Ever since JustCloud exploded into the online backup market they’ve been winning awards left, right and center.
It seems every week we uncover another publication that has written a JustCloud review and labeled them “best cloud storage provider” – but is this title really deserved or not?
JustCloud Review Of Features
Let’s start our JustCloud review by delving into the most important elements surrounding any decent cloud storage company and see how they measure up to the competition in this never-ending arms race to provide the best possible service at the cheapest price.
JustCloud works with both Macs and PCs and – unlike many of their competitors – also has a Linux-based app too meaning that no matter what operating system you’re running on, you’ll be able to use JustCloud.
Like all the best cloud storage solutions, JustCloud also offers free smart phone apps to enable you to access all your backed up files from anywhere you have cell phone reception. In this case Android, iPhone and Blackberry apps are available though sadly it seems as of right now Symbian phones (Nokia, for example) are not supported.
The first thing which really stands out when investigating JustCloud is that rather than developing their own data center to store all your backed-up files, they have instead built their infrastructure on Google’s own cloud servers.
This is worth noting for two reasons; firstly it means that your data is stored in some of the most secure and carefully-monitored data centers in the world. Google, a billion dollar company, is not know for taking chances with data and so when combined with JustCloud’s standard SSL security the chances of your backups getting lost are almost non-existent.
But there’s more. Some competing cloud storage companies use one single data center to store all your files. The risk, of course, is that while data centers are typically carefully protected there is always a slight risk of having all your files stored in just one location.
However in writing our JustCloud review we delved as deeply as we could into their infrastructure – and even spoke to their support team about the pros and cons of their system.
What we liked was the fact that Google’s cloud servers, as used by Just Cloud, are spread across multiple locations. This adds an extra level of security for your backups so that if a single data center should suffer any issues, other versions of your backup will still be stored elsewhere meaning bullet-proof security for even the most important files.
JustCloud Storage: What Can You Back Up?
JustCloud is designed to help you safely store any files from your computer. These may be anything from Word documents to photos, spreadsheets to even videos – which, incidentally, many competing backup companies don’t allow because of the resources required to store data-heavy video files.
When backing up you have the option to either back up your entire “My Documents” folder or simply to specify individual documents/folders that you’d like backed up. For ease, we always recommend the former option, which also offers additional protection in that whenever you create a new document on your computer you know it will be automatically backed up rather than having to add it to your queue manually.
File sizes are generous, particularly in comparison to some of the most well-known online storage companies. The files that you back up can be up to 1gb in size and it’s possible to upgrade that option taking you right up to 5gb. I think it’s fair to say that I’d be very surprised if you had any files larger than 5gb on your hard drive! This means total freedom and essentially no limitations on what you can back up.
Even better, JustCloud offers file syncing between multiple devices so if you happen to use a cell phone, a desktop at work and a laptop at home, not only will you be able to access all your files no matter which of your devices you’re using, but as soon as you create or update a file, the latest version will automatically sync with your other devices so it’s ready for use.
When researching for this JustCloud review we were very impressed to note that they offer unlimited file versioning – something that other companies should try to emulate. What this essentially means is that every time to modify a file and resave it, a copy of the new version is stored alongside the previous version(s) rather than deleting all but the latest version.
Over the years of using online backup we’ve found this hugely beneficial on multiple occasions when, for example, we’ve modified a file only to find that we made a mistake such as deleting some text or changing the formatting of a spreadhseet. If only the latest version is stored, you won’t be able to repair the damage you just did.
In contrast, storage companies like JustCloud that offer unlimited file versioning allow you to call up older versions of your files, thus ensuring you can always undo any errors or mistakes you might make. Trust me when I say this; this one feature alone has saved our bacon more than once.
And while JustCloud aren’t alone in offering this service, many of their competitors still only offer limited file versioning if any. This is surely a major benefit of opting for JustCloud over other solutions.
The only real weakness in JustCloud’s armor that we found during this review is that they won’t back up your operating system or software applications. We appreciate that this is in line with most cloud storage providers, but there are a limited number of companies that actually do offer this service. Whether this matters to you or not is personal preference and we’ve been willing to overlook this factor ourselves.
If we were to offer JustCloud any advice on making their website more user-friendly it would be this: stop hiding your pricing! Upon reaching the JustCloud website you’ll be wowed with all the features they boast and offered a free account, though its worth noting that the free account (as much most other cloud storage companies) is quite limited in terms of the storage limit you receive.
The simple fact is that anyone who is serious about securing and storing their data will want to upgrade to a paid account; the free account is really only useful for taking their software for a “test run” and seeing what you think of it.
JustCloud seems to assume everyone will sign up for a free account and will then consider upgrading to one of their paid accounts, but finding information on JustCloud’s pricing without signing up for a free account can be a challenge.
Fortunately, we have the answers…
Before we talk specifically about the costs of backing up with JustCloud it’s worth noting two things.
Firstly, prices of course change regularly so we encourage you to check the most up-to-date pricing on their website. For the purposes of this JustCloud review though, prices were right at the time of publication.
Secondly like many online storage companies, JustCloud tends to offer far better deals to customers who are willing to sign up for longer periods of time. While they *do* offer monthly packages without any long-term commitment, for the best deal consider signing up for a longer package, whereupon the savings can be considerable.
As of the time of writing though, JustCloud offers three standard plans for personal use.
- Home 75GB plan – $4.49 per month for 2 years (total charge $107.71)
- Premium 250GB plan – $4.95 per month for 2 years (total charge $118.85)
- Unlimited Plan – $6.95 per month for 2 years (total charge $166.85)
To our mind, the Unlimited Plan really removes any limitations at all and will ensure you never run out of space. And at just $6.95 a month pro-rata it’s one of the best deals out there.
Justcloud Review Summary
Infact, to round off our JustCloud review I think it’s worth quoting Sam Floyd, a happy user of their services who says:
“Just wanted to say your service is awesome, and by far the cheapest!”
We couldn’t agree more and with the combination of impressive security, professional-grade features and a price that anyone can afford we agree with other reviewers and agree that JustCloud really is one of the best cloud storage solutions currently available. High recommended.
Important Money-Saving Tip: JustCloud already offers great value for money but there’s a sneaky way to save even more money if you follow our advice. When you visit the JustCloud website, click around a few pages until you see the “Secret Link” appear in the menu at the bottom of the page. Clicking this will give you an additional discount. Now keep it to yourself 😉