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Cloudswave Editorial Review
Justcloud Review by Cloudswave
Despite the fact that JustCloud is not the new player on the cloud storage market, probably you haven’t heard about it yet. Founded in 2010, this service offers online backup services at a competitive price. There are file sharing options, modern mobile apps and the files could be accessed from any device.
Why you should backup files online?
Each user has its own answer to this question. Some find that it’s convenient to store in the cloud important files that are used rarely. Movies, music, photos, old projects files are among them.
Many users upload data to the cloud because it is easy to share such files with the friends, post links to files on social networks, and so on.
Cloud storage is a convenient way of storing the collections of software that do not require installation (portable versions).
Besides, cloud services are extremely handy for teams working on programming, website development, copywriting, photo processing etc. because all project files could be saved in one place. So every team member can easily get access to any of them when needed.
Using JustCloud for data backup
You shouldn’t pay anything to start using JustCloud. After the quick registration (which doesn’t even require e-mail confirmation) the user is offered to download the desktop client. Software for Windows, Mac and Linux is offered. You can also get the free mobile apps for Android, iOS, Windows 8, Kindle Fire and Blackberry.
The software installation is simple. First, you need to check what data to backup. JustCloud can automatically check the common folders for photos, videos, documents, music, downloads, and desktop items. However there is an option to choose the backup folders by hand. When the folders are checked the client immediately starts the copying process. He speed is quite fast and the user may watch the progress.
The options of the desktop client are limited though. There is no integrated file manager, and if you want to see the backed folders you are redirected to the JustCloud webpage. There is an option to restore the files from the backup in the desktop app, but the features are limited. It is only possible to check some files that are stored in the cloud and choose the local folder for copying. No renaming, moving, deleting or any other file operations are available. You also need to open web browser for file sharing.
There is an option to schedule the backups in the JustCloud client settings. The software can search for the new and changed files daily or according to the user’s schedule (e.g. twice a week or every Sunday). It is possible to set the start backup date and to enable automatic backup pausing at certain period of time. There is also an option to backup files manually. However the possibility of hourly backup is a paid option.
JustCloud also supports incremental backup. This option lets to upload only the changed parts of the files. This is useful when the user has limited bandwidth. The other handy backup option is the Volume Shadow Copy service utilizing. Due to this it is possible to backup files that are already in use or locked. But keep in mind that this option usually increases the memory usage and decreases the backup speed.
Backing up individual files
While JustCloud generally works with folders it is possible to choose files for backup. First of all this is Drag & Drop tab in the desktop app. Just drag the files here and they will be copied to the cloud. The second way of setting up the backup of files is to use the restrictions. Just go to the settings and add the file extensions that will not backed up automatically. Here it is also possible to set the maximum file size for backup. Free users can backup files up to 1 Gb (actually there is no more free space, so if you will backup such a big file it will be the only one in your backup).
There are some ways to increase the available disk space for free. The user can have 100 Mb for each referral and also for the each post about JustCloud on social media sites. You can also get additional 50 Mb for testing the additional features (such as file sharing, downloading the mobile apps etc.). Finally you will get extra 1 GB monthly just for using JustCloud.
How is JustCloud different from the others?
All popular cloud storage services (e.g. Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive) have one thing in common: they sync your files between the devices and provide access to them from any device. So when you read about “Professional cloud storage that will automatically backup all your documents, photos, music, videos and more to the cloud so you are never without files again” you certainly think that JustCloud is one of these services. You think that here you will get some amount of space, then upload your files and that they will be synced automatically. But here is the trick.
Files backed with JustCloud are NOT synced files. Here you have separate space for backup (1 GB for the free account) and for the sync folder. Actually JustCloud refers to the file backup services, but not to the syncing ones. The main purpose of it is transferring the user’s files in the cloud. The files then could be retrieved and saved on the local computer. You get the sync option also, but the sync folder space is limited to ridiculous 15 Mb. Thus this feature is practically useless.
How to order JustCloud with maximum discount?
Do you know these marketing ploys, when they set the higher price, then cross it out and write the new one? Here you are! JustCloud’s plans for home users start from $8.95 a month for the 75 GB of space. But actually anyone can get this just for $2.61. What do you need to get a discount? Just don’t buy immediately.
One of the ways to save is to login into your account and then click the Upgrade link. You will see the page with the buying options. Try to close the page and the popup window will appear offering to receive a 20% discount. Click on the link in this window and try to close the page with tariffs again. You will be offered a 35% discount. Repeat these steps and you will get the final 70% discount (or the actual price, as we can assume). You will then be able to buy any of premium plans from your account using this discount.
There are some other ways of getting the 70% discount (actually only blind will not find the way to get it). For example, each new user gets a “secret” message with the discount link in it. There is also a “secret link” with this info at the bottom of the JustCloud site.
JustCloud has three paid personal and two business plans. They differ in amount of disk space and functionality. The price varies depending on the period of payment: one month, six months, year or 2 years.
Pro Plan offers 75 GB of disk space for $2.61 a month (the price reduces to $1.86 if the user pays for 2 years). Premium Plan users get 250 GB for $2.98 a month ($2.23 if the user pays for 2 years). Ultimate Plan users can backup up to 1 TB of data. The monthly payment is $3.73 for a month if you pay for 2 years, then the cost of one month will be just $2.98.
It is worth noting that some options are not included in this price. For example the recycle bin feature that lets the access to the deleted files during the 30 days from the data of deletion has to be bought additionally. The other extra features include automatic backup of video files, network drive support, hourly backup, the bigger sync folder etc.
Business plans include the additional set of features. Say, there is administrative control panel which can be configured for each user, access rights configuration for each user (files downloading, uploading, editing), the module for collaboration between cloud storage users, the separate disk quota for every user, import of user list to the JustCloud from the CSV file, exporting contacts from MS Outlook, e-mail backup, documents managing.
There are two business plans offered: the Business one offers 100 GB of space and up to 5 connected users, Enterprise plan lets to use JustCloud in a team of 20 with the space limit of 500 GB.
JustCloud is one of the dozens cloud storage services that offer storing your files in the cloud. It is not easy to compete at this populous field, so the great marketing efforts are needed to overtake the more famous players. But JustCloud creators certainly know much about the customer acquisition.
The gigabytes are sold here like the products in large discount stores. JustCloud’s target audience is home users, who are typically not techsavvy. Only such users can’t notice that the service functionality is very poor. Besides, with JustCloud there is a need to pay extra for many features that are typically offered in a box.
Backblaze Review by Cloudswave
Is your hard drive dead? Is the USB flash drive is not readable again? Backblaze knows hundreds of such stories. Since 2007, this software makes online backup of user data and restores files on demand. Among the offered features are quiet task processing in the background, copying of only changed files for saving space, the 30 days storage for deleted files, strong encryption at the user side.
How to backup the files safely?
There are many ways of making the backup of important files. For example, you can save files on the USB flash drive or memory card, burn the files on DVD, buy the external HDD and make a copy there, or just use one of the cloud storage solutions. The last option makes sense because you don’t depend on the storage media and can grab your files even in case of emergency.
But not all cloud storage services may fit well, because if you have a lot of files to backup (photos, videos, music etc.) you should pay extra for the additional space. For example, popular Dropbox offers 1000 Gb of space for $99 a year, e.g. $8.25 a month. And what if you want to backup more than a terabyte of data? Well, another popular cloud provider Google Drive offers 20 TB for $199.99 a month. Pricey, eh?
So, one could think that the more data you need to be stored online the more money you should spend. Well, not actually. It is a great idea to look for the solutions that do not limit the uploaded data. Though it may sound impossible there are such services. Backblaze is one of them. For only $5 a month you get unlimited space to backup all files online.
If it sounds too good to be true you probably will ask what's the catch? Well, actually Backblaze will not replace Google Drive or Dropbox functionality. This software is made only for backup and restoring, and there is no usual sync there. You don’t have sync folder on all your devices; you just copy data to the server and may restore it anytime. And if you want to backup files from the other device you need to pay $5 more.
Start using Backblaze
The registration process is fast and clear (you don’t even need to confirm the email address). Since you downloaded the desktop client for Windows or Mac, you may start your free trial. Backblaze doesn’t offer free version and the new users have 15 days to learn and evaluate the software. Some may be disappointed, but such policy gives an opportunity to keep the price low.
Backblaze automatically finds out all local and external hard drives and immediately starts to backup them. The user may pause the copying if there is not enough bandwidth, but in most cases software silently works automatically in the background mode. The first backup may take several days, a week or even two weeks, but it will not generally prevent you from using computer normally.
After the first backup is finished Backblaze uses incremental backup. E.g. it constantly looks only for new and changed files and uploads it to the server. Backblaze also looks for the deleted files. The files that were deleted from the computer are saved on the cloud server for 30 days and then deleted.
Keep in mind that this rule applies to the external drives too, so to keep the copy of them on your Backblaze account you should connect them no at least once in 30 days.
Additional settings for every user
Though in most cases Backblaze works as it and doesn’t need additional tweaking, there are some useful settings that may be changed if needed.
For example, if you feel that while Backblaze is working the webpages are loaded too slowly, you may reduce the speed of backup. Just go to the “Performance” tab in program settings and turn off the automatic throttle. You then will be able to change the copying speed manually and also set the number of backup threads (from 1 to 10). There is also an option that may prevent the Backblaze from uploading files when the laptop is working on battery power. This will increase the battery life.
Backup time setup
By default the backup occurs continuously, but it is possible to set the daily backup specifying the time of start and end. However there is no flexible configuration of the scheduler.
Say, you can’t choose several days of the week or configure the uploading time for different days separately. On the other hand the automatic backup may be off completely. In this case the user needs to click “Backup Now” button every time when he wants to copy files to the server.
File and folder exclusions
To store the bandwidth (and the disk space at Backblaze datacenter) the software doesn’t copy some data by default. For example, usually there is no need to save the copy of operating system, application folder, and temporary internet files. Such files as ISO (disk images), DMG (mac disk image), VMC VHD VMSN (virtual drives), SYS (system configuration & drivers), EXE (application files), backups like Time Machine and Retrospect RDB are not copied on the server too.
But if the user decides that he actually needs this data it is possible to set the exclusions manually. Just go to the “Exclusions” tab where you can set the folders and file types that will not be backed up. It is also possible to set the file size limit and not upload files that are larger than the size specified (say, 4
Like many other similar solutions Backblaze uses AES encryption on the user’s side. It means that all data is sent on the server in encrypted form. It may be decrypted only per user request, and one needs to provide email and password to do it.
However some may think that such level of security isn’t enough because the password can be retrieved in some way. So there is private encryption key that provides an additional layer of security. The private encryption key is used together with the email and password to decrypt and restore data.
This key is never stored in Backblaze and can’t be retrieved in any way. If the user forgets this key there is no way to restore the decrypted data, so it’s better not to lose it or choose the basic protection instead.
It is possible to recover all backed data at any time. There are several options for restoring: to retrieve the files through web interface, to order USB flash drive (with up to 128 Gb of data) or USB drive (with up to 3 Tb of data). These options are great because the user can get all files even if the computer was burned down, the laptop was stolen etc.
Restoring of files through the web interface is completely free. You just login into your account, go to the ‘’View/Restore Files” section and check the files or folders in online file manager.
Backblaze will prepare the files and once they are ready you will receive the download link through the email. All files are packed into ZIP for convenient download. The ZIP archive is stored on the server for 7 days and may be downloaded as many times as needed.
Web interface may be used not just for the restoring of files. Here you can see the past restores and download the files again, check the backup status and also view the last uploaded files. But maybe the most useful feature of the web interface is “Locate My Computer”. Iа the laptop was stolen this feature may help to retrieve it.
Despite the fact that you may cancel your Backblaze account anytime it is not recommended to do it if your laptop was stolen. If the theft was using your PC with Internet on you will see the statistics collected by the Backblaze software. It includes the last copied files (it may help to find out which files the thief has uploaded in recovering your computer), computer IP address, the ISP that was used, and ISP contacts. Having this data in your hands it is possible to contact the police and include the network address in the police report. And if you worry that the thief may log in into Backblaze account, you may just change the password from the web interface.
Backblaze is simple yet powerful online backup solution that can be used by everyone. There is no need to be a geek to use it. It automatically copies all data that can be valuable for user and continuously monitors all new and changed files.
At the same time it allows some tweaking, making it possible to exclude some files and folders from the backup, to reduce speed or to set the appropriate time for files uploading. Also it’s worth to mention that Backblaze doesn’t limit the amount of files, the file size and disk space. Just for $5 a month you really get truly unlimited backup solution for one device.
Most Favorable Critic Review
I had to admit that I cannot find a better deal elsewhere but JustCloud.
Anyway, the reason of my high recommendation toward JustCloud is not only because of the pricing but the whole package that I’m getting. Furthermore, I’m only paying fraction of the cost for it.
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For the personal user who doesn’t have a ton of files, Backblaze is a very affordable and easy-to-use service that automatically saves all your files without having to think about it. This is a great choice for people who just want to set it and forget it and have access to their files in case of emergency.
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Most Unfavorable Critic Review
JustCloud is garbage. They require you to pay after backing up a small number of files (no 30 day free trial here folks), then try to upsell you a bunch of features that should’ve been included in the first place.
Even with all the extra features, JustCloud still can’t compete with other online backup services, which offer lower prices, no file size limits, and less restrictive settings.
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To be fair, cloud-based backup and restore can be very slow, anyway. Moreover, many users have complained online about a range of problems with competing cloud services, including lengthy restoral processes, installation headaches, exclusion of certain file types from backup, and even loss of data.
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