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Zoolz cloud storage review 2021

Affordable cloud storage for large businesses

Zoolz logo
(Image: © Zoolz)

Our Verdict

Zoolz is a tribrid cloud storage provider that combines external drive storage with cold and instant cloud storage to provide a comprehensive setup for managing business data. While the cold storage component comes with the caveat of reduced download speeds, the high amount of storage space offered is the primary attraction here.

Pros

  • Lots of storage
  • Powerful data encryption
  • Unlimited users

Cons

  • Slow data recovery
  • Cluttered UI

While finding the best cloud storage provider for your business can be tough, Zoolz makes for a compelling choice thanks to the ample storage it offers. The platform used to provide cloud storage plans for individuals too, but those were discontinued in September 2020. Zoolz now focuses entirely on serving businesses, with plans that range from 1TB all the way up to 50TB.

Zoolz review: Snapshot

Regardless of your plan, Zoolz lets you use its cloud storage service on unlimited devices and with unlimited users. Strong, 256-bit AES encryption secures all your data, while file versioning lets you restore previous instances of altered files up to ten versions prior.

However, Zoolz is primarily a cold storage platform. This means that it offers more storage space in exchange for reduced download speeds, since cold storage files aren’t meant to be accessed regularly. Read on for our full Zoolz review, in which we take a look at its features, pricing, and more to see if it’s the right storage partner for you.

Score: 4/5

Read on for the full review.


Zoolz' competitors

How does Zoolz compare to its main competitors?
ZoolzIDrivepCloud
Score4/54.5/54/5
ProsLots of storage space - File versioning and retention - Strong security with data encryption - Unlimited devices and usersSupports several platforms - File versioning and recovery - NAS and server backups - Unlimited devices per userOne-time subscription plans - File versioning and recovery - Excellent file sharing functionality - Hard drive expansion feature
ConsData recovery can be very sluggish - Cluttered interfaceSlow upload and download speeds - Dated applicationsNo real-time collaboration - Limited support
VerdictZoolz’s hybrid storage platform offers strong security and lots of storage space, but backups can take a long time to recover.IDrive is the best cloud storage platform for those who want complete control over how their data is stored. It’s also very affordable.The only platform with one-time subscription plans. pCloud also offers file versioning, password protection and hard-drive expansion.
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Key features

Zoolz comes with all the perks of a good cold storage platform, as well as some of the downsides. It offers lots of storage at relatively cheap prices along with strong data encryption. However, data recovery is slow, but unsurprisingly so, given the platform is expected to run in the background while you carry on with your tasks.

Zoolz claims to adopt a “tribrid” cloud storage infrastructure. This is accomplished by combining three storage components: local storage for offline use, instant storage for regular access, and cold storage for long-term data backup. External storage lets you back up and restore data quickly, whereas cold storage offers reduced prices in exchange for slow download speeds. Instant storage provides continuous access to your most important files.

The platform keeps a copy of the previous versions of your altered files in the cloud, ranging up to ten versions prior to the current one. This ensures that your changes are never irreversible, and you can always fall back on previous versions in case of data corruption. 

However, Zoolz stores no more than ten previous versions of each file, which is less than the industry standard of 30. On the plus side, previous versions of your altered files are stored forever, and don’t come with a time limit attached to them.

Zoolz secures all your data using 256-bit AES encryption, and data is encrypted both in transit and at rest. Furthermore, it’s possible to set up a private encryption key for your data, in which case not even the provider itself will be able to access your files without your permission. Zoolz’s cloud storage component is also compatible with several privacy regulations, including the HIPAA and GDPR.

Built on Amazon Web Services, BigMIND is a separate offering from Zoolz that uses AI to speed up your business’ data management tasks. BigMIND’s pitch is based on a highly intelligent search functionality that uses artificial intelligence and a host of filters to make the process of finding data across your business that much easier. However, BigMIND is also quite expensive, especially if you opt for one of the higher-end data plans.

Zoolz: Key features and highlights

Image 1 of 4

Zoolz' diagram of its tribrid structure

Zoolz claims to use a tribrid cloud storage infrastructure (Image credit: Zoolz)
Image 2 of 4

Zoolz' user interface showing previous file versions

Zoolz keeps a copy of the previous versions of your files (Image credit: Zoolz)
Image 3 of 4

Zoolz' webpage discussing its encryption settings

Zoolz uses 256-bit AES encryption for all your data (Image credit: Zoolz)
Image 4 of 4

Zoolz BigMIND's homepage

Zoolz BigMind is built on Amazon Web Services (Image credit: Zoolz)

What’s new

Zoolz updates its regular cloud storage platform at least once a year. However, these updates mostly comprise bug fixes, performance improvements, and compatibility patches for newer versions of operating systems. 

If you are looking for a more cutting-edge cloud storage solution for your business, Zoolz’s BigMIND offering is a far richer option. This platform comes with artificial intelligence-based features to enhance your cloud-based workflow, including image recognition for your photos.

Pricing

Zoolz has two cloud storage offerings: Zoolz Cloud Backup and Zoolz BigMIND. While the former is a traditional cloud storage service with normal features, the latter is powered by artificial intelligence, and comes with much more regular updates and feature enhancements.

Zoolz Cloud Backup's pricing plans
Plan type/feature1TB2TB5TB10TB20TB50TB
Cost per month$9.99$19.99$49.99$99.99$149.99$449.99
Cost per year$99.99$199.99$499.99$999.99$1,799.99$4,499.99
Storage1TB 2TB5TB10TB20TB50TB
Unlimited users
Unlimited servers
Unlimited external drives
File versioning
GDPR compliance

Zoolz BigMIND's pricing plans
Plan type/featureStarterStandardPremiumSmart Archive
Cost per month$15$20$37.5$40
Cost per year$180$240$450$480
Storage100GB+250GB+250GB+1TB+
Users1010050050
Servers11050500
Unlimited network and external drivesX
User/Policy Management
Intelligent media streaming
AI photo detection
Basic audit

Testing Zoolz

To better benchmark Zoolz against its competitors, we analyzed its upload speeds, which are a key factor in terms of cloud storage; its user interface and upload manager's user experience; and its mobile apps' usability.

How fast is Zoolz?

Zoolz's user interface demonstrated while uploading a file

We ran a few tests to see how fast Zoolz transfers data (Image credit: Zoolz)

We ran a few tests to see how fast Zoolz would transfer our data. In order to do this, we uploaded a 569MB video file to Zoolz, first using instant storage and then using the cold storage option on the web application. This helped us understand just how much time Zoolz takes to upload a typical file on a standard 80Mbps broadband internet connection.

It took exactly 12 minutes and 37 seconds to upload the file to the instant storage vault. In comparison, Google Drive took 10 minutes and 15 seconds to upload the same file on the same internet connection. Next, we tried uploading the same 569MB file to Zoolz’s cold storage vault. To our surprise, Zoolz only took nine minutes and 35 seconds this time. 

After that, we tried downloading the same file back to our computer. It took one minute and 38 seconds to download the file from Zoolz’s instant storage. But when attempting to download from cold storage, we were told it would take three to 12 hours, and that we would be emailed once the file was ready.

What's the Zoolz user experience like?

Zoolz' user interface in use

Zoolz’s interface works just as described (Image credit: Zoolz)

We took the provider’s interface on a test drive to see how user-friendly the experience felt. Zoolz’s UI is pleasantly designed, even though it might look a bit dated. Many modules are displayed—including a bunch of status report and policy management options that you won’t always need. Thankfully, Zoolz has done a lot to optimize its interface hierarchy, so you don’t feel too overwhelmed looking at it. 

The options work just as described. There’s a unified dashboard that offers a quick overview of all your backups, a section for managing your individual devices and files, a centralized policy management interface for business data, and status reports on the different aspects of your storage. 

You also have the option to adjust your preferences via settings, and upgrade to a better plan should you find the need for it. However, Zoolz does not offer mobile apps with its Cloud Backup platform.

How well do Zoolz' mobile apps work?

Zoolz BigMIND's mobile app in use

Zoolz BigMIND comes with mobile apps for iOS and Android (Image credit: Zoolz)

Zoolz Cloud Backup doesn’t include any mobile apps, and can be accessed only from desktop devices or via the web interface. Zoolz BigMIND, however, does come with apps from Android and iOS. These apps allow you to back up your phone data while also letting you discover files and administer your account.

We downloaded the BigMIND app on a Google Pixel 4A. The app had recently received a makeover, and felt very intuitive. We were able to use the interface to back up our phone data and discover uploaded files easily. Based on our experience, the mobile apps seem to work as advertised, and run without any performance issues.

Alternatives to Zoolz

As a hybrid cloud storage provider with both instant and cold storage options, Zoolz goes toe-to-toe with services like IDrive and pCloud. We will now take a look at how well Zoolz holds up in comparison to its primary competitors.

IDrive is an instant cloud storage platform for individuals and businesses. It combines affordability with features to create an excellent storage option that offers reliability and speed. As a matter of fact, IDrive is our choice for the best cloud storage for premium users: read our full IDrive review to learn why it ranks first.

pCloud is the only trusted cloud storage provider that offers a lifetime subscription plan. Under this plan, you pay only once and are able to use the cloud storage service forever. However, pCloud only offers a lifetime subscription to individual customers. Businesses still have to sign up for a monthly subscription in order to access pro features. Our detailed pCloud review provides more details.

Zoolz isn’t the best cloud storage provider you can find today. However, if you are looking for a long-term solution that offers lots of storage space and doesn’t compromise on security, Zoolz might be the right choice for you. The huge amounts of storage space offered per plan is what makes Zoolz truly enticing, even in a market saturated with better and faster alternatives. 

Zoolz' features compared to the competition
ZoolzIDrivepCloud
Zero-knowledge encryptionYesNoYes
Real-time collaborationYesYesYes
SupportKnowledge base, online formKnowledge base, online form, email, phone, live chatKnowledge base, online form, email
Basic plan$99.99 a year$79.50 a year$79.50 a year

The verdict

Zoolz is a feature-rich cloud storage platform that employs a tribrid storage architecture with instant, cold, and external storage options. Since data in cold storage doesn’t need to be accessed every day, Zoolz is able to offer higher-capacity storage plans in exchange for a reduced download speed.

Throughout our Zoolz review, we tested its user interface, transfer speeds, and mobile applications to determine if it gives you the most bang for your buck. We are pleased to say that this is a cloud storage service that makes good on most of its promises—offering affordable cold storage options with strong data encryption across all plans. 

However, that’s not all. If your business likes to stay on the cutting edge, you can opt for Zoolz BigMIND. BigMIND's artificial intelligence-powered cloud storage comes with enhanced filters and search capabilities, to help you better organize and access your data. It also comes with apps for Android and iOS, an important feature that’s missing from the core cloud storage offering from Zoolz.

Further reading on cloud storage

Our Zoolz interview with CEO Muayyad Shehadeh discusses what's on the horizon, his views on the cloud storage industry, and how the company has weathered the COVID-19 pandemic. If you want to learn more about cloud storage, we compared cloud storage vs local storage, discussed reducing cloud storage costs, and created guides for the best cloud storage, the best cloud storage for business, the best free cloud storage, and the best cloud storage for photos.

The Verdict
4

out of 5

Zoolz cloud storage review 2021

Zoolz is a tribrid cloud storage provider that combines external drive storage with cold and instant cloud storage to provide a comprehensive setup for managing business data. While the cold storage component comes with the caveat of reduced download speeds, the high amount of storage space offered is the primary attraction here.

Ritoban Mukherjee

Ritoban Mukherjee is a freelance journalist from West Bengal, India. His work has been published on Tom's Guide, TechRadar, Creative Bloq, IT Pro Portal, Gizmodo, Medium, and Mental Floss. Ritoban is also a member of the National Association of Science Writers.