Best overall

CrashPlan

See at CrashPlan

With plenty of backup options, including peer-to-peer, local external drives, and network drives, CrashPlan is the best online backup service for most people. It has strong 446-bit encryption, plus you can request to create your own encryption key, giving you sole access to your files. The app is easy to use, backup speeds are fast, and your options when it comes to customizing how you back up your files are extensive.

Bottom line: For the best overall online backup service, check out CrashPlan.

One more thing: If you're interested in dealing with drive images, check out our runner-up, IDrive.

Why CrashPlan is the best

Thanks to fast backup speeds, low PC usage, extensive backup customization, and strong 448-bit encryption with a custom key, CrashPlan ranks among the top three backup services on multiple sites, including top pick at The Wirecutter and Tom's Guide. In the latter site's review, ease-of-use is stressed:

CrashPlan offers all the features you would want in an online backup service: good value, easy setup, and relatively painless file restoration. Your files are continuously backed up, and deleted files are saved indefinitely, so you never need to worry about digital disasters again.

On top of online backup, CrashPlan also offers free peer-to-peer backups, meaning you can save your important files on other trusted PCs. This service does not handle disk images, but you can enjoy unlimited storage space for one PC with the Individual plan for about $60 a year or unlimited space for 10 devices for about $150 a year. CrashPlan also supports network drive backups, making it ideal for anyone with a NAS setup in their home.

Runner-up

IDrive

See at IDrive

IDrive has no limit to how many separate devices you can backup, but there is a 1TB limit to storage space. It was awarded Editors' Choice by PCMag and picked as the number one pick for online backup services by Top Ten Reviews, who said in their review:

IDrive is the best cloud backup service because it balances exceptional value with performance and usability. This is the easiest desktop app to use in our review, and the backup and restore speeds are very fast.

IDrive uses 256-bit encryption and offers personal keys so you have sole access, and it allows for drive images to be stored. If your PC crashes, these images can be used to restore your OS.

Bottom line: For a great online backup service that too deals with drive images, check out IDrive.

One more thing: There is a free 5GB backup option available for anyone who wants to give IDrive a try.

Best budget

Backblaze

See at Backblaze

Backblaze has an intuitive app that automatically backs up everything on your drive except apps and system files, making it a breeze to use. There is no storage limit and no file-size limit, you can back up external drives, but you won't be able to back up network drives unless you go with a business plan. There are also no peer-to-peer backups like CrashPlan offers.

Nevertheless, it was chosen as the runner-up to CrashPlan by The Wirecutter and Tom's Guide, where the latter site noted:

Backblaze is excellent if you're looking for the cheapest online backup option that still offers serious file protection.

If it's a no-nonsense backup service you're looking for, Backblaze will get you there cheaper than the rest for the storage you're getting at about $50 per year.

Bottom line: For a great, no-nonsense online backup service that doesn't cost quite as much for unlimited storage, check out Backblaze.

One more thing: Backblaze has a mailing service that will ship you up to a 4TB hard drive containing your files. It costs a premium, but if you mail the drive back within 30 days, you'll receive a refund.

Conclusion

If you'd like to deal with backing up full system images, have a look at IDrive. For unlimited storage for only about $4 a month, have a look at Backblaze. If you want to the overall best online backup service, you have to go with CrashPlan.

Best overall

CrashPlan

See at CrashPlan

With plenty of backup options, including peer-to-peer, local external drives, and network drives, CrashPlan is the best online backup service for most people. It has strong, 446-bit encryption, plus you can request to create your own encryption key, giving you sole access to your files. The app is easy to use, backup speeds are fast, and your options when it comes to customizing how you back up your files are extensive.

Bottom line: For the best overall online backup service, check out CrashPlan.

One more thing: If you're interested in dealing with drive images, check out our runner-up, IDrive.