Since you're probably going to be paying for a backup service for years, cost is an important factor to consider. All the services rounded up here are subscription-based, but they partition their features and fees differently, so it's worth comparing plans closely before committing to one. Most construct pricing tiers based on the amount of cloud storage included, however, or by the number of devices you can use with an account. A few services offer permanent free accounts, but those plans impose paltry storage limits or restrict key features to the paid versions. Watch out for file-size upload limits as well.
SpiderOak is well known as one of the most privacy-centric cloud storage services, but it's also a great backup service. The same power and features that you get for file syncing and access extend to its backup client, and SpiderOak's "Zero Knowledge" policy extends to your backups as well. Even they don't know what you're storing on their servers, and all of your data is encrypted on their servers and before it leaves your computer. The SpiderOak desktop client has a fully-featured backup tool in it that lets you back up your entire desktop, documents, email, music, or movies right to the cloud, or you can hit the "Advanced" tab and pick the files and folders you want to save, including external drives, network drives, or anything else on your computer. As you add files to your backup job, you'll get a live preview of how much space you'll use with what kinds of files, and whether you have space for it. SpiderOak supports Windows, OS X, and Linux, has mobile apps for iOS and Android, can do incrementals, and if you uncheck a file to stop backing it up, the files will still live in your SpiderOak account, just as an archive. Your backups happen in the background, or when you schedule them.
You can either tear out your hair when a disaster strikes your hard drive or you can prepare for it ahead of time, but data loss is as inevitable as death and taxes. An online backup service is one of the best ways to protect yourself against such threats as a crashed hard drive or accidental deletion. Natural disasters such as fires, floods, and earthquakes can also spell the end of your digital media and documents. Even if you're among the very few who diligently perform local backups at regular intervals, you could still lose data if you don't store backups offsite.
Ben Moore is an Analyst for PCMag's software team covering video streaming services, security software, GNU/Linux, and the occasional PC game. He has previously written for Laptop Mag, Neowin.net, and Tom's Guide. Ben holds a degree in New Media and Digital Design from Fordham University at Lincoln Center, where he served as the Editor-in-Chief of The Observer, the student-run newspaper.
This is a Chrome extension that actually works from the Web Store—because it doesn't let you download YouTube videos. It time marks snippets you can share (only from YouTube). First create an account and log in. The extensions icon turns green on a YouTube page—click it to create the times you want, and they are then saved and easily shared; the viewer goes back to YouTube and sees what you specify. It's not really close to saving a video for your offline use, but could be useful in certain circumstances.
Carbonite's lowest tier plan, Safe Basic, runs $6.00 /month ($71.99 /year). There are two higher tiers available as well, called Safe Plus and Safe Prime, and run $9.34 /month ($111.99 /year) and $12.50 /month ($149.99 /year), respectively. Each tier is a bit cheaper if two or three years is paid upfront. Plus, they each have a few extras over the base service like external hard drive and mirror image support.
In tests, I had to make a switch from MP4 to MKV format to get my test video to download in 4K. 4KVD snagged the 579.4MB file in about 43 seconds. It defaults back to 1080p HD, so I made the same switch when downloading an Ultra High Definition (8K) playlist. If you enable the Smart Mode and its pre-sets, 4K Video Downloader can then do one-click downloads to your favorite format. If you want to download more than 25 videos at a time or subscribe to YouTube channels to instantly download the latest, that requires the $15 paid version. Playback of the MKV file via VLC Media Player was flawless.
BackBlaze doesn't have an offline component, so you'll have to handle that yourself, but it's by far one of the most affordable options on the market. Accounts are $5/mo (you get a break if you pay up front for one or two years), and you can add more computers to the same account for another $5/mo. You can read more about Backblaze's pricing options here.
You never know what’s going to be pulled down from your favorite social media sites. That means, if the show is removed, you wouldn’t have any way to access it. If you’ve already downloaded that information, however, you’ll be able to pull it back up and watch it over and over again, however frequently you want. You don’t have to worry about whether it’s going to still be available on the social media site you use when you go back to it.
With this online YouTube channel downloader, you have the ability to download the YouTube channel you want completely free, as long as it’s not copyrighted. This service provides downloads for what it considers ‘educational purposes.’ It does block any kind of content that has copyrighted material in it, which means you’re not going to have quite as many options for what you want to download, but you’re still going to have a lot of interesting things that you can listen to or watch. What’s really great is that it’s simple to use.
Backblaze earned praise from many of you for being easy to set up, even for non-technical people. It's built for people who want to get their data backed up, without being forced to search for error codes and cryptic status messages whenever something goes wrong. To that point, Backblaze backs up just about everything on your system. You get some control over what's backed up and what isn't, but the point is to be fast, easy, and hands-off, so everything on your system—documents, music, video, external drives you have plugged in, just about anything. Instead of telling what they do back up, Backblaze actually has a special page dedicated to what they don't back up instead. Backblaze offers unlimited storage for your backed up data, and while by default it only backs up files smaller than 4GB, you can bump that up if you need to. Like other online backup services, it runs in the background, backing up your data all the time (or when you schedule it to, if you prefer), and your data is encrypted so only you have access to it. It supports Windows and OS X, and is smart enough to de-dupe data, do incremental backups, and keep backup processes low on system resources. You can read more about Backblaze's features here.
Backblaze earned praise from many of you for being easy to set up, even for non-technical people. It's built for people who want to get their data backed up, without being forced to search for error codes and cryptic status messages whenever something goes wrong. To that point, Backblaze backs up just about everything on your system. You get some control over what's backed up and what isn't, but the point is to be fast, easy, and hands-off, so everything on your system—documents, music, video, external drives you have plugged in, just about anything. Instead of telling what they do back up, Backblaze actually has a special page dedicated to what they don't back up instead. Backblaze offers unlimited storage for your backed up data, and while by default it only backs up files smaller than 4GB, you can bump that up if you need to. Like other online backup services, it runs in the background, backing up your data all the time (or when you schedule it to, if you prefer), and your data is encrypted so only you have access to it. It supports Windows and OS X, and is smart enough to de-dupe data, do incremental backups, and keep backup processes low on system resources. You can read more about Backblaze's features here.
NOTE: Beware of the ad traps on some helper sites—ads that look like they should be the download button to get your desired content, but they are not. Also, depending on the ad network employed by the site, your own virus detection software may throw up some warnings. The more the developers of sites rely on ads they don't control, or resort to trying to get you to place something on your system as "payment," the worse off we all are.
If you’re looking to download a whole YouTube channel at one time, this is definitely one way that you can do it. WinX YouTube Downloader can download over 1000 URLs. Even more, it has support for different YouTube playlists and channels and even gives you the ability to record your own live videos, so this is one platform that can definitely achieve a whole lot more than you might have thought. On top of that, it doesn’t give you any kind of ads (because who wants to watch those?) and it lets you download from just about any kind of platform and into just about any kind of file.
Bitcasa Infinite Drive is relatively new, but it's one of your favorite cloud storage providers in general, mostly because they offer virtually unlimited stroage for syncing and backups. When we say unlimited, we mean it—some of you are using terabytes of storage with Bitcasa. It's not primarily a backup service though, and while it was built for file syncing and storage, the Bitcasa desktop client does support regular file backups. Bitcasa supports Windows and OS X, and encrypts all of your files before uploading so they stay safe from prying eyes. Bitcasa even keeps revision history, so if you've backed up a file multiple times and need an older version, you can pick it out and restore it. Plus, you can use the Bitcasa mobile apps for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone to access your data on the go.
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