Every business relies heavily on the data, whether it's of the customers', employees', sales' or anything else important. We have not forgotten the days when these data were logged in hard copies and kept safe from mishandling/natural calamities. Today computers have changed lots of things. Introduction of internet has revolutionized the data accessibility. Now, such data is stored in digital format to access and share with others in real-time, from any coordinate of the world.
Still, the problem of data loss persists in the same manner as it was in the hard-copy-era. Even digital data is prone to mishandling, hardware failures and natural disasters. Such data-loss incidents can bring down a multi-millionaire company to the ground. Moreover, internet has opened one more window for criminals. If you are not alert enough, you may lose a fortune as a ransom to hackers, just to bring back your business online. In case, you don't have a backup or you can't pay the ransom, you're out of the business.
You may use a hard drive as a backup, but again, the external hard drive is prone to mishandling, hardware failures and natural disasters. Did I not mention how attractive your computers and hard-drives are, for a thief? A thief can leave you bare-handed, overnight. So, taking backups only on an external hard drive is not the way you can protect your business.
Data explicit that demand for a cloud backup is increasing year by year in an exponential manner. As per the google trends, the keyword "cloud backup" has seen a huge spike after 2008.
The above image from Google Trends for the keyword "cloud backup" says it all. This trend is for the duration 01 Jan 2008 to 01 Jan 2019. See, how from zero in 2008 this search keyword has taken a leap. This demand is a clear insight for the importance of a cloud backup.
Cloud Backup vs Cloud Sync
There is another service somewhat similar to cloud backup, which is called cloud sync. Let's have a glance at them to understand the difference, before moving ahead to the article.
With the sync feature, your files and folder are updated on the cloud. If you create a new document and fill it with data it is updated on the cloud server. If you delete the same file on your computer, it is deleted on the cloud server as well. So syncing is just a clone of your own files and folders. A file gone from your own hard drive is gone from the server as well.
With cloud backup services, you create a backup of your chosen files and folders on the cloud server. The first backup is called "seeding" which takes time depending on the upload speed. This process is similar to taking backup on the external hard drive, the only difference is that you take backups on the hard drives which are miles away from your home/office. After the seeding is done then the sequential backups are taken. It may be continuous (set and forget), time-triggered or manual. The magic part is that when you delete a file on your computer, it doesn't get deleted on the server. It remains there, undeleted. Just in case, file deletion turns out to be a sin, the backup service gives you a peace of mind. A good backup service can also retain the previous versions of a file as well.
IDrive Cloud Backup
A California based company Pro Softnet Corporation founded IBackup in 1995. Later, in 2003, Pro Softnet Corp acquired domain name idrive.com and certain assets of the company i-drive. This acquisition was based on the high brand value of the i-drive company which was in the process to be renamed. Owing to the years of experience in the digital storage, IDrive promises quality product.
IDrive is used vastly by the users because it provides unlimited devices to backup. Yes, you just think of a device that stores digital data and IDrive is ready to back it up, be it your desktop, laptop, mobile, external hard drive, NAS. This unlimited-device freedom comes with a storage cap. In the personal plan you are allowed to store maximum 2 TB/5 TB data (depends on your choice). For personal use 2 TB is quite sufficient, in case you run out of storage, the 5 TB plan is there.
Currently, IDrive offers three plans
1. Basic- Free, 5 GB cap
2. IDrive Personal- One user, Unlimited Computer
a) $52.12 first year, 2 TB cap
b) $74.62 first year, 5 TB cap
3. IDrive Business- Unlimited user, Unlimited Computer
a) $74.62 first year, 250 GB cap
b) $149.62 first year, 500 GB cap
c) $374.62 first year, 1.5 TB cap
1) Multiple Device backup
IDrive gave importance to one of the most demanded features of the users i.e. multi-device backup. Today, no business or work is limited to just one single device. Data spread spans from desktop (PC), laptop, server, NAS and extends to the palmtops (mobiles, tablets). Every bit of data is crucial for a business or any growing work. IDrive stands out from the crowd by allowing its users to backup any data from any digital device. You can backup your Windows PC, Mac, Linux computer, Linux servers, workstation, NAS. Fans of the awesome Linux OS have to download a specific set of IDrive scripts, which can be used to backup their penguin data.
While most of the other backup services only offer to browse through the backed up files through mobile apps, IDrive has given the flexibility to take backups even of your mobile data. You can backup contacts, calendar events, messages of Android or iOS. All you have to take care of is the storage cap you have selected.
Enjoy the freedom with IDrive.
2) File Sync
The difference between sync and backup has been discussed in the previous section. While you select only a backup plan with IDrive, you get a sync feature absolutely free. IDrive creates a folder on every device for sync. Storage cap of this sync folders is equal to the storage cap of the backup plan you have selected. Exempli Gratia if you have selected a 2 TB backup plan you will get a 2 TB sync storage as well.
Any file in the sync folder will be updated in real-time with all the devices connected with the account and on the cloud sync storage as well. It's more interesting to know that even if you have consumed all your backup storage space, you can still use the unoccupied sync storage. It's also interesting to know that IDrive sync service also keeps 30 versions of your files just as the backup plan does.
Sync is a feature separate from the cloud backup. Thus you need to activate this service via the desktop client or the web app. This will create a Sync folder on all the connected devices and on the IDrive cloud.
Update your team with the awesome sync feature.
3) IDrive Express
The first process after purchasing a backup plan is seeding. A seeding process refers to the initial backup of the whole computer. This process is quite time-consuming for almost every backup service out there. IDrive has given a thought to this time-consuming process and has provided a simple solution. It sends you a temporary hard drive through a service called IDrive Express. You can backup all your computer data in the hard disk, with the local backup feature of IDrive client and send back this hard disk to the IDrive. All the data is encrypted with military grade 256-bit AES encryption. User is also offered an option for a private key for added security. Moreover, not only the data is encrypted, the file paths are encrypted as well, in the IDrive Express.
Shipping of IDrive Express to-fro IDrive address is completely free of cost for United States residents. International users have to bear the shipping charges. IDrive personal users can avail once in a year this free IDrive Express offer and IDrive Business users can avail thrice. Subsequent IDrive backups are charged $59.95 per backup for IDrive Personal and IDrive Business both. IDrive also offers restoration from IDrive Express which costs $99.50 per request for both IDrive Personal and IDrive Business.
IDrive Express is a great solution for time-consuming cloud backups.
This Idrive feature saves the previous versions of any modified file. You may create a disastrous modification to a file when you are not sober. You may realize the mistake when you get back to your senses. Yes, it happens with everyone. IDrive turns out to be your best friend in such situations. Because it has saved the previous versions of the same messed up file. All you need to do is, browse the older version of the file before modification and you are saved.
IDrive saves reasonable 30 versions of any file. I don't think anyone needs more than this. Users who have IDrive account before 11 July 2018 can restore only up to 10 versions only.
The best part with versioning is that the previous versions do not count for your storage quota. Only the latest version of your files will be added to your storage quota. This applies to both backup and sync versions.
Snapshots are referred as the historical view of your files and folders. Snapshot feature takes advantage of the versioning feature of IDrive. In contrast to versioning, snapshot feature let you restore a previous version of all the files and folders including the applications.
The Snapshot feature becomes a savior when you are under a digital attack. A virus may corrupt your whole data set on the computer. What if you become a target of a black-hat group and asked for a ransom in order to get rid of the ransomware. If you have backups on IDrive, all you have to do is restore a snapshot of a date previous to the attack and you are back to business.
Snapshots do not add up to your IDrive backup storage, so relax and say no to black-hats.
6) Disk Image Backup
This feature lets you back up every bit of your computer which includes OS, application files and the file structure as well. In case of hardware failure, OS corruption or if a critical OS file is missing you don't have to re-install the OS. All you have to do is restore from the Disk Image Backup. This takes much less time than re-installation and you are back to business in no time.
If you are restoring to a new/upgraded hardware make sure that you create a partition similar to the original, the one from where you took the Disk Image Backup.
Disk Image Backup like any other backup can be taken on the cloud, external drive, network mapped drive, network attached storage (NAS).
7) Continuous Data Protection
Continuous Data Protection (CDP) feature works in real-time. As you are modifying one of your files, IDrive's CDP feature is backing up the modified part of that file on the cloud. CDP doesn't let you feel its presence until something very unusual happens. What if you face a sudden hardware failure or a power failure while you are working on a crucial file. This is the time you feel the importance of CDP. All you have to do is restore the file saved by CDP on the cloud and you are saved.
CDP backs up only the files which are lesser than 500 MB. I think it makes sense, as watching and backing up bigger files will use more CPU and slow down your important work. It also does not watch and backup temporary files and system files because they keep on changing. CDP also does not cover the mapped or network drives and external drives.
CDP should not be seen as a replacement for the routine backup feature. It's just a savior for small files for unusual situations.
8) True Archiving
Archiving refers to the availability of old data. IDrive backs up your mobile and computer's data even from mapped drives and NAS. What makes IDrive a real saviour is that you can restore a deleted file from IDrive server even after a decade. IDrive never deletes any of the file or its versions for any reason.
Your files are deleted only by you in three situations viz.
a) You manually delete a file.
You find some large unnecessary files taking up space on the server thus you want to get rid of them. You choose those files on the server and choose to delete them manually.
b) You run an archive clean up
In IDrive, there is a feature called Archive Cleanup. In a situation when you run out of space on IDrive, you can run this process to delete the unnecessary files. This process retains only those files which are present on your computer and deletes the other ones based on your criteria. It first looks up your computer and matches the files on the cloud to start deletion.
c) You delete your IDrive account
If you decide to delete your IDrive account, all your files will be removed from the IDrive server.
9) Security and Privacy
It's the data which runs and grows the business. Thus backing up data became important, right? It is crucial to understand how much secure your data is with any cloud backup service you choose. IDrive applies military standard 256-bit AES encryption to your data. This with a private encryption key assures that it's only you who can get access to your data. While signing up on IDrive you have the option to generate a private key. You are the only person who knows about this key. Whether you use PC, workstation, Linux server, Mac or mobile, this private key option is available on all the platforms. Even while seeding with IDrive Express you have the option for this private key.
Make sure to keep this private encryption key safe. Without this key, you will lose all your backed up IDrive data.
While IDrive provides IDrive Express to seed your data to get you started faster, still its upload speeds will make you say wow. Yes, IDrive provides very good upload speed in comparison to other cloud backup services.
IDrive's download speed is not that fast but you won't even find it terrible.
Let's have a look at the most promising features of the cloud backup service IDrive.
1) Unlimited Device Backup
It's really a wonder that you can backup any of your digital devices like your PC, Mac, Linux, server, workstation, NAS, tablet or mobile with a single IDrive backup plan. Not only you can backup them but you can access any of the backed up file from any device connected to your IDrive account.
IDrive stands out of the crowd because it knows how important your every piece of data is.
2) Sync Capability
IDrive provides both the backup and sync features to its users. It's important to mention that every cloud data service provides either a cloud backup or a cloud sync.
Having stated that, IDrive's sync feature gives you that same storage capacity as your backup plan has. Once a file is synced, it's available to all the connected devices of the account in real-time.
3) Two-factor Authentication
IDrive has already given the military grade 256-bit encryption and an optional private key to make sure that the data is accessible only to you. Still as an extra layer of security IDrive offers a two-factor authentication feature. A code is sent to your registered email when you sign-in to make sure that it's you who is logging-in.
IDrive has tried its best to make its product wonderful but a review article seems incomplete without presenting the drawbacks. So here are the limitations of IDrive cloud backup service.
1) No Unlimited Storage
Enjoyment of multiple-devices backup comes with a storage-cap limitation. It can be 2 Tb or 5TB depending upon the plan you choose. When backing up from multiple devices make sure to keep in mind this storage cap. When you run out of storage you can always run an archive cleanup, discussed in the features section.
2) Slow Restoration
Yes, IDrive has wonderful uploading speed for taking backups. It even provides IDrive Express service to speed-up the time-consuming seed process but its download speed is slow. Thus the restoration process may take some time. Still, the restoration speed is more than lots of services.,
3) High restoration price from IDrive Express
As said, the IDrive restoration process is slow. In case you need it quick, the IDrive Express is always there. That being stated, restoration from IDrive is not free as the seed process is. You need to pay $99.50, which is quite expensive. This restoration service is paid for both IDrive Personal and IDrive Business.
Our Rating: 4/5
IDrive Promo Codes
IDrive: Frequently Asked Questions
1) How can I schedule the IDrive backup on Windows?
To start the IDrive scheduling, first, you need to login to your account. In case you have not added the two-factor-authentication do that, to make your account more secure.
After logging into your account, go to the Scheduler tab.
Here you will find various options to schedule your backups. These options are
a) Backup Set Name
This is a drop down list for your saved backup sets. You can instruct IDrive scheduler the criteria of online and local backups and name it over here.
b) Backup Start Time
With this option, you can instruct IDrive when it should start the backup process.
c) Daily Schedule
With this option, you can instruct IDrive to run the backups daily at the selected time.
If you don't want to run the backup process daily, in this option you can select the days you want IDrive to take backups.
e) Start the backup immediately
In case you want to start the backup immediately, you can check this box.
f) Hourly schedule
You can check this option to instruct IDrive take backups every hour.
g) Cut-Off time
In case you want IDrive to abort all the backup processes at a certain point of time, use this option. Here you can mention the time at which all the backup processes will stop.
h) Email Notification
You need to know whether a scheduled job has run or failed. In this text box enter your email address on which you would like to receive the IDrive scheduler's notification. Here you can choose whether to always notify you or notify on failure.
i) Notify me on desktop
Check this box, if you want to get notified on the desktop. You will be notified as per the selected option of always notify or notify on failure.
j) Start the missed scheduled backup when the computer is turned on
You can select this option in case you want to resume any missed scheduled backup job.
2) Will IDrive perform a backup even if my computer is logged off?
IDrive always runs on your computer even if you are logged off. So, yes, IDrive will perform the backups even if you are logged off. IDrive will not backup only if your internet is not working or your computer is turned off.
3) What is the Bandwidth Throttle feature of IDrive?
IDrive has given you an option to throttle or increase the backup speed. You can use the Auto pause option instruct IDrive backup service how to use your bandwidth. Here you have two options viz.
a) PC in use
By default, IDrive uses 25% of your bandwidth when your PC is in use. If you feel faction is forbidding you doing your work, you can set a lower bandwidth usage here while using your computer. If you are getting more than sufficient bandwidths for your work you can increase the IDrive backup speed from here.
b) PC not in use
When you are away from your computer IDrive by default uses 100% of your bandwidth. You can increase or decrease the allocated bandwidth for IDrive here.
4) Where is my Sync folder located? Can I change its location?
Login to your IDrive account and click the Sync tab. Here you can find the location of your sync folder. It is mentioned under my sync folder. This is the default location of your sync folder. If you want to place it somewhere else, select modify and locate the new path.
5) What are the blue and green icons on the files in my sync folder?
The blue and green icons represent the synced status of the file. If a file is uploaded to the server it is marked with a green icon. This means that the file is accessible to all the devices connected to the account. If a file is showing a blue icon, it means that it is still uploading the file to the server and the file is not yet ready to be accessed by the devices.
6) What is a selective sync?
IDrive provides the same amount of storage for sync as your chosen backup plan. Which means if you select a 2 TB backup plan you get 2 TB sync storage as well. Thus you can sync 2TB data from your computer to all the computers connected to the account. But what happens when one of your computers attached to IDrive account consists less storage on the hard disk. This computer will not be able to download all the 2 TB synced data. Its hard drive will be full. The selective sync feature can be enabled on this lesser storage computer and only the selected files will be downloaded from the synced folder.
To activate selective sync login to your IDrive account and select the sync tab. Now click the selective sync. This will open a window with all the folders which are synced. You have to uncheck the folders which you do not want to sync to your computer. This process will remove those synced folders from only your computer and will never be downloaded. Other devices on the account will have the access to those folders.
7) How can I retrieve the previous version of my synced file?
IDrive sync service also keeps 30 versions of any file. To find a previous version of a file
a) Login to your IDrive account
b) Click sync
c) select my sync folder.
d) Right click the file and select Idrive –> versions
e) All the previous versions of that file will be shown
f) Select the desired version and download it.
8) What is the process to restore the IDrive data?
Follow the below procedures to restore the IDrive data to the local computer.
a) If you have re-installed the OS, first install the IDrive application.
b) Login with your username and password. Provide the private key if it has been set while creating the IDrive account.
c) From the restore tab select Restore files from my IDrive account or Restore files from my local, Wi-Fi and Express device.
d) Click restore now.
9) How to restore data from another computer attached to my account?
First, make sure that you have backed up your data to IDrive cloud from the computer you want to restore from, then follow below procedures –
a) Login to your IDrive account
b) From the Restore tab, select Restore files from my IDrive account or Restore files from my local, Wi-Fi and Express device.
c) Here you will see all the computers and devices connected to your account. Select the computer name you wish to restore the data from.
d) This will display all the files and folders backed up from that computer.
e) Select the desired files or folders.
f) Choose the desired location on your computer.
g) Click restore.
10) What is a periodic clean up?
The archive cleanup process has been discussed in the feature section of this article. This process matches the local computer data and removes unnecessary data from the cloud.T his way you get back the space occupied by the unnecessary files. Archive clean up has a control to how much of the data can be deleted at a time so that accidentally you don't delete any important files. This control is also a security measure, in case someone else gets access to your computer and wipes out your IDrive cloud data. By default, 25% data is set for deletion in the archive cleanup process.
Periodic clean up is an automatic archive clean up process. You can set the frequency and the deletion control percentage. Frequency can be set between 10 to 30 days and control can be set between 5% to 25%.
To use the periodic clean up follow the below process –
a) Login to your IDrive account
b) Select the backup tab
c) Select Archive Clean up on the toolbar
d) Check the box against periodic clean up
e) Select the number of day and percentage limit
Periodic cleanup is an automatic process of file deletion, so use it with caution. Also, note that periodic clean up does not run on mapped and external drives.
11) By mistake, I have deleted my important file from IDrive server. Can I restore them?
Once you delete your files from the IDrive server, you can still get those files within 30 days of deletion. IDrive as a precaution keeps all the deleted files from the server to the trash. These deleted files remain in the trash for 30 days. You can either move this file to its original location or restore this file to your local computer. By default, trash folder shows the latest version of the file.
So if you want to recover a deleted file before 30 days it must be present in the trash folder.
To restore the deleted files follow below procedure-
a) Click the trash icon.
b) select the check box against the desired file or folder
c) If you want a previous version of the file. Then right click –> view previous version and select the desired version
c) select the appropriate icon to restore or move the file or folder.
12) How can I avoid backing up a file?
There may be some files which for some reasons you don't want to backup. You can exclude these files by inserting the desired files/folders from view Exclude Files window.
13) How do I add my Linux machine?
To add a Linux machine to IDrive follow the below steps –
a) First, download the latest Linux script for IDrive.
b) Unzip the package file and go to the scripts folder.
c) Provide executable permission to the scripts. e.g. chmod a+x *.pl
d) Execute the script account_settings.pl and follow the instructions to set up your account.
14) How do I backup my mobile or tablet on IDrive cloud?
First, install the IDrive app and login to your IDrive account. This will take you to the backup process. All the available files and utilities are listed here e.g. contacts, calendar, photos, and videos. Select all or the appropriate ones to take backup.
15) How can I create a disk image backup?
A disk image is a copy of the original storage device which includes both data and structure information. Using the disk image option of IDrive you can copy your entire drive to a secondary location. This secondary location can be on another partition of the same computer, an external drive, mapped drive or NAS.
To create a disk image follow the below steps –
a) Launch the IDrive desktop application
b) Login to your IDrive account
c) Click disk image backup. The disk image screen appears.
d) Select local backup + cloud backup or Local backup only
d) Select the desired drive to create an image
e) Select the destination drive where the image will be stored.
f) Click schedule now
g) Create a schedule to create regular disk images
16) Can I restore an image from a Windows to Linus or Mac?
Disk images created by IDrive are cross-platform. So, yes you can restore an image created on a Windows to Linux, Mac or vice-versa.
17) Can I change the frequency of continuous backup?
IDrive by default watches the changed files which are less than 500 MB and backs them up on the server in real-time. If you wish you can change the time duration of continuous backup to 10, 30 or 60 minutes. This option is available in the settings tab of IDrive.
18) Can IDrive restore an earlier version of multiple files in a single restore process?
You can easily restore an earlier version of a file by selecting it and right click. There may be some situations where you want to restore several files of the previous version. To do this follow the below process –
a) Login to your IDrive account
b) Select the restore tab
c) Select a folder whole multiple files' previous versions are required
d) Right click the folder
e) Point to restore versions
f) Click any of the following
i) Most recent
ii) 2nd most recent
iii) 3rd most recent
g) Click restore now
19) How can I get support from IDrive?
IDrive provides several options to get your problem solved. There are lots of videos and faqs available on the IDrive website. If this doesn't solve your problem there are other options as well.
You can opt for a live chat and get your solution instantly or you can choose to mail directly to IDrive support at email@example.com. You can fill up a support form available on the website.
IDrive also provides phone support. USA residents can call at 1-855-815-8706. Residents outside the USA can call at 1-818-485-4333 Monday to Friday, 06:00 am to 06:00 pm PST.
20) How to uninstall IDrive?
To Uninstall IDrive follow the procedures below –
iii) IDrive for Windows
iv) Choose Uninstall IDrive
v) Click yes
Optionally you can choose the built-in uninstall manager to uninstall IDrive.
IDrive works on Linux with IDrive dedicated scripts. To remove IDrive from Linux computer go to the scripts folder.
This script will remove IDrive and all its dependencies. It will also remove all the cron jobs of IDrive.
i) File > New Finder Window > Applications > IDrive.app
ii) Right-click IDrive.app > Show Package Contents
iii) Content >MacOS
iv) Double click IDrive Uninstaller