Software & Apps Backup & Utilities SOS Online Backup: A Complete Tour By Tim Fisher General Manager, VP, Lifewire.com Tim Fisher has 30+ years' professional technology support experience. He writes troubleshooting content and is the General Manager of Lifewire. our editorial process Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Tim Fisher Updated November 14, 2019 Backup & Utilities Design Cryptocurrency MS Office Windows Linux Google Drive Apps File Types Backup & Utilities View More Tweet Share Email 01 of 16 Change Account Type Screen SOS Change Account Type Screen. This is the first screen you see after installing SOS Online Backup to your computer. If you stick with the default "Regular account" then your account will be secured with your regular SOS account password. For added security, you can enable the "Standard UltraSafe" option, which means that your encryption keys will be stored online and won't be able to be recovered. The third, and most secure, option you can choose with SOS Online Backup is "UltraSafe MAX." With this account option, you create an additional password that will be used to restore your data, one that's different than your regular account password. Choosing this third option means your encryption keys are not stored online, and you must use the desktop software to restore you files. In other words, you won't be able to restore your data from the web app. Using either of the UltraSafe options will mean mean you can never recovery your password if you ever happen to forget it. The advantage of setting up your account in one of these ways is that no other person, including SOS or the NSA, would be able to look at your data. These settings can not be changed later on unless you were to empty out your entire account of its files and start new. 02 of 16 Select Files to Protect Screen SOS Select Files to Protect Screen. This is the first screen that's shown in SOS Online Backup that asks you what you'd like to back up. Choosing "Scan all folders," and then selecting the types of files you'd like to scan is one option you have. This will backup all the documents, images, music, etc. that SOS has found on your computer. The option called "Just scan my personal folders" will look for the same types of files as the previous option, but only in your user folder, which probably contains most of these types of files that you actually care about. The third option you have for selecting the files and folders you want to back up is "Do not scan (select files manually)." If you want to be extremely specific with what gets backed up, this is the way to go. Hover your mouse over the small "i" icon to see what file extensions SOS looks for when it's locating what to back up. The Preview Scan Results link will show you exactly what SOS Online Backup will back up, which is helpful if you're curious what exactly is going to be backed up. Clicking or tapping the Advanced button gives you more options about what should be included and excluded. The next slide has more information on those options. What you select for backup here at this screen can always be changed later so don't stress too much about the choices you make. See What Exactly Should I Back Up? for some more on this. 03 of 16 Scan Settings and Locations Screen SOS Scan Settings and Locations Screen. When selecting what SOS Online Backup should backup from your computer, you're given the ability to edit some advanced settings, which is what this screen shows. These options can be edited because they apply to the automatic scan SOS does to find documents, images, videos, music, and other files that you chose in the "Select the files to protect" screen. If you're adding files to your backup manually instead of having SOS do it automatically, these settings don't apply to you. Go back one slide in this tour for more information on that. "Include folders" is the first tab in these advanced settings. If you chose for SOS to scan all folders for documents, images, videos, etc., and automatically add those file types to your backup, this option can't be changed. However, if you decided to scan just your personal folders for those file types, you're able to use this option to remove some of those personal folders as well as to add folders from other areas of your computer. The "Include file sizes" option lets you skip files larger or smaller than the size you define. This restriction can apply to the files in the documents, images, music, and/or videos category. The third option is "Exclude folders," which lets you do the exact opposite of the first option: exclude folders from the backup. You're able to add more folders to this exclusion list as well as remove ones that may already be there. "Exclude file types" does just what you think - to enforce a file type restriction. As you can see in the screenshot from above, you're able to add multiple extensions to this list. The "Exclude files" option is useful if files would otherwise be backed up because all the previous options apply to them, but you'd rather SOS Online Backup skip over them and not back them up. Multiple files can be added to this list. "Custom file types to be included in the scan" is the last option you're given in these advanced settings. In addition to the default file types that will be backed up, files of these extensions will also be backed up. This last option is useful if you'd like to have all images and music files backed up, for example, but also a specific video file extension without enabling all of the video file types. This might also be handy if you're wanting to backup a file extension that's not included in one of the default video, music, documents, or images category. 04 of 16 Select The Files to Protect Screen SOS Select The Files to Protect Screen. This is the screen in SOS Online Backup for selecting the hard drives, folders, and/or specific files that you'd like backed up online. From this screen, you can also exclude items from your backup. Right-clicking a file, like you see in this screenshot, lets you enable LiveProtect, which is a feature offered by SOS Online Backup that will automatically begin backing up your files moments after they've changed. This can be applied to files only, not to folders or entire drives. SOS will not backup your files instantaneously unless LiveProtect has been manually selected by you. See the next slide for more information about SOS Online Backup's scheduling options. If you're using the trial version of SOS Online Backup, moving forward to the next screen after this one will ask you if you'd like to upgrade your trial to a paid plan. You can just click the Next >> button to skip over that screen and continue using the trial without any problems. 05 of 16 Backup Schedule and Email Reporting Screen SOS Backup Schedule and Email Reporting Screen. This screen holds all the scheduling settings which determine when SOS Online Backup should backup your files to the Internet. "Back up at the end of this wizard," if enabled, will simply start the backup when you're done editing the settings. To run backups manually instead of on a schedule, be sure to uncheck the box next to the option called "Back up automatically without use intervention." To run backups on a schedule so you don't have to manually start them, which is the recommended setting, make sure this option remains checked. In Windows, if you choose the "Back up even when Windows user is not logged on" option, you'll be asked for the credentials of the user you'd like to use for logging on to Windows. This includes the domain, username, and password of the user. Most of the time this just means the credentials you use to log in to Windows every day. The middle section of this screen is where you edit the schedule SOS Online Backup follows to backup your files. As you can see, the frequency can be hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly, and each option has its own set of options for when the schedule should run. If the schedule is set to run daily, weekly, or monthly, you can set a start and stop time, which means you can have SOS Online Backup run during a specific time frame only, like a time when you know you'll be away from your computer. Enter email addresses in the "Email Backup Reports" section to deliver backup reports to those addresses. See Slide 11 for more on the email reports. 06 of 16 Backup Status Screen SOS Backup Status Screen. This is the window that shows the current backups being made with SOS Online Backup. In addition to pausing and resuming the backups, you can see things like how much data is being backed up, what items failed to upload, how fast the current upload speed is, what folders have been skipped from the backup, and what time uploading started. Your account name (your email address) is displayed in various areas of this screen, but we removed ours because we used our personal email address. 07 of 16 SOS for Home & Home Office Screen SOS for Home & Home Office Screen. What this screenshot shows is the main program window that you'll see when you open SOS Online Backup. View / Restore is what you choose when you're ready to restore files from your backups. There's more on this in the last slide of this tour. The wrench option next to the "File and Folder Backup" section of this screen lets you edit what's being backed up, which you saw in Slide 2. The Backup Now button, as you've probably guessed, starts a backup if one isn't already running. Choosing the Show Local Backup link reveals what you see at the bottom of this screenshot, which is simply a local backup option included with SOS Online Backup. This is entirely independent of the online backup feature, so you can back up the same or different files than the ones you're backing up online, and they'll be saved to a local hard drive. SOS Online Backup does not have a limited, 50 GB plan like you see in this screenshot. It says there's only 50 GB in this account because it's a trial version of a full account. If you are using a trial version that says only 50 GB of data can be backed up, don't worry, the restriction isn't actually in place . Feel free to back up as much data as you'd like during the trial period. 08 of 16 Bandwidth Throttling Options Screen SOS Bandwidth Throttling Options Screen. Choosing Menu > Advanced Options from SOS Online Backup's main backup screen (seen in the previous slide) lets you edit a long list of settings, like you see in the above screenshot. The first setting is called "Bandwidth Throttling," which lets you put a limit on how much data SOS is allowed to back up on a daily basis. Choose a specific size that you'd like to cap your uploads at. Doing so will pause your updates until the next day once that maximum amount has been reached. This option is great if your ISP cap on usage and you need to limit the bandwidth you're using with SOS. See Will My Internet Be Slow If I'm Backing up All the Time? for more. We don't recommend that you throttle your bandwidth during the initial upload, considering how large it will be. See How Long Will the Initial Backup Take? for more on this. 09 of 16 Caching Options Screen SOS Caching Options Screen. Caching can be enabled for SOS Online Backup so it can upload your files faster, but the tradeoff is that the process takes up more disk space. The first option, called "Retransfer Entire File," will not enable caching. This means when a file has changed, and should be backed up to your online account, the entire file will be uploaded. "Use Binary Compression" will enable caching for SOS Online Backup. This option will cache all your files, which means when a file has changed and should be uploaded, only the parts of the file that have changed will be transferred online. If this is enabled, SOS will use your hard drive space to store the cached files. The third and final option, called "Use SOS Intellicache" combines both of the above options. It will cache large files so that when they're changed, only a portion of the file is reuploaded instead of the whole thing, and it will not cache small files because they are able to be uploaded much quicker than larger ones. If either of the caching options are chosen (option 1 or 2), visit the "Folders" options tab (explained in Slide 12 in this tour) to make sure that the location of the cached files is on a hard drive that has enough space to hold it all. 10 of 16 Change Account Type Options Screen SOS Change Account Type Options Screen. This set of options let you choose the type of security you'd like to have with your SOS Online Backup account. Once you've began using your SOS account, you can't change these settings. See Slide 1 in this tour for more information on these options. 11 of 16 Email Backup Reports Options Screen SOS Email Backup Reports Options Screen. This screen in SOS Online Backup's settings is used for enabling email reports. Once the option has been enabled, and an email address added, a report will be sent when a backup has completed. Multiple email addresses can be added by separating them with semicolons, like firstname.lastname@example.org;email@example.com. SOS Online Backup's email reports include the time the backup started, the account name that the backup is tied to, the computer name, and the number of files that were not changed, that were backed up, that were not backed up, and that were processed, as well as the total amount of data that was transferred during the backup. Also included in these email reports are a list of the top 20 errors that were found throughout the backup, including the specific error message and the file(s) that was affected. 12 of 16 Folders Options Screen SOS Folders Options Screen. The "Folders" options in SOS Online Backup is a set of four locations that SOS uses for various purposes, all of which can be changed. As you can see, there's a default place for the local backup feature's backup destination. There's also a default recovery folder for where restored files will go, as well as location for the temporary folder and cache folder. You can read more about what the cache folder is for in Slide 9 of this tour. 13 of 16 Protected File Type Filters Option Screen SOS Protected File Type Filters Option Screen. The "Protected File Type Filters" options in SOS Online Backup lets you provide a blanket filter to all your backups to explicitly backup certain file extensions only, or to not backup certain file extensions. Clicking or tapping the option called "Only back up files with the following extensions" means SOS Online Backup will only backup files that have the extensions you list out. Any file that is selected for backup that is of an extension you have listed here will be backed up and all others will be skipped. Alternatively, you can choose the third option, "Don't back up files with the following extensions," to do the exact opposite, which is to explicitly prevent files of a certain extension from being included in your backups. 14 of 16 SSL Options Screen SOS SSL Options Screen. SOS Online Backup let you add an extra layer of security to your backup transfers by enabling HTTPS, which you can turn on and off through this "SSL Options" screen. Choose "None (fast)" to keep this setting at its default, which turns HTTPS off. "128-bit SSL (slow, but more secure)" will slow down your backups because everything is being encrypted, but it will provide more security than it otherwise would. This setting is set to off by default because your files are already encrypted with 256-bit AES encryption before being transferred. 15 of 16 Restore Screen SOS Restore Screen. This is the part of the SOS Online Backup program that you'll use to restore files and folders back to your computer from a backup. From the main program window, you can open this restore screen through the View / Restore button. As the screenshot shows, you can search for the file you want to restore by its name or file extension, as well as by the size and/or date that it was backed up. Though not seen in this screenshot, you can instead browse through the backed up files using their original folder structure instead of using the search function. Files you restore can be saved with their original folder structure intact (like "C:\Users\..."), or you can choose for them not to be. Either way, however, files you restore are not saved in their original location unless you manually tell SOS to do so. Choosing the Run Recovery Wizard button at the top of this screen will walk you through a step-by-step wizard to restore your data, but it's the exact same concept and has the exact same options as the Classic View, which is what you see in this window. 16 of 16 Sign Up for SOS Online Backup © SOS Online Backup If you're looking for a cloud backup provider to act not only as a regular backup service but also as a permanent, cloud-based archival service, then you have a winner here. Sign Up for SOS Online Backup Don't miss my SOS Online Backup review for updated pricing information on their places, what features you'll get when you sign up, what I thought about them after using them myself, and a whole lot more. Here are some additional cloud backup pieces on my site that you might also appreciate reading: Online Backup Services: Ranked & ReviewedBusiness Cloud Backup ServicesOnline Backup Plans with Unlimited Storage100% Free Cloud Backup PlansCloud Backup Feature Comparison ChartA Complete Cloud Backup FAQ Still have questions about online backup or maybe SOS in particular? Here's how to get a hold of me.