

How we review the best cloud backup services

We’ve reviewed numerous cloud backup services over the years, and we follow a consistent process with every new review. This begins with creating a new account with the providers we plan to test.

Next, we explore aspects of usability, functionality, cross-platform compatibility, and more. We also look at performance in the form of upload and download speeds, along with customer service and security.


Next steps when choosing cloud backup services

If you’re feeling a little confused, you might like to read about how to choose the right cloud storage provider for backups (opens in new tab). Discover why you should be thinking about your cloud backup strategy (opens in new tab), and take a look at the ways you can fight ransomware with cloud backups (opens in new tab). We've also ranked the best cloud storage for business (opens in new tab), in case you're looking for business-wide storage and sync capabilities.

Daniel is a freelance copywriter with over six years experience writing for publications such as TechRadar, Tom’s Guide, and Hosting Review. He specializes in tech and finance, with a particular focus on website building, web hosting, and related fields.