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IDrive Online Storage: Comprehensive online backup and sync service

Jon L. Jacobi | May 26, 2014
If there's online backup that could be called "full-service" it's venerable IDrive. Not only does IDrive provide traditional backup, real-time backup, file sharing, and syncing files across multiple PCs and devices (Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android), it's one of the few services that still offers a free 5GB account. With Mozy and others disappearing or going pay-only, that's significant--5GB is enough to protect your most essential data (documents, tax data, etc.)

IDrive provides a free 5GB service that also includes an additional 5GB of sync space for devices, but most users have a lot more stuff than that. IDrive's personal yearly pay plans are highly competitive: 300GB for $49.50, 1TB for $149.50, 2TB for $299.50, and 4TB for $499.50. There are also yearly business plans starting at $99.50 for 250GB and topping out with 125TB for $2999.50. However, please note that those prices are currently being halved. How long this will last is anyone's guess, and they may simply be the actual prices with a tease ploy. No matter; 300GB of storage for $25 per for all your PCs and devices is a mad deal.

A pay IDrive prerequisite is the company's 3TB physical backup service — i.e., you back up to a 3TB drive shipped to you by IDrive and send it back for safe-keeping. It will be accessible just like the data you upload using the Internet. Express is free for once a year for personal pay plans and three times a year for business plans. This makes backing up large data sets a far quicker proposition. IDrive also provides classic file sharing where you email a link to a file or files so your friends can download them. Backups are incremental to save space and archived, meaning nothing is deleted until you delete it.

Aside from the client software's slothfulness in handling the definition of large data sets, there's little to complain about with IDrive. It's affordable, comprehensively capable, has clients for just about every platform, and was pretty darn fast backing up my data. It's a must-stop on your shopping tour of online backup services.


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