By Charles P. Jefferies
IDrive is designed to back up your data with just two clicks. The base version offers 2GB of storage for free and online accounts are available up to 500GB.
Versions of IDrive are available for personal and business use; this review will cover the personal version only.
IDrive Basic offers 2GB of storage for free. IDrive Pro has the following pricing plans:
- Single User: 150GB storage space; $4.95/month or $49.50/year
- Family Pack (back up to 5 PCs to the same account): 500GB storage space; $14.95/month or $149.50/year
The pricing represents a good value compared to other solutions we tested. However, there are no unlimited options.
Some essential features of the software are as follows:
- Continuous Data Protection: automatically backs up newly modified parts of files and folders every 10 minutes
- True Archiving/Sync: no data is deleted from your IDrive online unless you manually delete it
- Search and Restore: search and restore your data from the IDrive program or through a web browser
- Versioning: IDrive allows you to restore the last 30 versions of all files backed up to your account; storage is only computed for the most current version; historical versions are stored free
- Manage multiple accounts: multiple accounts can be managed from a single account via the web
I especially like the archiving feature; those that work on files continuously know the value of having previous versions. Another feature I like is the online file browser; the ability to access your backed-up data from anywhere is convenient and useful.
The IDrive program is a refreshingly small 9MB download and takes about one minute to install. Once installed, it prompts users to log in or create a new account. The login prompt also provides options to upgrade accounts and change connection settings.
Scheduling backups is simple enough; alternatively back up on demand by clicking the Sync icon in the main program interface. Another option is continuous backup, which is enabled and disabled at the click of the button; it will continuously monitor your files/folders selected for backup and backup them up. I found it useful to enable this while I was working during the day and I disabled it at night to reduce resource usage.
How long the initial backup takes depends on two things: how much data is being backed up and Internet upload speed. The first few hundred MB of files I backed up did not take long on my cable Internet connection.
Users can change how much Internet bandwidth IDrive uses by adjusting the slider; this is very useful for those on slower connections.
My only complaint about the backup process is that the window cannot be closed; only minimized.
Clicking on the backup and restore tabs in the center switch between the respective modes. Restoring files can be handled in one of three ways; the first way is through the program. Click on the Restore tab to show a list of backed-up files; check files/folders to restore and click restore to complete the process.
Another way to restore and access files is through the Windows Explorer plugin, which integrates IDrive with My Computer in Windows. It makes IDrive basically like another system drive.
The third way is through a web browser. It is very simple to navigate through backed-up files. This feature allows users to access their backed-up data from anywhere, which is extremely useful on a number of levels.
IDrive is a fully-featured online backup service. The basic account provides 2GB of free online storage; paid accounts are available up to 150GB and provide a good value for the money.
One standout feature of IDrive is versioning; it will store up to 30 previous versions of files automatically yet only factors the latest version into storage usage; another feature I like is continuous backup, which is present even on the basic version. Competing services typically charge extra for this feature.
I encountered no issues worth mentioning during testing and recommend it for personal and family use.
- Archiving/versioning support
- Web browser access
- Continuous backup
- Basic version has 2GB free storage
- No unlimited storage options
- Backup window does not close