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Free Backup Plans are a great way to save money while evaluating backup companies and services. Not all companies offer Free Plans and the ones that do are hoping you will upgrade to a paid plan, which you may or may not need to.
IDrive is located in Calabasas, CA. They are owned by Pro Softnet Corp. Their free plans is quite attractive because it offers more space than others. You will get 5GB of FREE storage to start off your online backup with IDrive.
After working with IDrive's software it is clear that they give you more options with your free account. These features include scheduled backups, auto throttle, file/folder sharing, and more. Many customers prefer the free plan because it's larger than other free plans.
Mozy started in 2005 and has offices around the world. They offer a basic 2GB plan to get you started. Most of their customers find them through their large advertising presence and partnerships with certain technology companies.
After using Mozy free for a few months, there have only been a small amount of complaints. It's easy to use software and it mimics the natural file structure of your computers. It will not be easy to back up more than simple documents and files with the free version.
2GB's of Free storage isn't a lot these days. However, Dropbox has been making a name for itself in the iPhone and Apple market with it's trendy app. They have been around since 2007 and grown significantly.
Their software is stable and robust. It's easy to get started and use. A common complaint is that all files must be duplicated or moved to the Dropbox folder to be synced and backed up.
Top 5 Things to consider when looking for the Best Free Backup Plan
There is no such thing as a free lunch, most of the companies offer free plans in hopes that you will move up to one of their paid plans. Follow these tips to help find the best free backup plan.
This one is pretty easy, how much space do you get with the free account. It is typically 2GB, 3GB or 5GB
Chances are you will want to increase you storage limit, so it is good to know how what the cost will be as well as how much storage space you will get. Yes you can switch to a different backup provider but it will take some effort to switch everything over and go through all of the testing to ensure that the backups are working properly. Save you self some time and find the best free account with an easy upgrade path to more space.
This tip goes for all levels of accounts, whether it is free or enterprise class. You want to be sure that the software is well written free of bugs and can be easily uninstalled. The backup software should also run quietly in the background and not take up many resources.
Since you are not paying the company any money for the free service, the tech support is often limited. Support will range from none, to forum only, to low priority email support. Depending on your level of expertise and comfort level with forums you might be okay. If you are not that familiar with computers be sure to look for a plan that is easily upgradeable in the event you need help.
Sure the plan is free but that is not the total cost, be sure to include your time and effort. If the solution looks like a great deal but the company does not have a proven track record, save yourself the headache and look for a solution from a well known backup company.
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