SOS Online Backup Review

A Full Review of SOS Online Backup, an Online Backup Service

A screenshot of the SOS Online Backup logo
© SOS Online Backup

SOS Online Backup is one of my favorite online backup services for lots of reasons.

There are plenty of great features that come with SOS Online Backup and with eight plans to choose from, differing in just one important way, it's not at all hard to pick the best to suit your needs.

Sign Up for SOS Online Backup

Keep reading for more information on the SOS cloud backup plans, how much it'll cost, a full list of features, and my experience on how well their backup service works.

Check out my SOS Online Backup Tour for a complete look at their backup software.

SOS Online Backup Plans & Costs

Valid March 2017

SOS Online Backup has eight identical plans under the name SOS Personal that support of to 5 computers and that only differ in their total storage capacity. Any of them can be purchased for up to 1 year in advance in return for a discount:

  • 50 GB for $4.99 /month or $44.99 /year ($3.75 /month)
  • 100 GB for $7.99 /month or $79.99 /year ($6.25 /month)
  • 150 GB for $9.99 /month or $99.99 /year ($8.33 /month)
  • 250 GB for $12.99 /month or $129.99 /year ($10.83 /month)
  • 500 GB for $20.99 /month or $199.99 /year ($16.67 /month)
  • 1 TB for $39.99 /month or $399.99 /year ($33.33 /month)
  • 5 TB for $159.99 /month or $1,599.99 /year ($133.33 /month)
  • 10 TB for $299.99 /month or $2,999.99 /year ($250.00 /month)

Sign Up for SOS Personal

See my Multi-Computer Online Backup Prices comparison table to see how SOS Online Backup's plans compete on price with the plans offered by other online backup services.

There's also a business-class cloud backup plan offered by SOS Online Backup called SOS Business. See how this plan ranks among other business backup service plans in my Business Online Backup list.

SOS Online Backup, unlike some other cloud backup services, doesn't offer a completely free plan. If you have very little to back up to the cloud, check out my List of Free Online Backup Plans for some options you might like.

You can, however, try SOS Personal for free for 15 days. You will not need to give SOS a credit card number to start the trial. Just use this link to access the free trial sign up page.

SOS Online Backup Features

One of the most helpful features in SOS Online Backup's plans is unlimited file versioning, which means you can restore files you've changed or removed from a version you backed up months, or even years ago!

Here's more on the amazing feature set you'll find in either SOS Online Backup plan:

File Size LimitsNo
File Type RestrictionsNo, but only after removing the default exclusions
Fair Use LimitsNo
Bandwidth ThrottlingNo, but it can be setup within the program
Operating System SupportWindows 10, 8, 7, Vista, & XP; macOS
Native 64-bit SoftwareYes
Mobile AppsiOS and Android
File AccessWeb app, mobile apps, and desktop program
Transfer Encryption256-bit AES
Storage Encryption256-bit AES
Private Encryption KeyYes, optional
File VersioningUnlimited
Mirror Image BackupNo
Backup LevelsDrive, folder, and file
Backup From Mapped DriveYes, but it must be mapped from within the program
Backup From External DriveYes
Continuous Backup (≤ 1 min)Yes, but only for manually selected files
Backup FrequencyHourly, daily, weekly, and monthly
Idle Backup OptionNo
Bandwidth ControlNo
Offline Backup Option(s)No
Offline Restore Option(s)No
Local Backup Option(s)Yes
Locked/Open File SupportYes
Backup Set Option(s)Yes, but only for local backup (not online)
Integrated Player/ViewerYes, on web & mobile, but only some files
File SharingYes
Multi-Device SyncingNo
Backup Status AlertsEmail
Data Center LocationsUS (8), England, South Africa, Australia
Inactive Account RetentionData remains forever until you cancel service
Support OptionsEmail, chat, phone, self-support, and forum

See my Online Backup Comparison Chart for more details on how SOS Online Backup compares to some of my other top cloud backup picks.

My Experience With SOS Online Backup

I'm a big fan of SOS Online Backup. Unlimited file versioning, competitive pricing, and strong encryption are just a few things I really love about it.

Keep reading for more I like about SOS, as well as a few things I wish were a little different:

What I Like:

Cloud backup services keep a backup of your files, obviously, but what happens after you delete them from your computer? Plans with limited file versioning only keep a copy of those deleted files for a certain period of time, usually 30 days, and then permanently remove them.

With SOS Online Backup, however, supports unlimited versioning, meaning you can restore a file you deleted no matter how long ago it last existed on your computer.

Think about that for a minute - It means you can back up an entire hard drive (or 12), remove it, and still have unlimited access to the files through your online account forever. This is one of my favorite features to see in any online backup plan so SOS supporting this is a big plus in my book.

The very first backup I performed with SOS Online Backup went as well as I expected. It wasn't slow and it didn't lock up my computer during the process. This experience is never the same for everyone because it's the available bandwidth you have at any given time, as well as your computer's specs, that determines how efficient a backup can run. See How Long Will the Initial Backup Take? for some more on this.

Files and whole folders can be restored through the SOS desktop program or via their website, which means you can restore your files from the same computer you backed them up from or you can download them to any computer you're using by just logging into your account on the web. Flexibility is good.

Before you restore video, audio, and image files, you can preview them in your browser to make sure it's the right file that you want, which is definitely a plus. Some files can even be streamed from the mobile app, giving you on-demand access to your media from anywhere.

Sharing files is a neat feature with SOS Online Backup that works from both the mobile app and the web app. Just enter the email address of the person you'd like to share a file with and they'll get a link to download the file, without having to log in.

Managing your shared files is really easy, too. Just visit the dedicated View Shares section in your account to revoke access at any time.

What I Don't Like:

As I briefly mentioned in the feature list table above, continuous backup is only available in SOS Online Backup for select files. With other popular cloud backup services, every file is backed up nearly immediately after they've been changed, a fantastically important feature for obvious reasons.

With SOS Online Backup, however, you must locate any file you want to be backed up continuously yourself, right-click on the file, and then select Enable LiveProtect.

Not only that, you can't even turn on Live Protect for an entire drive, or folder of files, at once. You really do have to go find every individual file that you want to back up continuously and mark it as such.

Another thing to know about backing up files with SOS Online Backup is that you can't add or subtract files and folders from the right-click context menu in Windows explorer. Many backup services support this and it makes backing up files that much easier. Instead, you have to select and deselect files and folders from within the program itself.

Something else I don't like is that there's no option to restore data back to the same place it existed. I think there's good reason to restore files away from their original locations in most situations but not having the alternative as an option is unfortunate.

I also wish SOS Online Backup supported more network control options. Many cloud backup software tools have advanced settings for controlling upload and download speeds. Honestly, assuming you have a decent bandwidth from your ISP, it's unlikely you'd ever notice a slow Internet connection during a backup. See Will My Internet Be Slow If I'm Backing Up All the Time? for more on this.

My Final Thoughts on SOS Online Backup

SOS Personal is a good choice for your backup needs, especially if you're after a service that'll let you permanently back up things you plan on deleting on your computer.

Just make sure you're OK with the work it might take to manually select files you want to make sure are continually backed up, like documents and data files for programs you use every day. For most of you, this really won't be a big deal.

Sign Up for SOS Online Backup

If SOS Online Backup doesn't seem like a good fit for you, be sure to see my in-depth reviews for Backblaze, CrashPlan, and Carbonite, the other top-rated cloud backup companies that I find myself recommending a lot.