Spanning O365 Backup

Editor's Score

By Craig MacAlpine
Updated May 1, 2024

Expert Insights Verdict


Spanning O365 Backup is a complete data backup and recovery solution providing trustworthy data protection, with layered security protocols to defend against compromise and maintain compliance. The solution provides enterprise-grade data protection for Exchange online, SharePoint online, OneDrive and Microsoft Teams. Spanning guarantees application availability and protect against threats like ransomware, malware, user mistakes, malicious actions, and sync of configuration errors.

  • Unlimited daily and on-demand backups
  • Unlimited data retention with no extra costs; 1 terabyte worth of storage per-user
  • Flexible options to search for and restore items to different locations, especially useful after users have been deleted
  • Easy plug-and-play setup; backups run automatically on a schedule without the need for constant manual intervention
  • User-friendly; interface is navigable, and end users can be given permission to manage their own backups via self-service
  • Secured under a wide range of compliance standards and offers a 99.9% uptime SLA Knowledge base and 24/7 support are available

  • Teams backups need to be manually enabled through the settings
  • Cannot change the time of day that daily backups run; always at noon UTC
  • Certain aspects of O365 aren't backed up due to API limitations


Spanning O365 Backup is an automated backup and recovery solution that provides users with backup and recovery for business-critical data in Exchange Online, OneDrive for Business, Microsoft Teams, and SharePoint Online. Spanning is entirely cloud-based and requires no on-premises software or hardware. Spanning provides daily and unlimited data protection at no extra cost.

Spanning O365 Backup is a complete solution that offers data backup, granular data restore user management, activity updates, dark web monitoring and notifications for users if their credentials are found to have been compromised. Data is encrypted at rest and in transit, and is secured with SSAE 16 Compliance, Application-Level Authentication, and intrusion detection.

Over 10,000 organizations globally use Spanning O365 Backup to preserve and protect important data, enjoying an unrestricted retention policy that allows for unlimited storage, retention, and backup versions. For clients using O365, Spanning offer add-on services, including a separate paid for module that backups up Azure VM. This is useful for clients who just want to use one backup solution across their cloud services.

Key Features

Automated and On-Demand Backups

Spanning Backups

Spanning Backups

Spanning O365 Backup automated daily backups, with optional additional backups as required. The platform uses a cloud-to-cloud storge model that takes a backup in minutes without requiring any storage management - a significant benefit of the platform.

Backups are managed via Spanning’s admin console. Within the console, admins can find a list of all users that currently have an active licence with Spanning, shown alongside icons displaying the status (successfully backed up, backup incomplete, and backup partially completed/experiencing issues) of each type of backup (mail, calendar, contacts, OneDrive). See screenshot above for details.

For more information on individual users, you can click to reveal information like their most recent daily backup, timestamps, how many items were backup up, the size of the newly backup up items, and any errors that occurred in the process.

Restoring Data

With Spanning O365 it is fast and easy to restore lost data to its desired state and location. Admins can view granular, historical snapshots or versions of all data for accurate point-in-time restore. With granular search and restore you can restore both individual items and entire folders. Spanning also provides cross-user restore, which allows administrators to quickly and easily restore data from one users account to another.

Spanning Users

Spanning Users

Admins can view individual user backups within the admin console, including Mail, Calendar, Contacts or OneDrive. Users can choose to select individual emails, folders, or entire mailboxes for restoration, and selected messaged can then be either simply restored or exported.

Individual emails that are restored will appear in a separate timestamped folder in Outlook. Mail can be exported in .eml format and, once Spanning can complete the processing of an email export, the messages are available to download as a .zip file.

When restoring OneDrive files, users can view all historical file versions that have been backed up. Files can be backed up to the original user, or to a different user’s account if required. The data restoration is fast and easy, with an intuitive, modern user interface. Spanning O365 also offers end-user self-service restore capabilities, enabling end-users to quickly restore accidentally deleted or corrupted files.

User Management

Spanning O356 Backup provides administrators with straightforward user management capabilities. Admins can easily manage licenses to add or remove backup services for individual users. There is a service history for each licenced user and per-user backup monitoring, so errors can be resolved quickly. Spanning also maintains an immutable, detailed record of all administrator and user actions, which provides complete visibility and transparency.

Within the console, admins can quickly view the current number of users, and how many licences are being used. Admins can also easily add new users and reassign licences.

Spanning Licenses

Spanning Licenses

The checkmark / no-symbol icons shown above are used to add or removed licences from individual users. The user list is synced automatically once a day from O365 but can be manually re-synced at any time using the refresh button and can be automated using API.

Data Security And Compliance Spanning O365 Backup secures user data with strong encryption –128-bit SSL protection in transit and 256-bit AES at rest – alongside one of the strongest block ciphers available. Spanning has successfully completed the SSAE 16 SOC 2 Type II audit process, which is a rigorous evaluation of operational security and security controls, and also accesses Microsoft 365 via the OAuth 2.0 protocol rather than the less secure service accounts and passwords.

Spanning promises to deliver 99.9% uptime and is both HIPAA and GDPS compliant. Spanning operates within the Amazon Web Service cloud, which is ISO 27001 certified and has completed multiple SAS-70 Type II audits, and also publishes a SEC 2 Type II report under both the SSAE 16 and the ISAE 3402 professional standards. In addition to this, Spanning O365 Backup earned the BBB EU Privacy Sheild and it certified under the US-EU and Swiss-US Privacy Shield.

The Spanning system is constantly guarding against intrusion via tools like log analysis, file integrity checking, policy monitoring, roolkit detection, active response, and real-time alerting. Only Spanning employees with specific operational requirements are granted access to production servers, and all changes to the production environment are tracked and auditable.

Deployment And Ease Of Use

Spanning O365 Backup is easy to install and use. The solution takes a “set it and forget it” designed approach, meaning there is little to no training required for it to be used effectively, nor any prior knowledge needed and minimal ongoing maintenance of the platform.

The admin console allows users to manage backup and restore easily, freeing up time for more strategic tasks to take priority. With its intuitive design, flexible retention, and easy adaption to the way your organization uses Microsoft 365 (i.e. mobile first, cloud first), Spanning is highly user friendly and allows organizations to hit the ground running from installation onwards. The admin console is also mobile friendly and can be easily used on the go from smartphones or tablet devices.

Pricing And Plans

Spanning provides transparent pricing via an online form, available on their website, where organizations can input their details and receive a tailored quote. They also offer a 14-day free trial.

Best Suited For

Due to its strong feature set and capabilities, Expert Insights recommend this solution to organizations of all sizes, including larger enterprise teams who can take advantage of scalable, automated daily backups, unlimited data backup and retention, granular restore capabilities and transparent reporting.

We would recommend Spanning specifically to organizations that are operating in a 100% cloud environment, rather than those operating on a hybrid system.

Final Verdict

Overall, Spanning O365 Backup is an effective solution that works well to minimize the risk of data loss and assure data availability. This solution supports organizations in meeting their audit and compliance requirements for backup and recovery, while also effectively reducing employee downtime by empowering users to restore lost data without stress.

Spanning stands out in the backup and recovery market due to its ease of use and straightforward navigation, it’s easy to use yet powerful capabilities, and its unique leveraging of more secure application-level authentication.

CEO and Founder, Expert Insights

Craig MacAlpine is CEO and founder of Expert Insights. Before founding Expert Insights in August 2018, Craig spent 10 years as CEO of EPA cloud, an email security provider acquired by Ziff Davies, formerly J2Global (NASQAQ: ZD) in 2013, which has now been rebranded as VIPRE Email Security. Craig has extensive experience in the email security industry, with 20+ years of experience helping organizations to stay secure with innovative information security and cyber security solutions. Craig delivers these insights to readers with detailed product reviews, comparisons and buyers’ guides.

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Cloud Backup and Recovery

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Austin, TX