- All-in-one backup, sync and share
- Easy to use
- Top-notch security
- 14-day free trial
- Few scheduling options
- No continuous backup
Just Cloud is one of those services that take care about your backups. You don’t have to worry about running out of space because they offer unlimited online backup, you can back up your files automatically without having to worry ever again and even sync your files across several devices. And hey, you can just test it for free for 14 days.
Who is JustCloud for?
Sometimes online backup can be very difficult. Not so with JustCloud. It is very easy to sign up and register an account with JustCloud and then start your backup. There is no need to think about weird preferences, data security, reliability or even space, as it is all unlimited (with the exception of a file size limit of 3GB – now 5GB!). Everything is taken care of by JustCloud. And that is the beauty of it: if you are not the most tech-savvy person alive, then you’ll certainly love JustCloud. In fact, I even recommended JustCloud to my grandma. She stores all her photos and videos on her PC, but she has never even thought about creating a backup. Imagine, all those photos and videos could be lost forever. If you are looking for a hassle-free online backup solution then you may try JustCloud for free for 14 days. You can’t go terribly wrong with that service. However, we are going to discuss the pros and cons in this review.
How does JustCloud stack up?
As for the price, I’ve taken the 2-year plan of every provider to be sure to include the discounts you’ll get committing yourself for two years. You will have to pay the fee upfront – so take the monthly price times 24 and you’ll end up with the final price.
Also, you might notice that Carbonite, while offering unlimited backup, throttles bandwidth after a couple of gigabyte resulting in very slow online backups. This is something JustCloud doesn’t do. The only limitation you have with JustCloud is the file size limit of 3GB – now 5GB!. Mozy doesn’t offer an unlimited plan and is therefore quite a pricy option, as you’ll only get 50GB of storage. One of my folders with some photos alone would consume all that space.
JustCloud is a relatively new online backup and synchronization service. Founded in 2010, the JustCloud team thought about how to revolutionize online backup and make it more accessible for everyone. They came up with the idea of unlimited online backup, as this is the easiest way to organize your files. Granted, the idea of unlimited online backup is not new: Carbonite and Backblaze also offer unlimited online backup. So there is some competition in the space and we are going to see whether JustCloud can live up to our expectations.
Unlimited online storage
For me, it is very compelling to combine backup and synchronization in one solution. Yes, backups are necessary, but I also need my files across multiple devices: for my personal use I have an iMac and a MacBook Pro. At work, I tend to work with a Windows PC. So I have at least 3 devices that I need to sync data across. Fortunately, JustCloud comes with a 1-GB free syncing space. 1 GB is not much, but certainly enough for the occasional syncing of documents or PowerPoint presentations. If you need more space you can extend your syncing folder up to 20 GB, at an additional cost.
If there is something to criticize about JustCloud it would be that they want you to buy additional features that are not necessary, such as priority backup, which is supposed to increase your backup speed. However, backup speed relies heavily on your own Internet connection and this is the bottleneck for most of the users.
Before we dive deeper into JustCloud I’d like to have a look at the features it offers. As it is not only a backup solution but also a syncing and file sharing suite there is a lot for us to look at:
- Unlimited online backup
- File sharing ability
- 1 GB of free syncing space
- Mobile access
- File versioning
- Encrypted and secure online backups
- 100% automated
You get all those features for only $4.95 per month if you are willing to commit yourself for a two-year period. In my own experience, once you’ve chosen an online backup service, you are going to stay with it for a longer period than a year anyway. That’s why it makes sense to make use of the discounts for annual or biannual plans. However, if you don’t good about that idea, you can test the service for free for 14 days. That’s a great way to see if JustCloud is something for you.
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Ease of use
As I have already pointed out in my introduction to JustCloud – it is dead simple to use. Basically, there are only 3 steps necessary for your peace of mind. First: register an account with your e-mail and password. Second: download the software on your Windows machine or Macintosh, and install it. Third: select your files or let the software do the selection for you. There is no need to mess around with menus or other complicated items, because it is all done automatically.
Once you have installed the software, your backup starts with uploading the selected files. With the new version 126.96.36.199 of JustCloud the service uses Amazon S3 servers, which speeds up the backup significantly and also adds another layer of security to your files. Another advantage is that the JustCloud client is a very lightweight piece of software that does not take much system resources and thus doesn’t slow your machine down during backup.
The backup process
There are a couple of options for backing up your data: you can hit the button “backup now” and your selected files will be backed up automatically. However, JustCloud is a completely automated online backup solution. That’s why it backs up your data automatically every day. If your data changes quickly and constantly you have the option to purchase hourly backups as well. But most of the time this is not needed. This service would be perfect if there were an option to activate continuous backup, meaning that your computer would get backed up on the fly. There are other online backup services that do offer this but they are a little more expensive.
Here is a crucial tip: go into the settings menu “backup settings” and then click on “backup selection” and set the file size limit to “unlimited.” Otherwise, JustCloud would only back up files that are not larger than 1 MB. Personally, I don’t understand the reason for this setting. Why would anybody want to backup files that are smaller than 1 MB? I urge the developers of JustCloud to change this standard setting because I think many people would not be aware of it, and consequently a lot of files could ultimately be lost.
As I’ve mentioned before, JustCloud not only backs up your files but also, you get a 1 GB syncing folder that gets added automatically to your file system. It is called “sync folder.” You can open that folder and just drag and drop files into that folder that you want to keep in sync among all of your devices. It is a nice addition if you don’t like to sign up for other services like Dropbox, for example. This way, you’ll get an all-in-one solution without the need to juggle multiple accounts.
Automated Online Backup
Whenever you upload files to JustCloud you’ll get a detailed overview of the file batch that needs a backup. This way you can see how long it will take to upload your files and also how many gigabytes the folder contains. With JustCloud everything is about easy online backup. However, I’d like to see some more options here. For example, I’d like to prioritize my files that I want to back up first. Let’s say you are working on an important presentation for your client and before you hit “save,” your computer crashes. Everything is lost. It would be a shame if JustCloud could not back up that presentation in time for you to use it because it was dabbling around uploading James Bond’s “Tomorrow Never Dies.”
I have been talking to the developers, and they told me that they were going to implement this function in future versions of JustCloud. This is also something I like a lot: being a young start-up from the UK they are very open-minded and are willing to share information without hesitation. This transparency is important to me, as I know that I’m talking to real people there.
When you’re not backing up files, JustCloud gives you an overview of how much available space you have (which is quite unnecessary as it offers unlimited online backup, so I pretty much don’t care how much space there is left) and also how much space you have already used, how many files you have backed up, and what your backup schedule is. One great piece of additional information is that you can see when your last backup was and also when you have scheduled the next. This way you can be sure no data is going to be lost in the case of hard drive failure or other computer failures.
I’ve been testing JustCloud now for a couple of months. I used to be very unhappy with its backup speed, to say the least. However, JustCloud just updated to Amazon servers which are known to be blazingly fast. I noticed that immediately when I started to upload my 1-GB test folder. It got pushed in less than 35 minutes, record speed for online backups. Many online backup services decided against Amazon S3 servers because they are quite expensive, but not JustCloud. Also, knowing that Amazon servers are behind the infrastructure of JustCloud I can be sure that my data is safe.
The test folder I uploaded is a mixture of photos, videos and MP3s. I tried to emulate typical files that users might upload to JustCloud. Also, there are both larger files and smaller files, as they behave differently (as opposed to uploading just one file of 1 GB in size). JustCloud handled the backup quite well, first scanning the folder the files were in (here, I must say, the performance can be improved) and then preparing them for backup.
Security is one of the major issues when thinking about online backup. You need to make sure that nobody can spy on your data. Especially when you have sensitive files that are crucial to your business or personal use. Hackers are everywhere, and especially as a Windows user your PC is prone to attack. However, in many cases the best security isn’t worth a dime if you don’t choose your passwords wisely. That’s why it is important to set up a secure password when registering for JustCloud or any other service. Don’t use 123456!
Secure Online Backup
With a secure password in place you can safely upload your files with JustCloud as it uses the Internet standard AES encryption. This encryption method is also used by banks and other institutions that rely heavily on data security.
But as I said, the best security isn’t worth a dime, if the bottleneck is the user himself. Make sure your antivirus software is up to date and your system is clean. Otherwise, you’re making it easy for hackers to intrude into your backups.
Restoring your files with JustCloud
Restoring files from JustCloud is as straightforward as the backup process. Just open up the client and click on “restore files” and select the files that you want to restore. JustCloud gives you the opportunity to backup multiple PCs at an additional cost. That’s why you have to first choose the machine you want to get a restore of. Then you can go down to the file level and select individual files and folders or do a full restore of your files.
The restore process is a crucial part in any backup routine. That’s why it is important that is works flawlessly. I tried to restore a big folder with photos I have taken over the years and the restore process was quite speedy. Obviously it is going to take longer than just downloading any file from the Internet because JustCloud needs to repackage the files from their servers.
I was gladly surprised that I could do a restore of my files even while my backup was running. This was a feature I have missed in other online backup services. After downloading the files you get a new folder that looks like this: “JustCloud_Restore_Date_ID” that will allow you to identify clearly when you restored and what. Also, it retains the file structure.
File syncing and sharing
One of the major benefits of JustCloud is that it combines online backup with the ability to share AND sync your files with yourself or with friends, family and colleagues. Unfortunately, file sharing can’t be done from within the client software. Instead you have to login to the web client and select the folder you want to share. This works similarly to selecting your files to restore. On the right-hand side just click on “Share a Folder,” then you can send an invite to anyone via email. However, for your partner to see the files she has to sign up for free for JustCloud.
Sync and share your files
With JustCloud you get a 1GB syncing space for free. If you want more, you need to purchase extra syncing storage of up to 20GB. Yes, other providers do offer more syncing space for free, for example SugarSync, but there is not yet an online storage provider that offers unlimited online backup with free syncing for more than 5GB. If you don’t want to purchase extra syncing storage it is certainly a viable option to combine several free syncing providers. But this leads to more administrative effort required, which I personally dislike. On the long run you’re going to lose a good overview of your files if they’re all over the place.
As I said, JustCloud installs a folder on your system that functions as your synced folder across your devices. As with backup and restoring, syncing was fast as well. As JustCloud is available for Windows and Mac you can install it to any of your devices and sync your data. Unlike Dropbox, JustCloud does not offer LAN sync, meaning that it is a little bit slower because it has to download the files to sync from the JustCloud servers instead of your local network. This is a feature request I’d like to direct to the JustCloud staff, too. However, their focus is on backup and storage and that they do very well.
With the web client you can access your files wherever you are. Doesn’t matter if you’re using somebody else’s laptop or your mobile. If you have access to a web browser you can access your files wherever you want. I love to be able to access my file via my iPhone. There is no app to download yet but the client website is optimized to be viewed on small screens, which makes it really easy to navigate in your backups and choose (or search) for files that you need now. Have a look at the pictures I have taken off my iPhone to get a good idea how JustCloud looks in all its mobile beauty:
Try JustCloud for free for 14 days
If you are having problems with your online backup, customer support is very speedy. Even the best online backup service cannot guarantee 100% successful backups. Therefore, if you are having problems with uploading or downloading any files it is important to have contact persons available. JustCloud offers a 24/7 emergency support which gets you somebody on the line fast.
My contact with support has been superb. They always respond fast, and also they figured out a technical problem I faked.
Certainly, sometimes I had to wait a little if my question was tech-related. Even though I couldn’t find bad reviews about JustCloud’s customer support, there will certainly always be somebody who couldn’t get the support he or she needed. Especially if you are getting successful with your service, there are a lot of customer inquiries that need to be handled. But overall, JustCloud manages that pretty well.
Bottom line of this JustCloud review
JustCloud is a powerful yet easy-to-use online backup service. Since it’s an unlimited backup solution you certainly get your moneys worth for only $4.95 per month if you choose the biannual plan. If you are a geek you probably miss some options that other online backup services offer, such as file prioritization or continuous backup. However, if you just want to backup your files, JustCloud is the way to go. You don’t have to think about which files to back up–it just backs up everything.
JustCloud is still a relatively unknown backup company and one might raise a question about its reliability. I’ve been testing the service now for a couple of months and all I can say is: yes, it is reliable. What makes me so sure is the good communications you get with the team. If you have any questions, just contact support, and they are going to answer you within minutes.
For me, online backup security is very important, as I store a lot of sensitive data online. JustCloud doesn’t give me a false sense of security, it just protects my files well, using industry-standard encryption. If you’re looking for a hassle-free online backup solution I recommend giving JustCloud a free try to see whether it fits your needs. The good thing is, you are not committed, and you can test the service for 14 days.
Try JustCloud for free for 14 days
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