PROS / The backup speed is very fast.
CONS / The cost per computer is very high.
VERDICT / From a performance perspective, SOS Online Backup is a good cloud backup service, but the value is very low compared to other services.
Developed by Infrascale, SOS Online Backup is a cloud storage service that prioritizes data security and privacy. This makes it one of the most secure cloud backup services in our review. And while the backup and restore speeds performed well in our tests, the overall value of the service is very low because the cost per computer simply doesn't compare to the best cloud backup services.
For our comparison of cloud backup services, we evaluated the relative cost per computer for 1TB of storage at three levels: a large family with five computers, a small family with three computers and an individual. To gauge performance, we tested the backup and restore speed, as this is an indication of the service's network bandwidth and the desktop app's performance. Finally, we evaluated the app's ease of use from the perspective of a novice user.
SOS Online Backup recently restructured its subscription plans and pricing. The service used to offer unlimited storage for up to five computers. The personal subscription still includes five computers, but now you have to choose between 50GB and 10TB of storage. Since our review compares the relative value of subscriptions with at least 1TB of storage, we reviewed the 1TB plan, which costs $399.99 per year. The subscription costs the same regardless of whether you're an individual or a large family with five computers. As such, this makes it one of the most expensive online backup services available.
By comparison, the most valuable cloud backup service in our review costs $59.50 annually for the same amount of storage among the same number of computers. This cost difference is easily the biggest downside of SOS Online Backup. This is why the service earned a failing grade at each level of our value analysis.
The best aspect of SOS Online Backup is the file backup performance, which received an A-. In our tests, the app recorded an average backup speed that suggests it could take about 3.5 days to complete a 1TB backup set. This was among the fastest backup speeds in our tests. Of course, it's important to note that these speeds are relative. Your backup speeds will differ according to your own bandwidth limitations and PC specifications.
The backup process received a C- for Ease of Use. The app has a "backup now" button, which we like to see because it allows you to initiate a backup with one click. However, setting up the first initial backup comprises up to nine steps. Most cloud backup apps we reviewed have three steps. In addition, the app uses a cog symbol, or gear symbol, for the settings button, which requires some experience from a novice user. Overall, it's not a difficult app to use, but it poses a slightly steeper learning curve to a novice user.
SOS Online Backup's restore speed was also good, though not nearly as good as the backup performance. The app received a B in our tests on a PC, recording a speed that suggests you could restore 1TB of data in less than 10 days. For Ease of Use, the app received a C in our evaluation of the restore process. As with the backup process, the primary reason for this grade was the number of steps involved in the restore process. We counted as many as 11 mouse clicks between choosing the files you want to restore and actually initiating a restore. Again, it's not difficult, but it poses some difficulty for a novice user.
Security and privacy are SOS Online Backup's priority. The service protects all of your files, whether backed up from a desktop or a mobile phone, with triple-layer 256-bit encryption. The first layer of encryption occurs before backing up your files. The second layer is when the files are being uploaded or downloaded from the servers. Finally, the files are encrypted a third-time while at rest on the servers.
The best security feature is the option to customize the encryption key during the first layer of encryption. A private encryption key means you're the only one who can decrypt and view the files. However, this option comes with some responsibility on your part because forgetting the key means you can't access the files. The service can't reset it, as they can with login passwords.
SOS Online Backup is one of the most secure online backup services you can use because it features triple-layer encryption with a private encryption key. The backup speed was very fast in our tests, and the restore speed was also above average. However, the overall Ease of Use was just average, and the service has a very high cost per computer for 1TB of storage.