ZipCloud is another name in a long line of cloud storage and syncing services. ZipCloud grabbed my attention because the owners, Just Develop It, are distributers of two other cloud based storage services.
The People Behind The Mask
JDI are the distributors of JustCloud and MyPCBackup. ZipCloud is US based but UK owned. They are in the business of online backup solutions with a portfolio proving they know what they’re doing.
As a complete backup solution with over 15 million files on their servers, it makes sense to have bank-level, military grade encryption and security built in. ZipCloud takes online security seriously.
ZipCloud has a history of changing their pricing plans over the years. As of this writing, mid 2015, this is what I gathered from their website. They offer two levels to start your service; personal and business. Business, as you might guess, is geared toward customers who need more storage and more features than those on the personal level. Each Personal Plan comes with a 14-day free trial.
|Home 75GB Plan
||$4.49 Per Month For Two Years
|Premium 250GB Plan
||$4.95 Per Month For Two Years
||$6.95 Per Month For Two Years
The Business plans are customizable. With features like network backup, external drive backup, and unlimited user accounts included, it’s difficult to put a price on this and here’s why. ZipCloud offers two plans ~ 100GB with 5 computer licenses and 500GB with 20 computer licenses. At a minimum, the 100GB plan starts at $35.94 per month, while the 500GB plan starts at $71.94. Here’s where it gets tricky, but not so much.
Drag the sliders left and right to change the amount of space and the number of computer licenses you might need. As you add more space or licenses, the price increases. This allows you to customize your online storage plan in the simplest, most intuitive way possible.
ZipCloud tries hard to be there for you when you need them. They don’t go the do-it-yourself route with knowledge base articles for common questions. Instead, they tout free 24/7 technical support via phone. For simpler, more common questions, they posted a list of the top 10 frequently asked questions.
This can be a double edged sword. While the 24/7 support line is attractive, this means that for questions not answered by the FAQ, then I must call them. I’m a user that appreciates a little research; I look online for anyone else that might have solved a similar issue. Phone support is a last resort. I’m sure others enjoy solving issues on their own as well.
File Restoration: Start to Finish
As an online backup and storage solution, the next step for me is to find out for myself how smooth the process is. Before I could restore any files, I needed to ZipCloud on my computer. After creating an account online, I downloaded and installed the application.
Account Creation and Installation
On their website, I created my account and went straight to a download page with a popup that asked me if I wanted to save the file or cancel. I saved it, went to My Downloads list, and opened it. The file opened without delay and I selected “Next”. That was it; a one click installation process. I don’t remember ever installing anything that was so quick and easy.
ZipCloud is a far more than a file sharing solution. This is a full backup solution. In less than a minute, a window appeared asking me to sign in. Next it asked me if I wanted to back up the most common folder in Windows: My Documents. The other choice allowed me to choose my own folders and documents. Since I’m giving this a trial run, I needed to choose something small. I chose to back up one picture to see how the backup process works. The trial version allows 15MB to be backed up, so I thought a single photo would do nicely.
ZipCloud performed the backup in less than 30 seconds. I opened it from the task bar and clicked on “Restore Files” toward the top. The interface had a tab layout to ease navigation. To restore the file, I had to move the file from its original location. Not wanting to delete my photo, I moved it to the desktop. Back in the control panel, I had to find the file in a tree structure. The file tree seems a little less intuitive, but I can’t think of a better alternative. ZipCloud mimicked my exact file structure I have on my computer, forcing me navigate through each file level to where the original photo was. I knew where the file was so finding it was easy. Upon selecting the file, I clicked on the “Restore Selected Files” button at the bottom of the window. Another window popped up that wasn’t so intuitive: it asked me where I wanted to save it. I would have liked ZipCloud to restore the file to its original location.
The program deserves credit. ZipCloud kept my original file structure and asked where I wanted to restore saved files. The whole process couldn’t be easier if I wrote the program myself.
Only One Complaint
I do have one complaint. I received a popup in the taskbar from ZipCloud notifying me about unused space on my account. While I’m sure it can be helpful in a handful of situations, I found it to be an annoying distraction that grabbed my attention unnecessarily.
Nine out of Ten
ZipCloud was everything I expected. As an excellent, easy to use online backup solution, I liked it so much I’m considering paying for a full plan to back up my computer. I don’t have to worry about the up-front cost of purchasing a hard drive and restoring my files was a snap. The one click installation caught me off guard, but in a good way. I expected it to be more difficult, asking me questions I click “Next” on anyways. I was pleasantly surprised by the entire package and process. It took less than 5 minutes from the time I created my account to the time I restored my file. I highly recommend this product for those in the market.