SOS Online Backup has been a PC Mag’s editor’s choice for four years in a row, and with an accolade such as this, it makes you wonder what the service has to offer for it to be granted this status. Providing options to both business and home users, SOS Online Backup promises to deliver secure backups and storage as well as unlimited file versioning features.
There has also been a lot of positive feedback from many SOS users, which is why we decided to feature it in this review and determine whether or not SOS really delivers its promises
What The SOS Cloud Backup Has to Offer
It is easy to claim that SOS is just like any other cloud backup service in the market.
However, there are several things that set this service apart from its competitors and why it continues to be one of the most popular choices for all types of users.
Whether you are new to the concept of cloud backups or have been doing it for the longest time, SOS offers a control panel that is very intuitive and an interface that can be appealing to both newbies and backup veterans.
There are several features that I find quite interesting and really useful in SOS, and I’ll discuss each in detail further in this SOS Online Backup Review.
Let’s start with the control panel and interface.
Like most backup services, you would need to download the SOS software on your PC to begin the backup process.
Download and installation are easy enough, and you can choose to take advantage of UltraSafe which guarantees that no one – not even SOS employees – can access your files except you.
If you’re the type of person who values file security this is one option you can’t pass on, but you need to ensure that you won’t forget your password or you can lose access to all of your files.
Also, take note that you need to have Microsoft.
NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1 on your PC or laptop before you can begin installing the software, so I suggest that you take a look at the prerequisites before downloading SOS.
If you don’t have it yet, the installation wizard will prompt you to download the framework and provide a URL that leads to the MS download page.
The whole setup takes up about 54MB of storage on your local drive.
Upon installation, the software will automatically scan your laptop or PC and segregate files according to type.
Music, video, photos, and others are automatically segregated into separate backup folders so you don’t have to manually organize your files and decide which files go to which folders.
This is very convenient especially if it is your first time to do a backup and all your files are mixed onto various folders on your machine.
Users also have the option to select which files they want to include and exclude in the backup process so as to save time and precious storage space.
The whole interface is very intuitive and quite easy to navigate so one can start the backup in as little as a few seconds.
Users also have the option to choose between automatic backups and scheduled backups, so you literally set it and forget it.
With regard to upload speeds, SOS performs quite nicely as well, although you can say it really depends on the speed of your internet connection and the amount of data you are backing up.
I tried to back up about 1GB worth of files onto an SOS trial account and it took about an hour or two to complete.
I have no complaints about the recovery being offered by the company as well since the test I did on the same files amounting to 1GB fared better in terms of speed as compared to the others I’ve previously tried.
The drag and drop options were also a bonus as these made it quite easy to use.
Aside from this, users also have global access to their accounts as long as they have internet connection and type in the correct password once prompted.
This means you can travel anywhere and still be able to access your files on another laptop, PC, or Android and Apple device you own.
Live Protect and File Versioning
SOS’ file versioning is another feature that sets it apart from other providers.
If you take a look at several backup software applications in the market, you’ll immediately notice the limit to the period of time that users can store archived versions of their files on cloud servers.
This can be anywhere between 30 and 45 days. With SOS however, the software works in such a way that all versions of the files you have backed up are stored in their servers for as long as your account remains active.
There is also an option to preview each file version and download the one you need whenever necessary.
This major feature can be better appreciated when applied to a business setting, so let’s say for instance you own a small business that churns out a large number of files and data on a daily basis.
If an average office employee produces about 10 different types of files each day, with each file being edited and changed as it is transferred to various departments, you practically have in your hands a nightmare in terms of archiving and file backups.
With SOS, every change on each document that is shared and stored in an account is saved in real time with Live Protect.
Whenever someone needs to reference an older version of the file, it can easily be done by accessing your business SOS account.
This means no more missing file versions or bundles of hard copies with every file variation stacked on top of each other.
Flexibility and Security
Aside from versioning, let’s talk about versatility when it comes to file backups on devices running on different operating systems.
SOS offers backups to Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS devices for up to 5 devices on each account. So even if you have said a Windows PC at work, a Mac laptop at home, or an Android mobile device that you carry with you whenever you travel, you can have all of your files from each of these machines backed up onto your SOS account.
You can in fact back up 5 devices in one SOS account for personal use, with additional coverage offered in the business plans.
The company has also recently introduced their backup for the Facebook feature which users can take advantage of for free.
This allows you to back up everything on your Facebook account including your friend lists, wall, photos, videos, and contacts.
If you have a business page in this social networking site, the ability to back up everything on it can save you from a lot of headaches in case something goes wrong with your Facebook page and account or you accidentally delete important information that potential customers and supporters may find useful.
Security is also another advantage that SOS users can benefit from as the company uses triple-layer encryption on all of your files.
This means that each file is encrypted upon upload, transfer, and reception to the data center using 256-bit AES on SSL links. Aside from this, SOS also uses redundancy on their backups so all your files are readily accessible even if one of their servers break down or malfunction.
Downsides to Using SOS
The price of the service is what threw me off a bit while writing this review.
The folks at SOS offer up to 250GB of storage for personal or home office use, with plans starting at $79.99 a year for 50GB. Business accounts, on the other hand, can provide up to 2TB of storage space, with the lowest plan at $59.99 per month for 350 GB of storage.
This is a little pricey if you ask me, considering that you can get unlimited storage and backup services for roughly the same amount offered by other providers such as Just Cloud or Carbonite.
However, you do get what you pay for, and SOS offers a quality service. The unlimited file versioning feature is in itself really worth the price of the plan, not to mention additional features like Facebook backups and services or a variety of machines with different operating systems.
Final Word on SOS Online Backup Review
SOS is, in my opinion, one of the best cloud backup and storage solutions that one can take advantage of when compared to other similar services in the market.
Its intuitive control panel and interface make it easy for even a rookie to back up and store files without hassle, providing convenience and efficiency that is not usually seen in many backup software applications.
The fact that SOS offers live chat and phone support for their customers is also another point in their favor because you don’t actually see this often in many providers.
Although the price for limited space can be a drawback that you need to seriously consider before signing up, the features and benefits of the service far outweigh this particular issue.
SOS offers a free trial account for 30 days for home and business plans on, so you can easily sign up for it and determine whether or not it is the right backup solutions provider for you or if you would prefer a service such as Just Cloud.
About Author: Clarence – a partner for a long time of InstPhil.org
Clarence is a serial technology junkie. Having spent the previous 15 years serving as a Network Engineer for various IP enabled technologies from Cisco UM to Online Cloud Storage companies. Clearance is now an avid writer for both this site as well as CloudStorageComparisons.com.