If you can't decide between basic, full-featured of file synchronization online backup services, reviewers (most of them British) say that Livedrive could be the service for you. It offers three different subscription tiers, each of which mimic the different types of online backup services. Be warned, however, that many customers report running into issues with the service.
Basic subscriptions back up an unlimited amount of data from a single PC for $8 per month. A second plan, called Briefcase (*Est. $16 per month for 2 TB), adds Dropbox-like file synchronization functionality; any changes you make to a file in your Briefcase folder appear on your other Livedrive-enabled PCs and Macs in short order. The Pro Suite subscription (*Est. $25 per month for 5 TB) includes both basic and Briefcase functionality and allows you to back up as many as five computers, with the option to back up external hard drives for an additional $8 per month. Those prices put Livedrive near the top of online backup service pricing, making it even more expensive than MozyHome (*Est. $6 per month for 50 GB), which earns reviewer criticism for its high cost.
However, professional reviewers say that Livedrive is easy to set up and use. The Briefcase folder has drag-and-drop functionality and basic and Pro Suite subscribers can select files and folders to back up by right-clicking on them and selecting the Livedrive backup option. Users, however, complain about slow upload speeds, lost backup data and buggy Briefcase functionality. Users also complain that Livedrive's customer service is very poor and often unresponsive for long periods of time.
Livedrive does offer several useful features across its various plans, however, including file sharing, file synchronization, movie and music streaming and in-browser document editing via the cloud-based Zoho Office suite. Android and iOS apps include the same functionality. Few other online backup services offer such a wide array of useful extras.
Livedrive saves the last 30 revisions you make to a file and secures your data with 256-bit AES encryption. Users warn, however, that transferring files via FTP might be less secure as Livedrive doesn't make use of the secure SFTP function.
Most of the major Livedrive reviews come from British publications. MacFormat is the best of the bunch, evaluating Livedrive in a comparison review with its primary counterparts, such as MozyHome and Carbonite. Expert Reviews and PC Pro magazine conduct stand-alone reviews, as does the U.S.-based NextAdvisor.com.
1. Mac Format
Livedrive earns top marks for value, but does little else to distinguish itself from the competition in this review. Christopher Brennan does note, however, that "All the services here work well if you've only got a modest amount of data to upload." He says Livedrive's interface is more "fussy" than the competition's.
Review: 6 of the Best Online Backup Services for Mac, Christopher Brennan, Feb. 18, 2011
NextAdvisor.com looks specifically at Livedrive's basic single-computer subscription. The editors say the web interface is a bit cluttered, but restoring files is a cinch, while the polished mobile apps and advanced sharing and streaming features help contribute to Livedrive's 5 (out of 5) score.
Review: LiveDrive Backup Review: Online Cloud Backup, LiveDrive Backup Review: Online Cloud Backup
3. Expert Reviews
Livedrive nabs a perfect rating at Expert Reviews, along with a Best Buy award. "LiveDrive Backup is still an excellent deal at £4.95 a month," Kat Orphanides says, but more than a dozen user comments left on the article all complain of buggy software, unreliable data uploads and poor customer service.
Review: Livedrive Backup Review, Kat Orphanides, July 15, 2011
4. PC Pro
PC Pro's report on Livedrive gives it good grades; the service is praised up and down and wins an A-List Recommended Award on the back of a nearly flawless review. However, more than 10 users chime in with comments berating Livedrive's reliability and customer service.
Review: Livedrive Review, Stuart Andrews, March 14, 2012