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Joshua Colp

#VoIP enthusiast, #FibreOP evangelist, #Fintech newbie, #VideoStreaming experimenter

Offsite Backups


I’m fortunate to live in a place that gives me awesome internet. This makes offsite backups an easy thing to do BUT I’m also a data hoarder. I retain almost everything I come across and this means that I have a lot of data.

For data held within my house I opt mostly for a storage pool without redundancy. This keeps things relatively low cost. If a hard drive fails I don’t lose complete access to things and I can restore any missing data from elsewhere. For data that I do want to be locally redundant a duplicate copy exists on an external hard drive.

In order to restore the data from elsewhere though it has to be elsewhere in the first place. Over time I’ve gone through a few different companies with each having their pros and cons. This blog post aims to take a look at the two recent ones that I’ve tried: Zoolz and SOS Online Backup. Both of these companies are different because they do not delete data you yourself have removed from your own storage. Once you upload something to them it is there for good, unless you explicitly remove it.


Website: Price: $36 USD/yr

This company is what started me in the realm of “lifetime” storage. They essentially operate as a frontend over Amazon Glacier, meaning that their storage costs are pretty much fixed based on the pricing that Amazon discloses. They can’t alter this… which means they try to keep their costs low. While they state you can upload an unlimited amount in practice I found that they throttle you (but don’t admit it) the more you use. I started out at 30Mbps up, then dropped to 20Mbps, then dropped to 10Mbps. This occurred over time the more I uploaded. Some talking to others on Twitter confirmed that they saw similar behavior which made me look for someone else. The software itself is also resource intensive and seems to take longer to upload files as it “prepares” them. What that means exactly… I’m not quite sure. Restores were standard Glacier slow getting prepared, with transfer speeds down being fast.

SOS Online Backup

Website: Price: $59.99 USD/yr

SOS Online Backup has been around for awhile but has only recently (the last year or less) provided an unlimited plan. They use their own storage so they aren’t dependent on another company. Unlike Zoolz I’ve seen no slowdown for speeds with this company. My upload fluctuates between 40Mbps and 60Mbps all the time. I just keep giving them data and they keep taking it. The software is also less resource intensive than Zoolz and seems to come from an enterprise background. Restores are instantly available and transfer speeds are better than Zoolz.

So which one?

If you have a lot of data OR you want instant restore, go for SOS Online Backup.

If you have a small set of initial data (250GB) and over time you’re just going to add stuff here and there AND you can live with waiting hours for a restore, go for Zoolz.

Personally I’ve chosen to go with SOS Online Backup and have many terabytes backed up with them.