Online backup services and cloud file storage platforms are springing up everywhere these days, with new providers doing battle for the right to backup your data. While Dropbox, Mozy, and Carbonite are the most popular services on the web, they’re hardly the only ones available. Here’s a quick peek at five of the most promising backup services for 2012 and beyond.

iDrive

The good people at iDrive offer users 5 GB of online data storage for free. One thing that sets iDrive apart from the competition is their wide array of software options when it comes to backing up important files. They offer mobile applications for every platform from Blackberry to Android, as well as a dedicated Time Machine tool that allows Mac users to back up data directly to their iDrive account.

Acronis Online Backup

Unlike many other cloud storage services, Acronis Online Backup doesn’t offer a trial or dole out free gigabytes of storage to casual users. They’re more focused on users who have major backup requirements over a longer period of time. Acronis offers 250 GB of backup for only $4.95 a month or $49.95 a year.

CloudBerry

The Cloudberry Cloud Backup family of programs is an online backup server and client combination that allows users to quickly and easily upload files to their Amazon S3 account. You don’t get any free storage from Cloudberry, but you do get a lot of innovative software at affordable prices that make coordinating your scheduled backups a lot more easy and hassle-free.

SpiderOak

As a “zero-knowledge” online backup provider, SpiderOak is one of the most full-featured and secure cloud storage services around. Employees of SpiderOak couldn’t access your files even if they tried, thanks to its use of client-side key creation. They offer the first 2 GB for free, and charge a modest $10 per month for each addition 100 GB. Users can earn up to 50 GB of storage by referring new customers.

Egnyte

The superb Egnyte backup service is a hybrid cloud storage service that combines local storage with the cloud for a fast and powerful experience. Egnyte offers clients for every mobile platform, as well as Windows and Mac OS X. Egnyte is extremely popular in the corporate world thanks to its ease of use, effectiveness, flexibility, and centrally administered layout.

Parting Shot

Top online backup services all have one thing in common, and that’s reliability. Before you decide to opt for a specific backup service, do your homework and research their track record. Better yet, hedge your bets by using several at the same time to make identical copies of your most important files. Online backup is quite safe for the most part, but you should always take precautions against the unexpected.