Pro Softnet iDrive Pro Personal review

This long-standing favourite continues to prove its worth as one of the best online backup services

16 Jun 2012
IDrive
Our Rating 
5/5
Price when reviewed 
3.24
inc VAT

Page 1 of 2Pro Softnet iDrive Pro Personal review

Specifications

IDrive usually does well in our tests and this year is no exception, proving the service to be both user-friendly and reasonably priced. Unlike many of its rivals, IDrive lets you back up files from any number of PCs, Macs, iOS and Android devices. Space is limited, but the 150GB you get for a little over £3 per month will be enough for most people.

Once you've registered for an account (either the free 5GB or a paid-for account), you need to configure its encryption. IDrive can either generate a key itself, which it'll manage and use automatically, or you can set your own key. The latter option means you won't be able to share files with others or retrieve your data if you forget your key phrase. With that done, all that's left to do is download the desktop application so you can set up your backups.

IDrive

Like most online backup services, IDrive also lets you create folders and upload content directly via the web interface, which you can also use to share your uploaded files with others. You can share folders, files and groups of files, adding passwords, expiration dates and download limits. You can also let your sharing associates upload or edit shared content. The web interface is functional, but it's not very pretty and lacks the advanced features of some rivals, although there is an image gallery that lets you easily view and share your photo collection.

That's perhaps understandable given that the meat of IDrive is in its desktop backup utility. Once installed, a pop-up lets you edit the folders that are to be backed up and set up a backup schedule. Sadly, the pop-up disappears as soon as you select any of the options, leaving you face to face with a rather cluttered interface. We'd have preferred a friendly step-by-step setup wizard.

The main interface gives you side-by-side panes showing tree views of your local hard disk and remote storage. Below, it lists the directories included in your backup set. Your Documents, Desktop, Pictures, Music and Video folders are all included by default, but you may want to deselect these if, for example, you have a lot of media in your video folder. Below are buttons that let you immediately back up the selected folders, set a backup schedule or restore selected content from your online backup drive to the location of your choice on your local PC. When a backup’s running, you're presented with a progress part and options for pausing and throttling the backup in order to free bandwidth for other purposes.

IDrive has better features for online content sharing than Best Buy award-winning SquirrelSave, and it's very reasonably priced. Its 150GB of storage is plenty for most users, but those with large amounts of data to back up should check out Memset SquirrelSave's unlimited service instead.

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