We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Disk tools/Optimisation software Reviews
15,669 Reviews

Symantec Norton Online Backup review

£39 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Symantec

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

Norton Online Backup is unique in the online backup universe in that you use it and configure it online.

Norton Online Backup is unique in the online backup universe in that you use it and configure it online.

There is a local client to interface with your system, but basically the only thing you may do with it is invoke the online interface of Norton Online Backup. This is a bit of a departure from the average service that uses local client software to select files and schedule backups.

The Norton Online Backup online interface is quite nice to look at, and powerful. You can have it choose files automatically, choose files based on rules in additional locations, or simply add them one by one. My primary complaint is that scheduling, while easy to set, is restricted to daily, weekly, or monthly settings. This means you can't get the same ad hoc continuous data protection that you can with Fabrik, Mozy, and others. Hence, NOB is only suitable for less volatile data sets and off-hour backups.

Norton Online Backup will back up open files, and it did so for me on several occasions, but it did fail once with an Outlook .pst file which was then subsequently backed up successfully. The log stated that the file could not be backed up as "...most likely because some other program was using it at the time." The company is investigating this, but did not have an explanation at the time this review posted. We'll chalk it up to the vagaries of our rather well-used XP installation.

The solo version of Norton Online Backup may be used to back up 5 PCs and up to 5GB of data total. That's more PCs than many services allow, and at £39 a year the price per gigabyte is quite competitive. A NOB account is also bundled free with Symantec's Norton 360 security suite. You get 2GB of storage with the basic version of 360 and the 25GB with the Premier version of 360 as of July 2010.

You may access your backed-up files from anywhere you have web access - part of the joy of the online interface. However, there's no option to duplicate the backup locally so if your internet is down, so is your access to your backup. However, while online you can email links to files so you can share them with others.

NEXT: our expert verdict >>

Norton Online Backup Expert Verdict »

Windows 7/Vista/XP, Mac OS X 10.5 or newer
Internet Explorer/Firefox/Safari
Internet connection
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

As an adjunct to Norton 360, Norton Online Backup is definitely something you should take advantage of. Even as a standalone it's very competitive both feature- and price-wise.

  • Fabrik Ultimate Backup Home review

    Fabrik Ultimate Backup Home

    Fabrik Ultimate Backup Home is a free service that offers local and offsite protection for your data.

  • F-Secure Online Backup review

    F-Secure Online Backup

    F-Secure Online Backup (pricing varies with plan) is a stable, easy-to-set-up backup solution along the lines of Mozy and SpiderOak.

  • Proxure KeepVault 4 review

    Proxure KeepVault 4

    KeepVault from Proxure is a largely easy-to-install and easy-to - configure service that backs up your data both online and to a local destination. You may have noticed that I said "data" and not "PC." That's because, unlike services such as Mozy and Fabrik, KeepVault allows you to back up data from multiple PCs.

  • Mozy 2 review

    Mozy 2

    Mozy 2.0 is a mild-but-welcome upgrade of the client for this popular online backup service.

  • Symantec Norton 360 4.0 review

    Symantec Norton 360 4.0

    Symantec Norton 360 Version 4.0 adds Norton Insight to speed up quick scans for this comprehensive Windows security package.

IDG UK Sites

6 best gaming PCs 2015: What's the best gaming PC you can buy in the UK?

IDG UK Sites

Three of the most expensive Limited Edition games ever made: Who's buying a $1,000,000 game?

IDG UK Sites

The future of Microsoft Surface: What to expect from the Surface Pro 4

IDG UK Sites

Best Mac: Apple Mac buyers guide for 2015: iMac, MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini and...