IDrive has one of the longest track records in the industry. The company began in 1995 and was originally known as Pro Softnet Corporation. The company’s initial product name (IBackup) was changed to IDrive when the company purchased its current domain in 2003. IDrive offers their customers fully-featured products at highly competitive pricing. IDrive offers both complete cloud backups as well as a hardware device which quickly transfers data from computers and mobile devices (IDrive One).
- Free trial
- Backup frequency
- File sharing
- Mobile and web options
- Extra features
IDrive does not offer a free trial of their products, rather they offer a full-features free version of their personal product. The free version offers customers 5GB of backup space as well as 5GB of sync space. Users can earn additional storage by referring friends who become IDrive customers - even those who sign up for free accounts themselves. IDrive does not require a credit card for those requesting a Basic (free account) and the account does not expire.
IDrive Personal customers pay for their account in 12 or 24-month subscription terms. The company is well known for their specials, which can be quite substantial. As the timeframes of these promotions vary greatly, the Review Team is only reporting the regular pricing for all subscriptions. Current promotions (if any) may result in discounted prices. All prices are noted in the bottom of this review.
IDrive Online offers several business plans, which can be paid either in 12 or 24 month subscription terms. Some plans are available to be purchased for monthly subscriptions.
IDrive One is a personal cloud storage device which works for both file backup and streaming. This product does not include a monthly fee; customer purchase the device and use it to backup and stream their media files. The IDrive One uses 802.11 ac technology and can act as a wireless range extender for an existing router.
Frequency of Backups
IDrive Online's default backup setting is to backup daily, although users can change the frequency to suit their needs. IDrive Online performs backups continuously for 500MB. To use continuous or real time backups, users must first seed the backup with a large upload of all the files which should be monitored and continuously backed up. After this seeding, files which were included in the initial backup are monitored for changes and when changes are detected, the software automatically backs up the files, keeping up to 30 previous versions.
The IDrive One device does not include file sharing options. IDrive Online Personal and Business plans offer several files sharing options. Some of those which are most popular is the option to password-protect files and sharing via Facebook or Twitter. File sharing is available from the mobile apps as well as on the web interface. Business customers are able to collaborate on shared files.
IDrive One transfers data at speeds up to 1.3 Gbps and with simultaneous dual-band (2.4 and 5GHz) support. Most users will be able to easily transfer files to and from the device.
For those using their ISP to upload their backup files, IDrive Online performed well in independent speed and performance tests. In one of these tests, the software was able to upload a 100MB consisting of mixed files types in 1 minute and 21 seconds, which was not the fastest speed of companies tested, but was right at the top.
Mobile and Web Options
IDrive mobile apps allow their customers to perform all of the tasks which are available from their web interface. This includes sharing, backups and restoration. A void in common features in industry mobile apps is the ability to play music or watch videos directly from the mobile apps.
Users can quickly backup their Facebook and Instagram photos and videos as well. These backups include photos and videos which the user has uploaded or those in which they have been tagged.
IDrive Online allows users to share, rotate or print photos from the web client in addition to the above mentioned capabilities.
Both IDrive Online and IDrive One use an 256-bit AES encryption protocol. There is an available option for subscriber to IDrive Online in that they may select a personal key which adds further security to their files. It is important for those electing to use a personal key to remember this information, as it prevents user accounts from being able to be accessed by anyone but the user, and password resets are not available for those using this security tool.
IDrive Online subscribers may purchase an external drive from IDrive and load their initial backup onto the drive and return it to IDrive to reduce the initial online backup seeding time.
IDrive offers qualifies school discounts of up to 50% on backup accounts. These plans are designed to help with the unique environment of educational institutions.
IDrive users can utilize IDrive Smart Docs, which allows them to photograph a document, which will be stored and saved. The software can even create reminders based upon the text recognized in the document by the smart software.
Online File Sync manages all files online and syncs the latest version of these files automatically across all devices which have copies of IDrive software on it.
- Hidden fees
- Other versions
- Customer support
Because IDrive Online allows users to backup all of their devices and mapped drives with the service, their storage space can quickly disappear. It is important to note that the company has overage fees, which are in the company's terms. The rate at the writing of this review (July, 2016), the rate for overage is: $0.25/GB per month for Personal plan and $0.50/GB per month for Team and Business plans. While it seems like a small fee, there are reports of customers going over and owing hundreds of dollars.
This overage fee is listed in the company's Terms and Conditions document. Customers are required to agree to the terms contained in the document upon signup, but most do not actually read the document, resulting in confusion. The company should be more transparent about this fee in a more prominent place, and customers should always read the terms for any service for which they subscribe.
IDrive Online saves the past 30 versions of files so that users can revert to an earlier-saved version. This can become an issue with overage charges if customers do not monitoring their archiving levels. The Review Team strongly recommends that users monitor their account to avoid overages and their subsequent costs and perform regular cleanups of their archives.
IDrive offers phone support from 6 am to 6 pm (PST), online chat (although it is offline more than it is online, according to many reports from customers), chat via Talq (www.talqapp.com) - ID IDrive, an extensive knowledge base, and email ticket support. In spite of the multitude of options for customers to receive answers to their questions, the company still has many issues with their customer service. The most glaring absence in IDrive's support is the lack of full transparency. It stands to reason that if a problem continues to crop up about how information is conveyed, that a reasonable company would look for other ways to communication with the customers to avoid this miscommunication. There is no evidence that IDrive has done this.