Backup software for your office computers is essential, but all the pre-purchase research can be a bit daunting. How do you know which backup software is best for your business? What features do you need?

To answer all these questions, and more, we spoke to our resident CUE IT Expert, Rin Isobe. He explained to us how to choose the best backup cloud software for your business while walking us through the exact steps he took to make software choices for CUE. The two pieces of software he was considering were Acronis and Carbonite.


Where do you start when researching backup software?

Even if you’re a tech-savvy business leader, finding the right software for your business can be a challenge. In the age of cloud software, there are so many options to choose from that it often overwhelms users. The critical thing to understand is how the software fits the requirements of your business. I like to compare backup software to buying a car: focus on the features you need that fit within your budget.


What are the payment models for cloud software?

There are many different types of payment models for software. These payment models include annual versus monthly subscriptions as well as pay-per-use subscriptions. If we consider out example software, Acronis and Carbonite both offer monthly subscriptions, but it is the amount of cloud storage you need that will determine the cost.

To decide on the right subscription, consider what the total amount of data that needs to be backed up on all devices is? For example, if you have two computers with 50GB of data on them, you would want to buy a plan that exceeds 100GB. Also, take into consideration data growth to sufficiently backup all files and folders. Data storage should grow as your business grows. With both Acronis and Carbonite, you can opt to add more storage in the future.


What features do I need in my backup software?

Backup software has different features to perform various types of backups. Let’s look at two:

To restore a complete computer failure requires an image backup. This backup feature allows a complete duplication of files and configurations to restore a whole system.

Another type of backup is files and folders. This type of backup will allow you only to restore files and folders rather than a complete system backup. This option is perfect for users that do not need to reset a computer with settings. You can also configure specific file/folder backups as well with this feature.  

Most likely, you won’t need to replace and restore a whole computer system, therefore file/ folder backup is the more critical feature in cloud software.

Both Acronis and Carbonite offer plans with image backup, although Carbonite’s lowest Core plan does not include this feature. However, Acronis and Carbonite offer file and folder backup with all plans.


What is stability and how do you test for it?

When using any software, you want to make sure that it works. This statement sounds obvious, but software companies can’t test every computer, so there will always be bugs.  You can run a simple stability test by running the software on an extra computer. In our office, we tested Acronis and Carbonite on multiple computers we had available. In our initial tests, we had issues with Acronis completing the initial backup. It was a concern as we didn’t want to deploy a tool that didn’t work. As for Carbonite, we had no issues with the initial backup on our test computers. After contacting Acronis support, we discovered that an unstable network connection would halt and pause. Instead of the software persistently trying to finish the backup, Acronis would pause and wait til the next scheduled backup to continue. However, after this initial backup, Acronis didn’t have any other problems, so we believe that a backup with substantial data changes made the tool not as stable.

Although not every backup succeeded in Acronis, 90% of our scheduled daily backups were successful. This level of backups meets our business requirements because we could comfortably recover a backup from less than a week ago.


How do you take into consideration different devices, like phones, computers, and tablets?

Many software nowadays has support for multiple types of devices including but not limited to mobile, tablet, and desktop. An important tip is to check that the backup software supports critical features on all your business devices. If the product says “supports Mac,” you should check that it supports IOS AND Mac OS X. For our example, at CUE needed to backup Mac OS X and Windows 10 computers, so I ensured that whatever software we purchased would work on these operating systems.


What should businesses be considering when it comes to security?

With backup services, it is essential to ensure that the backup is encrypted. Encryption keeps unauthorized users from viewing the data, keeping the data safe. Acronis and Carbonite both use end to end encryption, meaning that the data is encrypted from your computer all the way to the cloud where it is stored securely. Encrypted backups are a key feature in backup software as it provides an additional layer of security.


Any final words on this software?

It very much depends on what you need for your business. Acronis has some very desirable features like image recovery, but Carbonite also holds out well regarding stability.


For more information on Acronis or Carbonite, please visit the CUE product pages to get a more detailed rundown of pricing and features. CUE only recommends products we believe will add value to our readers.