Livedrive Backup review
This review was updated on the 15/07/2011 after a group test of 13 popular online backup and file syncing services
LiveDrive Backup is a previous winner of our coveted Best Buy award, thanks to its reasonable prices, excellent interface and unlimited storage for a single PC plus any external or network drives.
Setup is as convenient and hassle-free as we could hope for. LiveDrive asks you to choose from a standard list of common folders, including Documents and Music, plus any other folders you want. Selecting files and folders to back up later is even easier, as LiveDrive adds a right-click option to Windows Explorer. The inability to back up an entire disk partition is disappointing, though. A LiveDrive shortcut is created in the Computer folder, where you can easily drag files in and out. The online storage is also accessible via FTP.
The software client lets users configure how much bandwidth is used for backups and which file types to prioritise - word processor documents are set as most important by default. There are no scheduling options, as LiveDrive continuously backs up files as they're changed. Old versions are kept for 30 versions, or 30 days after deletion.
Backups are accessed online via a clear web interface, which has a music browser and player as well as a photo viewer with thumbnail previews. It can even preview PDF and Word documents. An Apple iOS app provides access to backed up files from a phone or tablet and can stream music, slideshows and videos, converting them on the fly if necessary. There's also a mobile web portal for Android and Blackberry phones. Files can be shared with others, but they'll have to create a free LiveDrive account to view them.
LiveDrive Pro Suite includes all of the above plus 5TB of synchronisation space and unlimited backup for 5 computers for £15 a month. Livedrive also powers PC World's KnowHow storage service, which costs less than LiveDrive Backup at £30 a year but has a 50GB storage cap.
The inability to back up entire partitions is annoying, but LiveDrive Backup is still an excellent deal at £4.95 a month. Its versatile web interface means that you can access key files from anywhere. It's our Best Buy.
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