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Zoolz Home Review

Zoolz Home at a Glance

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Zoolz Home Review
40 votes, 3.55 avg. rating (70% score)

Our Rating

4 / 5 stars
★★★★☆ 

Price:

  • Free Trial
  • 100GB Plan: $14.99 / year, 1 user
  • 500GB Plan: $49.99 / year, 3 users
  • 1TB Plan: $79.99 / year, 5 users
  • Unlimited Plan: $299.99 / year, 5 users

Pros:

  • Supports Windows & Mac.
  • Able to use Amazon Glacier as cost effective cold storage for files.
  • Private encryption key option.
  • Offers backup seeding but does cost extra.
  • Web and mobile file access.
  • Support for external hard drives and network shares.
  • Hybrid backup (local backup option)
  • Locked file support using VSS.

Cons:

  • No Mac client
  • Cold storage does take longer to restore from.
  • Mobile apps access only.
  • Does not default to SSL connections, needs to be set in settings.

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Full Zoolz Review

Zoolz HomeZoolz Home is the consumer cloud backup service by Genie9. They also offer Zoolz for Business which I reviewed earlier this year. The Zoolz Home service, like the business version, takes advantage of Amazon Cold Storage to help keep their costs for storage low. They recently switched to offering an unlimited storage plan and their service offers some very interesting features that could make them a serious contender in the home cloud backup market.

Getting Started
To get started using Zoolz Home you just need to visit the Zoolz Home website and download the client. Once you download the client you can start the installation and create an account or sign in with an existing account. This is different than the business version where you can create an account on the website and then download the client. They offer a free 14 day trial so you can give it a try without giving them your credit card or purchasing anything. In my review I only used the free trial and had no issues trying the many different features of the service.

Installation
Once the client software is downloaded you can run it and the installation starts. The software will ask you to create an account or login to an existing account. Once you create your account you will be walked through setting up your backup.

Backing Up
The backup wizard starts as soon as the initial setup is complete. You can select the folders and files you would like to backup, set the backup schedule, set a private encryption key if you wish, enable bandwidth throttling and even setup the hybrid/local backup option if you wish. You can also change all of these settings in the Zoolz Home Dashboard later if you want.

Overall the backup setup is fairly easy to get the majority of your files selected. It would be nice if there was the ability to select files by backup sets in case you miss selecting a folder that might be important. There are several nice features available in Zoolz Home that you might not find in other services. The ability to backup external hard drives and network drives is great. I only gave it a short test but had no problem selecting a folder on a mapped drive for backup.

The Hybrid backup is also an excellent feature that only a few other services have. It allows you to maintain a local backup using the Zoolz Home client. I gave it a mapped drive location and the files were all copied over to that location and to the cloud as well.

One of the few negative options I had of the client was the default to not connect using SSL for file transfers. You can turn it on but the default was off. This in my opinion should not even be an option it should just be set to use SSL.

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Restoring
It is important to remember that Zoolz Home uses Amazon Cold Storage, because it does delay how quickly you can restore your files from them. You can use either the web portal to select files for restoring or the desktop client. No matter which you use you will have to wait 3-5 hours before your files are available. This could be frustrating to some users but not much different than other services. If you use the private encryption key option you will need to provide the web portal with the key to restore.

The restore I did worked perfectly. It did take 4 hours before the files were available to download but they were all present and complete. I did not try a restore when I was using the Hybrid local backup, this should make your restore process much faster since you can restore from a local backup instead of the cloud.

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Mobile App
Zoolz Home offers mobile apps for Android and iOS. I did not try the mobile apps this time around since I tried them when I reviewed the business version. I just know they are available.

Web Portal
The Zoolz Home web portal offers many of the standard web portal options but it definitively scaled down from the Business version and it going to mostly be used to restore files. You can do some basic file management tasks like deleting files, but there is no way to upload files or share them at the present time.

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Overall
Zoolz Home is a feature rich unlimited cloud backup solution that focuses on backup of home users files. The support of external hard drive, mapped drives and local backup options make the service one, if not the least expensive, services available for home users to backup their files. The service has certainly changed considerably since it launched and Genie9 has added some excellent features into the service to make it a service worth looking at.

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18 Responses to Zoolz Home Review

  1. Daniel says:

    I find Zoolz the most suitable cloud backup for my needs, I have 2 TB of data, photos, documents, setup files and other files. looking at the prices from other vendors, Zoolz is the most convenient option, $600 / year for 2 TB is great for me, I tried the demo and did not have any issues, I became a Zoolz customer and Done a big restore twice with no problems at all, It completely fits my needs I have to be fair.

    • Daniel,
      $600/2TB/year of storage is HORRIBLE especially if it is for home use. Granted the price you quoted is the Zoolz business price but if you are using that for home here are some other options I think are more affordable.

      You could buy:
      6 – 2TB Western Digital Hard Drives at $96/each last I checked at Amazon. http://bit.ly/1zWaou8
      You could get a 10TB plan at IDrive for $499.50 / year
      You could get unlimited plans from Backblaze ($50), CrashPlan ($59.99), Carbonite ($59.99) or SOS Online Backup ($79.99)

      If it is for business I think CrashPlan Pro still beats that price. Might be something to consider if you want to save some money.

  2. Paulsen says:

    If you are looking to save money for a backup company, I would not go with Zoolz. The price is low, but the backup is not reliable, takes long and lacks features. The lack of reliability is the real issue and I could have lived with the other items. They deactivate accounts for lack of activity so you need to choose data that changes somewhat frequently but the recovery time on is so long that I did not want to use it for my active folders. Once the data is gone, it is gone and no assistance in recovery. Compare this to Acronis who worked with me for a month when they had a corruption as I changed versions. In addition, I found that the program apparently did not update itself on its own like Acronis, Norton or Idrive.
    So it is cheap, but I suggest just saving your money and getting nothing compared to getting Zoolz. I like Acronis the best even though I had an issue and I like Idrive for my large low cost solution.

  3. Darryl says:

    I’ve been trying to back up 120 GB from my home network since November of last year. It still has not completed.

    I find this software flaky and I have not been able to stop it from hogging the entire house’s network traffic and grinding everything to a halt.
    I have tried throttling and scheduling.
    I have also tried Netbalancer.
    Zoolz does whatever and whenever it wants.
    Alas after almost a year I’m going to uninstall it.
    I don’t have faith that if disaster happens that I am covered.

    • Ramon says:

      This is my experience. Zoolz often crashes shortly into a backup. Then I have to shut it down, clear the cache, and start over again. Having unlimited storage is of little use if you can’t fill it. :-(

  4. JC says:

    Zoolz has increased the price of its unlimited plan many folds.

  5. Jolie says:

    Love this product i fully support Genie9, i have never faced any issues using any of their software backups, very user friendly and couldn’t be safer since you are backing up all your data on Amazon as you have mentioned.

  6. Ben says:

    If the computer I have registered with zoolz for the backup is dead, can I restore all files to a new computer?

  7. Anil says:

    FYI – Zoolz has a OSX client. Seems a little quirky though (it estimated a 400 Gb backup for my 200 Gb disk).

  8. User says:

    Their program doesn’t backup empty folders, this can be a problem.

    • Why would this be a problem? I have been trying to think of a reason you would want to have empty folders and why would you want to back them up? Can you explain why this is a problem for you?

      • User says:

        Empty folders are important if you want to preserve directory structure of projects. For example, Git has empty subfolders in its directory, and I want to make sure that the restored folder structure is the same as it was in original. Same is true for other cases, and I can’t guarantee that all the programs will work right if you remove their subfolders even the empty ones.

  9. Jack says:

    I tried all your top cloud software’s, and I found the best one is Zoolz, i got the 1 TB Cloud plan for only $25, it comes with unlimited users and servers, which is great, and they use Amazon AWS, so i know my data is safe, I installed it on our 3 servers and 10 computers, and we uploaded around 900 GB of data in no time
    You can manage everything remotely, the only thing i found missing is more advanced reporting, but they said more reporting options are coming soon

    Thanks
    Jack

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