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IDrive Review

IDrive at a Glance

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2.97 avg. rating (59% score) - 97 votes

Our Rating

4 / 5 stars
★★★★☆ 

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Pros:

  • Drag-and-drop file restore feature.
  • Backup set search capability.
  • Mapped drive support.
  • Phone support for paid users.
  • Ability to pause and then re-start the upload of files.
  • Excellent iOS and Android apps that can backup mobile files.
  • Customizable archive settings.
  • Can install on multiple machines.
  • Supports a private encryption key.

Cons:

  • Backup space not unlimited. Overuse charged at $0.50 USD/GB/Month.
  • Does not automatically select all users files.
  • Need multiple desktop clients for backup, sync and local backup.

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Full IDrive Review

idrive-webpageIDrive is owned by Pro Softnet and is headquartered in Los Angeles County. They were founded in 1995 and offer cloud backup, sync and a remote pc service. They are also the largest southern California cloud service.

There’s no more complete online cloud-based storage service than iDrive. Although it is not the cheapest one available, it is still affordable compared to others and comes with backup clients for nearly every PC and mobile device, including Windows Phone that is uncommon these days. The company also gives additional storage for syncing all your devices and PCs, allows sharing of files and folders with anyone, and has the storage space to back up to a local drive. See how well it matches to the competition in our big online backup collection throughout this iDrive review.

IDrive offers business plans that help businesses or small businesses and individuals to securely backup their significant information with military grade 256-bit AES encryption so that they do not lose their files and folders in case of a data disaster and the ultimate protection from hackers. Furthermore, you can select your own private encryption key, which is secured only to you and not saved anywhere on our servers, for utmost privacy.

What do you mean by online backup?

Online backup is a process of off-site storage in which files are regularly backed up to cloud storage on a remote server, typically hosted by a service provider. Service providers then require payments for handling storage space backup based on the capacity and file size.

Installation
Installation of IDrive is pretty straightforward once you download the desktop application. Simply open the installer and follow the wizard to install the software. In a few clicks, the software will be installed and you can start the backup process.

Backing Up

Previously IDrive had been criticized for being a little more complicated for people to use. Thankfully some of this has been removed in the newer versions of the software. In my test, it defaulted to backing up the user files of the account I was logged in as. Unfortunately, that was not where my test files were located, so I selected all of the user’s folders. Fior most people this might not cause a problem but for the occasional person, this could be an issue. The software does not automatically backup all files or look for files in a non-standard folder. Something to be aware of when you are setting up your backup.

Depending on the size of your backup it could take a while to transfer all of it to IDrive.

For large backups, you can use IDrive Rapid Serve and seed your backup. They ship you a hard drive that you send back. IDrive then moves the data over to their servers and returns the hard drive to you.

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Restoring

The iDrive local client is almost identical to iDrive’s online dashboard that you can change the settings, includes turning on and off CDP using either. iDrive easily creates a local backup using the similar data set that is backed up online in the cloud storage. It enables you to regularly have the Rule of Three feature: your original data, a copy, and another copy of the copy. It is also much quicker to restore from a hard drive than from any online backup service.

You can start a restore using the IDrive desktop client or for small restores of a few files you can access the IDrive web portal and access your files. For large restores, you can also use Rapid Serve and get a hard drive containing your data.

The desktop restore process is easy to do, simply click the Restore tab on the client, browse your backup folders and select what you want to restore and where to restore to and click Restore Now. Your files will then be downloaded from IDrive to your computer. In the test restore I did I had no problem restoring all of the photos. Comparing the restored folder and the original folder the only file that was not restored was a hidden desktop.ini file.

If you have the IDrive Android or iOS app also installed you can restore the backed up data from those devices on your desktop as well. This makes it easy to recover your data from your mobile devices if you lose them.

 

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Mobile

IDrive has a strong mobile app for both Android and iOS. Most cloud services allow you to access your files, some will back up your photos but IDrive will backup not just your photos and videos but also your contacts and calendar. Some of that information is already available to you in the cloud depending on what you use but it is always good to have an extra copy of that data just in case your cloud accounts are terminated for some reason.

The IDrive mobile apps are one of the best reasons to use IDrive. They make it easy to access your files, backup your mobile files and protect your other information.

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Web Portal

IDrive has a nice web portal for accessing and sharing your files. It makes it easy to browse your files, share them with friends and family and even upload to your account. My only issue was not being able to select an entire folder to download. The web portal has been improved considerably and if you could download your files easier from the web it could be great.

Other Features

IDrive offers a number of services including backup, sync, and portable (rapid serve) but you need different software for each. This is not much different than other companies but for some reason, it feels more complicated with IDrive. I have not actually tried IDriveSync but it does offer 10GB of free space. If you are just looking to sync you might want to take a look at it as well.

Sharing has been integrated into many of the products. You can easily share from the mobile apps and the web portal. Makes it easy to share the latest photos and videos of the kids with friends and family.

idrive-screen-17
Final Review of Idrive 
IDrive is a strong cloud backup service that performs well and will help keep your data safe. The only big downside to using IDrive is the lack of an unlimited storage option. At one time they did offer an unlimited option just after Mozy stopped offering one, but the IDrive unlimited plan seems to have just disappeared with no trace. If you only need to backup some photos and your personal documents IDrive will work well. If you are a professional photographer, shoot HD video or have other large files the cost of IDrive could quickly get expensive.

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IDrive Screenshots

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More IDrive Reviews

CNET ★★★★½ 

IDrive Online Backup is an easy-to-use program that allows users to back up the contents of their computers remotely. With a sleek interface and just enough features, this program is great for users of all levels.
CNET

Macworld

IDrive, the online backup service, is a true archival offering. That is, when you delete your files from your Mac, IDrive holds onto them–optionally, forever. Some of the company’s competitors only archive such files for a finite window, like 30 days, before removing them.
Macworld

Notebook Review

I especially like the archiving feature; those that work on files continuously know the value of having previous versions. Another feature I like is the online file browser; the ability to access your backed-up data from anywhere is convenient and useful.
Notebook Review

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27 Responses to IDrive Review

  1. Chris says:

    I’m based in UK using iDrive on a Mac over a fairly fast broadband service (tested at 1.9MB upload speed).
    I found this page as I was frustrated with upload speeds so looking for some reviews. So far I’ve not had any software issues and I think the UI is perfectly usable! Its just the speed thats the issue
    But… After reading the comments here it looks like I’ve got no problems. Warren seems to be the one with the biggest issue, and is now happy with uploading 20GB per day. I’m getting about 35GB per day so guess I should be happy??
    Still feels extremely slow though…

    Whats the benchmark for these services?

    • John Tucker says:

      Benchmarking the services for speed is hard because the results I get from Canada will be different than someone in any other part of the world. Although you have given me an idea that I will have to see if I can add into the site here in 2012.

  2. HeWhoCares says:

    My wife’s laptop HD crashed and died 2 weeks ago. Within days we got a new HD (was still under warranty), and I was able to restore all 30GB including outlook PST, and all of her files within less than 12 hours (!!!) from iDrive.

    iDrive is GREAT and PROVEN service. Fast backup and faster restore, what could you ask for more?
    Their UI and online help is less than ideal; again used online chat – and got a good response within minutes.

    I am going to extend the service now to all family data in the house. Worth the $$ for our peace of mind.

  3. fujo says:

    regarding Warrens comments above, how come he has posted the exact comments line-4-line in the pcmag article as well under a different name!

    I am not using any of the “home” type online backups. I currently use Amazon S3 with Superflexible File Synchronizer and except for the cost factor associated with S3, have none of the many issues experienced by so many people. I am looking into getting a cheaper alternative for photos/videos and staying with S3 for critical business files.

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2284391,00.asp

  4. Warren says:

    One other thing about SpiderOak- they let you backup and Sync with an unlimited set of computers.

  5. Warren says:

    I moved to SpiderOak. 100GB for $10/mo. Mac software worked great. Uploads were fast compared to ALL others I tried (20GB per 24 hours). SpiderOak Interface is a little clunky but easy to understand and use. Offers Sync and web access to your files. Lie hte fact that your data is ENCRYPTED at Spideroak so only you have access. Highly recommend Mac users try Spideroak.

  6. Anonymous (edited) says:

    Had the identical experience as Warren’s previous post.

    The support is joke, they waste your time and never really get anywhere. My impression beyond Warren’s accurate listing of the issues, is the company really doesn’t care. When cancelling, I too spoke to Justin, who was like, whatever, you want to cancel, here you go. it seems that maybe they are doing so well, clients don’t matter.

    If I can somehow help someone not use their frustrating and non-caring service, this posting would have been worth it.

  7. HeWhoCares says:

    Well … I test drove CrashPlan: was slow, and I was not happy with their tech support (waited 3-4 weeks for help, they apologized, but it does not really help me).
    Eventually – signed up with iDrive, and I am VERY happy:
    1. iDrive is SUPERFAST – backed up 20GB in less than 2 days, and I have just a plain broadband connection
    2. Their 24×7 technical support via chat was very helpful in the 2 times I needed assistance; they even remoted to my machine to find the mistake I made. I appreciate good, always available technical support.
    3. I tested restore – and it was superfast too.
    4. It does well mapped drives (which not officially supported with CrashPlan)

    So far – happy camper. Can certainly recommend iDrive. UI is a bit confusing, though, but you cannot win them all :)
    IMO, way better than Memopal, and even than CrashPlan.

    re the one that bashed iDrive – what you using that you are so happy with?

  8. Warren says:

    This is a PIECE OF JUNK. 3 weeks of UNRESPONSIVE and MISLEADING support, 2 reinstalls (per their instructions) and one “update” ended with a phone call in which “Jason” told me “WHAT DO YOU EXPECT FOR $5?”

    BUGGY and UNHELPFUL INTERFACE—– “Backup Set Size” is never accurate once you change ANY selection of files. The program stops regularly due to “connection problems” (Note- I have NO OTHER connection problems on my Comcast account). The thing takes HOURS to work through confirming all of the files it has previously backed up BEFORE it starts backing up new files (then stops – see above). Picks files to back up seemingly at random. Since this software takes so long to back things up, you never know what has been backed up and what has not. Long periods (tens of minutes) of seemingly no activity. Tech Support says “it is really doing things while you see nothing”, but they can’t say what.

    SLOWER THAN MOLASSES—– 3 weeks of forcing this thing to continuously back up (set schedule to restart 1 hour after it stops due to a “connection problem”) and it is doing LESS THAN 1GB a DAY. So if you have 100 GB to back up you better be ready to wait a HALF YEAR to get a full backup. I monitor my incoming and outgoing data, and after the software finally works through the previously backed up files, it sends a 5 second burst of data at 2mbps (my upload speed is reliably 3mbps) then WAITS 30 to 40 seconds before the next one! THIS APPEARS TO BE PURPOSEFULLY THROTTLING DOWN the data rate. So the whole idea they provide 150GB is a JOKE.

    This is JUNK, MISLEADING, and BUGGY garbage. Support is useless and without any idea what they are doing. ZERO STARS if I could give it.

    • John says:

      Sorry to hear you are having trouble with IDrive. I know the clients that I have worked with that we installed IDrive with have not had any major problems.

      • Warren says:

        Why? Because my experience with this customer-unfriendly company and their incredibly bad software and service was so bad I made sure to post everywhere I could find a review! That’s why. Attacking the poster instead of the substance of the post is a low cynical ploy usually used by SHILLS FOR THE COMPANY being reviewed.

        I am at SPIDEROAK now. SPIDEROAK’s uploads are LITERALLY TEN TIMES THE SPEED of iDrive. I have 66GB fully baked up, with multi-machine backup, full sync, and web access. The software has not had a single glitch in 2 months now. The software interface works flawlessly on the Mac. Oh, and when they had a software update they were the MOST communicative company I have ever seen with a full explanation of the update.

        Yes, I placed my LEGITIMATE criticism of iDrive on a few sites. So f’ing what? Their Mac client sucks so bad they should pull it, but they continue to sell garbage to people hoping (I guess) that most are too stupid to change providers.

    • Tyler says:

      I agree 100% – worst product offering in the cloud, period!

    • Mick says:

      Same thing here – PC client is telling me I’m at 25% of my storage limit, web interface says I am at 100%. Get this…I don’t have any files at all in the backup – I deleted the backup days ago.

      Support is hopeless, standard response is to not answer your question, then suggest a live chat, which means you filling in another form and nobody ever gets back to you. I just decided to demand my money back, via Paypal (which I used to pay for a subscription).

  9. HeWhoCares says:

    I am test driving now iDrive and Crashplan. (dissappointed Memopal user)
    iDrive is faster, small memory footprint, but has confusing UI; limited storage.
    Crsahplan is slower for backup and restore (Crashplan Central), takes ~50MB RAM, unlimited storage, and allows you to backup to other computers.
    Otherwise – quite compararble.
    Any other inputs re both services?

  10. pluginguy says:

    With iDrive I found what I was looking for. it’s not really “unlimited”, but 150 GB for personal users are enough. My hdd don’t reach that capacity. So, it’s perfect.

    I found iDrive for Mac much easier to use than the Mozy (my othere choice) software. With mozy I wasn’t able to select regular folders like “Documents” “Movies” and “images”

    For this reason, I decided for iDrive.

    These are my first impressions, I will deeply test and review 3 online backup service on my blog. Bye!

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