Norton Online Backup Review

Norton Online Backup has been called by many the “Online backup in a box.” They offer a rock solid security policy, automated backups, and a lot of support for those that have any of the few problems that always seems to pop up with these kinds of software. The software works on any PC or Mac, and the web interface can be accessed from most any mobile device. It is possible to schedule backups remotely, and file sharing is a simple matter. The restore process is easily navigated, and if one of your files is corrupted, or just not right, they maintain versions of the file for as long as 90 days. The service starts out with only 25 GB of storage space, but if you need more you can purchase it.

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Norton Online Backup Pricing/Plans/Coupons

Their pricing plan is expensive, when compared to the other backup services, but they do have a free trial for you to make sure that this is the service for you. Here’s the pricing tiers:

  • 25 GB Storage, software, all the bells and whistles, $49.99.
  • Additional storage comes in increments of 10 GB, 25 GB, 50 GB, and 100 GB. The 75 GB add on is $99.99.
  • Up to 5 computers are allowed to use the single account.
  • As with many internet and computer based companies, most every form of plastic is accepted, as is Paypal.

Norton Online Backup Free Trial

They do offer a free trial of 30 days and 5 GB, but from their website it is a little hard to find. From the main page of the Norton Online Backup, hover over the “Downloads” tab at the top, and then select “Trialware – Norton Online Backup 5 GB.” You will then be taken to a page where you can sign up for the free service…and no credit card or other financial information is needed, until you decide to purchase.

Norton Online Backup Client Details/Top Features

Supported platforms are: Windows XP SP/2 or newer, Mac OSX 10.5 and newer, both 32 and 64 bit systems are supported for these platforms. For web access, you will need I.E. 6.0 or better, Firefox 2.0 or better, or Safari 3.0 or better. Here’s a few more details about their offering:

  • Automated backups, with scheduling supported.
  • Mac and Windows PC’s are supported along with web access from mobile devices.
  • File transfers from one computer to another, even on different platforms.
  • Incremental backups, and versioning for up to 90 days.
  • Web access for backing and restoring processes.
  • Secured file transfers, and storage.
  • Open file backing supported, a rare feature for backup services.
  • Compression available for the bigger files.

Norton Online Backup Product Installation

After signing up for your free trial account, you will be given a rather small download, (5.3 MB,) and once the installation is completed you will get a log in screen. Once you are logged in you will be able to select, or deselect which files you want to be backed up. The default set of files that are pre-selected for your convenience include: Office Documents, Financial Files, Pictures, Music, and Contacts. These seem to be the most commonly selected files picked by users. From the main screen you can select the machine you are working with, then you will be able to select the individual files to store using the “what,” “When,” and “Other” tabs.

Norton Online Backup Backup Process Overview

After you select and deselect the files to be backed up, the client will scan your computer for specific file types, for example, MS Money files have the extension of .mny,or the Open Office extension of .sxw. This could be one of the main reasons that Norton doesn’t run on the Linux platform, the .tar extension is also used by the TurboTax suite. You will be able to set up scheduling, to keep from interfering with your internet activities, and bandwidth speeds, tho also help with this.

Norton Online Backup Restore Process Overview

The Norton Online restore process is almost as painless as the backup process is…and you will be able to do it from either your web browser, or the client. From the user interface, you can select the individual files, or even opt to restore all of the backup. You will also be able to pick where you want them downloaded to, if the restored files folder isn’t exactly where you would like it. And, you can take this function to your local network and store the files on one of the computers you have in your account. Your archives will be readily available here, too. Up to 90 days of them, if you need to go back that far.

Norton Online Backup Sharing Capabilities

Sharing happens through a link that is sent to the person you are sharing your files with. When creating the sharing link you will be asked about creating an access password for the files, we suggest you do this, for extra added security. You will be able to access your files from mobile devices, and schedule backups for your machines in your account, manage files, and share them too.

Norton Online Backup Privacy/Data Protection

With one of the world leaders in electronic and computer security leading this venture, we expected the security to be quite well taken care of, and they did. Not quite as thoroughly as others, but 128 bit SSL is used for file transfers, both uploading and downloading, and once your files are in their server they will be encrypted using 256 bit AES encryption. Their server farms are secured and hardened against all kinds of intrusion, both electronic and physical,and as added insurance against the eventuality of hardware failures, they are also mirrored in may locations worldwide.

Norton Online Backup Support Options

With so many public offerings their support is a little muddled when you are dealing with a live agent. But, when looking on their website, they offer email, forums, FAQ, and live support. Live support comes in the form of chat and phone. The FAQ is comprehensive, and the folks in the forum are friendly and helpful.

Norton Online Backup Common Problems

The most common problem we found was finding out how much additional storage costs. Other than this there were several questions about activation, and installing the client on other computers and keeping the activation. If you have problems finding the toolbar, (as many did,) right click on the toolbar in your browser, then find the Norton entry and select it to show.

Norton Online Backup vs. The Competition

While this is an old and very trusted company, their offerings are a little on the expensive side. Many others offer just as many features, along with their unlimited storage, (Carbonite, iDrive, and iBackup.) While it is a little expensive, the 90 days of versioning is a major plus.

Norton Online Backup Company Information

Symantec, (Norton’s parent company,) has been in business since 1985 protecting computer users worldwide against internet security threats, viruses, and malware. Traded on the NYSE, this is one of the bigger companies and can be trusted to take care of your data.

Our Conclusion On Norton Online Backup

While the offerings are pretty good in general, they weren’t impressive enough to get us too excited. The one feature of the service that is notable is the 90 days of versions being maintained. There are other commpanies that offer up to 45 days, but this is the longest archive solution we have seen yet. If you have a need for many backup versions, then these guys could be the way to go…if you can afford it.

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