We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.
AltDrive originally started in 2005. As a clean and independent online storage solution, AltDrive strives to offer customers a simple, effective way to backup their data. While they do not have all of the flashy features other cloud storage providers have, they do deliver on what they promise – all at an affordable price.
A cloud backup with excellent security and no nonsense way of storing your data.
- Cross platform compatible
- 30 day free trial
- Unlimited storage for personal accounts
- Excellent security and reliability
- Restore up to 30 days of previous versions
- Unthrottled for faster backups
- Email notifications
- No mobile access
- No file sharing or syncing
- Linux more difficult to setup
- Not as high-tech as other online backup services
- No local backups
Access: (Rating: 8/10)
To use AltDrive, you create an account online, then you download and install the software. AltDrive works on Windows, Mac and Linux. Their software controls the backup and you specify how you want your backups run, manage permissions and create folders all from the software. They do not support mobile phones, NAS drives or external hard drives at this time.
Backup: (Rating: 8/10)
After you install AltDrive, their backup wizard shows up, allowing you to create your customized backup plan. It will walk you through the first backup, step-by-step. Once created, AltDrive follows the schedule setup. Backups are incremental and you can control which files or folders are backed up and which are omitted. While they don’t offer continuous backups, you can set it up to backup almost as if it was – such as every 10 minutes. There are no local backups with AltDrive.
Restore: (Rating: 8/10)
To restore, you will use the restore wizard from the downloaded software. You can decide which backup set you wish to restore with or the specific files within a particular backup set you need. Once you select where you want the files delivered, it automatically restores for you. There is no hard copy restore feature; instead, you will have to download the software, then download the files. You can restore up to 30 days of past data with AltDrive too.
Share: (Rating: 0/10)
AltDrive markets themselves as a no non-sense backup service and it is true. They do not offer any file sharing nor can you even add people to collaborative folders. Instead, it is a true backup service.
Sync: (Rating: 0/10)
AltDrive focuses their efforts on backups and backups only; therefore, you cannot sync or enjoy any file-syncing services.
Security: (Rating: 10/10)
While they don’t have flashy features, they do have an impressive security system in place – and they aren’t shy about advertising it. AltDrive stores their files in an off-site facility that is geo-redundant and hardened. They have caged server racks, encryption file transfer and data is stored using SSAE-16 compliant data centers. Encryption features an AES 256-bit encryption and SSL security. Decryption only occurs when you download and restore the file to your computer.
Help & Support: (Rating: 7/10)
AltDrive lets users submit a request via their online ticket submission option. They also have a knowledgebase, video tutorials and a FAQs section that can answer any pressing questions while users wait for tech support. At this time they only offer ticket and email support – there is no phone or chat.
All users can enjoy a free 30-day trial before committing to a plan.
AltDrive Home Gold: Includes one computer, unlimited storage, encryption and recovery. Starts at $4.45 per month or $44.50 annually.
AltDrive Home Platinum: Same features as the Home Gold plan, but offers storage and backup services for up to three computers and unlimited storage capacity for all three. Starts at $9.95 per month.
No Bandwidth Caps
No File Size Restrictions
No File Type Restrictions
Help and Support
Restore Individual Files
Version History: 0
Encrypted File Transfer
Encrypted File Storage
What We Like About AltDrive
No Nonsense Storage: AltDrive is a true backup service. They don’t offer anything fancy, but they do what they say. They are reliable, efficient and affordable compared to other backup services.
Email Notifications: You can request email notifications from AltDrive. They can let you know when a successful backup is complete or even notify you if something fails during the backup. This is great for those who want to make sure their backups go smoothly and identify issues right away.
Affordable Unlimited Storage: Compared to other services that offer unlimited storage, AltDrive is definitely competitive with their pricing. The only drawback is you will have to pay for more computers (if you need backups for more than three computers).
Free Trial: We like the fact that AltDrive lets users try their service free for 30 days. This really lets people see what a true backup service is and whether or not it is right for them.
Annual Discounts: According to their website, you can receive a discount if you pay for your online storage annually versus monthly. The Platinum plan, for example, lets you go down $2.76 per month if you end up paying annually.
Highly Secured Data Centers: Compared to other online backups, AltDrive does have some serious security in place. They have state-of-the-art data centers that are self-managed, geo-redundant services and hardened facilities. Everything is transferred using encryption technology and stored under encryption.
Recover Up to 30 Days: AltDrive lets their users recover files up to 30 days old. This is especially helpful if you have made changes and want to restore an old backup or you just need to access something from less than a month ago.
Customized Backup Scheduling: While it is not continuous, it could be. You are in complete control of how often and when your AltDrive account backs up.
What We Don't Like About AltDrive
Linux Version is Hard to Setup: The Linux version is not as user-friendly as the Windows or Mac version – which may be an issue for Linux users.
No Sharing or Syncing: For some people, the lack of file syncing and sharing could be a deal breaker. There is absolutely no file sharing or syncing capabilities with AltDrive.
Limited Support: AltDrive does not have as much support as they could. They rely on the online ticket submissions and their knowledge base is not as in-depth as it could be. So, for people who are unfamiliar with cloud backup, they may find it hard to use.
No Mobile Access: There are no mobile apps or anyway to access your files via a mobile device. For the basic level account, you only have access on one computer – and with the Platinum, three computers.
How to Backup with AltDrive
AltDrive operates strictly through the downloaded software. So, you will create your account online, then download and install the software on your computer. You can use the encryption key provided by AltDrive or establish your own for further security. The backup wizard walks you through the back up process step-by-step. But, you can change your selections in the Settings section.
With the backup, you will establish your backup schedule (as often or as infrequent as you want). You will then establish which folders you want to backup with AltDrive.
Once you hit Save, everything will automatically perform as you specified.
How to Restore with AltDrive
Again, AltDrive operates through their installed software. So, if you lose a computer, you may have to pay for an additional license to access their backup on the new computer. After you install and sign in using your encryption key, you will go through a few steps:
1. Open the Restore Wizard.
2. The Restore Wizard will ask which backup set you wish to restore. Then, you will select which files or folders from that backup set you need (you can select all of them if you wish).
3. Select the restore location.
4. Then select Start for the restore to begin.
Once restored, check to make sure all of the files and folders you requested are there.
AltDrive is a no nonsense online cloud storage provider. They don’t overwhelm users with flashy features; instead, they just offer affordable unlimited storage and excellent backup services.