IDrive Backup Review
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IDrive is a service offered by Pro Softnet Corporation, an ASP and Internet Solutions Provider, based in Woodland Hills, California. Released in January of 2007, IDrive is a leader in the field of online backup. While they have had a few security technology and customer support issues in the past, they have taken great strides to improve their services and reputation within the technological community.
With their simple interface and drag-and-drop storage feature, they are a great option for those that want something easy to use and reliable enough for their backups. Even though they may not be as well-known as other backup providers, they have syncing and sharing capabilities that other providers tend to lack.
- Ease of use
- True archiving features
- Drag and drop features
- Resumes upload after connection is interrupted
- Mapped drive backup
- Continuous data protection
- Auto pause
- Yearly Contract Plans Only
- Auto Renew at higher price
- Strictly Followed No Refund Policy
- Cross system compatibility issues
Access: (Rating: 10/10)
IDrive is accessible via Android and iPhone devices, PCs, and Macs. Even if you have every one of these computers, you can back them up and access the files from a single IDrive account – making it a cross-compatible service that other companies cannot always provide. You can also access PC and Mac files from a smartphone or tablet.
Backup: (Rating: 6/10)
Basic plans have 5GB of storage space, whereas paid Personal accounts have 1TB of storage space. Customers can also splurge for the larger Personal account that offers 10TB. Every plan comes with the same amount of syncing space.
IDrive says there is no size limit for uploads and downloads, aside from the storage space limit. IDrive is very strict about overages – so watch your space usage very carefully. If you go over, you will be charged $0.25 per GB per month. For some this may not be an issue, but for those that have a tight budget and do not want to pay more for storage, they will need to be cautious about how much they use.
Restore: (Rating: 6/10)
IDrive’s interface makes restoring files easy. Choose from up to 30 different versions of the same file, rolling it back to an uncorrupted time. The only downside is that if you encrypt files yourself and then forget the password, your files aren’t retrievable. It is unclear whether or not tech support can actually retrieve the files. There have been statements that employees can, but choose not to, while the company insists they are not retrievable. Therefore, remember your encryption so you do not fall trap to losing your files.
Share: (Rating: 10/10)
IDrive does sharing right, allowing users to easily share files or entire folders with a click of a button. They even shorten the URL so you can copy/paste it into an email or text message without overwhelming the recipient. You can enable editing, password protect the files, and much more. These features are made even better by the fact that IDrive backs up Facebook and Instagram photos, which hold files many people love to share.
Sync: (Rating: 8/10)
The company knows what it’s doing with its syncing features. You can drag & drop, pause, view conflicting copies, and check the status of IDrive’s sync. Note that IDrive’s sync doesn’t automatically come with the main IDrive program. You have to download it separately, but it’s worth doing if you’re even vaguely interested in syncing devices.
Security: (Rating: 6/10)
All data and user authentication information is transmitted over the internet and stored in an encrypted form. During installation, you’re given a choice to have the system choose the encryption key or enter a private encryption key, the latter of which is recommended. Only the system-based encryption keys are stored on their servers. This feature is supposed to ensure you that IDrive personnel can’t access your confidential and sensitive data. Just be sure to never lose it, or you won’t be able to recover your data.
Help & Support: (Rating: 4/10)
IDrive offers phone support from 6AM to 6PM PST, Monday through Friday. You can also email them or contact live support 24/7. On-site support is meant as “lite support”, so they might not be as knowledgeable as customers need. Live support is outsourced, and may or may not be helpful depending on the expertise of the chat representative.
You are committing to a one year contract and IDrive has a strict no-refund policy with an auto-renew that can come with a price tag that is at least 25% higher than your first year price.
IDrive Pricing and Plans
- 5GB Online Free
- No Credit Card Required
- Never Expires
- 256-bit AES encryption
Personal - 1TB$17.38 /year
- 1TB Online Storage
- 1TB of Sync
- 256-bit AES encryption
- Available for Windows and Mac
- First year only – then $69.50/year
Personal - 10TB$374.62 /year
- 10TB Online Storage
- 10TB Sync
- 256-bit AES encryption
- Available for Windows and Mac
No Bandwidth Caps
No File Size Restrictions
No File Type Restrictions
Help and Support
Restore Individual Files
Request Hard Copy
Version History: 30
NAS Drive Support
External Drive Support
Encrypted File Transfer
What we Like about IDrive
Ease of use: The IDrive interface is remarkably simple and will be familiar to anyone who’s used Microsoft Windows Explorer or the Mac OS finder. The convenient IDrive Explorer displays a virtual view of your entire account, allowing you to edit and organize with simplicity.
True archiving features: IDrive also performs true archiving, meaning that it doesn’t delete data on the account even if the data is deleted on the desktop or removed from the mapped drive or USB drive. Your data isn’t automatically deleted unless you manually delete or run sync to match your desktop data to your account.
Versioning: IDrive provides file versioning with file/document history retention for up to 30 backed up versions. Each backup creates a new backup set identified by a particular backup date and time. Your storage allotment usage is calculated based on the most recent version with historical versions stored for free.
Drag and drop features: This restore option helps make restoring files simpler but this capability is available for restoring files only. Also drag and drop works only in IDrive Explorer and not in the other two interfaces (Classic and Web Client). This is still a unique option and few competitors have this capability.
Resumes upload after connection is interrupted: Unlike some other competitors, IDrive won’t send a warning when your connection has been interrupted. However, after a lost connection is reestablished, it resumes its previous upload without having to start from the beginning. If partial transfers have taken place prior to the interruption, the backups resume from that point. This works well with large files. Some other providers must begin uploading the file(s) all over again if there is a break in the connection. This feature saves users valuable time, and makes the backup process more reliable.
Mapped drive backup: IDrive supports backup of mapped drives. The backups will continue even if you log off from the system.
Continuous data protection: When Continuous Data Protection is enabled, it automatically recognizes and performs backup of files smaller than 50MB every 10 minutes, without any intervention from the user utilizing minimal resources.
Auto pause: Selecting this option makes intelligent guesses on pausing and resuming scheduled backups to enable optimum desktop performance during peak user activity.
What we Don't Like about IDrive:
Auto-Renew with blanket “No Refunds” policy: If you forget to cancel your account before the auto-renew occurs, you will be charged for another full year and they will not issue a refund under any circumstances. So if you find that Idrive is not for you, be sure to cancel before your yearly subscription expires, so that you don't incur another year of charges.
Cross system compatibility issues: IDrive doesn’t offer cross operating system compatibility between Windows and Mac. This means you will need a separate IDrive account for any Mac or Windows machines that you may have.
How to Backup with IDrive
Automatic Backup: Once IDrive is installed and setup, you will notice there are files and folders already selected for backup. That is because IDrive is an automatic backup program, it will auto backup critical files, such as My Documents, My Photos, etc. You can log in and go to the Backup tab to select or de-select which files and folders your IDrive will automatically update. You can also change how frequently it updates folders.
Drag and Drop: IDrive allows you to drag and drop folders and files you want to backup. Just open the IDrive manager, then drag and drop the files or folders into the window at the bottom.
Selecting Files: If you wish to select a file quickly to backup, simply locate the file, right click, then select “Add to Backup Set” or “Backup Now”.
Restoring Files with IDrive
Restoring All Files: After a system crash or after purchasing a new computer, you can restore all files through your IDrive account. First, download and install the IDrive application. Go to the Restore tab, then select Online Account/Local Device. Select the files and folders you want to restore, then select your Restore location. Last, select Restore Now to begin the process.
Drag and Drop Restore Individual Files: Go to the Restore tab, then select Online Account/Local Device. Pick a file or folder, then drag and drop to your desktop or the desired location you wish to restore it to.
Restoring Different Versions: You can restore older versions of a file by going to the Restore tab. Right click on the file you want to restore, then select View Previous Versions. You will be presented with the previous versions available on the server. Select which one you wish to restore, then click Restore Now.
Some of IDrive’s features are outstanding, but they do have a no refund policy on their auto-renew - which may make them less favorable than companies with refunds. If you have simple backup, syncing, and sharing needs that don’t involve sensitive information or interaction with Customer Support, IDrive might work for you.