Norton Online Backup Review
Norton Online Backup spawned from other Norton products including the anti-theft, identity safe and of course, Norton Anti-Virus. With their backup service, you can keep important files and family photos safe on the cloud using government-grade encryption. While it is an excellent service, it does not feature the same accessibility as others. A maintenance-free backup provider for those who want to set it and forget it.
- Affordable yearly and monthly storage plans
- Up to 5 computers on a single license
- File versioning and deleted file restore
- Automatic backups
- NAS and external hard drive support
- No file sharing
- No mobile device or smartphone access/backups
- Does not support Linux
- Help and tech support are shared with all Norton products
- No free trial
- No remote wipe feature
Access: (Rating: 7/10)
Norton Online Backup is easy to use. You will purchase and install the software, then you can sign on to an online account to manage your data, schedule backups or restore everything you backed up before. But, there is no mobile app and you cannot access, restore or even protect files on your mobile devices. They do, however, support Windows and Mac, but no mobile platforms or Linux at this time. To find files, you can do a keyword search so that you can locate them easier.
Backup: (Rating: 10/10)
Norton Online Backup automatically backs up your important files. You can also back up as many as five computers on a single subscription plan – which is paid monthly or annually. You can choose to backup specific files or request that it scans and automatically updates your entire hard drive. Files that are open will still backup too. Files are automatically compressed before they are backed up, which saves time uploading them – and there are no bandwidth, file size or file type restrictions. The plan comes with 25GB of space, but you can add more later if needed. You can backup NAS drives as well as external hard drives as part of your plan.
Restore: (Rating: 8/10)
Restoring your lost files is straightforward with Norton Online Backup. You can log in to your online management dashboard to find specific files and there are previous versions that are stored for up to 90 days – just in case you made a mistake and want to restore an older version. You can also restore items you have accidentally deleted or search for file by keyword and restore it. There is no restore-to-door feature with this company.
Share: (Rating: 0/10)
Norton Online Backup is a backup service only. You cannot share files in your online backup or send links to share with others. While the family can use up to five computers, you have to use a web password to login and access your files.
Sync: (Rating: 4/10)
Everything is stored online, so when you login to your online dashboard, you will see the latest files. If someone has a file open, it will still backup that version of the file to the system. Because you can add up to five computers, each will have access to the same files as long as they have the password and software installed on the system. But, there is no sync between mobile devices.
Security: (Rating: 8/10)
Norton Online Backup boasts about its government-grade security, but they only feature a 128-bit SSL encryption when files are being sent over the web and a 256-bit encryption while they are stored. It is adequate storage, but there are some providers that take the encryption even higher. They do have secured servers and geo-redundant services in a secured location.
Help & Support: (Rating: 9/10)
Unfortunately, the support for this product shares support for all Norton family products. So, a user may get frustrated with wait times or having to answer multiple questions about the product they purchased before they can get an answer. They do have an online help guide that discusses installation, renewals, etc. but it is rather basic. They also have a forum where you can post your question or see if others have a similar issue. Luckily, they are available 24/7 and offer a live chat – so you can get answers even at 3:00am.
No Bandwidth Caps
No File Size Restrictions
No File Type Restrictions
Help and Support
Restore Individual Files
Version History: 90
NAS Drive Support
External Drive Support
Encrypted File Transfer
Encrypted File Storage
What we Like About Norton Online Backup
Affordable: For less than $50 per month, you can backup up to five computers. This is fairly affordable when compared to other online backup providers. While there are some providers out there for cheaper, you are getting a good rate for a big name in online and computer security. You also have the ability to expand your storage space.
Restore Deleted Files: If you accidentally delete a file, Norton does have the capability to restore those deleted files, which is always a bonus – especially when you have five different computers using the same online backup service.
Automatic Backups: You can just setup Norton and forget about it. It automatically updates everything – which is perfect for those who like maintenance-free products.
NAS and External Capable: Norton Online Backup does let you select files from your NAS as well as external hard drives to back them up.
Updates Even While Files are Open: If you or someone else on your backup plan has a file open, Norton Online Backup will still update those files in the system – ensuring nothing is ever lost.
What we Don't Like about Norton Online Backup
No Free Trial: Unlike other cloud storage providers, there is no free trial with this service. Instead, you have to pay your annual subscription fee upfront for the software and that’s it.
No Linux: While this may not matter to everyone, those with Linux will be disappointed. At this time, Norton Online Backup only supports Mac and Windows-based computers.
Security Could be Better: Let’s face it; security is a big deal these days. While Norton is one of the biggest names in security, their encryption is just okay. They do have government-grade encryption while uploading and storing, but there are other plans out there with higher encryption levels. That being said, their encryption is high enough to protect your information.
Mixed Customer Support: You get to share tech support with all Norton products. While they do have an online guide just for Norton Online Backup users, you may wait in line to speak to a 24/7 online representative.
No Mobile Access: There’s no mobile access with this backup. So, you cannot access files on the go, work on a file or even save what you have stored on your mobile phone. Instead, you would have to go home, download the files from your mobile device to your PC or Mac, and then update them in Norton.
No File Sharing and Limited File Syncing: Norton is serious about being a backup only service. So, you cannot share files, create collaborative folders or even get a link to share something with others. Also, files are only synced in the online system as they automatically backup – but you cannot work on a file on one computer and move to the next to work on it.
Five and Done: Just like other Norton products, once you register the license five times, you’re done. If you lose a computer or it is stolen, and you’ve used the license five times, you will have to buy a new one.
No Remote Wipe: There are no protections for computers that are lost or stolen. While the person couldn’t access your digital files without the Norton password, they can still access what you have on the hard drive of the stolen computer.
How to Backup with Norton Online Backup
When you install the software, the software automatically identifies and backs up files. But, you also have the option of switching to manual backups – or the option of backing up manually when you feel you need to. There are two ways to do this:
Backing Up from Your Computer
1. Exit all programs open on your computer.
2. For Windows, right click your Norton Online Backup service, then select Backup Now. For Mac users, click on Norton Online Backup on your menu bar, then click Backup Now.
Wait for the backup to finish – which may take several minutes depending on the types of files and their sizes.
Backing Up Remotely Using the Online Service
Norton does allow you to backup remotely using the online dashboard. To do this you will:
1. Go to the Norton Online Backup website and login with your secure password.
2. You will see a list of backup sets. Pick which backup set you would like to run, then select Back Up Now.
How to Restore Using Norton Online Backup
Restoring with Norton Online Backup is done online and cannot be done through the installed software. To restore your files or just a single file you will have to:
1. Go to the Norton Online Backup website and log in with your secure password.
2. Select manually which files you wish to back up in the backup set, then click File Actions, then Restore Files.
3. In your Options, you will have a drop down list where you can select which computer to send the restored files to. All files are, by default, sent to a folder labeled Restored Files, on your hard drive. But, if you wish to restore them to their original location, you can select Restore Files to Original Location on Your Computer. You can also opt to overwrite existing files on your hard drive by selecting the Overwrite Existing Files.
4. In the Restore Files section, you can choose to Restore All Files (for a full restore) or pick and choose which files you want and select Files to Restore.
5. When you are done selecting your options, just click Restore Files.
It may take several minutes to hours depending on the number of files you are restoring and whether or not you are having the software delete, overwrite or move to the original location. You will still need the software installed on that computer to receive the restored files.
Norton Online Backup is part of the Norton family of products made by Symantec. With its professional-grade online backup service, you can protect as many as five computers and save data with ease. Because it is all automatic, you can just set it and forget it – while your information stays safe online.