Review of ElephantDrive Online Backup






     Company background
ElephantDrive was created by a bunch of technologists who are passionate about creating world class programs and fascinated by the challenges of storing, securing, and protecting massive amounts of data. The company are headquartered in Los Angeles and have worked together for several years designing and deploying internet applications.

They have one free version, 2 home versions, 2 SME versions and corporate options.

Security Options
Data being copied to and from their servers are secured with 128bit SSL encryption; this is the industry standard. When on their servers your data is secured with 256 AEG encryption. You can use a personal encryption key to further protect your data.

Backup Features
Open and locked files can be backed up in the business editions but not in the home editions.
Plug-in storage devices can be archived in all versions except the Home edition, however network drives can be backed up in the Professional accounts.
Backups can be continuous or scheduled, if continuous, then just files that are changed are backed up. Backups can be setup to backup by folder or by file type. There is a utility called TrunkManager that allows you to copy files directly from your PC to the ElephantDrive by way of either drag-and-drop or by choosing the data you want to copy and click the upload or download buttons.

File versioning is automatically setup but the amount of versions permitted is dependant on the edition used:
- home edition gives 3 file versions
- home pro edition allows up to 10 versions
- pro edition allows 20 versions
- pro plus account permits unlimited versions

Restore Features
Files can be restored from either the 'TrunkManager' or the web. In either case, navigate to the file you would like to restore and drag-and-drop the files to your machine. If you would like to recover a particular version, then click on the item and pick ‘Version History’. Then simply choose the version you wish to restore. Restores start almost instantly.

Control and Analysis
All backup jobs can be stopped, paused or resumed at any time via the desktop client Progress Report. This is also where you will find the error and transfer logs. Speed and internet usage are set by the client program, but you can configure throttling to on, off or scheduled for specific times.

Interface
The ElephantDrive can be configured as a local drive letter using the program installed at the same time as the client program. The online portal allows access to your complete backed up file list and you can view and restore different file versions from here.
The Pro Plus account gives centralized control abilities and all versions provide support for Proxy servers.

Device Support
MAC OS X and higher
Windows 7, Vista, 2003, XP, 2000
Linux support is being developed

Limitations
Maximum single file size: Home – 1Gb; Home Plus – 2Gb; Pro – 2.5Gb; Pro Plus – 5Gb
Maximum Monthly Transfer Limit: Home[,|&|and} Home Plus – 100Gb; Pro – 1Tb; Pro Plus – 2Tb
Maximum Number of Computers: Home – 1; Home Pro – 4; Pro – 10; Pro Plus – 20

File Sharing and Collaboration
Any file stored on your ElephantDrive can be privately shared by selecting the file in Trunk Explorer and clicking share. Then simply fill in the email addresses of the people you need to share the file with and they will get a unique website location to the file. Public File sharing is not supported.
There are no collaboration tools within ElephantDrive.

Synchronization
Machines sync to the online portal however not directly to each other.

Web 2.0 Integration
At the moment ElephantDrive does not have connections with any internet programs or social network sites.

Customer Support
Self-help support is really rather good: Available to you is a knowledge-base, forum and blog for chatting with other people using ElephantDrive and ElephantDrive staff. To answer common questions there is a very good FAQ section and the user documentation is also very good. There are tutorials, testimonials, demos, webinars and case studies.
You may contact ElephantDrive privately: Either by email or by using the web form. There is telephone support but only by appointment. We found their customer support very helpful, knowledgeable and friendly.

Learning curve
Both the online site and the client utility are very easy to use. If you are able to use windows, then you can use ElephantDrive. Adding files to backup sets and restoring information is intuitive and easy. Using ElephantDrive as a virtual drive took some working out however when setup it acts like any other network drive.

Cost
- Initial setup cost: free
- Monthly Cost: Home – $4.95/mth; Home Plus - $9.95/mth; Pro - $34.95/mth; Pro Plus - $99.95/mth
- Yearly Cost: Home – $49.95/yr; Home Plus - $99.50/yr; Pro - $349.95/yr; Pro Plus - $999.95/yr
- Initial allowed storage quota: Home, Home Plus – unlimited; Pro – 1Tb; Pro Plus – 2Tb
- Cost of additional space: – n/a
- Cost of additional devices / PCs / users: n/a
- E-billing facility: Yes

Conclusion
ElephantDrive is a stylish and simple archive client. While it is extremely well done and does its job extremely well, it would be good to see some online service integration to facilitate alteration of files directly from the web site. At the moment ElephantDrive is a solid, effective and reliable Online Backup Solution, however I cannot shift the feeling that there is so much more it could be providing. I would really like to see ElephantDrive explode into a full-blown Online Storage and Collaboration Provider. We will have to wait and see what happens. At the moment, if you need a very reliable, speedy and straightforward Online Backup Solution then ElephantDrive is an excellent choice.






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Posted on 2010-08-07, By: *

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