IDrive offers more features than basic online backup services like MozyHome (Est. $6 per month for 50 GB) or Carbonite (Est. $60 per year for unlimited storage) , but reviewers prefer SOS Online Backup (Est. $60 per year for unlimited storage) , which offers even more, but remains simple to use. With a new interface, IDrive is easier to navigate. Its setup is straightforward as, once installed, IDrive begins automatically backing up common files -- documents, pictures and video files -- although you can customize when and what IDrive backs up.
Improved interface. IDrive's interface has been redone, and reviewers say it's less cluttered and easier to navigate. Even so, IDrive doesn't have the sleekest interface, especially compared to SOS Online Backup (Est. $10 per month for 100 GB and 5 computers), but reviewers say it's made some real improvements in the last few years.
"I'm really impressed with the changes IDrive has made in their service, especially in the improved Web interface," Michael Muchmore writes at PCMag.com. However, Muchmore prefers SOS Online Backup (an Editors' Choice winner at PCMag.com), which he says "still offers a solution that's both simpler and more complete." Customer support is standard, with email, live chat and phone support and an online database of information.
One account: unlimited access. Once installed, IDrive begins automatically backing up common files -- documents, pictures and video files -- although you can customize when and what IDrive backs up. IDrive also saves up to 30 previous versions of each file. You can manage multiple accounts and retrieve your data from any computer or share files with others. IDrive is compatible with Macs, PCs, and Android and Apple phones and tablets. You can back up unlimited PCs, Macs, iPhones, iPads and Android devices to a single account.
Most reviewers are impressed with IDrive's array of features. Besides drag-and-drop support for restoring files, the IDrive software allows you to search for particular files within any backup set. IDrive also has an unusual Timeline Restore feature that can restore your data to how it was on any given date. Backups can occur at fixed time intervals, or you can opt for continuous backups, so any changes you make are saved immediately. Thumb drives and external hard drives can also be backed up.
Refer friends for bonus storage. IDrive offers a basic account, which gives you 5 GB of free storage with no credit card required. If you have this plan, you can refer friends to the service and receive extra free storage; Dropbox also offers this. If your needs change and you need more space, opt for the Pro Personal plan and choose 150 GB for $50 per year, 500 GB for $150 per year or a full 1,000 GB for $300 per year.
Of all the online backup services Christopher Brennan covers in this comparative roundup (originally published by Britain's MacFormat), he seems to like IDrive the least. He says it's expensive, and the sync interface could confuse novice users.
Review: 6 of the Best Online Backup Services for Mac , Christopher Brennan, Feb. 18, 2011
IDrive is one of the few online backup services that doesn't receive a perfect score from NextAdvisor.com. The editors find the service to be highly configurable, but they say that the mobile apps are largely useless and the interface "clunky" compared to other cloud storage providers.
Review: IDrive Review: Online Cloud Backup, Editors of NextAdvisor.com, Not dated
Charles Jefferies says IDrive has a robust feature set and decent file versioning. However, he would like to see an option for unlimited storage.
Review: IDrive Online Backup Review, Charles P. Jefferies, Sept. 14, 2010
4. PC Pro
Stuart Andrews at PC Pro says IDrive has a good amount of functionality and a positive user experience. He rates it 5 stars out of 6. However, he does report some glitches when backing up modified files.
Review: IDrive Review, Stuart Andrews, Aug. 19, 2010
IDrive earns a score of 3.5 out of 5 from PCMag.com. Although Michael Muchmore says the online backup service has improved, he prefers SOS Online Backup, which earns the Editors' Choice award.
Review: IDrive (2011), Michael Muchmore, March 10, 2011
6. Expert Reviews
Kat Orphanides of this U.K. website finds IDrive to be user-friendly and awards the software a full 5 stars, particularly for its ability to back up data from any number of devices. She calls the interface "functional but not pretty" and says that IDrive lacks some of the advanced features found in its competitors.
Review: Pro Softnet IDrive Pro Personal Review, Kat Orphanides, June 6, 2012
Like other reviewers, About.com's Tim Fisher finds IDrive's interface to be less polished than other services'. However, advanced features -- including server and network storage support and continuous backup -- earn it the last slot on the site's list of the 26 best online backup services.
Review: 26 Online Backup Services Reviewed, Tim Fisher, Updated May 2013