Review of iDrive Online Backup Solution






     Introduction
iDrive is a utility of Pro Softnet Corporation, an ASP and Internet Solutions Provider based in Woodland Hills, CA. From its incorporation in 1995, Pro Softnet Corp. has been using the power of Information Technology by providing online-based solutions and adhoc Online Software solutions for many Fortune 100 companies. Pro Softnet also own iBackup which is aimed squarely at the business arena.

Security Features
The internet portal is password protected and secured with 128bit SSL encryption while transferring to and from the data centers. Once on the servers your information is encoded with 256bit AES encryption and the function to set your own private key.

Physically, the iDrive application is hosted at data centers in the United States. The world-class facilities are specially designed with raised floors, HVAC temperature control systems with separate cooling zones and seismically braced racks. They give the widest range of physical security features, including state-of-the-art smoke detection and fire suppression systems, motion detectors, round-the-clock secured access, video camera surveillance and security breach alarms.

Backup Abilities
iDrive backs up your data using block level incrementation so just the bits of files that are amended get uploaded. Continuous backup is also used to guarantee your information is archived as soon as it changes. In addition, you can configure backups for specific times if you prefer. Unusually for online backup solutions, both network drives and removable drives can be included in the archive set. However, open and locked files cannot be archived on network and removable drives.
Files and folders can be added to the backup set using right-click on windows computers and there are status notifications and progress indicators to inform you which files are being archived and which are still awaiting backup.

Support is provided for as many as thirty versions of every file archived which is great if you need to revert to an earlier version of a document.
If you have loads of data to archive, iDrive offer a 'Rapid Serve' option for a one-off cost of just over $70. When you Take advantage of this service, iDrive will dispatch to you an external USB hard drive to plug into your machine. You then copy all your critical information onto the removable drive and return it back to them. They will upload it to your account, reducing the first archive time from weeks to just a couple of days.

Restore Abilities
Files can be restored from the local client by right-clicking on the file or directory you want to restore or from the internet site by navigating to the file you need restored and choosing the version you need to recover.

Control and Analysis
There is no processor management yet there are bandwidth controls. Logging and reporting is available from both the internet portal and the client software. Support for socks and https proxy servers is also provided.

Interface
There is a admin portal in the basic, pro and family editions and a much more expansive admin portal in the business edition. Multi-account management is available in the Family and SME versions. All packages need the client software.

Device Support
Windows and MAC client machines as well as server PCs are supported as are any web enabled devices via the online portal. There are specific applications for iPhone, Blackberry and Android. There is even a plugin for wordpress to enable you to back up your blog site!

Limitations
The Basic, Pro and Family versions cannot be used commercially.
The Basic and Pro editions allow archiving of 1 device; the family edition permits upto 5 devices per account and the business version lets upto 100 accounts.

File Sharing and Collaboration
iDrive is a backup utility, not a collaboration or file sharing service.

Synchronization
Devices are synched with the online portal but not directly with each other. Synchronization of more than on device is only available in the Family and SME editions.

Web 2.0 Integration
None at this time.

Customer Support
Phone support is offered during business hours only. Live Chat and email support are available. Self-help is available by way of user guides, white papers, data sheets, FAQs, testimonials, case studies and a demo. There is no forum but there is a blog.
There is no free trial but there is a free version which gives 2Gb of storage.

Ease of Use
The client program takes a few moments to download and configure. In under 5 minutes you should be starting your first backup. Both the web and client interfaces are straightforward and with the windows explorer extension installed you can right-click on a file and either back it up immediately or add it to the scheduled backup. Restores are similarly simple, if there are multiple versions of a file, then you can pick whichever version you want via date stamp. There is also a extremely useful search function for all backed up files.

Cost
Initial setup cost: free
Monthly Cost: Basic - free; Pro - $4.95/mth; Family - $14.95/mth; SME - from $9.95/mth to $49.95/mth
Yearly Cost: Basic - free; Pro - $49.50/yr; Family - $149.50/yr; SME - from $99.50/yr to $499.50/yr
Initial allowed storage amount: Basic - 2Gb; Pro - 150Gb; Family - 500Gb; SME - from 50Gb to 500Gb+
Cost of additional storage: SME - $0.50/gb/mth
Cost of additional devices / PCs / users: n/a
E-billing facility: Yes

Conclusion
If you are searching for a simple, no frills web-based backup service then iDrive is a great choice. The pricing is good and the family and corporate versions provide useful and appropriate add-on functionality to permit the administration of many accounts / machines. The interface is simple and clear, the client software is light on resource usage and the protection of your information both in transit and when on their servers is as good as any bank.






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Posted on 2010-08-07, By: *

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