Livedrive is backed by Andrew Michael who founded Fasthosts Internet Limited, the United Kingdom’s largest and most successful Internet hosting company, which he sold in 2006 for over $120 million.
- Personalized web portal
- Drag and drop features
- Facebook integration
- Sync files from all PCs
- Edit and create Office documents
- Limited free trial period
- No synchronization or “L” drive in standard backup package
- No scheduled backup feature
- Unresponsive customer support
- Questionable security
Access: (Rating: 3/10)
Livedrive Desktop allows users to access all files on their Livedrive directly from a computer, just like an external hard disk/USB drive. You can drag and drop files to LiveDrive and save files directly from your applications onto LiveDrive using the drive L:. If you have multiple computers, install the Livedrive Desktop Software on all your PCs to see the same files on each computer. LiveDrive is accessible from any web browser, but the company also maintains apps for Windows 8, Android, and iOS devices. In addition, LiveDrive gives its users full access to FTP commands.
Lastly, the web portal has an integrated music player allowing users to enjoy their music collection on any device, anywhere. You can also place movies into Livedrive and access it anywhere with no limit to the length of the movie.
Backup: (Rating: 3/10)
The cheapest LiveDrive account for personal use, LiveDrive Backup, is limited to one computer. It doesn’t allow for syncing, so anyone who wishes to sync files between computers must upgrade to LiveDrive Briefcase. Briefcase comes with 2TB of storage.
Restore: (Rating: 3/10)
Livedrive keeps a history of every file on your account. You can always revert to a previous version of a document, after which any computers linked to your account automatically synchronize the selected version of the file. They’re one of the few companies that keeps up to 30 versions of the same file. Files that are deleted from your computer are permanently removed from LiveDrive’s servers after 30 days.
Share: (Rating: 3/10)
With LiveDrive, users can share files via the web by navigating to the file or folder on Web-Portal and then selecting “Share.” You’ll have the option of sharing publicly, allowing anyone to access the file assuming they have a URL. Alternatively, you can share privately with a specific individual. When sharing privately, specify the e-mail address of the person you wish to share with and they’ll receive a private link in their e-mail to download your file. You can quickly and easily send large files to anyone without worrying about email storage or sending limits.
Sync: (Rating: 3/10)
LiveDrive’s syncing feature works with the LiveDrive Briefcase. You’ll need to install the Livedrive Desktop Client software on your PC. Once this is done, files added to Livedrive on one machine automatically synchronize with your other PC’s. If you change a file on one PC, the newest version appears on all your other PC’s near instantaneously. This is the best way of ensuring that you always have a copy of important files, whether you’re at home or in the office.
Security: (Rating: .5/10)
Help & Support: (Rating: .5/10)
According to former and current customers alike, LiveDrive doesn’t have the most responsive support. In addition, it’s the only company we’ve found that lacks standard support options like live chat and phone support. In fact, the company suggests writing to them using snail mail if you aren’t a customer yet. If you’re having difficulty signing up, good luck speaking to someone in real-time.
Help and Support
Restore Individual Files
Version History: 0
NAS Drive Support
Encrypted File Transfer
Encrypted File Storage
Backup Plan: Limited to 1 PC and doesn’t come with syncing capabilities or cloud storage space. Users can’t edit files in their browser or send files to Facebook or Flickr from storage. Sharing files with family and friends also isn’t possible, along with local network transfers. It is possible to access files from a mobile device with the Backup Plan, in addition to taking advantage of versioning, deleted file restore, and streaming music and movies straight from LiveDrive.
$6 per month
Briefcase Plan: The Briefcase comes with 2TB of storage. With this plan, users can sync between computers, edit files in a web browser, send pictures and videos to Facebook and Flickr, and do local network transfers.
$12 per month
Pro Suite Plan: The Pro Suite Plan offers everything from the Briefcase Plan, except it has 5TB of personal cloud storage space. You can also backup 5 PCs or Macs without additional fees. With other LiveDrive plans, additional computers are $1.50 each. $19 per month
What we Like about LiveDrive
Personalized web portal: After signing up for a Livedrive account, users select a personal URL which gives direct access to Livedrive files. If you share files with others using Livedrive, they can access your shared files by going directly to your personal URL: yourname.livedrive.com. Any files that you make public will appear in the ‘Files shared with you’ tab of the personal URL. Your personal files will be password protected so only you can access them.
Drag and drop features: Drag and drop is a theme of Livedrive’s web interface, with a Java uploader acting as a drop-box for files you want to add quickly.
Facebook integration: There’s the downloadable Facebook plug-in which, once you have been granted Facebook access, you can now share your files. Simply drag and drop photos directly to and from Facebook, right from inside your Livedrive account.
Sync files from all PCs: This feature works with the LiveDrive Briefcase option. You will need to install the Livedrive Desktop Client software on your PC. Once this is done, any files that you add to your Livedrive on one machine will automatically be synchronized with your other PC’s. If you change a file on one PC, the newest version will appear on all your other PC’s instantaneously. This is the best way of ensuring that you always have a copy of your important files, whether you’re at home or in the office.
Edit and create Office documents: View and edit Microsoft Office documents from anywhere, without having to install the Office software or purchase licenses. You can do this via the web to get full power of Microsoft Office from anywhere. The web portal has integrated viewers and editors for Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents.[/wpsm_tab]
What we Don’t Like about LiveDrive
Limited free trial period: While almost all of its competitors offer free services, LiveDrive offers a two week free trial. You must provide a credit card, and the service automatically renews into a full membership if you forget to cancel.
No synchronization or “L” drive in standard backup package: The standard backup package doesn’t support the “L” drive feature or any synchronization functionality. You have to purchase the “Briefcase” to get this feature.
No scheduled backup feature: Livedrive isn’t designed to run scheduled backups of system files, email, or contacts. Livedrive only offers a means of securing valuable files, in addition to accessing and sharing these files. It isn’t a backup product in the strict sense of the word. Livedrive is currently developing a backup feature which they will be releasing soon.
Unresponsive customer support: With LiveDrive you only have the option of email support. We found their support to be slow and at times completely unresponsive. This is probably one of the biggest complaints customers have with LiveDrive.
Unstable, problematic backups: At times LiveDrive has ignored files, and other files appeared corrupted. Still other files get backed up even though there have been no changes made to them.
Questionable security: We have come to question the actual encryption practices used by LiveDrive, but when pressed for further information on their encryption methods and details about their overall security practices LiveDrive is silent. They refused to answer questions we had for them.
LiveDrive was founded on the heels of previous internet success, but it does not follow in the same footsteps. Although we applaud LiveDrive for their extensive features, we have serious questions about their backup stability and security practices. Features without underlying stability and security really don’t make for a good online storage and backup solution – therefore we feel there are better solutions available.