IDrive ranks highly as one of the best cloud-based solutions and backup providers out there, backing up and protecting all your multiple devices, at a single price. But is it really any good? In this IDrive review, you'll learn everything you need to know to get the most out of IDrive's cloud backup solution.
Pros and Cons
- Easy to set up and use online backup service.
- Free basic 5GB plan available.
- Backup from multiple PCs, Macs, iPhones, iPads and Androids into a single account – at a single price.
- Unlimited devices on many subscription plans.
- 256-bit AES encryption for extra security.
- Sync and share function.
- Bulk uploads to move data easily.
- Fast upload speeds.
- Scheduled backups for peace of mind.
- Local backups, cloud backups, and hybrid backup (combination of both)
- Good mobile app for when you’re on the go.
- Basic sharing options.
- Restoration process can be slow.
- No monthly plan payment options.
IDrive is an excellent example of a service that gives you security and protection for your files, easy access, and a simply designed user interface.
It also offers amazing backup options that reduce the need for a large or removable hard drive on your PC or laptop. Your PC will run more efficiently, and you will be able to access files, wherever you are.
There are many pros for the IDrive solution, and as nothing is perfect, there are also some cons. I’ve listed the top ten pros to give you a quick overview of the product and the features and benefits available.
IDrive Backup Features
IDrive is a cloud backup software solution that was first launched in 1995 (when it was known as iBackup). Since then, it has been constantly updated in line with its competitors and continues to be one of the best online backup providers available.
IDrive offers an excellent combination of cloud backup and cloud-based storage to cover all your specific needs, whether personal or business. It ticks many boxes when it comes to features, and I go through them in more detail in this IDrive review.
Ease of Use
IDrive has an extremely user-friendly interface that is easy to understand and navigate for even the most un-tech savvy of us out there. The homepage is clean-looking, without unnecessary elements that confuse rather than engage.
Sign Up to IDrive
Signing up to IDrive was simple; On the website, click ‘Sign Up.’ The sign-up page will give you the options available, from the free plan with 5 GB of storage to the business plan with 50 TB of storage.
The majority of subscriptions from IDrive are paid annually or every two years. The more you pay upfront, the more discount you receive for signing up.
You can save up to 50 percent on many subscriptions when signing up for the first time. Fill out your personal details and payment information, add a master password, and then ‘Create my account,’ simple!
User Interface and Navigation
The IDrive user interface is clear and straightforward on both the internet and the desktop app. It doesn’t have lots of color or images jumping out at you, so you can see exactly what you’re looking for.
You need to download and install the desktop app on your PC. This is simple to do and once it’s installed everything you need is at your fingertips.
The web interface is clear and concise. The easy-to-navigate menus down the homepage's left sidebar take you to all of your backup and sync locations. The tabs available are:
Cloud Backup: This is where you choose the files that you want to backup and check on their progress.
Sync and Cloud Storage: This simply gives you an overview of all synced data in your sync folder and your IDrive cloud storage. You can add files to your sync folder to be synced across all connected devices.
Dashboard: This gives you an overview of all connected devices and the files or folders that have been backed up. You can select backup files and download them to a new location or the original location.
The Dashboard also gives you a settings option. This is where you can adjust notifications, add continuous backup and personalize other settings on your account.
Web Logs: This section allows you to view and report on all user activity completed within the IDrive browser.
Trash: You can see all synced and backed up files and folders that have been deleted over the previous 30 days. This area gives you the chance to restore the files if needed.
The desktop app is simple and easy to use. As with the web interface, it’s navigated using the menus in the sidebar. The tabs available are:
Backup: This is where you can choose the files that you want to backup and check on the progress.
Restore: This gives you an overview of all connected devices and the files or folders that have been backed up. You can select files and download them to a new location or the original location. You can also delete backed-up data that you no longer require.
Scheduler: This is where you can schedule your backups. This can be done daily or on set days by using the controls within this tab.
Sync: This gives you an overview of all synced data in your sync folder. You also have the option to move the folder to a new location within this tab.
Server Backup: Within this tab, you can select different types of servers to back up. This includes MS SQL, Exchange, and Oracle, amongst others. It’s not something I need to ever worry about but larger businesses, especially ones with servers in different locations, would find this feature useful.
Settings: This is where you adjust notifications, add continuous backup and personalize other settings on your account.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for in the tabs, on both the web and the desktop app, there’s a simple search tool that will allow you to locate just about anything.
If you have problems logging into your IDrive account or any issues using IDrive, You can check out their website’s extensive FAQ section to help answer your question quickly.
If you can’t find what you need in the FAQs, there are several different ways to contact the IDrive support team:
- Phone support.
- Online chat support.
- Email support.
- Support form.
As IDrive is based in the US, the phone lines are working on Pacific Standard Time. You’ll need to remember this if you’re not currently in the US. The online chat, email, and support form can be used 24/7, so you’ll always be able to get hold of someone to solve your issues.
Accessing Files On The Go or Offline
The web app works in pretty much the same way as the desktop app, giving you the same clear and simple view. You can continue to control each connected device from the app, and it lets you backup or restore files while on the go.
However, the primary function of the mobile app is to backup photos or videos to the cloud. You can also manage the files and folders that you have shared from any device and ones that have been shared with you.
A great feature of IDrive is that you can access and edit your files when you have no internet connection with the offline view feature. It’s relatively easy to add files to the offline view by going to the home screen and clicking on ‘Access and Restore.’
You need to select the device folder where the files are located and click on the three dots, selecting the Edit/Share option. Select the files you want to access and click on ‘More’ this will allow you to select ‘Add to Offline.’
You can then access the chosen files when you’re on the go and don’t have an internet connection. You will need to sync the files again once online to upload any changes you may have made.
It’s difficult to remember the passwords needed for every account you have, as everything requires different credentials. This isn’t a problem with IDrive.
There’s no problem if you forget your password on your IDrive account; if you click on ‘forgot password’ on the login page, it will take you to an update password section. By completing your email address here, it will send you a link to your email address that will allow you to update your password.
If you have too many passwords to remember, you can log into your IDrive account using your Google credentials. You can also use your Apple ID, but this limits some aspects of your account, such as IDrive online backup and IDrive photos.
Your IDrive account will need to have the same email address linked to sign in with your Google credentials, and you’ll need to remember your Apple ID to log in using this option. It’s an excellent option to use if you have trouble remembering passwords for your different accounts.
You can also log in to your IDrive account by using Single Sign-On (SSO) if this is something that you use for your business. By clicking on the SSO logo on the login page, you will just need to enter the email address that is used to access your central identity provider (IdP).
You will then need to enter the password to access your organization’s network. This will be authenticated and will redirect you to your IDrive account.
Security and Privacy
IDrive keeps your data safe and secure with excellent security features, which they are constantly updating to give you absolute peace of mind.
All data is encrypted, and the use AES 256-bit file encryption for all files at rest. This encryption means that only yourself and IDrive can get access to your data. You can protect your files and data further by creating a private key, meaning that only you will be able to access your files. You need to have a good memory and not forget the key if you choose this option.
One negative about using a private encryption key is that you cannot utilize the sharing functionality as this is unavailable to those with a private encryption key.
Two-factor authentication (2FA) can be added to your IDrive account, giving you an additional layer of security. This two-step service asks for verification in the form of a password and a second layer of confirmation from a device you own, such as a code sent to your email address or your phone number.
IDrive offers End-to-end encryption (E2EE), which is also known as zero-knowledge encryption. This means that IDrive cannot share your files with anyone as only you have the key to decrypt your data. Zero-knowledge encryption is only available if you select a private encryption key at sign-up, so bear this in mind when creating your account.
Simply put, the only way that anyone will be able to access your data unauthorized would be to get access from the data centers in the US physically. IDrive protects your data from theft by having an around-the-clock security presence, motion sensors, video surveillance, and security breach alarms at their data centers.
They also protect against natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, and fire by storing everything in braced racks on raised floors. They also have temperature control systems and state-of-the-art smoke alarms to keep your data safe.
Not only is IDrive security conscious when it comes to your data, but it also protects your privacy and is General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliant. They only collect the personal information required to create your account, and they claim to never share this information with other parties without your consent.
Sharing and Collaboration
File sharing and collaboration on IDrive is simple and is a great feature of this online backup solution. You can also sync data between devices without increasing your storage requirements which is a win for any business out there.
To sync specific files, you will need to create a sync folder that you can position anywhere you want. You can then add it as part of your regular backup if required. Alternatively, you can set up selective sync that allows you to sync specific files that will sync to particular devices at specified times.
To share a synced file or any of your backed up data, you find the file you want on the app or IDrive website and then right-click, selecting the share option. This will then bring up a box for you to add the people that you want to share it with. You can also set the permissions to view or edit before sending the link and add a message for the recipient.
The recipient will then receive an email with a link to the file or folder that you have shared with them.
You need to remember that if you choose the private encryption key for your account to enable zero-knowledge security, you cannot share your files or folders with others. This could be a deal-breaker for some businesses who require both options as many cloud-based solutions offer both as standard.
Backup and Restoration of Files
IDrive comes into its own when it comes to the backup and restoration of files, as this is where it excels. It allows you to backup data individually or as disk cloning – a complete mirror image of your hard drive.
Your backup can be saved locally or on the cloud for an unlimited number of PCs, laptops, mobile devices, and even servers. The backups can be scheduled to run to suit your requirements and can be completed hourly, daily, or at a time to suit your needs.
If you miss a scheduled backup, you can let IDrive know to start this once your device is switched on. You can also set up a notification to tell you by email if a backup has succeeded or failed.
IDrive supports both multithreaded and block-level transfers meaning that you can either backup multiple files at once or scan all files, backing up the modified elements of the files. This option will increase the speed of backups and save data.
If you have lots of smaller files less than 500MB, continuous data protection could be the thing for you. By turning this on in the settings area, it will keep all files that are smaller than 500MB backed up continuously each time changes are made locally.
Other excellent features include file versioning capability that lets you restore files from the previous 30 versions of any given file. IDrive also supports incremental backup to the cloud to reduce the time it takes to upload new and changed files.
If you’re backing up large files and folders, you need this to be completed as quickly as possible, especially if you’re backing up a mirror image of your hard drive.
IDrive speeds are not the best; however, they’re not the worst when looking at competitor solutions. When tested, the upload speeds were as expected, but the download speeds took around double the time as was expected.
The speed of syncing and backup will also depend on your internet connection and location. As the IDrive data centers are in the US, you will get a speedier download when located in the US than if you’re elsewhere in the world. You will need to consider this if you manage a global business with employees located worldwide.
Free vs Premium Plan
The free personal plan from IDrive gives you 5GB of online backup and storage space free of charge. While this isn’t a huge amount, it will allow you to see the solution at work and what it has to offer. The free plan is available for as long as you want it; it’s not time-based, which is a bonus.
If you decide to upgrade to a premium plan, you can benefit from huge discounts when signing up. You can get 25 percent off your first-year plan; if you choose to pay for two years up front, you will benefit from a 50 percent discount.
The premium plans offer a massive amount of storage that can be increased if you need a little extra space.
You can access the business plans on unlimited devices with unlimited users, which is great for a growing business as you don’t need to pay extra for adding anyone to your IDrive account.
IDrive Photos is a relatively new service offered by IDrive to store your photos and videos. This is an excellent option for those who don’t need to store large files and lots of data but have many personal photos that are difficult to hold on other platforms.
The IDrive Photos cloud storage app offers unlimited storage space and auto uploads. It also gives you a timeline view and a favorites album so you can view all of your favorites in one place.
The app works on iOS and Android devices and is a great alternative to the Google Photos app, especially as this no longer offers unlimited storage for your photos.
IDrive Photos doesn’t provide the additional recognition or organizational features of Apple Photos or Google Photos, but it’s excellent value for money with unlimited storage and full resolution images.
If you need to back up, sync or transfer a huge amount of data in a short period, IDrive Express could be just the thing for you. IDrive will send you a physical storage device that can connect to your computer. You can then use the IDrive local backup feature to transfer your data quickly to the storage device.
The storage device is then shipped back to IDrive, and they will then download your data to your IDrive cloud account. Your data will be secure during the process as it remains encrypted at all times. You will need to make sure that you have a private key for ultimate security.
While this isn’t a feature I would use, I can see how it would be helpful for those who have masses of archived data that need to be stored in one place.
You can get this service for free on many of the IDrive plans. There are limits on how many times you can use it throughout the year free of charge, but it’s a great addition to get all of your data in one place quickly and easily, without using extra bandwidth.
IDrive Mirror is a great feature that allows you to create a complete mirror image of your entire computer and servers, storing it in the cloud. The number of computers able to be backed up to a single account is unlimited. This will protect you against cyber attacks and ransomware.
The number of cyber threats is increasing, and IDrive Mirror gives you an additional layer of security, protecting your data from any attacks or security breaches. This feature gives you an effective disaster recovery plan without the need for a local storage device. Put your mind at ease today by signing up and preventing cyber threats on your entire computer system.
IDrive Compute is an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) software designed to help businesses set up virtual private servers (VPS), to manage projects, and schedule backups via IDrive's platform. Enterprises can use it in areas such as real-time communication, remote monitoring of assets, and autonomous vehicles.
IDrive Pricing Plans
There are four different pricing plans for IDrive, and there’s one out there to suit everyone.
The prices range from a free plan offering 5GB of storage and cloud backup space to a business plan with unlimited users. The paid plans cost for IDrive Personal 5 TB up to $8,670 for the 50 TB IDrive Business plan. The business plans from 1.25 TB can be paid monthly, but all other IDrive options are payable annually.
Paying annually for a cloud-based solution can be a deal-breaker for those who would rather pay monthly.
The good news is that there are special offers to be had at certain times of the year, which can significantly reduce the cost. You can get up to 25 percent off your chosen annual plan or 50 percent off your two-year plan.
You can also sign up for a free 30 day trial of the solution that gives you access to all features and 1TB of storage. IDrive will take your credit card details to sign up, so you need to remember to cancel this before the trial ends.
There’s great news for students or educational institutions. You can sign up for IDrive for 50 percent of the standard cost.
|Basic||5 GB of Storage – No credit card required||1 User|
|IDrive Personal||5 TB||1 User||Unlimited devices|
|10 TB||1 User||Unlimited devices|
|IDrive Team||5 TB||5 Users||5 Devices|
|10 TB||10 Users||10 Devices|
|25 TB||25 Users||25 Devices|
|50 TB||50 Users||50 Devices|
|IDrive Business||250 GB||Unlimited Users||Unlimited Devices|
|500 GB||Unlimited Users||Unlimited Devices|
|1.25 TB||Unlimited Users||Unlimited Devices|
|2.5 TB||Unlimited Users||Unlimited Devices|
|5 TB||Unlimited Users||Unlimited Devices|
|25 TB||Unlimited Users||Unlimited Devices|
|50 TB||Unlimited Users||Unlimited Devices|
You should know that if you exceed your storage limit then IDrive will charge you for this. The charges would be $0.25 for each GB per month for the Personal plan and $0.50 for each GB per month for the Team and Business plans.
What is IDrive?
IDrive Inc. is based in Calabasas, California, and operates IDrive®, RemotePC™, and IBackup®. IDrive does just about everything you need an online backup service to do – local and cloud backup, cloud storage, file sharing, hard drive cloning, disk image backups, and folder syncing.
How Safe is IDrive?
IDrive uses 256-bit AES to encrypt and protect all data locally. You can then create a private encryption key for your account, meaning that only you have the information to access your data. If using a private encryption key, you need to make sure that you store the key somewhere. If you lose this, your encrypted files will become inaccessible to both you and the IDrive online backup service.
IDrive also uses two-factor authorization, offering further protection for your data and peace of mind for you.
How Do I Access Synced Files on IDrive?
You can access all files via the IDrive user interface on the website and the mobile app. You simply sign in to IDrive using your own credentials and click on Sync and Cloud storage. You will then see all files and folders available.
Click on download, and the files will then become available to you to view, edit, or share.
How Do I Schedule a Backup on IDrive?
You can easily schedule a data backup from all connected computers, updating each device's data protection.
By clicking on the scheduler button, it will give you the options to set the day, time and frequency for backup.
You can also choose to be notified when backups are complete by selecting the Email notification option.
Can I Delete Files From My IDrive Account?
Yes, you can delete files from your account, and this is easy to do. All you need to do is hover your cursor over the file name, click the box at the side of the file name to select it, and click on delete.
If you want to delete more than one file, just click on the box at the side of the files that you want to delete and choose delete. It will ask if you’re sure you want to move the files to trash to ensure that you’re not deleting the files in error.
Can I Restore Files and Folders From the IDrive Web Account?
If you’ve deleted files in error, don’t worry. You can restore these from your IDrive web account by going to the dashboard. Click on a computer option, and this will then show you the backup screen.
Once you’re on this screen, you should choose ‘restore’ and ‘online account’ for the local device. It will then show you all files and folders that have been deleted. Select the ones you want to restore and choose a location for them to be restored to, then click the restore button.
Is iDrive Good for Photo Storage?
The iDrive online backup allows you to store your photos and videos, including a compressed backup of all images.
However, you can store and view your photos on your mobile device using the IDrive Photo Backup app. This is a simple user interface that is an excellent alternative to Google photos.
IDrive has just launched their new service – IDrive Photos – where you can back up all your photos and videos from your iOS or Android device with original resolution and no storage limits.
IDrive Review – Summary
IDrive is an excellent online backup solution with the bonus of a considerable amount of cloud-based storage available with the premium plans. It’s reasonably priced, with lots of different level plans, giving you a great choice to suit both your personal and business requirements.
Why not give it a go and sign up for the free trial. This will provide you with the chance to see how it works for yourself, and you can then decide if it’s the right solution for you!
I've been using IDrive for a few years
I've been using IDrive for a few years now and I'm very happy with it. It's easy to use and there are no limits on the amount of storage that you can use. The price is reasonable and I like that I can access my files from anywhere as long as I have internet connection.
Best for backing up
I have been looking for a way to back up my computer without spending too much money. I found IDrive and it has been the perfect solution. It is easy to set up and I can back up my computer for only $5 a month. I love that I can access my files on any device, so if I am on the go, I can still work on my projects.
My photos backed up
The iDrive cloud back is a great way to store your data. I can store all of my photos, videos, and music in the cloud. The app is very easy to use and I can access it from any device. The price is affordable and it's worth it for the amount of data I can store.
iDrive is an excellent backup solution
iDrive is an excellent backup solution. It is easy to use and has never let me down. I've been using it for over 3 years and have never had an issue. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a good cheap backup service.
- Bluehost Review (Still The Best Cheap Web Host?)
- SiteGround Review (Still the Best Web Host For Speed & Security?)
- Fastest WordPress Themes in 2021
- How To Install & Configure WP Rocket (Recommended Settings)
- Elementor vs Divi (WordPress Page Builder Head-to-Head Comparison)
- Why I Switched To SiteGround (and Why You Should Do it Too!)