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SOS Online Backup Review

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SOS Online Backup at a Glance

Your Rating

Rate SOS Online Backup

SOS Online Backup Review
30 votes, 3.47 avg. rating (69% score)

Our Rating

4.2 / 5 stars
★★★★¼ 

Price:

  • Personal Cloud Unlimited GB, 1 Computer, Unlimited Smartphones/Tablets: $7.99/month, $79.99/year, $139.99/two years
  • Family Cloud Unlimited GB, 5 Computers, Unlimited Smartphones/Tablets: $39.95/month, $399.99/year, $699.95/two years
  • Click here to save 25%!

SOS for Business

  • 250GB: $69.99/month, $699.99/year, $1,159.99/two years, $1,629.99/three years
  • 500GB: $119.99/month, $1,199.99/year, $1,999.99/two years, $2,799.99/three years

Pros:

  • Up to 5 PCs on one family account
  • Local backup
  • Android, iOS and Blackberry mobile apps
  • File sharing
  • Windows only. Support for Windows Server.
  • All files archived no deleting after so many days.
  • Scheduling
  • Backup email reports
  • Supports Windows and Mac

Cons:

  • Only client and web restore
  • No Linux support
  • No virtual drive

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Full Review

SOS Online Backup is no stranger to the online backup industry. Established in 2001 and have operations in North America, Asia and Europe. They protect millions of computers around the globe from data loss and have 11 data centers across multiple continents with military-grade security. SOS Online Backup is serious business and not just a fly by the night business. This can be seen be the fact that they have been chosen PC Magazine’s Editor’s Choice Award since 2006.

It is important to note that I test the SOS for Home software and not the SOS for Business backup software. There are some significant differences between the home version and the business version. Some of the features that the business version offers that differs from the home version includes the ability to backup an unlimited number of computers, seeding a backup by shipping a physical drive to them and unlimited version history of all your files. While there are differences between the business and home versions the home version does offer a good feature set.

Installation
Installation was simple after downloading the software. Simply double click the icon and follow the installation wizard. You get the standard installation options and if you have installed other software on your Windows computer you will have no problem install SOS Online Backup.

Backing Up
After installation you need to login to your account that you created when you signed up for the service. After entering your login and password you are presented with the SOS Online Backup main screen. You can choose to Backup Online, Restore Online, Backup Locally and Restore Locally. To start an online backup simply select the Backup Online option. You will be able to choose the files and folders that you want to backup. They do offer backup sets called So Simple file select. You can use the So Simple file select or browse for the files and folders you want to add to your backup. After selecting your files you can choose when to run the backups. After selecting a backup schedule you can choose whether you would like email reports sent to you. This is a nice feature that is missing in some online backup services. It is nice to get a reminder that your backup has complete and whether it was successful of not.

Running your backup after you have selected the files and schedule is easy as telling the software to run the backup on the setup complete screen. The backup status screen gives you the ability to pause the backup and other information about the current backup.

Overall backing up is easy to setup and run. It runs fairly quickly and does not use to many resources while it is running, though it might be best to run the backup when you do not need to use your computer.

Restoring
Running restore is a simple process as well. From the main screen you can choose Restore Online. You will be presented with a calendar to select a date to restore files from. After chooing your date you can simply select the folders and files you wish to restore. You can choose where to restore your files. Some people choose to restore files to their previous file locations, personally I like to restore to new location and then move files to where I want them. Running a local restore is not as simple

You can also restore files through the web interface. Here you can select the files and folders your would like in the restore and you can then download them as a ZIP file archive. This is similar to how many other online backup services web restores work.

Other Features
SOS Online Backup also allows users to easily share files with others. All you need is the email address of the person you want to share the file with. This makes it easy to share photos and other files with family and friends. Nothing like sharing the latest photos of the kids with Grandma and Grandpa.

SOS Online Backup currently has two mobile apps available. One for the iPhone and the other for the Blackberry smartphones. With the mobile apps you can access your files one your smartphone.

Overall
SOS Online Backup is a solid online backup service. The local backup option is a great feature that we should see in all online backup services. Sharing is a nice feature and mobile access is becoming more and more important for people on the go. The application is not as simple as some online backup services, but it is not difficult to find your way around and make sure your backup is done.

Start Backing up with SOS Online Backup

Start Backing up with SOS Online Backup

Originally published March 10, 2011.
Updated February 12, 2014.

2 Responses to SOS Online Backup Review

  1. AB says:

    SOS Online Backup
    ———————–

    Pros:
    – Very good reviews at PC Magazine (4 times Editor’s Choice) and some other review websites.

    Cons:
    – *Cannot* restore/recover files with non Latin characters in names. Files with non Latin (non-English, non Latin 1 (Win-1252) character set) symbols in names (for example, Cyrillic letters like “??? ????????.docx”) are not shown correctly in SOS Web and client interface and *cannot* be restored/recovered.
    – The UltraSafe option could be turned on only during account creation. This option is not available in web interface (where user pays for subscription) and is available in client UI, which is used after subscription is created and paid for. The only way to turn UltraSafe on later is to cancel account and subscribe again with different e-mail via technical support.
    – Initial backup stopped at 500 MB (or was very slow on 1 Mbps connection – 250 MB data transferred with overnight backup running) of 30+ GB/40,000+ files scheduled for backup. Competing solutions under same circumstances were able to complete about 10% of the total upload during the same time.
    – Some caching settings could require free space on the local system, comparable with baked up data size. The warning about this condition is shown but is rather misleading – backup could work with not enough free space with default caching settings.
    – Rich feature set implementation is very superficial (UltraSafe uses the password for backup web/client account login as personal encryption key/seed/password; LiveProtect available by files only, not folders, in competing solution this is supported as standard continuous backup feature; running backup when computer user is not logged on requires local user/admin account as only option, usually system/local authority account used for this purpose; versioning by date/time filtering only; backed up file date/time shown for time of backup, not when file was saved/modified; docx files shown as unknown by web interface; sharing by file only, no folders, only from Web interface, not client; versions not saved frequently even when frequent backup schedule is setup); UI is not ergonomic and not designed well (selection of files for backup through the Wizard only with complete rescan each time; not possible to individually unselect files assigned for backup during auto scan as part of predefined file type set; advanced backup options are not available from main window and all Wizard pages; hard to check files status – backed up/pending/not setup for backup); implementation is not stable and reliable (UI process is responsible for starting backup background process).
    – Overall impression of immature product, definitely not on par with competition.

    RESUME: It is hard to justify high SOS Online Backup rankings in many reviews, including those, where other products are reviewed rather objectively.

  2. GB says:

    SOS is not worth one penny. SOS is flawed in every sense. SOS software is so flawed, it does not backup. Want to contact customer support? Good luck! Support is almost invisible. When support does finally answer via e-mail — Support is unable to solve problems. For example — for 2 weeks SOS would not backup. Did SOS ever try to solve the problem? No way. SOS just keeps people waiting and waiting. SOS is hell to use. The only way out of SOS hell is to cancel their backup service.

    Can’t comment on restore issues because SOS can not even backup! If you give SOS your money, you will get nothing in return except misery.

    Any company that ignores their paying customers will go broke sooner or later. The online backup world will be a better place when SOS is out of business.

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