Online Backup Technical FAQ

Online Backup FAQs
How do I receive my username?

The SOS account username is proposed by the registrant at the time of registration. Once registration is completed, an email is sent to your subscribed email address as well. Usernames are unique, and cannot be recycled.

Is the username case sensitive?

No, username is not a case sensitive field, but password is case sensitive.

What does UltraSafe mean to me?

This is a feature which can be selected at the time of creating your backup account. When creating an account in UltraSafe mode, the password is irretrievable. For normal accounts, if ever customers forget their passwords, they can still get the passwords mailed to them by going to and answering the “Forgot Password” question the answer to which is provided at the time of registration. Under UltraSafe mode, your data remains secure, but cannot be retrieved by any means in case of password lost.

Is the password case sensitive?

Yes, passwords are case sensitive. Passwords must be more than 6 characters long.

Should I choose the “save the password” option at the login screen the SOS software presents when it starts?

It is the user’s choice. If the password is not saved at the login screen, scheduled backup already set will run, as will LiveProtect. The option to save the password allows all users that access the workstation where the client software is installed to change backup settings. For e.g., an account set up on a server, should usually be accessed only by the systems administration and thus this option would not be checked in this scenario.

Can I run multiple SOS Backup accounts from one client computer?

Yes, multiple accounts can be run from one client. The same client software will log in different accounts provided the correct username and password are provided.

Can I use a single SOS Backup account on multiple computers?

Yes, you can run a single account on multiple computers. You should make sure that the backup sets on the different computers altogether do not exceed the subscribed storage size.

How do I know what needs to be backed up?

Any file, the loss of which would cause the data owner to suffer from business loss or personal suffering, should be backed up.

How do I add folders and files to the list of what is backed up?

After logging in SOS Online Backup client software, the user can decide whether to use the Classic View (from the dropdown on the top right corner of the software display screen) or the Wizard View, which is the default view after logging in.

a) Wizard View
After logging in, application screen consists of four different functions. To find the files which need to be backed up online, select the “Backup Online” option. You can then choose from the tree view which is all the files which have to be backed up. Since it is not advisable to back up system files and folders, make sure that you take time to scroll through the tree view to actually select data files that are important for backup.

b) Classic View
The Classic View offers three different modes for selecting files that need to be backed up. After logging in, click on Classic View from the “Advanced” menu on the top right corner of the application display. In the Classic view, navigate to Backup Mode. There are three different ways to look for data that need to be backed up.

- Drag and Drop Feature
Allows to ‘drag and drop’ a file or folder for backup

- Explore computer
Provides a directory tree view from which files and folders for back up can be selected.

- Search for files
This mode allows you to look for files with specific file extensions. A wide range of selection is available here.

How can I find a file when I don’t know where to look for it?

You can look for files to back up through the ‘Backup Online’ Wizard option which you can launch after logging in the client software. On step 1 of the wizard, a tree view of the computer’s directory is available for file selection. You can also search for files. After logging in to the client software, on the top right corner of the application display go to ‘Advanced’ menu, select Classic View. Navigate to the Backup Mode and to ‘Search for files’. Look up in the directory for C drive (Most of the .pst files are hidden files) and select the .pst extension.

Why can’t I see my Outlook .pst file?

By default, Outlook .pst files are hidden files. On Windows XP, they are usually located in the C:\Documents and settings\\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook folder.

On Windows Vista, Outlook files are usually located in C:\Users\\App Data\Local\Microsoft\Outlook folder.

Do I have to select each file for protection individually?

No, entire folders contents can be selected for backup by checking the text box of the folder itself. This also automatically includes any files that are subsequently added to the folder.

How do I set a schedule?

After logging in the client software, you can set up a scheduled back up through the following steps:

1) Select “Backup Online” and select the files you need to backup

2) On the step 2 screen, select “Run scheduled backup automatically without user intervention”

3) The other checkbox “Run backup even when user is not logged on» is an advanced setting and is usually useful for server environment. Normal users need not select this option.

4) Click on next, and key in an email address if you require a backup report.

What are the Domain/Username/Password fields used for?

This screen appears if the “Run backup even when user is not logged on” is checked on Step 2 when creating a backup from the Wizard View. These credentials are your Windows environment username and password and not your SOS Username and Password. This is an advanced option which is useful for unattended computers like servers. This option is not required by normal users using SOS Online Backup on a standalone computer.

Once a schedule is set, how can I check it?

You can check the status of your SOS Scheduled Backup by looking at Windows Scheduled tasks. This is the repository of all scheduled tasks on a computer. You can get to the Windows Scheduled Tasks in Windows XP by navigating to Start -> Program Files -> Accessories -> System Tools -> Scheduled Tasks.

If you have correctly scheduled a backup with SOS Online Backup, there will be an icon with the SOS Online Backup logo sitting there. Right click and view properties.

How can I re-set a schedule to another time?

When logging into the client software, select “Backup Online”. If the backup set remains the same and you only wish to change the schedule, then do not have to do anything on step 1. Click next and move on to step 2. This is where you can change the time, frequency of a scheduled backup. Click on Next once the correct settings have been entered.

How can I know my ISP speed?

ISP speed can be found by Customer support from the ISP provider; however there are a few online websites that tell you about the connection speed of the internet connection you are using, one of them is

What email address should I use for the reports?

You can put the email address of the person who will be monitoring that backup sessions are successful.

Can I change the email address later?

Yes, it can be changed using the SOS client in the following two ways:

• In the Classic View
o Start the SOS client in the classic view
o Go to Options
o Select Email Backup Reports
o Select the checkbox which says “send email reports at the end of scheduled backup”
o Enter the email address where you want the reports to be delivered in the text box below.
o Click Apply

• In the Wizard View
o While configuring online backup using the wizard
o Step 3 of the configuration displays an option to send email backup reports
o Select the checkbox which says “send email reports at the end of scheduled backup”
o Enter the email address where you want the reports to be delivered in the text box below.
o Continue with the back up

Does the email address field support multiple addressees?

Yes. Enter multiple email addressed separated by a comma “,” in the email text field.

How do I find the Classic View?

In the opening Wizard screen after logon, click the Advanced button at the top right and select the Classic View Option.

What is the difference between running on a schedule and running with no user logged on?

In using a server there is usually no user account logged on to the server directly , however we have to provide the domain name of the domain to which the server belongs and also the login credentials to log into the server.
In a normal PC or laptop, there is always an account logged on for the computer to function. In the case of this Backup program there must be an Administrator account logged on – it may be locked out.

What should I be aware of in order to properly set the Caching Option?

With FULL cache chosen the effects are to have the shortest session times and the largest footprint on the local drive.

With NO cache chosen, the effects are to have the longest session times but the smallest possible footprint on the local drive; it basically retransfers the entire file.

With intellicache selected the effect is to have a middle ground result. Only files above 500kb are cached, and the files which are less than 500 KB are re-transferred again.

What if my files are in a folder of all mixed types and I only want certain types Protected in my account?

From the OPTIONS page in the Classic View there are three Cloaking settings that can be set:

No cloaking / Files to NOT backup / Files to ONLY backup.

These three settings described above are basically file-type filters used to select a particular type of file in a folder, selected to be a part of the back up set/session checklist.

Is there any other way to do this same operation if there are several file types involved in the consideration?

More than one file type can be selected for at once using the cloaking option.

Why can't I read the full filename in the Backup Mode on-screen display?

As in most display screens, you can drag the column divider to expose more of the filename.

Can I change the session checklist without completely re-doing it?

Yes. All selected elements are independently dealt with.

If you want to change the items in the session checklist :
• Open the SOS Client in the classic view
• Go to Backup Mode
• It will show all the files in the session check list
• If you want to remove some files, select those files and click on the “Remove Selected Button”
• If you want to add some files to the session checklist, it can be done in following three ways:
o Using Drag and drop files and folder option, in which files and folder can be added simply by dragging the files to the list of files.
o Using Browse for file option, in which simply browse the local drive and select the files which is to be added to the session check and click “Apply” button.
o Using Search for files ,in which files to be added are searched based on files extensions and then the found files are selected and the “Protect “ button is clicked to add the selected files in the session check list.

What happens to my backed up files if I delete the local copy from the uploading computer?

Nothing will happen in your files which exist on our server, they still sit on our server and you can restore them anytime anywhere you want. Other backup providers will delete the files on the server end if it is deleted on the local machine. Our functionality is referred to as ‘archiving’

What happens to my backed up files if I remove a selected and backup file from the session check list?

Nothing will happen. You only removed them from the session checklist (these files won’t be backed up in the next backup session). If you have done backup(s) for those files before, the backup(s) will remain in our system.

I selected my Outlook .pst file in the Wizard and it hasn't been backed up – why not?

The outlook .pst files which you should select is the one which exist is C:\Documents and Settings\\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook.

How can I share a file?

To share a file/folder, you can use MyAccount facility which is available from our website ( ). Log in to your account using your username and password and then select the “Online Recovery” link. There will be a list of machines from which you have done your backup so far, drill down to which files/folders you want to share and then select the “SHARE/RECOVER” link on the right of the table.

How can I share a folder of files?

To share a file/folder, you can use MyAccount facility which is available from our website ( ). Log in to your account using your username and password and then select the “Online Recovery” link. There will be a list of machines from which you have done your backup so far, drill down to which files/folders you want to share and then select the “SHARE/RECOVER” link on the right of the table.

Can a Shared file recipient re-upload?

The file recipient can not re-upload the files/folders using the web facility. The recipient needs to log in to a SOS Account using SOS Client Software to upload the files/folders.

What if a common file on a server is accessed by many during a period, which version will be saved - or will all?

All versions will be backed up. The backup will be saved separately on their own version. For example, if a file called MyDocument.doc exists in a server and we have 2 machines connected to the server and accessing the file (A and B). After finish modifying, A does a backup, the file will be saved as A -> Path\MyDocument.doc version 1. When B does a backup, it will go to B -> Path\MyDocument.doc version 1. When the server does the backup, the file will be backed up as Server -> Path\MyDocument.doc version 1.

What if a file is downloaded to many computers for response work and then re-uploaded to a shared account from all, which version is saved - or will all?

All versions will be backed up. The backup will be saved separately on their own version. For example, if a file called MyDocument.doc exists in a server and we have 2 machines connected to the server and accessing the file (A and B). After finish modifying, A does a backup, the file will be saved as A -> Path\MyDocument.doc version 1. When B does a backup, it will go to B -> Path\MyDocument.doc version 1. When the server does the backup, the file will be backed up as Server -> Path\MyDocument.doc version 1.

Can a Network Administrator download backed up files and re-upload them?

Yes, he/she can. If the network admin re-uploads the file using different machine, it will show up as a new machine in your SOS Account, but if he/she uses the same machine and the same path, it will appear as different version.

Can SOS backup SQL databases?

Yes. SOS Online Backup recommends using SQL Server Management Studio for Full or Differential backups of SQL databases. The SQL backups file(s) should be saved to a local folder on your server or another network location. SOS Online Backup will backup the SQL Backup File daily. If you are not concerned about a transactional based SQL Backup with Logs, you can simply use the SOS Online Backup Client to backup a SQL database (VSS is used in the background with SOS). Using SOS Online Backup to backup an SQL database directly will only create a copy. The SOS Online Backup Client will not truncate SQL Logs. To address the concern with the SOS Client running up a new backup of the SQL Database file daily: SOS will only backup the Delta to each SQL backup file. The same would apply when only using the SOS Online Backup Client to backup the SQL database directly. SOS will backup the Delta changes only.

When there is a need to recover an SQL Database, you can simply use SOS to recover the applicable SQL Backup File reverting back to any date and time when a backup was run. After recovering the SQL Backup File from the SOS Online Backup system, you can open the SQL Server Management Studio and recover the applicable SQL database. If you decided to only use the SOS Client to backup SQL, you would restore the copy of the SQL database from the SOS Online Backup System, then replace and overwrite the existing SQL database.

How can I disable/enable the email backup reports?

• Click on the advanced button on the top right hand of the SOS software.
• Select Classic View option.
• Select the options tab in Classic View.
• Select email backup reports in the options provided.
• To disable, uncheck the send email reports checkbox.
• To enable , check the send email reports checkbox, you can also change your email address.

Can you backup exchange and SQL?

Yes, these databases are backed up by making a point in time or scheduled backup file of them using the built in backup tool within SQL Server and Exchange Server. Click the appropriate link for detailed information

1 - SQL Server Full Backup:
2 - Exchange Server Backup:

You can then file the raw backed up files in a folder that has been marked for backup by SOS Online Backup. As long as the day’s file is named the same each time (e.g. not named by being date stamped), the session file will be seen as a version of the previous one and will not count against the account size usage.

Can you backup open files?

Yes, our system provides full backup for open files.
Note that there are some files however that still should not be backed up directly even though SOS does support open files backup. Some examples of open files that cannot be directly backed up by SOS Online Backup are SQL, Exchange, SAGE, Intrit, QuickBooks & Quicken and MYOB.

How do I know that my data is safe?

Safe from Loss: Your data is backed up to SOS’ datacenters that are themselves backed up to a redundant site. Unless the data is lost on the local drive and the data server and the redundant server all at once, the data is always preserved.

Safe from hacking: SOS’ three layered encryption known as UltraSafe protects your data. Before the data leaves the local drive, it is encrypted using 256 bit AES encryption. AES is the US Dept. of Defense’s standard for encryption. It is then compressed using a proprietary compression tool. It is then sent via a 128 bit encrypted SSL link. Since the session packets are only the digital differences of the changed files from one day to another, they are unintelligible without the original file. Upon arriving at the data centre, the packet is compared to the original file, encrypted yet again and filed away under its version number and date stamp.

How do I know my data has been backed up?

When your backup is running, there is a SOS logo (blue icon with key) which toggles in your taskbar. You can pull up the details of your currently running backup set by right clicking on the icon and selecting ‘Show currently running backup’. At the end of the data transfer you will be able to see the status log of backup process if the data was being transferred successfully. Details on the Upload Agent provide you with an indication on the files that were backed up. A blue icon next to your file indicates that the file has been successfully uploaded to our data center. If the back up process is still running, the icon shows “orange” color. For unsuccessful backup, the icon shows red. Note that this indication is to the file level, which means that in a backup set, you can have files that are successfully backed up, files still being backed up and files which are not been backed up. We have the provision of delivering backup email reports after each backup is performed. In the client software, in wizard view, you may run “restore online” and recover your files to verify successful upload to our data center. That is how you can test effectively if the data has been transferred. You can also log in to My Account and check for your files from there. A recover/share option is available on the My Account website.

What kind of reporting is there?

SOS Online Backup provides two types of reporting to our customer on the status of their backup. They are:

1. While running a backup session, you can view the status of backup. The Upload Agent toggles in the taskbar when a backup session is active. You can right click on the icon and select ‘show currently running backup’. A yellow icon next to your file indicates it is still performing backup. A blue icon indicates that backup is finished successfully.

2. You can request for email reports to be sent to one or multiple email addresses. In the Wizard View, you can set up your Email Backup report on Step 3 of setting up your backup. Multiple Email addresses can be entered by separating them with a comma. In the Classic View, which can be accessed by through the ‘Advanced’ dropdown list on the top right corner of the Client Software window, you can navigate to the Options tab and Email Backup Reports to provide an email address. Backup history is also available under the Classic View -> Options -> Backup History.

How does my data get to the data centre?

The standard form of data transfer is over the internet using SSL. This is fully dependent on internet access existing at client’s location.

We provide another service called “PMU Service”. PMU stands for Physical Media Upload. We have the provision of PMU only in USA and Australia. We send a hard disk to you; you upload your data and send it back to SOS Online Backup. It is being uploaded to our server in a secure manner. As long as a PMU is under progress, customer should not backup files.

Where are your datacenters located?

We have datacenters in several locations worldwide including the USA, Australia, England and India.

How long will it take to backup my data?

The time it takes to complete the backup process, depends on several factors that are mentioned below:
• How many files you are involved in the backup process
• The total size of the files that to be backed up.
• The speed of the internet connection.
• The types of files that are being backed up – related to compressibility, i.e., some files like word documents compress better than others.

Can you backup VMware or Virtual PC files?

SOS Online Backup supports the backup of VMware and Virtual PC files properly and securely. Basically, there is no difference between a general file and Virtual PC files or VMware files (.vmdk - Virtual Machine Disk Format) at a technical level. SOS Online Backup follows the same sequence of events to backup those files. Note also that these files are often open files.

What windows platforms do you support?

We support all windows platform where .NET 1.1 is supported. To be very clear, our product, thus, supports all Windows 2000 or later versions. We do not support Linux/Unix OS, and Mac OS.

Can I schedule my backup?

You can schedule your backup on an hourly, daily, weekly or monthly basis. You can also reconfigure your scheduled backup at any time. You can specify scheduled backup for a standalone PC or a PC in a network. For a PC in a network environment, backup can take place even if no Windows user is logged in to the machine at the time the backup is scheduled to run.

Does your software always run in the background?

Yes, if Live Protect is set for some files which are updated regularly, then our product performs differential backup and updates the change of files each time the file is updated and saved. Our product may work in the background when running scheduled backup and when a back up is manually invoked.

What happens if my computer crashes and I need access to my data?

Your data will always be available for access as long as an internet connection is available. You may access the data by going to our web site at or using the SOS Online Backup software if it is installed in the computer you are using to access the data.

Please be aware that your username and password will be required in order to access the data.

Can I install the software on more than one computer and can I use the same account?

Yes. You can install our product software on more than one computer and log in to the same account on different computers. Your data from different computers will be backed up under each computer’s machine name. You can easily restore data from one machine to another. However, your total backup size for all the different computers’ data should not exceed your subscribed storage size.

How long will it take to restore my data?

The time required for restoration will depend on the total gigabyte count in the set and the download speed of internet connection available at client’s place.

Can you backup QuickBooks?

We support specific packages’ files like QuickBooks, Sage, etc as long as the raw data has already been backed up to a folder. This initial backup should be done using the built in QuickBooks backup utility. SOS Online Backup software will then back up the folder containing these files.

Do you have a central console so I can monitor and backup multiple computers or servers at once?

Users are allowed to establish multiple accounts for monitoring purposes. An account can also be shared among multiple computers as long as the storage size purchased is not exceeded.

Can SOS backup System State?

SOS Online Backup is a data file backup service and does not support backing up system state. However, taking a point in time image of your system state and filing that image in a folder file that is marked for backup by SOS Online Backup will allow you to protect your system state. Ideally, the SOS Online local backup functionality can be used for that purpose.

Can SOS do a bare metal restore?

SOS Online Backup does not support backing up system state.

However, user may take a point-in-time snapshot of the system state and mark that file for backup protection. This will effectively back up an image of the system state, allowing user to restore their system when required.

Can you send me a drive if my computer crashes and how long until I can recover my data?

Yes. Normally, the data will be dispatched in the next business day. Please be aware that, depending on the Partner’s arrangement, cost may be involved in sending a drive to user. An alternative to that can be setting up a secure ftp link from where you can download your files. A support staff will have to conduct a remote session to log you on the ftp link and initiate the download.

Can I get access to my files at any time?

Yes. As long as you have an internet connection, you may access your files at any time, any day, anywhere.

How many versions of my data are kept?

Every version of every backed up file is kept until you actively deletes them from the data server.

Can I choose how many versions to keep?

SOS Online Backup software does not allow user to set number of versions being stored.

However, you may choose to delete certain version(s) of the file, or delete the file from the backup server and un-check the file from the list of protected files/folders if you do not wish the file to be backed up again.

Do my versions count against my backup space?

Only the whole total space of the files as they existed on the local drive at the time of backup is used in calculating the used space of an account. Versions will not be counted against the backup space. However in case your latest version is smaller in size than any other previous version, then the version with the largest size will count towards storage size.

What if I need more space?

All accounts can be upgraded to larger account sizes. You may do so by logging into your account via our website

What certification does your datacenters have?

SOS only uses datacenters that are level Tier III, Tier IV and SAS 70 compliant across the SOS global data grid.

Tier IV data center is considered as most robust and less prone to failures. Tier IV is designed to host mission critical servers and computer systems, with fully redundant subsystems (cooling, power, network links, storage etc) and compartmentalized security zones controlled by biometric access controls methods.

• Redundant capacity components
• Dual-powered equipments and multiple uplinks
• All components are fully fault-tolerant and dual-powered including uplinks, storage, chillers, HVAC systems, servers, etc.

Are you HIPAA compliant?

SOS Online Backup complies with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability ACT. (HIPAA); enacted by the US Congress in 1996. Check SOS Online Backup website for more details.

Is there a guarantee that my data is backed up?

You can check and verify that your data is backed up by: -
Every time you perform a backup, you will receive an email notification from the SOS server of the backup done.
You can also do this by using the data recovery facility through Wizard View, Classic View or My Account (web-based)

Wizard View
From the Wizard menu, click on "Restore Online". The list of files from the SOS server will be refreshed. Select the date of backup which you want to view the files backup on that date. Click Next. In the next screen, you will have the Explorer Tree-View and you are able to access and view the files you have uploaded in their respective folder locations.

Classic View
Select the "Storage View" tab. Click on the "Refresh data from server" at the right side of the application window. This will obtain the list of files from the server. You will now have the Explorer Tree-View and you are able to access and view the files you have uploaded in their respective folder locations.

My Account Portal (web-based)
From your web browser, go to
Enter you account login details (user name and password). Select the "Online Recovery" tab. Click on "Recover". In the subsequent screens, you can navigate through the folders to access and view the files you have uploaded in their respective folder locations.

I can go and buy a NAS and backup everything, why are you better?

Locally based backup are quick for backup and restores and SOS Online Backup software is able to do that as well through its Local Backup function. However local backup without having redundant hard drives and offsite storage only provides a STORAGE service and NOT a true BACKUP service. You may be able to store your data in the NAS but if anything were to happen locally to the data (disaster, media corruption, etc.); you will not be able to retrieve the data as compared to SOS Online Backup. For a backup to be classified as satisfactory and sufficient backup, the facility must be able to provide automatic backup, offsite storage and able to keep a fully versioned history of files in the backup.

Can your program run when idle?

If the definition of ‘run when idle’ means the computer is in the state of Stand By or Hibernation mode, then the answer will depend on the capability of that computer installation platform as to whether it can wake itself up from those states for a scheduled SOS Online Backup event to occur. SOS Online Backup utilizes the Windows Task Scheduler services. You can edit the Windows Task Scheduler for SOS Online Backup by following steps below after creating a scheduled backup from SOS Online Backup client software.

a) Navigate to Start -> Program Files -> Accessories -> System Tools -> Scheduled Tasks
b) Right Click on the SOS Online Backup icon
c) On the task tab, set the Windows Account password.
d) On the settings tab, check “Wake the computer to run this task”.

Can I buy more than one year at a time?

Accounts are either monthly or yearly charged. You can renew your account based on the type of subscription plan (monthly or yearly). You cannot buy the service of more than one year at a time.

Can you backup mapped drives?

Offsite Backup
SOS Online Backup can backup mapped drives to SOS server as well as to restore data from SOS server to mapped drives as long as the user has rights to the drives.

Local Backup
SOS Online Backup can backup to mapped drives as well as to restore data from mapped drives as long as the user has rights to the drives.

Can I have more than one username on 1 backup account?

1 backup account cannot have more than one username. Username is unique for each backup account. A username used cannot be re-used or recycled for other SOS Online Backup accounts.

When did your company start its business?

SOS Online Backup as a company was established in 2001 and the SOS Online Backup software first went to market in October 2005.

What documentation do you have that I can read?

You can read articles and reviews on SOS Online Backup at the following URL:-

You can also go through the SOS knowledgebase as well as obtain support through the SOS ticketed help desk at the following URL: -

What is the minimum system requirements to run SOS?

The minimum requirements for the SOS client software are as follows:

Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP®, Windows Vista®, Windows Server 2003® or Windows Server 2008®
Hardware: 300Mhz or faster processor, 30MB hard drive space
High-speed internet connection recommended

Can I choose how many versions to keep?

SOS does not allow the user to set the number of versions being stored. However, you can delete the file from the SOS servers and/or uncheck the file from the list of protected files/folders in the SOS client software, if you do not wish for the file to be backed up.

How do I cancel my account?

Please submit a “ticket” to customer support at this web page: requesting that SOS cancel the account. If you cancel before the 15th day after you start using SOS, you will not be charged. If you do not cancel; you will be charged automatically.