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IDrive Review

idrive logo

IDrive is an online backup service which has really improved in recent years, now offering greater support and more features.

IDrive is great for anyone who wants great features and doesn’t need to backup more than 1TB of data (above that, the price isn’t as competitive.)

Continue reading for the review, or you can start using a 5GB IDrive account free.

Pros:

  • Superb features not seen elsewhere.
  • 5GB free account option.
  • Good phone support and live chat

Cons:

  • No “unlimited” backup option.

Overall Rating:

 

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Key Features

Here are just some of the excellent features offered by IDrive.

Real-time continuous backup.
The best type of backup.

You can backup unlimited devices with a single account. This is really awesome. Unlimited PCs, Macs, iPhones, iPads, and Android devices. Most other services limit you to just one computer per account (at least for their lower-priced plans.)

File Sync
IDriveSync lets you compare your computer’s current state to that of your online backup, giving you option to sync them. Perhaps you deleted some files on your computer (on purpose or accidentally;) you’ll see these still in your IDrive backup. So you can restore or delete them. The standard account includes 1TB space for file sync.

File Sharing
With Visual Sharing (a part of IDriveSync) you can drag-and-drop a file or folder to share with anyone in your contact list. Contact list even integrates with Facebook friends automatically.

Versioning
IDrive keeps last 30 versions of each file. That’s very good. Some backups don’t do versioning at all, and others only keep 5 versions.

You can search your backups through IDrive, giving you a super fast way to find a specific file or folder you want to restore.

Supports backup of mapped and external hard drives.

Files you end up deleting from your computer/IDrive, go into IDrive’s Trash folder for 30 days before being deleted. So they give you one last shot to change your mind.

IDrive Wi-Fi
Wireless local backups.

Install and Setup Process

The interface used to provide a poor experience. It has improved by leaps and bounds since then.

For 2015, IDrive could become one of the best options out of anyone.

Backup Space and Pricing Plans

Sign-up with IDrive Basic and get 5GB free! If you need more storage space, you’ll need IDrive Personal.

IDrive Personal gives you 1TB space for about $5 per month (or $59.50 yearly.)

(Supports backing up files up to 10GB in size.)

You can even ask them about the somewhat hidden IDrive Unlimited plan, but since there are some stipulations to that, I didn’t include it as part of my review.

Security

IDrive employs military-grade technology. 256-bit AES encryption during transfer and storage. Data is decrypted only during restore process on your computer. Stored at world-class data centers in the United States with heavy physical security.

You get the chance to set your own Encryption Key. This means no one can decrypt your data without this key. And it’s not stored on IDrive’s servers. Only in your brain. Be careful, because without this your backed up data becomes useless.

Restore

Restore your files from the IDrive software client or online control panel. Or choose IDrive Express and they’ll ship you a hard drive containing your backed up files.

Mobile Access

Backup and share your phone’s data with iPhone and Android apps. Their iOS app works with iPod Touch and iPad, too. For other devices, you can access IDrive through a web browser.

IDrive Sync works with your iOS and Andriod devices.

Final Verdict

IDrive has a bunch of killer features. I’ve followed IDrive since 2008 when it was lackluster, but today, it’s a very feature-packed service for a good price. With good phone support (12 hours a day Mon-Friday) and 24/7 live chat, it’s hard to beat if you only have 150GB or less data.

Certain features make it stand out over Carbonite and others, so depending on which ones are most important to you… But try the free 5GB account and see.

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Selecting files to backup:

The main IDrive backup interface:

Set the bandwidth throttle yourself:

IDrive Explorer:

Restoring files:

Stay tuned, newer IDrive screenshots are on the way.

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IDrive
Overall rating: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Reviewed by: Paul Ryan
Date of original review: December 1, 2006
Date last updated: February 20, 2015

Testing Out IDrive Online Backup

idrive logo

Upon first glance, the IDrive program sounded a lot like Mozy. In other words, a full-service program that performs automatic backups of your computer and stores them remotely, without any storage space limits (except for a 5 GB limit on the free Basic version.) Not to mention advanced data encryption, mapped drive support, and archived file versions.

Here is my full evaluation and review…

Putting IDrive To The Test

Let’s take a look at the basic version and then move on to the pro version…

The basic version offers easy, automated backups up to 5 GB, absolutely free. That is a great deal if you only have a few important files to backup. (And even though I already use no less than five backup services, I signed-up for this. Better safe than sorry!)

The pro version offers the same easy, automated backups, but there is no storage limit. Unless you are edited feature-length films, you could probably backup your entire computer onto their remote servers! (Realistically though, your storage will be capped at 150 GB.)

Aside from the basics, if you look at their comparison chart, you will see they beat Carbonite and Mozy in many categories. For example, IDrive never deletes old backups, even if you delete the original from your computer. That’s a good thing because you might delete something you rarely use and not notice until six months later; if you use IDrive, though, you’ll have a backup. They also offer free telephone support.

Don’t get too carried away based on their comparison chart though. It seems to be out of date, because Carbonite and Mozy have added new features that aren’t reflected on this chart. The true comparison between these three services is much closer than IDrive makes it appear. (At least it was the last time I checked.)

In the end, the price comes to $49.50 per year, which is on par with its competitors.

IDrive In Use

So let’s try it out:

idrive classic interface backup

Once you install IDrive, you get to work in a familiar interface. It’s just like other Windows interfaces (pictured left is the “Backup” interface):

 

And here is the very similar “Restore” interface:

idrive classic interface restore

The Restore screen is great. You see a list of files, just like browsing folders on your hard drive, but there are new options. For example, you see version numbers, and you can choose which date of backup you would like to see.

The fact that IDrive backs up and stores multiple versions is probably my favorite feature. Even if I make a dumb mistake and save it, I can pull a previous copy from IDrive. If you want to “clean up” your IDrive, you can click “Sync” and it will sync the drive to your current files, allowing you to remove redundant data.

 

You can also restore via the “IDrive Explorer” window, which makes your IDrive look like another hard drive in “My Computer.” You just need to install the IDriveExplorer Plugin, then you’ll have the ability to drag and drop files to restore them.

idrive explorer windows

Next up, more options. There is the bandwidth throttle. Set how much of your internet connection’s bandwidth to use for IDrive.

idrive bandwidth throttle

You can also set which files types you need to backup by checking some boxes.

idrive choose file types

Overall it was very simple to backup and restore, and remained easy to understand the file versions and other advanced features.

Worried about security? Don’t be, because IDrive uses enhanced security features with 128-bit SSL encryption on transfers and 256-bit AES encryption on storage with a user defined key that is not stored anywhere on IDrive servers.

The only significant downside I noticed was the performance issue. IDrive always seemed to lag, and if I tried to pause or cancel a backup, it would just freeze up. To be fair, this could be because I have other processes that run in the background and use memory. But still, IDrive was annoying sometimes.

 

Final Decision on IDrive

What I liked about IDrive:
Easy, automatic backup with some great features that are hard to find elsewhere.

What I did not like about IDrive:
The software seemed buggy sometimes.

 
 
IDrive Review Wrap-Up:
Overall rating: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Reviewed by: Paul Ryan
Date of original review: December 1, 2006
Date last updated: February 20, 2015

 

Overall, IDrive is a worthy competitor in the automatic, online backup field. Take a look at IDrive if you are in need of a backup provider, and sign-up for a free trial to test it out.

Official site: www.IDrive.com

[Hot tip: If you sign-up for free, you get 5 GB… But if you then refer your friends to sign-up for free, your account will get bumped to 10 GB, for free!]


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