Online storage seems to be a growth area – we recently reviewed Bullguard Backup 8 and liked it – now we have Webroot with its Secure Backup.

With the price of external hard drives now more affordable than ever, you have to wonder why such services can compete. However, for vital information – such as insurance documents or digital images that can’t be replaced – online offers you a place to store data away from the house. So, should the worst happen and there is a disaster at home, at least your memories are safe.

Like Bullguard, Webroot’s offering works in the same way, using broadband to connect to an off-site server for backing up files without you needing to physically check the link. Secure Backup runs using Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology to transfer encrypted data to the company’s server. This means your data is as safe as it would be on your own machine.

The beauty of an online backup account it that you can access it regardless of location, so if you work between sites you don’t need to carry data with you. Simply log-in to your account wherever you are. With the price of storage being cheap, Webroot will save the older or changed versions of any uploaded file, but only the current version will count towards your account allowance.

You can also use it to share files with users. This is a great idea if you need to send large email attachments, or simply want to send business-vital information.

The interface isn’t as seamless as Bullguard’s but it is fairly straightforward to get to grips with. As you would expect, once you’ve run a full backup of the files you wish to save, the program uses incremental backups to keep on top of the changes. This saves time and bandwidth and can be set to run weekly, daily or even hourly depending on how demanding you want to be.

The main focus of the software may be to backup online but it will also allow you to make localised backups, either to DVD or to an external drive.

Pricing reflects the amount of storage you want access to. The most basic packages costs £15 (inc. VAT) for a year’s license, which is fine if you juts want to store essential files – or want to access stuff when you’re remote travelling, for instance.

Prices are incremental and top-out at £50 for 25GB, which will be best-served by small businesses and those who work from home. No matter which version you opt for, it covers three computers registered to the same address.

Verdict

Webroot Secure Backup is a good all-round package and while it doesn’t offer anything new, it provides a safe way of saving your data off-site. The variety of price points means you can choose the account to suit you, which we feel may well end up being its main selling point.