SOS On-line Backup is a longtime PCMag Editors’ Selection for on-line backup companies, thanks partly to its wealthy set of options and quick efficiency. SOS on-line additionally gives the next stage of safety than most opponents, in addition to some particular options, resembling the flexibility to again up concurrently to a neighborhood folder and really archive your recordsdata. SOS is not with out its flaws, particularly its excessive price and outdated cell apps, however these are comparatively minor shortcomings. For its superior backup capabilities and glorious privateness choices, SOS On-line retains its Editors’ Selection distinction alongside IDrive and Acronis True Picture.
Pricing and Plans
SOS is likely one of the most costly on-line backup choices we have reviewed. For $four.99 per thirty days or $44.99 per yr, you get 50GB of storage to be used with as much as 5 computer systems and limitless cell gadgets. Paying $7.99 per thirty days or $79.99 per yr bumps the restrict as much as 100GB. Plans can be found all the best way as much as a whopping 10TB for $299.99 per thirty days or $2,999.99 per yr.
By comparability, Carbonite gives limitless storage for one PC for $59.99 per yr, whereas IDrive provides you 2TB of area for a limiteless variety of computer systems at $69.50 per yr. There isn’t any free storage plan for SOS On-line Backup—there’s nothing like IDrive’s 5GB free account—however a free trial account enables you to take a look at the waters for 15 days. Moreover, we admire that signing up for the trial would not require a bank card. The SOS On-line Backup software program is on the market for Window Vista by means of Home windows 10, and Macs working OS X 10.eight as much as macOS Excessive Sierra.
SOS gives just a few choices in terms of defending your backups. After coming into an account e-mail and password, you need to use customary password safety, wherein your encryption secret is maintained on SOS On-line’s servers. You can even decide one in all two ultra-security decisions: Commonplace UltraSafe and UltraSafe Max. With each of those latter two choices, not even SOS employees has entry to your encryption key. Remember that the UltraSafe Max possibility requires you to make use of a separate passphrase to decrypt your recordsdata and solely permits you to take action on the unique laptop. You possibly can swap between any of those account varieties at a later date, however you have to delete any backup units first.
Nevertheless, there are some drawbacks with the UltraSafe Max possibility, since you will not be capable of use the online portal or cell gadgets in the event you use this feature. You alone possess the password for decrypting your backed-up information. Managing your personal key prevents the corporate from handing over your information to regulation enforcement, even when compelled to by a warrant. Nevertheless, in the event you lose the important thing, even SOS staff will not be capable of retrieve your information in an unencrypted state, so it is most likely sensible to have a password supervisor bear in mind it for you. For all however probably the most privacy-minded, selecting customary might be a good suggestion.
With the safety choice out of the best way, SOS brings up its backup wizard. It preselects all paperwork, images, music, and movies, and you may change this choice in later steps. SOS conveniently calculates the whole area required and the variety of recordsdata chosen at this stage. The subsequent display screen reveals a file browser, from which you’ll customise the choice additional and add information filters, although you possibly can’t preview any recordsdata right here. You can even select to incorporate community or exterior drives for backup. The sky is just about the restrict—there are not any file dimension or kind restrictions on uploads.
Subsequent, it is time to decide on a schedule for the backup, which may be something from hourly to month-to-month. From the scheduling display screen, you possibly can direct SOS to concurrently again up recordsdata to a neighborhood folder, in addition to specify how lengthy it retains recordsdata on-line after they’re deleted or in the event that they go unedited for a while on the native machine.
SOS would not provide a real steady backup possibility for your complete backup set, in contrast to a lot of its opponents. For essential recordsdata, you possibly can right-click on the choice within the backup set folder tree and select Allow LiveProtect. Whenever you do that, a brand new model of the file is routinely uploaded to on-line storage each time you alter the unique. Different companies, like IDrive and Acronis True Picture, make this a lot less complicated, and we want to see this characteristic reworked.
When the backup course of begins, a brand new dialog pops up, displaying its progress and even the presently processing file. You possibly can pause the method, however there is not any estimate of how lengthy the entire operation will take. Superior choices allow you to throttle the info utilization by megabytes per day, in case you might have ISP information limits. Within the newest model, SOS launched true bandwidth throttling, versus the info cap strategies it used beforehand.
The desktop utility on Home windows is useful, however there are design elements that want enchancment. For instance, the primarily grey interface seems to be dated, and many of the home windows do not resize. Moreover, the font within the Superior Choices menus is troublesome to learn. We like the principle interface’s outstanding Remaining Storage indicator and Backup Now button.
Whenever you click on the wrench icon to the correct of the File and Folder header, it takes you thru the identical backup wizard as while you first arrange the software program, every time. We want you may entry particular choices extra simply. New to the most recent model is an Superior Folder Backup possibility, which sits immediately under. This module enables you to arrange folders on completely different backup schedules and specify some new retention insurance policies, resembling Replicate or Without end Save. You possibly can even set recordsdata to remain on-line briefly or schedule their native deletion and subsequent add to cloud storage.
SOS nonetheless would not have right-click so as to add choices in File Explorer menu, which Carbonite and IDrive each provide. Additionally, it solely presents a notification space icon whereas backups are working. Different companies depart an always-accessible icon right here.
We examined SOS On-line’s backup pace by importing two separate 100MB backups of blended content material varieties and file sizes. Subsequent, we calculated the common time it took to finish the method. We used PCMag’s quick (100Mbps up) company web connection in order that bandwidth would not be the limiting pace issue.
SOS On-line got here in near the highest of our backup pace take a look at, with a time of 1:17 (
SOS’s restoration instrument is extremely useful and one in all its finest options, though, once more, its design is dated. To entry this module from the desktop utility, simply click on the View/Restore tab from the principle display screen. You possibly can seek for explicit recordsdata, browse a folder tree, or just restore your total backup to the My SOS Restores folder, with the unique folder construction optionally preserved. You possibly can recuperate all variations of a file by choosing a easy checkbox or use a calendar to get recordsdata again from a selected day. You can even take away recordsdata out of your backup on this part by right-clicking on an merchandise and hitting Delete.
One in all SOS’s claims to fame is that it saves all earlier variations of all backed up recordsdata. Most different companies that save variations restrict them to or as few as six earlier variations (Acronis True Picture) or in some circumstances 12 (Carbonite). We examined SOS On-line’s capacity to save lots of all variations of a file by repeatedly modifying and saving a Microsoft Phrase doc that was protected by LiveProtect. Within the restoration dialog, there is a drop-down arrow within the file’s Date area that gave entry to all the sooner variations. Notice that it’s important to refresh the Restore checklist earlier than these prior variations present up.
Navigating the Internet Shopper
SOS’s legacy internet portal, known as the Centralized Administration Dashboard, remains to be accessible from the desktop interface on the time of this writing. Though it presents an amazing quantity of data, it really works rapidly and extends the performance of the desktop expertise significantly. The primary dashboard shows an outline of accomplished backups, account particulars and entry to your cloud information. Further options embody a Monitoring tab, which reveals the backup standing and detailed data on each linked machine, and a Reporting part, which lists the small print of each backup job ever carried out. This console additionally permits distant management for backups on different gadgets together with distant machine location and wiping, a nifty instrument not discovered in lots of companies.
The brand new internet interface, known as My Account (presently in beta) is visually less complicated, although it presently lacks options discovered within the older model. The primary interface reveals a high menu with account administration, sharing, and restore choices. Under that, there are 4 completely different icons for Footage, Movies, Music, and Paperwork within the middle, and an outline of programs configured for backup on the underside.
Whenever you click on on any one in all these classes, it shows all the recordsdata in your backup of that kind. Sadly, there is not any approach to filter or arrange content material, which makes it troublesome to seek out recordsdata with out particularly trying to find them.
From the Restore and Share menu merchandise or by clicking a particular backup machine from under, you possibly can view the recordsdata in your backup. Nevertheless, it is annoying to navigate, because it solely enables you to transfer down one file stage at a time. You possibly can recuperate particular person recordsdata or folders from the online or share them through e-mail, although the previous is finest left to the desktop interface. In contrast to IDrive, SOS would not allow you to play music or movies recordsdata on-line, although you need to use it to view images.
SOS gives apps for Android and iOS, although the Android app hasn’t been up to date in over a yr and the iOS app was final up to date in 2015. As we write this, it doesn’t help iOS 11, although SOS confirmed that it’s engaged on making it suitable. The primary app interface is cut up into 4 sections, My Cloud, Shield, My Downloads, and My Favorites, however there is a ton of wasted area and the icons look archaic. You possibly can run just a few backup duties out of your cell machine and, after all, entry any recordsdata already in your backup, however you possibly can’t view photographs, play music, or watch movies from the app.
Should you begin your SOS account by means of an app, you get a free 5GB account for backing up the cell machine’s images and contacts. You possibly can share any file out of your backup through the app, however you possibly can’t password-protect the share or set a timeout interval. We want SOS would put extra work into the cell expertise, as it’s falling behind opponents resembling SugarSync and IDrive on this regard.
SOS Could Save Your Ship
SOS On-line Backup has three very advantageous feathers in its cap. Its backup speeds are among the many quickest we have examined, it saves all earlier variations of recordsdata, and it gives unmatched safety choices. These sturdy factors, together with native backup capabilities and helpful restore choices, assist it safe an Editors’ Selection distinction for on-line backup companies, alongside IDrive and Acronis True Picture.
If you wish to keep away from utilizing a web based backup service for no matter motive, however nonetheless wish to shield your recordsdata, check out our roundups of native backup software program and exterior onerous drives.