What is cloud backup?
Computers can suddenly die for any number
of reasons, taking your data with them. Storage drive malfunctions, power
surges, and accidental spills are just a few ways you could be left with an
expensive brick where your files used to be.
If you have important documents, photos,
videos or other files, backing up your data is a must. You can do this using an
external storage drive that plugs into your computer, but you can also back
your files up using an online cloud service.
Cloud backup services let you automatically
sync certain files, folders or even your whole computer to the cloud. Some can also
capture a system image – an exact copy of a drive, including its operating
system and any drivers it needs to run, though this often isn't necessary and
can be a hassle if you don't need it.
Our expert computer testers have extensive
experience in working with a wide range of consumer-level computer-related
technologies, because it's not just about how the computer works but also how it
fits into your digital life.
How we choose what we test
We start by doing extensive market research
to find the right services matched to the purpose, as well as which ones the
public is searching for online.
Cloud backup services usually have multiple
payment tiers, each with different features and data inclusions. We chose the
cheapest plan from each service. As a result, we do not test based on data
inclusions, as cheaper plans usually have significantly less data.
We look to include the most up-to-date and
popular services available but there may be some changes to the pricing models
as this is an industry in which prices can be highly volatile, sometimes
changing even from week to week.
How we test
This test is not aimed at finding you an
online storage solution, as this comes with a different set of parameters.
Where cloud storage is like adding another hard drive to your computer, cloud
backup is like a safe where you keep carbon copies of precious documents,
except it's for digital files and folders.
Our testers look at security, ease of use,
performance and the versatility of features.
Test criteria explained
The overall performance is made up of a
combination of the following:
Ease of use (60%)
Ease of use is judged by going through the
setup (10%), backup (45%) and restore (45%) processes of each service; we
primarily look for an intuitive interface with obvious options for selecting
and unselecting files and folders
Performance is made up of upload (backup)
and download (restore) scores (95%), as well as a system impact score (5%),
which takes into account the available bandwidth and system controls for each
Versatility is judged by looking at what
else each program can do: drive imaging, backing up USB and NAS drives, backing
up to a local location, seeding and physical media delivery, and the
capabilities of the mobile Android and iOS apps of each vendor.
Our test lab
We maintain our own lab that is up to date
with the latest reference machines and calibrated measurement tools for our
testers to bring you the right results.
For any testing required where we don't
have the necessary in-house skill or equipment, such as for batteries, we use
an external expert lab.