How To Windows Zoolz Online Backup Service Review A Full Review of Zoolz, an Online Backup Service Share Pin Email Print © Zoolz Intelligent Cloud Windows Guides & Tutorials System & Security Customizing File & Folder Management Users & Accounts Drivers & Hardware Drive Management Basics Installing & Upgrading Tips & Tricks Key Concepts by Tim Fisher Tim Fisher has 30+ years' professional technology support experience. He writes troubleshooting content and is the General Manager of Lifewire. Updated September 03, 2019 32 32 people found this article helpful Zoolz is an online backup service that lets you upload all types of files and of any size, assuming you don't go over your maximum allowed backup space, that is. Two plans are offered by Zoolz that offer 1,000 GB or more. However, every new user automatically gets 7 GB free, to try out the service. There are, however, some limitations that you should understand before you purchase one of these plans. More on those below. Sign Up for Zoolz Continue reading our review of Zoolz for all the details on the plans they sell, a pretty extensive list of the features they offer, and some comments I have about the service after trying them out. See our Zoolz Tour for a really detailed look at how their cloud backup service works. Zoolz Plans & Costs Valid September 2019 Both of the Zoolz plans below must be purchased annually. That is, paid in full for 12 months at once instead of having the option to buy it on a month-to-month basis. However, there are often steep discounts you can get, at least for the first year—a great incentive to try the service for a year much cheaper than you can from then onward. Zoolz Family 1 TB of backup space is allowed with the Zoolz Family plan and up to 5 computers are supported on the same account. You can back up from three external hard drives and network drives Apart from the occasional limited time offer, this plan costs $69.99 /year, which comes out to $5.83 /month. Sign Up for Zoolz Family Zoolz Heavy 4 TB of backup space is available under the Zoolz Heavy plan, and it also supports 5 computers. Unlike Zoolz Family, you can back up an unlimited number of network/external drives. Zoolz Heavy costs $249.99 /year, which is equivalent to $20.83 /month. This plan is also sometimes under a limited time offer where the yearly price is often times cut by over 50 percent. Sign Up for Zoolz Heavy Zoolz can be downloaded for free here. Going this route gives you only 7 GB of storage, but all the features are the same as the full plans. This is a great way to test out how the software, website, and mobile app work before committing to a yearly subscription. See our list of Free Online Backup Plans for some other free online backup options. Zoolz also has business plans that you can purchase which come with support for unlimited users and servers, instant restores, web uploads, server backup, file sharing, mobile video/music streaming, and other features. You can read a little more about them in our list of Business Online Backup Services. Zoolz Features A backup service should be amazing at their core job: to always make it a priority that your files are being backed up as often as possible. Fortunately, Zoolz automatically monitors your files for changes and can start backups as often as every 5 minutes without any intervention on your part. Below are a number of features found in most other backup services along with more on how well, or not well, they're supported in one of the Zoolz plans: Zoolz Features Feature Zoolz Support File Size Limits No File Type Restrictions Yes, but you're able to lift the restrictions Fair Use Limits No Bandwidth Throttling No Operating System Support Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP, Server 2003/2008/2012, macOS Native 64-bit Software No Mobile Apps Android and iOS File Access Desktop software, mobile apps, and web app Transfer Encryption 256-bit AES Storage Encryption 256-bit AES Private Encryption Key Yes, optional File Versioning Yes, limited to 10 versions per file Mirror Image Backup No Backup Levels Drive, folder, and file Backup from Mapped Drive Yes Backup from External Drive Yes Continuous Backup (≤ 1 min) No Backup Frequency Manually, hourly, daily, weekly, & every 5/15/30 min Idle Backup Option No Bandwidth Control Yes Offline Backup Option(s) No, only with Zoolz Business Offline Restore Option(s) No Local Backup Option(s) Yes Locked/Open File Support Yes, but only for file types you explicitly define Backup Set Option(s) Yes Integrated Player/Viewer No, only with Zoolz Business File Sharing No, only with Zoolz Business Multi-Device Syncing No Backup Status Alerts No, only with Zoolz Business Data Center Locations US and UK Inactive Account Retention Data will remain so long as the plan is being paid for Support Options Email, self help, phone, and remote access My Experience With Zoolz Zoolz definitely doesn't have the cheapest backup plans out there, but there are plenty of things that set it apart from other backup services in terms of features... which is sometimes a good thing, but not always. What I Like: All of the Zoolz plans use Cold Storage to store your files, which is in opposition to Instant Storage (which is available through Zoolz Business only). Files stored this way are designed to be kept forever, which means even if you delete a file from your computer, it will not be removed from your backups unless you explicitly trash them from the web app. However, Cold Storage has some drawbacks (see below) when compared to Instant Storage. See this comparison table on the Zoolz site for more that. Hybrid+ is a feature you can enable in the desktop program that will back up your files to a hard drive on your computer in addition to your online account. The process happens automatically and you have complete control over the file types that are backed up locally, where the files are stored, and how much disk space Hybrid+ is allowed to use. One reason to use Hybrid+ is if you're wanting to restore a file but don't have an Internet connection. If your Hybrid+ location is accessible, and the files you want to restore are located there, you don't even have to have an Internet connection to get your files back. The Hybrid+ files can be stored on the local drive, an external one, or even over your local network. Backing up your files is really easy with Zoolz because you have two ways to pick them. You can choose a category, like Bookmarks or Videos, to have all of those types of files backed up, as well as select the exact hard drives, folders, and files that you want included, giving you precise control over what you upload. Context menu options can be enabled so you can also back up your files from the Windows Explorer right-click menu. I was able to back up my files to Zoolz using both of these methods and at no time did I experience any problems, neither with my overall computer performance nor with bandwidth usage. Your results will likely vary depending on your particular internet connection and system resources. See How Long Will the Initial Backup Take? for some more on this. Here are some other notes I took when using Zoolz that you might find helpful: There are tons of tutorials and FAQ at Zoolz Wiki that is freely available to go throughYour files can be restored from both the desktop software and the web appThere's no limit on the size of files you can restore when using the desktop clientFiles restored with the desktop program can be automatically restored to the same folder where they originally existed, or you can choose a custom locationMultiple file restores made through the web app are downloaded in a single ZIP fileSome folders are automatically excluded from backups, but you can override this by removing the exclusionsZoolz lets you build filters that will skip over backing up files of your choice, like files that have a certain extension or name, files that are larger than the size you define, and files that are older than the date you specifyBandwidth options let you limit the upload speed and optionally only throttle the bandwidth during a certain time frameEditing and creating new files will be reproduced in your account when the next backup is launched, but renaming and deleting files will be detected automatically and be reflected in your account nearly instantaneously The thumbnails for JPG and RAW image files can be viewed in the web app and the mobile app even though you can't immediately download the full files out of Cold Storage"Presentation Mode" is an option you can enable to automatically have all backups paused while you're playing games and watching moviesBandwidth is conserved with support for de-duplication, which means duplicate files won't be uploaded; Zoolz will instead copy the existing file from your account to make the duplicate instead of uploading it again from your computerZoolz can use the Volume Shadow Copy service to back up open and locked files, but only for the file types you tell it to monitorDeleted files are red in the web app and clear in the desktop app so it's easy to tell which ones no longer exist on your computerMultithreading can be enabled in Zoolz's settings to speed up backups; enabling this allows a larger number of files to be uploaded at onceA list of "Block Level Extensions" can be built so Zoolz will break up those types of files into small blocks, and then upload only the blocks that were changed instead of backing up the whole file, which uses unnecessary bandwidth Premium Support is available for the Zoolz Family plan only, which offers priority response times, phone support, and remote session supportInstant Vault storage can be added to any plan for around $15 for each 20 GB. However, the more you add, the cheaper the additional storage is, per gigabyte (e.g. 100 GB extra is around $50) What I Don't Like: By far, the biggest drawback with Zoolz is that files backed up using Cold Storage take 3-5 hours to restore. On top of that, if using the web app, you can only restore 1 GB of your data within a 24 hour period. This makes restoring all your files out of Cold Storage take a really long time - much longer than any other backup service I've used. When restoring files from Cold Storage using the web app, you'll get an email with the download link. Restoring from the desktop app starts automatically. Something else that bothers me about this is that if you're using the desktop app to restore your files, given that the process takes 3 hours at minimum, you can't choose to restore anything else during that time because the Zoolz Restore utility is busy waiting on the other files to restore. One workaround for this, however, is to use the web app to restore additional files while waiting on the others to finish processing. In addition to the above, you can't restore one file from one folder and another file from a different folder both at the same time. Zoolz will not let you restore anything but the files contained within one folder or the folders contained within one drive. As you can imagine, it could take a very long time to restore your files with Zoolz. Because of this, it's recommended you use the Hybrid+ feature if you think you'll be restoring files often and if you have the available storage for it. Using Hybrid+ will completely bypass the wait time of the Cold Storage restore because Zoolz will check that folder for the file first before attempting to access it from Cold Storage. Some backup services will let you make an unlimited number of changes to your files and have all of those versions of the files backed up and stored on your account. This is a great idea because you can rest assured that any change you make to your data isn't a permanent change - they can always be undone by restoring an older version. With Zoolz, however, only 10 of these file versions are stored. This means once you've made the 11th change to a file, the very first iteration of it is destroyed from your account and unavailable for restore. Something else to realize about these plans offered by Zoolz is that they are relatively expensive when you compare them to the prices offered by similar backup services. For example, Backblaze lets you store an unlimited amount of files and will keep file versions for everything for 30 days (Zoolz keeps 10 per file), and costs around 1/4 of the price of the big, but not-unlimited, Zoolz Heavy. Here are some other things I don't like about Zoolz: The mobile app can only stream files that were backed up to Instant Storage, which means the Zoolz Home plans can only see a file's name, size, date, and JPG thumbnail (because they back up to Cold Storage)The Zoolz Home plans are unable to opt for Instant Storage for faster restores (only the business-class plans can) Zoolz Small Print Rules and restrictions imposed by Zoolz that aren't easily accessible on the website, but are still very much enforced, can be found tucked away in Zoolz's Terms. Here are several things you should be aware of before creating an account: Zoolz has the right to modify, suspend, or discontinue its services without providing you with any notice (though they will use reasonable efforts to do so)If you avoid renewing your paid account, if your account expires, or if it's terminated, Zoolz reserves the right to automatically delete all your backed up dataIf you cancel your Zoolz account, your personal data may be kept in their backup recordsCredit card information is the only personal data that's disclosed to third parties and that's done only to process your paymentsYour IP address may be recorded when backing up dataZoolz doesn't view any data that you back up, but they will disclose your information in compliance with a government requestYou agree that you won't use Zoolz to transmit any malicious or harmful computer codeZoolz will terminate any account that uploads or stores files that are infringing on copyrights held by third parties My Final Thoughts on Zoolz Frankly, and probably already obviously, Zoolz isn't my favorite service. Other services offer better prices, even for unlimited backup plans. That said, maybe there's a feature or two that really speaks to your situation. In that case, Zoolz might be the best fit for you. Sign Up for Zoolz We have full reviews of other backup services you may be more interested in, like SOS Online Backup or SugarSync. Continue Reading A Full Review of Mozy, an Online Backup Service Why Aren't Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, Etc. In Your List? Thinking About Signing Up for Zoolz? Here's a Complete Tour What Online Backup Service Do YOU Use, Tim? A Full Review of Bitcasa, an Online Backup Service Can I Restore Old Versions of Files I Back Up? If My Entire Computer Dies, How Can I Get My Files Restored? How Exactly Does Online Backup Work? Do Some Online Backup Plans Really Allow Unlimited Data? Where Is JustCloud & ZipCloud in Your Online Backup List? Is Cloud Backup Different Than Online Backup? 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