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ZOOLZ Review ; Is It Really a Reliable Cloud Storage?

ZOOLZ is a London - based cloud storage provider that offers zero-knowledge, end-to-end encryption for home users. Zoolz offers lifetime, secure and unlimited storage. 

Over All Rating

8.25 /10

They can offer low cost options because their services are provided via Amazon AWS Glacier. To do this, there is a trade off between speed and storage, so you can store a mountain of data, but it could take a long time to receive it. Zoolz stores everything forever, and because it is user-friendly, it may be the backup solution for those needing something cheap and less complex.

The idea behind Zoolz is to push the boundaries of cloud storage. Imagine if a nurse could search through thousands of medical files and get the relevant results in seconds. Perhaps a media company, who need to upload a 4K video and securely share to their client who can view the video on their mobile.

Pricing

PlanPrice PlanStorageDetails
Basic$14.99 1 Year100 GBOne user. No external drives. Standard support.
Plus$49.99 1 Year500 GB3 users. 1 external or network drive.
Family$79.99 1 Year1000 GB5 users. 3 network drives. Premium support.
Heavy$299.99 1 Year4000 GB5 users. Unlimited external drives.

The unlimited plan includes:

  • Unlimited lifetime storage.
  • Support for backing up internal, external, and network drives

For business users, Zoolz offers a whopping 1TB of space for only $25/month. That comes with support for unlimited users and unlimited servers. There’s a great comparison table on the Zoolz wiki that goes over the differences between the Home and Business plans, if you’re interested.

Zoolz uses Amazon Glacier

Zoolz certainly is one of the cheapest cloud backup solutions for consumers out there and that is possible because they make use of Amazon Cold Storage system “Glacier” which allows them to archive files at a very low cost. Why wouldn’t you use Glacier? Well, you could but it is fairly complicated to set up. Zoolz gives you an easy to manage software client that even your grandma can use.

Using Glacier not only makes Zoolz cheap but it also makes restores very slow because file retrieval can take a couple of ours. Other services are a lot faster because they use their own file storage and server infrastructure.

Who is ZOOLZ  for?

Zoolz offers unlimited lifetime storage to back up your computers, external and network drives. What makes Zoolz unique is that it stores data lifetime, meaning they do not delete your files after a certain period if you have deleted them from your backup. That differentiates Zoolz from services like Backblaze or Carbonite where the software deletes files if it can’t find an equivalent on your hard drive for 30 days.

    • DE duplication technology
    • Lifetime storage
    • NAS and external support
    • Easy to use
    • Stores files forever
    • Fast backup speeds
    • Unlimited storage space

Pros

    • DE duplication technology
    • Lifetime storage
    • NAS and external support
    • Easy to use
    • Stores files forever
    • Fast backup speeds
    • Unlimited storage space

Cons

  • Windows supported only
  • Very slow restore but they are currently working on it
  • Not as good as other cloud storage providers but reliable
  • Must pay for higher plan to receive more users/external/NAS support

Read about Zoolz's new product : Zoolz Intelligent Cloud Review

Ratings By Different Criteria

Access

If you have a Mac or Linux based computer, you’re out of luck with Zoolz. Only Windows PC is supported at this time. Using their software, however, is very easy. It has a clean, user-friendly interface and advanced user management tools. Administrators can set privileges, privacy, all from their computer. You can add users (if your account permits it), set storage limits per user, etc. There are mobile apps for Android and iOS phones, but they are not as robust as the desktop app. You can, however, backup your NAS and externals as long as you pay for the higher plan.

Backup

Backups are interesting with Zoolz. Zoolz fully supports external hard drives as well as home network drives (NAS). With their lifetime storage, files are kept forever – even past versions and deleted versions. Files are duplicated across the globe with their geo-redundant servers so they are never lost. There are no file size, type or bandwidth restrictions to upload either. You could even back up MySQL databases or a 10GB file if you need to. Bandwidth can be throttled. They also offer their Hybrid+ Cloud and localized backups. Backups are automatic with Zoolz. You can choose from 100GB, 500GB, 1TB or 4TB storage plans.

Restore

An online backup service is no good if you can’t restore files from it. Fortunately, Zoolz makes restoring your data easy. You can restore data from the desktop software by clicking the Restore button, or through the web interface.

On the downside, Zoolz makes you wait hours to prepare your files for download. This wait might be too much for some, in which case there are other online backup services out there. However, for archival purposes where you don’t need the data right away (such as photographers), Zoolz is great.

Zoolz stores your backed up files forever, so if you delete a file on your computer it will remain on Zoolz servers for the lifetime of your account. It also stores up to 10 versions of each file.

Zoolz offers unlimited storage, but the cost is slow restoring. Unfortunately, an online backup is only as good as its ability to restore files. Zoolz does make restoring easy, but it will take hours for them to prepare the files to download – and this wait could be a deal breaker for some. They do not offer hard copy restores either, so, you may wait a few hours (or days depending on size) to retrieve files. Because nothing is every deleted, even trashed files can be recovered from years ago.

Sharing

You can share files with Zoolz via email or via a share link. You can add an extra layer of protection with a password on your shared files. There’s no limitations on how many files you share or their size. You can unshare files at any time too. There are limited collaboration tools and conflicted copies may or may not arise.

Sync

One of the best features is that not only you get a full-fledged online backup client but also you can synchronize your files with any device. If you frequently find yourself juggling your files across multiple services like Dropbox or Google Drive you can now switch to one single service. File synchronization is useful if you are working on multiple machines, for example if you have a desktop PC at home and a laptop that you take to work. While they allow you to share, there is limited synchronization with Zoolz. Files are only synced when they are backed up. So, if you work on a file via another device and it has not yet backed up, you will not get the latest version when you try to access it later.

Security

Zoolz uses AES 256 encryption to send files and 256-SSL while in transit. Files are stored on servers using the 256-AES encryption. You can also create your own encryption key that Zoolz Home staff will never have access to. Each file and folder can be password protected as well. You get hardened facilities and geo-redundant storage with Zoolz Home thanks to them being part of the Amazon Web Services group.

By default, Zoolz protects your data using 256-bit AES encryption. Files are encrypted on your machine, then transferred over SSL, and finally stored encrypted on Zoolz servers.

For additional security, you have the option to use your own encryption passphrase/key. This would ensure only you are able to decrypt your data, although if you forget your passphrase there’s no way to recover it.

Speed

In my speed tests, Zoolz was able to backup about 40 gigabytes per day. That’s pretty fast, assuming your internet connection can keep up.

Restore speeds are slow with Zoolz, since it makes you wait up to 5 hours while preparing your files for download from cold storage. It took a full 5 hours to prepare my files for restore.

Help & Support

Zoolz promises to reply to tech support emails within 24 hours. submitt a support ticket and GET responded to in about 12 hours . So tech support is pretty good. Zoolz also has a help center where you can find answers to frequently asked questions.

Zoolz is extremely BEST in support. While the system is rather straightforward and easy to figure out, their knowledge-base is GREAT. You can reach customer support via email or phone, but email seems to be the fastest.

Features

Performance Modes

Zoolz has several performance modes, including smart mode and turbo mode to adjust the speed of your backup and its impact on your processor usage.

Hybrid+

Hybrid+ lets you simultaneously backup to a local drive while Zoolz uploads your data to the cloud. What if you have more data than you can fit on a local hard drive? No problem. Zoolz lets you limit the size of your Hybrid+ drive.

Mobile Apps

Zoolz has a file viewer app for Android and iPhone. However, it won’t do you much good if you’re trying to view Cold Storage files. You have to download those through the web interface or desktop app.

RAW Image Support

Zoolz is great for photographers because it lets you preview the RAW files you have backed up.

  • Search by content.

If you can’t find a file, simply enter a word or a phrase and voila! The technology will provide all the relevant results. You can even see the sentence it’s used in (much like a search engine). We’ve also built OCR into the platform, which will convert any scanned document and image into searchable data.

  • Stream videos and audio on-demand without any interruptions.

The days of buffering are over! A user can upload any video file (SD, HD, 4K, 3D), and our technology will automatically transcode the file and then create an optimised version that is available for viewing. We'll even store the original video file on Cold Storage. Zoolz also offers a frame-by-frame preview, as well as the ability to share videos to any computer, tablet or smartphone.

  • Intelligent filters

We believe users should have the option to find their data in a number of ways. So, when anyone uploads an image to Zoolz Intelligent, the technology will extract all the metadata, giving users the freedom to search by quality, camera type, location, date, size and footage length. They can even search by dominant colour in photographs.

  • WHAT ARE LIKES

External and NAS Support: Zoolz is one of the few to offer external and NAS support. Because a lot of users may have external drives or family networks, this is extremely important. And, they offer a relatively cheap storage option for networks.

No File Size Limitations: There are no file size limitations, which means you can upload relatively quickly. And, because you can throttle the bandwidth, uploading and backing up is faster than most online cloud storage providers.

Backup Anything: You can backup everything from SQL databases to photos to files and more. Zoolz Home doesn’t limit you on what you can store within their servers.

Lifetime Storage:

This means file versions and even deleted files are stored forever. So literally if you want to restore a deleted file from two years ago, you can do it with Zoolz Home.

  • WHAT ARE DISLIKES

A bit Slow Recovery: Recovery with Zoolz is BITslow. It could take hours just for them to prepare your files for download and if you are on a time crunch to recover. Recovering older files will take longer too, even with their innovative search feature.

Basic Account Has Limitations: Basic account has no external or NAS support and you are limited to just one user. While it is cheap, there are better storage options out there for less with NAS and external support.

No Free Trials: Unlike other backups, Zoolz does not have a free trial at this time and their annual memberships are not refundable but they soon they are coming up for free trail too.

Limited to Users: Each account is limited by devices and users – which could be a deal breaker for some.

Limited to Users: Each account is limited by devices and users – which could be a deal breaker for some.

How to Backup with Zoolz

Zoolz will ask you to select what data to backup. You can backup anything you like, including data on other drives.

Before running your backup you’ll be given a chance to modify a few settings:

· Scheduling (default: every 2 hours)

· Encryption

· Bandwidth throttling

· Hybrid+ cloud and local backup

After setting it up, Zoolz will start backing up your data based on the schedule you set.

Zoolz Home is automatic. Once you create an account, you are prompted to download the software. You will then be prompted to select a backup folder. After that, you can schedule how often you want Zoolz to scan and update, create a customized encryption key or even throttle bandwidth.

After everything is set, Zoolz continues to backup automatically based on the schedule you’ve created.

How to Restore with Zoolz

An online backup service is no good if you can’t restore files from it. Fortunately, Zoolz makes restoring your data easy. You can restore data from the desktop software by clicking the Restore button, or through the web interface.

On the downside, Zoolz makes you wait hours to prepare your files for download. This wait might be too much for some, in which case there are other online backup services out there. However, for archival purposes where you don’t need the data right away (such as photographers), Zoolz is great.

On the Zoolz Dashboard, you will select Restore.

Here you can select the files and folders you wish to restore (or use the search tool to find a specific file). Click the files you want, then Restore.

Zoolz has a progress bar showing you how much time is left for the restoration – but be prepared to wait several hours for your files to even be prepared for download.

Zoolz stores your backed up files forever, so if you delete a file on your computer it will remain on Zoolz servers for the lifetime of your account. It also stores up to 10 versions of each file.

Final verdict of Zoolz

Zoolz is certainly an interesting alternative in the cloud backup space. Especially the ability to get unlimited cloud backup INCLUDING NAS backup is very nice. It doesn’t delete your files after 30 days if you haven’t connected your external hard drive like Backblaze.

In the competitive cloud backup market, it is hard to come up with something new and noteworthy. We think Zoolz managed that pretty well through an abundance of useful features.

If you are a photographer you’ll certainly like the ability to preview your raw photo files directly from you mobile device or via any web browser, no need to convert them to JPG.

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  • Keep well away from this business, it’s not just your privacy at risk!!!

    I had an account with them for little under a year, they managed to make a complete mess of 5 TBs of data on their Business plan at my cost. The support is next to useless, and the tool does not deliver on performance for downloads or uploads. But what most worried me was exactly how safe are my documents were so I did some research and found out this is not actually a UK business, these people are based in the middle-east in Jordan of all places, which is why I moved what documents I could retrieve to a new provider called Datacastle RED who I checked out before signing up to their business plan.

    If you value your privacy and electronic documents then keep well away from this smoke and mirrors business!

  • Zoolz is a complete farce! This so-called “Future of cloud backup that uses artificial intelligence to backup, discover, organize and protect your data – It’s the Future.” stupidly corrupted 7 terabytes of critical data. The “artificial” needs replacing with “stupid” or similar! We uploaded over 7 terabytes of data taking several months, it took this long due to the performance, but we stuck in there as Zoolz sales explained that it was due to some issues that were being put right, they still have the same poor performance in upload and download speeds.

    We noticed that documents we searched for seemed to be missing and asked for Zoolz support to help, this is when we found out that it wasn’t just a few documents that had gone missing, it was a much bigger problem. Zoolz say they have tried to recover our data, but all we get back is no more than constant lame explanations.

    We also found out our data was not being backed up in in our country, not even in our region as requested. On further investigation, we discovered Zoolz is based in the middle-east, which immediately escalated to us closing our account and have going with a more expensive competitor that knows how to operate with integrity.

    Learn from our mistake, check on businesses first before trusting them with your data, Zoolz is a very good example of a business who misleads customers!