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Pro Softnet IDrive Pro Personal Use review

Pro SoftNet IDrive
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £32
inc VAT

IDrive provides a decent chunk of storage for not much money, but its no-frills web interface isn't for everyone

IDrive has a range of online backup packages, from the free IDrive Basic with 5GB online storage to IDrive Pro Family Pack, which includes 500GB storage for up to five PCs and costs $15 a month. Yet another package offers unlimited storage for one PC for $50 a year, but it doesn’t back up to multiple data centres so it’s not as secure as the other packages. We tested IDrive Pro Personal Use, which includes 150GB for one PC and costs $5 a month or $50 a year.

Unusually, IDrive prompted us to set our own encryption key during installation. This provides an added layer of security, as this unique passphrase is required to decrypt data. However, using your own key means it won’t be possible to share files with others. It also means you’ll lose everything if you forget your key.

Pro SoftNet IDrive

IDrive automatically suggests some folders to be backed up, including the Desktop, Music, Pictures, Videos and Documents folders. Changing these selections is easy in the IDrive client’s tree view. It doesn’t look fantastically polished but it’s simple enough to use. There’s a choice of continuous real-time backups or daily, weekly or monthly schedules. While files are being transferred, a progress window lets you pause or throttle the speed of the transfer. A second piece of software – the IDrive Explorer plug-in – creates a virtual drive for simple drag and drop in Windows Explorer.

Restoring files – including old copies up to 30 versions old – happens using either the Explorer interface or the Restore tab in the IDrive client. Files are also accessible via a web interface, which can also adjust backup schedules and even which folders will be backed up – ideal for the five-PC Family Pack where one member of the household is in charge of backups. There are also apps for iOS and Android for accessing and sharing files.

IDrive – also sold as IBackup – is secure, cheap and straightforward. However, unless you’re on a tight budget, we prefer the unlimited storage and glossier web interface of Livedrive Backup.


Price £32
Rating ****

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