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IDrive review

Plans to suit all types of individual and business use

IDrive
(Image: © IDrive)

Our Verdict

IDrive offers a reasonably priced service with a good array of features and functionality that should cover most use cases.

For

  • Back up multiple devices on the personal plan
  • Supports multiple operating systems
  • Extensive features

Against

  • Storage overuse charges can be expensive if you exceed your account quota.

IDrive is a cloud backup and cloud storage service which can back up all of your PCs, Macs, mobiles, and tablets into a single account. It offers plans for personal, small business, and enterprise use, and can back up servers as well as personal devices.

Plans and Pricing

IDrive offers three brackets of plans – free, Personal and Business – with Personal and Business having different tiers based on how much storage disk space you need.

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(Image credit: IDrive )

The free plan only gives you 5GB of data, so it’s really only so you can get a feel for the service. The main difference between the Personal and Business plans is that with Business you can have more users, back up servers, and get help in complying with regulations governing your industry.

Personal plans come in two tiers—2TB of data storage for $52.12/year and 5TB for $74.62/year— while Business plans have a broader selection, starting from 250GB of storage for $74.62/year up to 12.5TB for $22,469.62/year. With the Business plans, you can also choose to pay monthly.

You will need to keep an eye on how much data you’re backing up, though, because if you exceed your account storage limit, you’ll be charged $0.25 per GB per month on the Personal plans and $0.50 for the Business plans.

Features

Different people and organizations will look for different things in a cloud backup solution. However, IDrive has an extensive range of standard and business features which should keep everyone satisfied.

Standard Features

IDrive comes with an impressive array of standard features, but the one that is front and center is the ability to back up unlimited devices to a single account, whether it be a desktop or laptop running Windows or Mac OSX, or phones or tablets running iOS or Android. You can also back up data from mapped drives on a network.

Then there is online file sync, which works in much the same way as Dropbox and Google Drive —you have a special folder on each device, and anything in that folder is automatically synced between all devices linked to the account.

IDrive ExpressTM means you can get all your data backed up to IDrive’s servers in just a few days. A physical storage device is sent to you, which you copy your files onto before sending it back to IDrive. After you return it and all your data has been transferred to your online account, you can continue to use incremental backups from your devices over the Internet in the same way that most backup solutions work.

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(Image credit: IDrive )

You can use IDrive’s Snapshots feature to store up to 30 different versions of your files, and if disaster strikes, you can restore from whichever version you choose. This is particularly useful if your computer becomes infected with ransomware. To retrieve earlier versions of your files, log on to your online account, click on the Restore tab, then right-click on a file and select “View previous versions.”

Disk image backup is for those dreaded times when your hard drive fails and you need to set up a new computer or device with all your system settings and data exactly as they were on your old device.

IDrive also includes a lot of intelligent features that you won’t even be aware of most of the time, such as only uploading the modified parts of files to reduce bandwidth usage; not deleting any data from your account until you manually delete it or run a clean-up task; high-level security and encryption; and activity and backup status reports.

Business Features

On top of the standard features, there are several that are aimed at organizations with larger, more complex data storage requirements, including server cloud backups which protect your servers and databases, whether they be Linux, Oracle, Sharepoint, MS SQL and Exchange Server, or Office 365 mailboxes.

Bare-metal disaster recovery is essentially the business-grade solution to ransomware and can be used to back up virtual machines. It comes with a 30-day evaluation period.

IDrive also helps organizations in the medical, accounting, and legal professions that need to comply with new standards such as HIPAA, SOX, GLBA, and SEC / FINRA by securing, encrypting and date stamping your data with 24/7 access.

Interface and In Use

After taking several minutes to download an 18MB installer file and install the app, I then created an account, as prompted. This was a nice touch:

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(Image credit: IDrive )

But I wasn’t so impressed that an app that makes a big deal about security imposed a limit on the number of characters that could be used in a password.

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(Image credit: IDrive)

Once installed, though, the app itself is straightforward and uncomplicated, with the idea being that it’s “set and forget.” Get everything set up initially the way you like, and then let it run unobtrusively in the background.

Looking at each of the main tabs on the left of the app interface, Backup is for sending data to IDrive’s cloud servers; Restore is for retrieving it back to your device; Scheduler lets you control when and how often you want backups to occur; Sync is for setting the folder that will sync files across all your devices; and Settings is where you can control things like continuous data protection, the backup location in your online account, alerts and notifications, file and folder exclusion, and bandwidth throttle.

Support

Support is available either by phone or by lodging a ticket on their website.

Technical phone support is available Monday–Friday, 6:00 am to 11:30 pm PST, with Billing and Sales available 6:00 am to 6:00 pm.

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(Image credit: IDrive )

The Competition

There is a lot of competition in the cloud backup space, with plenty of well-known names like Backblaze, Carbonite, iCloud, Acronis, Crashplan, and Dropbox. Where IDrive comes out on top is that all personal plans give you the ability to back up multiple devices.

Final Verdict

If you have a lot of devices whose data needs to be secured at reasonable prices, then IDrive is the service for you. The IDrive ExpressTM feature also enables you to get your data onto their servers quickly, which means you don’t have to put your primary storage device or Internet bandwidth under strain during the initial set-up phase.