- Free trial
- Backup frequency
- File sharing
- Customer support
Livedrive offers their customers a full-featured 14-day free trial for any of their plans. There is no risk involved, and unlike many of their competitors, Livedrive states that they do not require that users provide a billing address in order to receive a free trial. However, users are asked to enter a credit card after signing up "to verify their account." This behavior of a bait-and-switch is troublesome and leaves people wondering what other surprises they have coming as subscribers.
Frequency of Backups
Livedrive's backups are done differently than many others. Users select the files/folders which they want backed up and then upload these files to the Livedrive drive, which appears like another drive on their computer. After this initial (and often large) upload, the files are monitored by the system, and any of them which have changed are uploaded. This process allows users to have backups performed as they are needed, rather than needing to remember which files that they have changed and scheduling a backup.
As such, these backups are not scheduled or performed manually, like many others. Another advantage to incremental backups is that there are smaller files being transmitted regularly, and less resource demand is placed upon the computer which keeps it running more quickly.
File sharing is only available to subscribers of the Briefcase and Pro Plans. Neither of these includes password protection for files, but files can be designated as either public or private files and sharing Users of these plans are also able to edit their files from a web browser.
The Review Team uses independent speed and performance test results when comparing companies to each other. If there are several results, the Review Team averages the results for rating a company.
Speed and performance tests were given by uploading a 100MB folder of mixed files to simulate an average customer upload. As Livedrive requires an initial upload of files, this test is only an indicator of possible performance might be for this task. Incremental backups were not tested.
Livedrive's performance for large uploads was significantly slower than industry leaders, in spite of their claim of fast servers. Server speed is only one aspect of how fast software is able to upload data. Of equal effect is the user's ISP upload speed.
Users report that the software is heavily resource dependent for restoration, with resource demands being anywhere from 20-80% of a computer's available resources.
Livedrive does not disclose their security protocol online other than stating that it is "completely safe and secure." Attempts to gather this information from the company were not successful. Because Backup Lizard resells Livedrive, the Review Team can safely assume that they use the same encryption for their resellers as for their direct customers. Backup Lizard states that files are encrypted with the AES-256 encryption protocol.
As the company does not disclose this information themselves, the Review Team is considering the lack of transparency and reply from the company in the rating for this criterion. The security they offer is aligned with industry leaders, but their lack of providing this information is not.
Customer support is seriously lacking with Livedrive. The company states that they offer 24/7 email support service with no more than a 24-hour turnaround. This is not the case with many customers and the Review Team did not receive assistance within the promised 24 hours, which at the writing of this review has stretched to nearly three full days.
There are several reports of customers attempting to cancel, having their accounts (and files) deleted without warning and requesting assistance, with no response from the company. One should be very cautious when enrolling with this company as a subscriber for this very reason.