IDrive is a cloud backup service with some of the most comprehensive backup and restore tools available. Not only can you use this service to protect your digital photos, videos, music and documents, you can back up your Facebook account, share files on all of your favorite social media sites and protect all the data on your phone and tablet. IDrive understands that much of modern life exists on a digital plane and it wants to protect you from losing your important files. For this reason, it has earned the TopTenREVIEWS Silver Award for best online data backup service.
The only drawback with IDrive is the lack of an unlimited storage plan – a feature shared among the best online data backup services. While the most affordable plan only allows for 300GB of storage, the maximum plan has a storage of 4TB, which is a significant amount of storage for all of your photos, videos and music. The average desktop computer has a hard drive storage capacity that ranges between 500GB and 1TB. With 4TB, you can back up four or more computers worth of files.
IDrive's best feature is the ability to back up multiple computers on one account. While most data backup services allow you to synchronize files on an unlimited number of computers, you can only back up one computer to your account, even the services with unlimited storage. The difference with synchronized folders and backed up folders is a synchronized folder simply mirrors the contents. If you delete a file from the host computer, it's deleted from the synced files on other computer. The ability to back up multiple computers means that you can back up your computer separately from your son's computer while maintaining the same account.
IDrive's other backup and restore features are comprehensive. The backups are incremental and compressed for fast backup times. There's an IDrive express feature that sends you an external hard drive for quick uploads and restores of large amounts of data. You can customize the bandwidth usage. You can share any file or folder on any of your favorite social networking sites. You can even backup your Facebook account.
One of the few flaws with IDrive is the limited file archiving of 30 versions. File archiving, or file versioning, is a feature that creates a new version of a file every time you make a change to it. Instead of overwriting the previous backup, a new version is created. This allows you to restore past versions of the file, enabling you to reverse mistakes. The limited number of versions stunts your ability to restore a document until you find the necessary version.
For security, IDrive use 256-bit AES military-grade encryption for both the transfer and storage of your files. Encryption is vital because you're uploading your personal photos, videos and documents to a server shared by hundreds of thousands of other people. The internet isn't a safe place for unencrypted information. If hackers were to gain access to your account, the encryption keeps them from viewing your files.
You're the only one with access to the encryption key, which is never stored on the servers. This means that IDrive employees and third-party surveillance can't view your files. However, if you lose the encryption key, which you create like a password, IDrive can't reset the key. And without the encryption key, you can't view the files.
Another important security feature included with IDrive is remote wipe. This feature allows you to delete files on a stolen computer from your online account, minimizing the threat of identity theft. In addition, your data is stored redundantly on multiple servers in different geographical locations, protecting your data from being lost in the event of a natural or manmade disaster.
IDrive has some of the best mobile features among online data storage services. There are mobile apps available for iOS, Android and Windows Phone. In addition to syncing the backed up data to your phone for easy accessibility and sharing, it's one of the few apps that will back up your entire phone. This means you can back up your contact info, text messages, history, photos, videos and music. If it's on your phone, you can back it up. Most cloud backup services only allow you to back up photos and videos from your phone.
Should you encounter a problem with IDrive's desktop or mobile applications, IDrive provides most of the help and support features we were looking for among data backup services. The website has a very thorough FAQs pages and the tutorials are excellent for walking you through various functions. If your problem is urgent, you can contact support representatives through phone, live chat and email. The responses are quick and effective. The only feature missing is a user forum or knowledgebase.
IDrive is one of the best online data backup services because it provides comprehensive backup and restore tools, excellent security features and mobile apps that include a complete mobile backup. While you can subscribe to storage plans as high as 4TB, it doesn't have unlimited storage.
You can back up as many devices as you want on a single account. The mobile apps back up all the data on your phone.
There isn't an unlimited storage plan, and the file archiving only saves 30 versions of a file.
While IDrive may not have an unlimited backup storage account like the best online data backup services, it does have storage plans as high as 4TB. The mobile apps are among the best we reviewed.