OpenDrive at a Glance
3 / 5 stars
- Basic: 5GB Free!
- Personal: $12.95/month, $129.00/year
- Business: $29.95/month, $299.00/year
- Click here to save over 16% on OpenDrive!
- Windows and Mac.
- Continuous back up/syncing.
- Packages reasonable with monthly and yearly options.
- Music and video streaming.
- File sharing.
- Online editing of documents, spreadsheets and presentations.
- Can create a virtual private shared drive between users.
- Web interface is well done.
- Unlimited computer access.
- File versioning can be set from 0 to 99 versions.
- You need to be comfortable with Windows Explorer.
- No Linux support.
- Bandwidth limits could be an issue with multiple users.
- Free account has transfer limit of 200 kb/s.
Full OpenDrive Review
After downloading the appropriate installer for your operating system, installation is quick. Double clicking the installer icon and going through the installation wizard. You will need to restart your Windows computer after OpenDrive has installed. Just a warning in case you have other work that needs to be saved before you restart your computer.
Once your computer has restarted you will be asked to login with your OpenDrive login and password. This is one of those services where you can download the desktop client without creating an account first, if that is the case you will be prompted to create an account. When you have been logged in you can start using OpenDrive.
OpenDrive creates a virtual drive on your computer that automatically backs up and syncs data in that drive to the OpenDrive servers. It integrates with Windows Explorer so there is no client application to open like most online backup services have clients. This also means that there is no backup sets or default configuration to start backing up your files.
To start a backup with OpenDrive you open My Computer on Windows and browse to the folder of files you want to backup or sync and right click on them. You are then given a menu to Backup to OpenDrive and/or Syncronize to OpenDrive. Selecting to backup to OpenDrive will present you with the option to select the destination where the folders/files will be backed up or synced to OpenDrive.
Once you have selected the folders/files for backup to OpenDrive you will see a task manager open that will show the progress of the backup or sync. You can use the task manager to manage the progress of the files being transferred.
For people that are good at managing their files and folders this method to backup folders and files is an easy system to understand and get used to, but for those people that have trouble locating files on their computer this could be a difficult system. For example backing up an Outlook PST file that is often hard to find and even harder to backup could be difficult if not next to impossible.
In the event that you delete files or have a hard drive failure or some other disaster you want to be sure you can restore your files. If you have access to another computer with Internet access you will be able to gain access to your files through the web. You can also install the software on another computer and simply copy your files from the OpenDrive to that computer. If you accidentally delete a file on your OpenDrive there is a trash that you can restore the file from.
If you deleted a file from your computer that OpenDrive automatically backs up and syncs it will ask you if you want to delete it from OpenDrive as well. If you still happen to delete it you have a one more chance to restore the file from the OpenDrive trash. Because there is no versioning though the file you restore might still have a problem.
You can download a zip file of your entire OpenDrive contents through the web if you need to restore all of your files. If you have a large backup be prepared to take some time downloading it.
OpenDrive has an abundance of other features that you do not find in a simple backup service. They allow you to stream your music and video files that you have backed up using a web browser or any other computer that you have synced your files to.
OpenDrive Web Access
Accessing your files through the OpenDrive web interface is a feature that is really one of the reasons you want to use OpenDrive. Through the OpenDrive Web interface you have access to all of your files, can stream music and video, edit and create new files through Zoho that are then synced back to your desktop, share files, collaborate with others, share files to Facebook and Twitter, even sell files online.
I only tested the Android App and it is pretty straight forward to use. You can easily browse your files and download them to your device. There is no streaming of media files that I could tell, the app will download them and then play them. You can also upload files, but there does not appear to be any kind of automatic backup or upload of photos and videos only manual upload.
If you backup your music of videos to OpenDrive you can easily play them through the web interface using a browser. This is great for those people that want to have access to their music collection or videos where ever you are.
My testing of this was hit and miss. I tested streaming several MP3 files and had no luck through the web portal but if I clicked the option to get the file links the embed option would play. I tried in a couple different browsers and had the same problems. If this is the main feature for you, you might want to give it a good try before handing over your money.
I tested the document editor and it was run by Zoho. I did not test the spreadsheet and presentation editor, but I imagine they are all powered by Zoho. Having the ability to edit your documents online through a web browser is a great feature that I wish other backup services had. In my testing I was able to cause some confusion with OpenDrive. I created a document in My Documents which was being backed up and synced to OpenDrive. I waited for it to be backed up online and then editor the file using Zoho. I saved the document in Zoho and closed the editor. I then opened the file using the online editor again to double check the file was saved with the new contents. I waited a few minutes and then went and edited the local copy of the file in My Documents. That file had still not synced with the online version. After saving I waited to see which file version would be kept. After a few minutes the local copy over wrote the online version. This would probably not be a problem for most people, since you would not edit the online version and then shortly afterward edit the local version.
File sharing can be done through either the Windows Explorer interface or through the web. In my testing it was easier to do through the web once the files were uploaded. Sharing though the web interface is as easy as finding the folder or file you want to share and clicking the Share menu item. You can then choose how you want to share the folder or file. You can also share a file to Facebook, Twitter or by email. A great way to share your latest photos with family and friends.
Manage Files via Web
You can easily manage all your files with the web interface. You can delete files and folders if you no longer need them and want to save some space. You can also upload individual files through the browser to your OpenDrive. If you want folders you can upload zip files to create folders. I also noticed you can fetch files from the web straight to OpenDrive.
According to the OpenDrive Knowledge Base all files are transferred through a 128 bit encrypted SSL (Secure Socket Layer) connection. However they offer two levels of storage but it is important to know that all files that are not in the secure files folder are NOT ENCRYPTED. All files that are stored in the Secure Files folder are encrypted and are then not available through the website and if you forget your password your files will not be recoverable. I could not find any information on how those files are encrypted or stored.
OpenDrive is a unique online backup and storage service that offers a wide range of features that will appeal to users of every level. In my testing of the service I could easily see how useful it could be. The backup and syncing features did work well for me and the service is affordable compared to other services with similar features.
Review updated December 6, 2013.