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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Back Up Your Phone, Securely
IDrive has apps for:
- 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:
- 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.
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:
- IDrive mails you a hard drive
- You put your files on it, which are securely encrypted with 256-bit AES
- You mail it back using a pre-paid label
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
|Average Upload Speed||7.5 Mbps (8 Mbps connection)|
|Average Download Speed||21 Mbps (30 Mbps connection)|
|Free Online Storage||5 GB|
|Mobile Apps||Android, iOS, Windows Phone|
|Keep Deleted Files||Forever|
|Back Up to Local Drive|
Sync and Share Features
|Public File Sharing|
|Data Center Location(s)||United States|