Lifehacker over the weekend had a Hive Five call for the best online backup service. The top five services that were nominated were: Bitcasa, Backblaze, Carbonite, CrashPlan and SpiderOak. Now that the voting is all done here are the results of the best online backup service according to Lifehacker and their readers.
No surprise that CrashPlan won the Lifehacker for best online backup. Lifehacker and their readers have a history of liking the service including having a post showing readers how to build a bulletproof backup solution with it. While I like CrashPlan I find it has a large memory foot print and tends to get in the way of everyday running of my computers. The machines I have it installed on I make sure it is only scheduled to run at night so the application does not get in the way. When they actually move away from a Java based solution to a native code version the application could solve some of those problems.
Bitcasa coming in second was a surprise. First I was surprised that they made the cut for the top five services and then to make second was a surprise. Not that Bitcasa is a bad service, they are just fairly new only coming out of beta in February. While their service does offer the option to mirror folders to them as a backup their goal really is to move your hard drive to the cloud. It has gotten better since they came out of beta but the service still suffers from a few problems like being slow, it tends to use all available bandwidth making it difficult to do other Internet tasks and large restores are not the easiest to accomplish. It is a service that is growing quickly though and some of these rough spots are sure to get better. Just heard that they signed a deal with Samsung so you could be seeing a lot more of them soon. Now, if they could just get their referral program actually sorted out I would be a happy camper.
Backblaze picked up third spot on the Lifehacker poll. Not surprised that they were on the list, but a little surprised they did not beat out Bitcasa. I am certainly biased here since I have Backblaze picked as the number one here at CloudStorageBuzz.com. For price, ease of use and speed it is hard to beat Backblaze. Granted it is not perfect but it is great for people that don’t want to worry about their data being backed up. For those that use Outlook Backblaze does have a problem backing up locked PST files and the fact that you need to keep external drives connected or they will not be backed up after 30 days can be an issue.
Nice to see Carbonite make the list at fourth. They have been around the longest of all of the services on the list having started in 2005. While the basic home plan has some issues with not backing up videos be default and not backing up external drive their HomePlus and HomePremier plans do have those options. Perhaps the biggest issue with Carbonite and it was pointed out in the Lifehacker comments, is the bandwidth throttle that Carbonite has on the amount of data you upload. It has always been an issue for people that have large collections of data. While all of the services on the list offer some kind of mobile access, Carbonite stands out from the rest on this list with the most full featured mobile app that will not only provide access to your backed up files but also backup your mobile photos and more.
SpiderOak came in fifth on the poll. They are also the only service on the list that is not unlimited in terms of storage. Given the latest revelations about the NSA and the number of privacy concerns with storing data with US based cloud services SpiderOak rises above the rest be defaulting to private encryption keys. They are probably the most secure service on the list, not that any of the services are insecure, but SpiderOak makes it a point to not know what you have in your account. They are also the only service that offers sync on the list. The latest version of SpiderOak has been very impressive since I have been using it and the new SpiderOak Hive folder has been a nice addition for old and new users alike. It is also the best cross platform service running on Windows, Mac and Linux without the need for Java.
Did your favorite service make the Lifehacker poll? I did notice in the Hive Five call that some services were mentioned but did not make the cut to the poll. Some that stand out are Mozy, ElephantDrive, Dolly Drive, PogoPlug and JungleDisk. There was even a vote for Zip Cloud (MyPCBackup) although but they were also voted as the worst service a few times as well.