J. Lai

Compare free online data backup/storage methods

with 5 comments

Mozy (Highly recommended)

professional online backup tool


    • 2G free space
    • backup open files (that means when you are working on a doc file or ppt file, it can be backupped too)
    • 30 versions of your backup


    • no

Page: http://mozy.com/home

Gmail based tools

storage files as email attachments in Gmai account


    • more than 5G space
    • easy access to your files any where as long as you have a browser
    • easy to search your files in Gmail web page


    • one file size must be smaller than 20Mb. (20Mb or bigger is not allowed, 19Mb is safe. be familiar with Gmail service limitation)
    • no directory in Gmail web page
    • upload limitation per day (it is said 1G, but I haven’t test this)
    • no incremental backup*

GMail Drive shell extension

a Shell Namespace Extension that creates a virtual filesystem around your Google Mail account, allowing you to use Gmail as a storage medium



      • directory available in client



      • cannot replace the same file (though it seems it can, but it doesn’t work correctly.)

Firefox extension

      • easy to switch in different Gmail accounts. directory available in client
      • use Firefox cookies, so when login one account to upload files, you cannot use another account in web pages
page: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1593


a software allow you upload files to Gmail account

      • easy to upload file bigger than 20Mb (it automatically divides the file into parts smaller than 20Mb (you can set this size), and emerge them into one when you download)
      • storage your files in categories with tags in Gmail
      • multiple Gmail accounts, needn’t logout one to login another
      • forward files to other email in client
      • needn’t installing into your computer, it’s independent (you can keep it in your USB storage device)
      • you must use GmailStore to emerge your files which are divided into parts by GmailStore
      • no directory in client (maybe because it uses tag)
      • the latest v3.1 is not compatible with Gmail English version due to the recent upgrade of Gmail (it’s ok with Gmail Chinese version)
      • no drag and drop function
      • cannot upload folder
page: http://code.google.com/p/gmailstore/downloads/list

box.net based

1G free space

Adonec Backup (I’m using it daily.)


      • simple interface
      • something likes incremental backup* (if a file is modified, the new version will replace the old one.)
      • choose to backup on box.net or local
      • Folder names cannot be Chinese (but the file names can, though sometimes it appears strange code)


box.net desktop client

A powerful backup and sync software, but it seems it is available on Mac now. Expecting its PC version.


AOL service


    • 5G free space

xdrive desktop (Highly recommended.)


      • you can storing files as your local drive
      • or you can use its software interface to backup or mirror* your files (only My Pictures, My Music, and My Videos folders can be Mirrored)
      • support incremental backup*, and you can choose keep how many backups you want to keep. Read one of the F&Q in Xdrive site, you will understand what I say.
        (If I backup incrementally, and I choose to keep up to 7 backups, what happens on the 8th?
        The system uses a practice called promotion, which merges the two oldest backups in the account into one. Promotion compares the file versions of the two oldest backups, moves the newest files into the second-oldest backup, and deletes the oldest. This way you can keep all of your important files backed up without having to store an unlimited number of backups.)
      • Dosen’t support Chinese folders and files name.

*Incremental backup. It only adds the modified or new created files since last backup in a new file named by the date. This saves your time when you making online backup. It won’t delete any files, even won’t replace old version files.

*Mirror. The backup is exactly the same is the original one. (ignoring some insignificant faults, Mirror=incremental backup +deleting files+replacing files)

Written by J. Lai

January 17, 2008 at 3:46 pm

5 Responses

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  1. Jus wana say thanks for this post ^^ I am using Mozy now but I am wondering is there an online backup/storage that includes the program files folder in C drive?


    March 5, 2008 at 10:50 am

  2. To blinkable,
    That’s a good question. Mozy can backup program files in C drive. Configuration>>Options>>Show all protected operating system files

    GMail based softwares have no such limitation I think. I don’t know weather xdrive and box.net have.

    J. Lai

    March 5, 2008 at 11:23 am

  3. Dear J. Lai

    Thanks for this post – very useful!


    May 22, 2008 at 12:11 pm

  4. I like and use DriveHQ Online Backup Service.
    Integrated with Windows file manager.
    Reliable and stable software.(Windows only)
    Realtime or scheduled backup.
    Backup of files in use.
    Backup Folders or individual files.
    Retention of file versions as changes are made.
    Reasonably priced.
    1 Gig free.
    The Company is focussed on quality.
    I believe their product is underrated. Probably one of the very best services available.
    See my website for discussions and recommendations on this subject.


    December 30, 2009 at 12:04 pm

  5. Interesting. I haven’t looked at the gmail based storage options yet. Will have to give them a more thorough looksee.
    If you want to compare some other online backup/storage/sync providers, check out: http://www.savvyitsolutions.com/os/os-comp.html for very details comparisons and in-depth reviews of the best online storage solutions.

    Stephen McGovern

    August 16, 2010 at 1:32 pm

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