Online backup is an important element of your personal data protection against disasters and threats. Having a copy of your important files stored safely off-site can be a life-saver if your computer is physically damaged by flood or fire or compromised by ransomware or other malware.
Today, we are comparing three popular online backup services: Carbonite, iDrive and Acronis True Image. Each of these three services offers somewhat different features and strengths over the others, so the ultimate best option will depend on the needs of your household. Each service offers multiple subscription plans to accommodate for specific number of devices and feature sets. While there are more choices available than what is listed below, we tried to take make as fair of a comparison as possible by pricing two common configurations (1 device and 2 devices), and some of the popular additional services.
Here is the comparison at a glance, with more details included below. All vendors charge for subscriptions annually, but some offer a discount for multi-year subscriptions.
|1 computer plan||Unlimited storage
|3 computers plan||Unlimited storage
|Mobile devices protection||x||included||included|
|Backup external drive/NAS||+$40/year||included with paid plans||included|
|Ship recovery disk||+$78/year||one free/year, $59.95 subsequent||x|
|Active ransomware protection||x||x||included|
|Whole system image||premium plans||premium plans||included|
Carbonite has the most expensive plan for a single computer, but offers unlimited storage. This vendor also charges an annual fee for “extra” services like backing up an external drive or shipping you a physical drive with your data for recovery purposes. Home users interested in multiple device plans have to add multiple individual plans to the subscription, rather have a discounted multi-computer option. Carbonite also is the only vendor in this roundup who does not offer back up of mobile devices.
iDrive offers backup of unlimited devices and generous storage even with its lowest-priced plans. This vendor is also the only one in the roundup to include many extras like mobile protection, external drive backup, and recovery disk shipping, and also the only one of the three to offer a free plan.
Acronis True Image cloud backup is not as cheap as Carbonite or iDrive, but includes some more technical features like the whole system backup/imaging and active ransomware protection, which detects and prevents ransomware’s attempt to encrypt your files. Acronis does not offer an option to have a recovery disk shipped to you, but does include the ability to backup to an external drive of your own.
Interested in more options for protecting your data? Check out our guide to disaster-proofing your information.