Though it started under a different name, IDrive has been in the online file storage business for 25 years. Today, it offers robust plans with some of the most colorful features in the industry.
This is what you’ll get if you sign up for the service:
IDrive has desktop clients for Windows and macOS. These make it easy to access all the features, though the design looks a tad dated.
Linux users will have to settle for the web client. It is reasonably similar to the desktop one, but it’s not as easy to bulk upload files. Using the web client is also the only way to share files, which is a bit odd, but not too much of a problem.
The mobile apps for Android and iOS do the job as well. These let you access all the key features, have a full backup suite for mobile devices (which a few cloud storage providers neglect), and even add a few features to be more convenient for mobile users.
One is the so-called “timeline” which lets you view all the backed-up photos in a photo album view. IDrive also allows many advanced search tools for photos, including a facial recognition system similar to that of Google Photos.
Ease of Use
IDrive is reasonably easy to get the hang of.
Picking which files you want to back up or sync between devices is extremely straightforward. All you need to do is go through your folders and tick a checkbox next to the ones you want saved. IDrive won’t mess with your file hierarchy, and it will even helpfully preselect some folders like Documents.
The actual online data storage client is divided into six main tabs. It’s fairly obvious where to find all the most important functions. For instance, you’ll find the files you’re syncing in the “Sync” tab, and you can handle data restoration from the “Restore” tab. Pretty easy, right?
Using the web client is similar enough. The only real difference is that the web client adds a few extra options like restoring files to a device remotely. This speeds up things, since you won’t have to switch computers for every little thing.
IDrive probably has more backup options than any other service.
For starters, you can choose to upload files to your actual IDrive storage or even store backups locally. You can also sync files between multiple devices, which won’t drain your cloud file storage capacity. The latter is especially handy since IDrive allows you to connect any number of devices, regardless of your plan.
Extensive Backup Options
You can also speed up backups by letting the client upload multiple file chunks simultaneously. This creates multiple CPU threads, which use a bit more taxing on the processor but results in faster uploads. You can also enable block-level sync, which makes it much faster to edit and reupload files.
One common issue with cloud storage services is that clients might need to upload several terabytes of data, but have a poor internet connection. In such cases, the upload can take a week or more.
IDrive has a creative and unique solution. You can opt for IDrive Express, and the provider will deliver a physical drive to your personal address. This way, you can deliver massive amounts of data in just a few days.
You can use the same service if you need a large-scale data restoration. It’s an absolute godsend for those who want to back up or restore entire drives’ worth of data quickly.
If you’re in the US, the service is free once a year for private cloud storage users and thrice a year for businesses. Otherwise, the exact price of the service depends on your location.
You also have a few other options for restoring files. IDrive even saves 30 previous versions of your files, and you can restore whichever you want. This is kind of your insurance from accidents or ransomware. It will also hold on to the files you remove from the storage, which can save you in a pinch.
Businesses in particular can take advantage of some of the best cloud backup features out there. IDrive’s business solution is designed to work with various databases, emailing servers, SharePoint, and hypervisors like VMWare and Hyper-V. IDrive includes tons of features for each use case, so you can check out the exact offer if you use these applications.
Managing backups for both private users and businesses has never been easier!
IDrive has a few neat data protection features, and enables additional measures on your end, like two-factor authentication. All files are encrypted via AES 256-bit encryption (which is uncrackable with today’s technology).
When you sign up, IDrive will offer to hold on to your private encryption key. This might not be the best idea if you want to keep the government out of your files, especially considering IDrive’s data centers are in the US.
Fortunately, you can opt to keep the key, which means not even IDrive will be able to access your data. This disables the file sharing feature, which is kind of a given. You should save your private key in a few safe locations, however, since you won’t be able to decrypt your cloud file storage without it.
And that’s just scratching the surface. Backup and activity reports, advanced server backups, GDPR and HIPAA compliance, and a bunch of other features are all part of the offer.
IDrive is excellent for private users that want an easy-to-use and robust platform with top-of-the-line security.
As for businesses, IDrive focuses more on security than collaboration features. That’s why it’s best to use IDrive for database and full-server backups or simple file sharing. If you need productivity tools, you can go for providers like OneDrive or Google Drive and get real-time coediting of documents.
IDrive handles third-party integrations a bit differently than most cloud storage providers.
Namely, the service is compatible with AWS S3, so it can work with most S3 tools. This means you can access your storage with apps like Cloudberry and CyberDuck, which experienced users might prefer.
The API is also public, so developers can integrate their own applications with IDrive.
Apart from that, IDrive focuses more on data protection, so third-party apps don’t really get access to the platform. This is kind of expected from a platform that offers zero-knowledge encryption, though.
IDrive has multiple plans for private users:
- Free 5GB— forever
- Personal 2TB—Starts at $52.12/year, renews at $69.50/year
- Personal 5TB—Starts at $74.62/year, renews at $99.50/year
All plans allow you to connect unlimited devices. You are only restricted by the storage quote, which is an advantage not many providers get you.
Admittedly, personal plan users can only pay annually which is something to be aware of. You do get some of the cheapest cloud storage rates in the industry, though. For reference, DropBox charges about 50% more, even without IDrive’s discount.
Speaking of, the discounts do add a bit of value for those starting out. You can extend the discount for an extra year if you pay in advance, which is fine if you can afford it.
Students can also take advantage of a flat 50% discount, which is a nice gesture on IDrive’s part.
In addition to this, there are six Business plans that allow unlimited cloud storage users. They allow paying monthly, annually, or biannually.
The plans start at $74.62/year for 250GB storage. There’s definitely more variety here, so you’ll likely find a plan that fits you if you run a business.
Your best bet is to compare the pricing with a few other providers and see which deal fits you best. IDrive is definitely more suitable for businesses with a large number of employees, though, since there’s no cap on user accounts.
All in all, the plans are generous. One thing that would be helpful is a 500GB or 1TB personal offer, since not all clients need 2TB. Still, I am getting a bit nitpicky here, since the pricing is fine for most users.
IDrive is easy to use, comes with dozens of excellent features, has a zero-knowledge option, and is developer-friendly. Plus, the solution has a unique way to help individuals and businesses handle bulk data backups.
Bottom line—IDrive has some of the best cloud storage for personal use. Businesses that need robust backups or file sharing options can take advantage of it as well, though.