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SOS Online Backup Review

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PROS / The backup speed received an A- in our tests.

CONS / The cost per computer is very high.

 VERDICT / If you're only concerned with performance, then SOS Online Backup is a good cloud data backup service, but the overall value is very low.

SOS Online Backup is a cloud data backup service developed by Infrascale, a developer of cloud disaster solutions. The service prioritizes data security and privacy with zero-knowledge encryption, making it one of the most secure data backup services on our product lineup. It performance was above average in our tests, but the overall value is really low, making it the costliest service in our review.

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For our comparison of online data backup services, we scrutinized the relative cost per computer for 1TB of storage for a large family with five computers, a small family with three computers and an individual. Then we compared performance by testing the backup and restore speeds. This indicates the service's network bandwidth quality and the desktop app's performance. Finally, we rated each app's ease of use from the perspective of a novice user.

In early 2016, SOS Online Backup restructured its subscription plans and pricing. Prior to the restructure, the service offered unlimited storage for up to five computers. Now, the subscriptions are delineated by storage ranging from 50GB to 10TB. For our review, we chose 1TB as the comparative benchmark. SOS Online Backup costs $399.99 under the new structure. The subscription still covers up to five computers, which helps diffuse the costs, but it's still the most expensive service in our review. In comparison, the most valuable service costs just $59.50 for 1TB and unlimited computers. This is why SOS Online Backup received an F in each level of our cost evaluation.

In terms of performance, this cloud data backup service posted an exceptionally fast backup speed in our tests, receiving an A-. The average MB-per-minute rate suggests it could take about a week to complete a 1-TB backup set, making it one of the fastest apps. However, the backup process received a C- for Ease of Use. While the app has a "Backup Now" button, which allows you to initiate a backup with one click, the first initial backup takes up to nine steps. The easiest apps we reviewed have two or three steps. Also, the app's settings are signified by a cog symbol, which may not be immediately understood by some novices. Overall, the app isn't difficult to use for the average user, but it poses a slight learning curve for a novice.

The restore speed received a B in our tests, which put it well above average, but it was still slower than the backup speed. The restore rate suggests it could restore 1TB in about 10 days. In comparison, the fastest speed in our review was less than four days. The app received a C for Ease of Use. Similar to the backup process, the primary reason for this grade was the number of steps. There are as many as 11 steps between opening the app, choosing the files you want to restore and initiating the process.

As mentioned, SOS Online Backup's priority, as least as it pertains to marketing, is the security and privacy of your data. Every file you back up to the servers are protected with three-layer 256-bit AES encryption. The first encryption occurs when backing up the files from your computer. The second layer occurs when the files are in transit on the network. Finally, a third layer occurs when the files are at rest on the servers.

The best security feature is the private encryption key. You can choose to customize the encryption key before you upload files. This ensures that the encryption key remains on your device. If you're concerned about privacy, you want a service that allows you to customize your encryption key because it means that you are the only person who can ever view the files. The downside is that you can also forget the encryption key, which cannot be reset by the service.

Summary

SOS Online Backup performed well in our backup and restore speed tests and the security features are enough to alleviate any concerns you have about the privacy of your files in the cloud. The major downside is the average ease of use and the low value, as the service has a very high cost per computer for 1TB of storage.

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