IDrive Review (with 75% Off Discount)

IDrive, where “Security is our prime concern,” is an online backup service for consumers and small businesses.

It can back up multiple devices on a single account, including PCs, Macs, iPhones, iPads, and Android devices.  IDrive has been highly recommended by users of this site, so I was excited to check it out and see how it performs.

IDrive logo

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Editor's Rating:
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User Rating:
Rating: 3.0/5 (134 votes cast)

Pros

  • Secure, encrypted online backups
  • 5 GB free storage space
  • Restore files from the web interface or desktop app
  • Compression makes for fast backups
  • Powerful options for smartphones: back up contacts, automatic photo backups, scheduled backups, etc.

Cons

  • No monthly plans
  • No collaboration features to edit files as a team
  • Can’t display RAW camera files in mobile apps

The Bottom Line

IDrive is an easy to use, highly secure backup solution. Since it backs up additional devices at no extra charge, it’s perfect for people with multiple computers and smartphones.

Free vs Paid Plans

Free Plan

  • 5 GB storage space
  • No credit card required
  • Never expires

1 TB (+1 TB sync space)

  • $44.62/year, or $89.25 for 2 years (discounts as of Apr. 2016) $14.88 for the first year! Limited-time offer for BackupReview readers.
  • $59.50/year for renewal

10 TB (+10 TB sync space)

  • $374.62/year, or $749.25 for 2 years (discounts as of Apr. 2016)
  • $499.50/year for renewal

There are also business plans available, which allow you to create sub-accounts for employees.  The business plans can also back up servers.  The prices for business plans are listed below.  These are renewal prices, without any current discounts.

Pro Business Plans

  • 250 GB – $99.50/year
  • 500 GB – $199.50/year
  • 1.25 TB – $499.50/year
  • 2.5 TB – $799.50/year
  • 5 TB – $1499.50/year
  • 12.5 TB – $2999.50/year

Students and educators can get 50% off by using an .edu email address.

First Impressions: Easy and Secure Backups

When first started, IDrive automatically chooses what it thinks are the best folders to back up.

The rest is easy.  Just click “Backup Now” and IDrive will back up all your files to the cloud.

IDrive backing up files

IDrive backing up my files.

By default, backups are scheduled to run once per day, although you can choose to only backup on certain days or at specific times.  They can also be run at more frequent intervals (see the section on Continuous Data Protection).

IDrive also comes with these features:

  • Open file backup
  • Exclude files/folders
  • Back up mapped network drives (including password protected drives)
  • Bandwidth throttling
  • Proxy settings

IDrive includes desktop and email notification features, to let you know your backups are running smoothly. Personally, I felt like the desktop notification was annoying, so I disabled it. These notifications can be applied individually to each backup set. For instance, you can choose to get notifications for backups to the cloud, but not for backups to a local hard drive.

IDrive notification

IDrive has desktop and email notification options.

Continuous Data Protection

One of my favorite IDrive features is “Continuous Data Protection,” which can be enabled from the preferences menu.

It can back up your files in real-time; or it can back up at 10, 30, or 60-minute intervals.

It’s great for small, constantly changing files such as text documents, or even larger files (up to 500MB).

IDrive preferences

The IDrive preferences screen.

Share Your Files

IDrive lets you easily share files with friends and family.  I liked that you can also set a password on the shared links, to restrict who can view them.

Sharing files in IDrive

Sharing files in IDrive.

Note: if you’re thinking of sharing files with lots of people, this won’t work so well.  Share links expire after 15 days or 30 downloads (whichever comes first).

Unfortunately, IDrive does not have any collaboration features to edit files as a team like Google Drive, Dropbox, or OneDrive.

IDrive Android backup screen

IDrive can back up your smartphone.

Back Up Your Phone, Securely

IDrive has apps for:

  • Android
  • iPhone
  • Windows Phone

I love that IDrive includes private encryption as an option on their mobile apps.  This makes it impossible for any outside parties (including IDrive) to decrypt your files.

You can choose to back up any data on your phone, including:

  • Contacts
  • Photos
  • Calendar
  • SMS
  • Videos
  • Apps
  • Other files (if you have an SD card)

IDrive lets you choose which data you want to back up.  So if you want to exclude SMS or Apps, you can do so.  You can also set different backup schedules for each data set.

The only thing I didn’t like about the apps is that there’s no RAW camera file support, so I couldn’t view some of my photos.

Speed

IDrive is extremely fast when backing up – it maxed out my upload bandwidth at 7.5 megabits per second (Mbps).  My 5GB of storage space was filled up in under a half hour, due to effective compression.

Download speeds were also fast, about 21 Mbps.  This didn’t quite max out my download speed of 31 Mbps, but it’s still plenty fast.

Recover Previous Versions

IDrive keeps up to 30 versions files, which have no effect on your quota.

This lets you go back in time and recover specific versions of changed files, such as that text document you’re working on, or that photo you’re editing.

IDrive Express – Seed Your Backup for Free

Due to bandwidth constraints, it might be faster to mail your files on a hard drive to IDrive than to upload them over your internet connection.

IDrive lets you do this for free.

The way it works is like this:

  1. IDrive mails you a hard drive
  2. You put your files on it, which are securely encrypted with 256-bit AES
  3. You mail it back using a pre-paid label
  4. IDrive puts the files into your account

This service is available once per year for paying customers – any more and there’s an additional fee.  It’s also limited to 1TB worth of files.

Security

All files are transferred and stored using 256-bit AES encryption.

Before you perform your first backup, IDrive asks if you want to use their encryption key, or a private encryption key.  By using their encryption key, you let IDrive handle the encryption of your backups.  Your account is protected with your password, which can be reset if you forget it.

If you use a private encryption key, you’re responsible for safeguarding it.  If you forget it, your backups becomes inaccessible because you’re the only one who can decrypt your data.

I liked that IDrive asks users what they want to do, rather than just assuming.  Not everybody is going to have the same security needs.

Support

IDrive offers live chat and email support 24/7.  Phone support is available Monday – Friday, 6 am – 6 pm PST.

I found their support department to be helpful.  I emailed them and was responded to the same day (on a Sunday, no less).

I really liked how comprehensive the FAQ is.  Just about any question, no matter how simple or complex, is answered in the FAQ.

Summary

IDrive is the ultimate backup solution for smartphones. With powerful backup options on the mobile apps, it’s a great alternative to the default Android and iPhone backup utilities.

It’s also a great choice for home computer users and small businesses. IDrive makes effective use of file compression, so backups are fast. The ability to use a private encryption key means backups are secure – so only you can access your data. One of my favorite features was Sync. Not many backup services are able to synchronize files across devices. And not many cloud storage services (like Google Drive) have backup features. IDrive seems to have effectively combined them both.

If you’re looking for a simple, secure way to back up your files, IDrive is a great choice.

Specifications

Product Name IDrive
Version 6.0.0.21
Operating Systems WindowMacLinux
Storage 1 TB
Monthly Price $4.96
Average Upload Speed 7.5 Mbps (8 Mbps connection)
Average Download Speed 21 Mbps (30 Mbps connection)

General Features

Free Trial yes
Free Online Storage 5 GB
Mobile Apps Android, iOS, Windows Phone
Bandwidth Controls yes
NAS Support yes

Backup Features

File Versioning yes
Keep Deleted Files Forever
Back Up to Local Drive no

Sync and Share Features

File Sync yes
Selective Sync yes
Public File Sharing yes
Collaborative Invites no

Security

Encrypted Storage yes
Encrypted Transfer yes
Personal Encryption yes
Zero-knowledge Encryption yes
Two-factor Authentication no

Support

Phone Support yes
Email Support yes
24/7 Support yes
Live Chat yes

Infrastructure

Data Center Location(s) United States

Geoff Akerlund

Geoff Akerlund

Geoff Akerlund is the founder and editor-in-chief of BackupReview.com. He is a cloud fanatic and regularly reviews online backup services. He believes backups should be easy, affordable, and automatic.

Geoff Akerlund

@backupsoftware

Reviews and ratings of the most popular backup solutions

@FabacusSuite Just noticed your tweet! I’m not aware of any cloud storage needs specific to manufacturing. I’m open to insight/suggestions. – 8 months ago

 
  • Thanks for the heads-up Ryan.

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  • Dario

    what alternative backup service do you recommend?

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  • Jim

    iDrive now offers file restore by folder. They call it iDrive Rewind,

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    • That’s great! Thanks for the info.

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  • Angela

    This may be a small issue, but the monthly price for iDrive’s Personal Plan goes up to about $4.96 per month after the first year. It’s not a lot more but just thought that it’s good to know the fine prints 🙂

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    • Thanks for the comment, Angela. I’ve added the renewal prices.

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  • Karl

    Thanks for the quality of your reviews Geoff.
    I use Sugar Sync since 1 year (250 Go). No problem at all. Stable software. Share features works fine with a private URL.

    The problem is that Sugar Sync is a biot expensive.

    My criteria are :
    – to be able to backup multiple PC and Android devices.
    – be able to share a folder with friends (photos mainly)
    – a large volume of data (1To)

    I first choosed SOS Online Backup (only one PC to backup in the offer). But their Paypal payment refused to work and their Android app is so so.

    Yesterday evening i discovered your web site, and i think i’ll choose IDrive. Their Android App is fine. Software works fine and it comes with a sync features.

    Thanks again Geoff.

    PS: Hopefully i found your site ; i was about to choose MyPCBackup and i discovered on your site what a crap that is.

    PS2: Sorry english is not my mother language

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    • You’re welcome Karl, and thanks for the comment! IDrive sounds like a much better fit for your criteria than SugarSync. I think you’ll be happy with it.

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  • anita

    I gave up on them, and moved on. not as it seems

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  • Eric

    I used to love iDrive, used it for the last ten years or so. This year, I progressively closed
    all three accounts I had. Software is full of bugs, on my home PC it takes
    forever to backup, is a resource hog, on a SYNCed PC it sends reminder that
    “The backup failed: Reason, there is no file to backup” – that is on
    a computer that does only syncing and where I asked not to send error message
    by email. Worse is that the “Archive Cleanup” doesn’t work so I ended
    up going over my 1 TB allocation on two accounts. If you go over the limit, the
    extra is charged at an equivalent of $3000/TB per year – and you will because
    it doesn’t remove files you have deleted as Archive Cleanup doesn’t work. I
    have been telling support about this issue for 6 months. Useless Tech Support. Caveat
    Emptor.

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    • Wow! That’s a long time to have been a customer. Thanks for the warning.

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  • JGeZau

    Can I get your 75% discount after creating a free account? or is it only for new accounts?

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    • Hi JGeZau. It is only for new accounts.

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  • added quick review here: http://www.backupreview.com/idrive-discount-75-off-1tb/

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  • Audio Texture

    Total DISASTER of a service. After a very quick initial backup I then had repeated back up failures, days without a successful backup, then a backup success out of the blue and then the next day the service kept stalling on simple files like an MP3 or a .txt file. Some times it would be doing a backup for 5 days (despite me only altering or adding 2Gb of data) which I eventually had to cancel as I wasn’t sure if it would ever stop or was stuck in some sort of self perpetuating loop – you name it the service kept failing with no discernible pattern to explain why.

    I kept trying to resolve the issues myself by changing the settings but after a few weeks gave up and contacted customer service. They tried to help but couldn’t resolve the issues and then after several different attempts I contacted them again and someone just thoughtlessly emailed me “uninstall and reinstall the program and do the back up again” so in disgust I decided to quit the service via email. I was then informed I couldn’t cancel the service via email so after a busy month long work period I finally rang them up and the guy told me I had to just switch auto renewal off myself and in 10 months my data would be deleted.

    I explained the service had never functioned since day 1 and I felt I shouldn’t have to pay for the service but he explained that in the terms and conditions I have 15 days to evaluate the produce and cancel for a full refund if I was not happy. I presume this clause is buried probably in page 18 of the T&Cs in some small print as I certainly wasn’t aware of it. I asked the guy if he read all the T&Cs in every online service he signed up for he said that he didn’t but I had to abide by them. I then asked him to delete all my data and cancel my account and he told me I had to do it myself but was at least helpful enough to explain how I could do it. He then insisted again that I couldn’t cancel my account I had to just turn off auto renewal and have an account with the dysfunctional iDrive service that I no longer wanted or used for a further 10 months.

    Quite how iDrive can avoid statutory consumer protection laws on selling malfunctioning products and not give refunds is beyond me. Imagine the outrage if Apple sold iPhones and put in the small print you have 15 days to evaluate the phone and beyond that period if it isn’t working you aren’t eligible for a refund. It is not just paying appropriate taxes that the tech industry are good at avoiding, it seems like it is any responsibility at all.

    So here I am warning potential iDrive customers on every review platform that I can find on what to expect from this service and it seems like I am not alone. Ironically I changed to iDrive from Crashplan (which worked perfectly until I changed country when it would fail for a week or two) because there customer service was slow but at least their service actually functioned 95% of the time and when I did cancel my monthly plan they refunded me the money for a month because their wasn’t a back up for a couple of weeks. I believe that is called customer service. I now know why iDrive force you to pay for a year upfront.

    Anyway after unsuccessfully trying cloud back up for over a year now I am now just buying a second hard drive to backup all my data alongside my normal back up hard drive. I will then store the drive off site in case of fire, theft or whatever.

    It looks like cloud storage still has a way to go.

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