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SOS Online Backup Home Edition 5.0 review

SOS Online Backup
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £52
inc VAT

Needs a more polished web interface for navigating stored files, but the basic service is reliable and feature-packed

While many online backup providers see little need to add extra bells and whistles to what is a fundamentally simple service, others stand out with smart features such as synchronisation, file sharing and support for a wide range of devices. SOS Online Backup Version 5 is packed with genuinely useful extras.

The Windows backup client has been revamped and it also has clients for Mac OS X, iOS and Android, as well as a Facebook app and extra Windows utilities. After installation, the core backup utility can scan your hard disk to help you choose appropriate files to be backed up. By default, it offers to store all document, image, music and video files, but you can select specific files and folders, include or exclude a custom list of file types and deselect any particular category of files.

SOS Online Backup

Once your files are selected, you can configure hourly, daily, weekly or monthly backup schedules at the time of your choice. It can also send you email reports once your scheduled backup has been completed. You can also use the SOS client to store backups on your local network, PC or a connected external storage device. These are easy to set up and let you make either full or incremental backups, but this part of the client feels less polished than the online backup features. The client also lets you restore your online and local backups. You can locate them by date, size, file name or a combination of the three. Content backed up online is shown within a directory tree, with separate trees for each PC from which the backup is taken. You can also restore it to the local directory of your choice. The original path is retained by default, but you’re given the option of not doing this.

You can also access your stored files via the SOS web interface, which doesn’t look as polished as some rivals but is easy to use. You search through them by type or name, download them, share them with others via email or Facebook and even view some files. This means you can preview Excel spreadsheets and Word documents and also play some music and video files via your browser, although SOS has limited format support and lacks a browser-based music player such as those you’ll find in SugarSync and Livedrive.

SOS retains all backed up versions of every file, so there’s no chance of losing the iteration you need. It also lets you back up from as many computers or compatible mobile devices as you like, so the only limit is the amount of space you have left in your account. You can even back up content from network shares and external drives. Prices start at $78 (£51) for 50GB storage for one year, but you’ll get discounts for multi-year subscriptions. You can get 50GB of storage space for $156 (£99) for three years. You can also get more space, but SOS doesn’t currently have a pay-monthly option.

SOS is a sound backup service with a decent range of features, but £52 per year for 50GB isn’t as competitive as Memset SquirrelSave‘s massive unlimited storage. Its ability to play and preview files via the web interface is great, but we were less impressed when navigating through our stored directories. IDrive remains our favourite option for online backup with web access functions.


Price £52
Rating ****

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