SOS Online Backup works a bit differently than a service like Amazon's Cloud Drive, which I reviewed yesterday. Cloud Drive is a generic online storage service while SOS is specifically a back up service which uses a client on the user's machine for backup while accessing all files can be done through a web browser. This means that it only backs up data that you have on your computer or external harddrives hooked up to that computer.
Space: For home data back up, SOS offers a 50GB & 100GB plan.
Reliability: SOS Online backup has been around since 2001 and has been chosen as PC Magazine award winner. SOS Online also just recieved 3 million dollars in investment money from Splashpond this month so they have the financing to stay around.
Budget: There is a free 14 day trial plan which allows you to get a feel for SOS. Pricing package for the 50GB is $79.95/year for 5 PC access and $99.95 a year for 100GB. More info HERE
File Sharing: Any folder or file backed up with SOS Online can be shared with anyone you want. You can choose between a friend already registered with SOS, a generic friend or Facebook. You need to have an email address for the friend you want to share with.
Security: For password protection they use the typical create a password as well as supply an answer for a personal question. They also provide the option to use "Ultrasafe" which makes your password unretrievable. As for your data, SOS claims it is secure from loss because it is backed up on drives at their datacenter which are also backed up on a redundant server. As far as being safe from hackers, SOS says that they use a three layer encryption. Read more HERE.
Platform Compatibility: Can be accessed through a web browser on PC or Mac. There is also an ap to access data from your iphone or BlackBerry.
Interface: I set up a free 14 day trial and installed the client on my machine. The back up client UI was very straight forward and intuitive. Likewise, the web interface for recovering files through a PC or Mac was simple and intuitive.
Conclusion: Based on what I've seen so far with the free trial, I like SOS Online Backup. The size of the space offered is adequate and it can be used to back up multiple PCs in your household which I like. SOS Online seems like an established company that has been around for 10 years so I don't have any worries about them dissappearing with my data overnight. The service is not free, but the fee seems reasonable when you think that you can back up multiple PCs and harddrives on the same account. The filesharing is pretty straight forward and I like the fact that you can share a whole folder or just one file and since the file access is through the web and not an FTP client this will work for even your least tech savvy folks. Security on SOS seems far more acceptable and robust than Amazon Cloud Drive. The files can be accessed anywhere if you have access to a web browser or an iphone or Blackberry, this allows me to not drag my external harddrive with my laptop everywhere. The interface is simple and straightforward even for less technically inclined folks. I like this service alot and so far is at the top of my list for a solution. The only thing I'm not very excited about is the cost... but not everything is free.
You can read the CNET review of SOS Online Backup HERE
Next solution investigated... Dropbox!
Until next time... over N out