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For home users, basic cloud services are easiest to use

Users are spoiled for choice with basic online backup services, with several receiving very good reviews. Online backup services differ in what they focus on -- functionality, unlimited storage, local backup -- so you should be able to find one that suits your needs.

MozyHome (Est. $6 per month for 50 GB) is our best reviewed online backup service because of its security, features and ease of use. Mozy's security is second to none, reviewers say. The latest version of MozyHome provides automatic local backup to an external hard drive in addition to online backup (Windows-only). The interface earns high marks for simplicity and intuitiveness. And aside from the initial upload, backups and downloads are generally quick.

MozyHome also offers a free file-synchronization service called Mozy Stash that lets users access files on other computers that have Stash installed. Users can opt for a 50 GB, one-computer plan at a cost of $6 per month or a 125 GB, three-computer plan at $10 per month. Additional storage is available in 20 GB chunks for $2 more per month.

If you're looking for an online backup service that provides unlimited storage, take a look at Carbonite (Est. $60 per year for unlimited GB). Reviewers say that Carbonite offers many of the same features as MozyHome and is one of the simplest online backup services to use. Carbonite online backup doesn't offer a monthly subscription option, but you can save money by opting for a two-year (Est. $110 for unlimited storage) or a three-year (Est. $150 for unlimited storage) subscription. A free 15-day trial is also available. Carbonite is compatible with both Windows and Mac OS X.

Cloud storage with local backup

Crashplan+ (Est. $33 per year for 10 GB) is a good choice for those who don't want to put all their data in one basket. Reviewers say Crashplan+ is a great value because you get local and online backup. For the same price as other online backup providers, Crashplan+ can back up your files in three locations -- online, on another computer and on an external hard drive. Crashplan+ works with Windows, Mac and Linux.

Experts say Crashplan is relatively easy to use and only takes a few minutes to install, but they warn that Crashplan's interface isn't quite as user-friendly as MozyHome's (Est. $6 per month for 50 GB)  or Carbonite's (Est. $60 per year for unlimited GB) .

Free cloud storage

For those who don't have much data to back up, consider using MozyHome Free (Free for 2 GB) which provides 2 GB of free storage space for one computer. MozyHome Free has most of the same well-reviewed features as MozyHome, including file synchronization, and you don't need a credit card to sign up. Alternatively, there are a number of free file synchronization services, covered in that section of this report, including Dropbox (Free for 2 GB), Google Drive (Free for 5 GB) and Microsoft SkyDrive (Free for 7 GB).

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