How Do You Rank Online Backup Services in Your Reviews?

Do You Get Paid to Rank Some Services Higher?

Photo of a gold first-place trophy
© Gold First Prize Trophy / Photographer's Choice RF / Getty Images

Wondering how I rank the online backup services in my various lists of the "best" ones? Wondering what "best" means to me or how I determine what goes where?

The following question is one of many you'll find in my Online Backup FAQ:

"Hey Tim, how do you rank the cloud backup services you've reviewed? Are they by price? Features? Or do you just rank by how much you're bribed?"

Let's get the important question answered first - no, I don't rank by how much I'm bribed. It has happened but it's our policy to declined. Even if it wasn't, I wouldn't, because that's just not fair. 

Bribery is a problem in the review world, especially when there's a lot of money to be made. Online backup is one of those spaces which is why you'll find a number of lists out there that look very differently than mine do.

My take is this: I'm better off in the long run communicating to you, and ranking software and services, in the most honest way possible. I've been writing about technology topics like backing up for many years and plan to do so for even longer and I'd like to keep my readers' trust.

Enough of that.

No, I don't rank by price (though I do have a piece dedicated to that, my unlimited backup plan price comparison table) and ranking just by feature, or actual count of features, probably wouldn't be helpful.

Thanks to the complexity of what goes in to making a "good" backup service, and how differently one cloud backup company operates verses the rest, my ranking methodology is a bit less quantitative. While the idea of giving some sort of meta-number to each service sounds nice, making my ranking clear with a number-based score, I haven't done that and don't plan to.

So how do I rank them?

I try them and then tell you which is best. Surprise! A lot of those other folks that put together the "top" lists judge these services after testing them for only a few hours or so. Others don't test at all - they just look at the listed features and rank in order of feature scope. Worse yet, as I touched on above, others rank by less ethical means.

I test these services extensively, back up and restore GBs of data, check out every corner of the software, and let you know where they excel and where they don't.

If I had to sum up my "ranking philosophy" for online backup services, I'd say "easy" wins... not at the exclusion of all else, but boy is it important. If a cloud backup services isn't easy to use, you won't back up your data. Isn't that why you've signed up?

Don't forget too that just because a service is #2 or #4, or even #10, I don't mean to imply that it's not worth looking into. If a #7 pick has a killer feature you want then it's the perfect online backup service for you.

Still have questions? Here's how to get a hold of me. Also, in case you haven't seen all the resources I have on online backup, here are some of the more popular ones you might find helpful:

Don't miss all the other questions I answer as part of my Online Backup FAQ!