Elephant Drive was founded in 2005 and is headquartered in Santa Monica, California. The company offers computer backup plans for both individuals and businesses with a suite of features. Elephant Drives uses the security of Amazon S3 for all of their accounts, delivering a secure storage in the cloud for their customers’ data. Users can backup and sync their Android and iOS devices with the company’s free apps.
- Free trial
- Backup frequency
- File sharing
- Other versions
- Mobile and web options
Elephant Drive offers a fully-free plan in addition to offering a free 30-Day trial for all of their paid plans. There are several other backup providers which offer one or the other, but rarely both. Those offering a free plan often substitute the free plan for a trial plan. Elephant Drive allows their users a full 30 days to try any level of plan, with all features of an individual plan included in the trial. Users are required to register with Elephant Drive and enter billing information for free trials of paid plans and must cancel their trial within 30 days in order to avoid being billed.
The length of the trial is longer than many companies, which offer much shorter terms on their free trials.
Frequency of Backups
Users schedule their backups with Elephant Drive via the program interface, either downloaded or via the internet. Elephant Drive works across all platforms - Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iOS, so users can use the service with any of their devices, home or work. Elephant Drive is extremely customizable, and users can schedule automatic backups daily, weekly, or monthly. Users can determine which files are backed up and even schedule the computer to perform backups every __ minutes.
With Elephant Drive's Everywhere File, users can save files in this folder so that they can access them anywhere and quickly. These files are backed up whenever a change is made, so the latest versions are always available.
Users can easily share their files with others (and their other computers/devices) using Elephant Drive. The three tiers of subscriptions have slightly different sharing options. The easiest option for sharing files is by simply saving all files into the "Everywhere" folder. This folder, as it it stored in the cloud, acts like one of the computer's files when users use this folder as their destination folder for saved files.
Other features which are included in the file sharing for Elephant Drive Lite and Personal include: password protection, sharing via links and the ability to share folders with other users as well as to sync to one's own device. Business users have the added capability of backing up and sharing open and locked files. All features for sharing are available for users via the mobile apps, and users can access files via their mobile device as well.
In order to provide the best estimate and ranking for how a backup provider's software affects their users' systems, the Review Team uses independent data and sources. The data returned on any test is highly variable and is, at best, an estimate of what a user might expect in similar situations. According to independent data results, Elephant Drive is not the fastest provider, nor is it the slowest. The company regularly performs with the upper middle grouping of providers.
As is the case with all backup providers, the speed of the connection, available computer resources, and size of the files being uploaded in a backup session vary greatly from user to user. As a reference point, an average expectation for a backup of 10GB on a computer without additional tasks being completed takes around four hours and thirty minutes to perform over a 600Kbps (upload) connection. Other providers performed more slowly, with some completing the same backup in over 10 hours.
It is important to realize that this is for a backup, and using the Everywhere folder for documents does not result in long lag times - usually a few seconds to save a document or a few minutes to batch upload photos, music, etc.
Elephant Drive is a flexible resource, with cloud storage of documents, photos, music, files, etc, in the Everywhere folder and the ability to perform large backup and restoration. The software is able to be customized by the user in ways that are highly unique to the industry. Rather than being dictated by the company and their policies, users are able to set the number of versions of their files which will be kept and for how long. To determine the length of time that a file is kept, users visit their dashboard and to input values for how long they wish for the software to keep a file or set the value to keep all previous versions permanently.
Mobile and Web Options
Elephant Drive is fully integrated across systems running Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iOS. Not only can users own devices over multiple platforms, they can access all files with each of them using Elephant Drive. All devices are able to view, share, backup from web, desktop or app interfaces. Files can be viewed, edited, and media can be watched/played from a computer or with the free mobile app on mobile devices. Elephant Drive has options for offline viewing as well.
Elephant Drive uses the industry-respected and highly secure AES 256 encryption protocol during all stages of the backup. The files are stored with redundancy as well on Elephant Drive servers, so users can be confident that their important data will not be lost.
There are a few anecdotal reports online about a few customers losing data which was otherwise supposed to be backed up from several years ago, but the vast number of customers are satisfied with their service and do not report these issues.
- Customer support
- Extra features
Elephant Drive's plans can be more expensive than many of their competitors, especially those slated for business use. Go to the bottom of the review under "Price Breakdown" to read on all the price details.
Elephant Drive offers cumulative support to their customers, based upon which plan they have subscribed to.
- Lite - FAQ and Email support only
- Personal - FAQ, Email, and Online Chat
- Business - FAQ, Email, Online Chat and Phone support
Many backup providers are lacking in one way or another, and the area which typically is not the best from among the criteria which the Review Team uses to measure a company is their customer support. While Elephant Drive does not rank as poorly as other companies, they are lacking in the general quality of their customer support, especially in the reports of the amount of time it takes to receive a response from the company for their email support. While it is understandable that they focus their resources upon their paying customers, those using the Lite (free) plan have little options for support. Online chat is an effective method to contact the company, and phone support is only offered to Business users.
Elephant Drive is unique in that they offer their customers many customizable features, many of which have been previously mentioned. One which is very unique is that the company allows customers to determine the bandwidth which they will use for their backup tasks, to adjust for how their computer will be used during the backup and devote additional resources to the tasks as needed.
The company uses an innovative Everywhere folder, which can be easily and automatically synced across all devices, and is similar to Google Drive, Dropbox, etc. This allows users to easily access their files from any device.