I have used a number of different types of cloud backup software over the years and my current backup is IDrive. I have used IDrive for a year now so I thought it might be a good time to do a review. In case things change I wanted to let everyone know I am on Version 126.96.36.199 for this review.
Plans and Limits
IDrive plans give you a certain amount of storage. For example, I have the 2TB plan. Beyond the storage, there is no limit to how many devices the backup client can be installed on. So that is nice since I am an IT guy and I have more than 1 computer at different locations. One annoying thing I have noticed is you can not remove old computers from your IDrive account. You can clear out the data, but the device folder can only be removed if you reset your whole account and start the backups all over. I guess it is not a big deal to have old computers on the account it just bugs me to see them. So now instead of naming a device folder based on the device name, I try to use generic reusable names.
Backing files up
IDrive can backup files when it detects a change and it can also do a scheduled backup. I have both setup, so the scheduled backup can catch anything that is missed. It can also back up mapped network drives. I use this feature to backup some files on a Linux box I have.
I have not had any issue with restoring files. It seems fast and I have not found any documented transfer speed caps like other backup solutions have.
The versioning works on the client, but I am still not sure if you can restore older versions of files from the web interface. On the client, if you drill down to the file and right click the file you can see older copy’s.
They do have something called snapshots, so you can see the version of all your files from a certain date. This would come in handy if your computer got hit with ransomware. You could just find the date and time before the attack and restore all your files.
Because you are limited on storage space at some point you will have to clean out old files. The way this works on IDrive is one thing I do not like about their service. I would prefer to have old files automatically delete based on age. Like 6 months or a year. But that is not an option in IDrive.
IDrive uses something called Archive Cleanup that deletes a percentage of files that are no longer on your computer. You can not even pick a date range or anything. Seems like an odd way to do this and I do not like it at all.
We know they can already do date ranges because of the snapshot feature so I am not sure why they just don’t use that for the cleanup as well.
I tried to setup IDrive on my Linux box but it kind of stinks. The best thing I got working was a python script you had to run to backup your files. There was no control over the backup like in windows and no way to do an archive cleanup.
It has almost been a year since I gave up on the Linux backup so maybe things are better but a quick look at the site shows the same scripts. It would be nice if there was a real client for Linux.
I got around this by mapping a network drive from my Linux box to a Windows box. Then I just use windows to backup the files on the network drive. But that is a kludgy solution.
IDrive has lots of extra options to backup thinks like SQL servers, Exchange servers, Hyper-V, VMware and more. Maybe this will help someone overlook the bad Linux support. But I personally have not used any of these options in IDrive so I can not say much about them.
Overall Thoughts on IDrive
Overall IDrive is good if you have a few computers and use Windows. The main reason I use it is because there is no limit to the number of computers I can have on my account.
But I would not suggest IDrive for anyone with Linux or anyone that churns through a lot of data. I just think it would be a nightmare to keep the backup clean and versioning good when there is no way to delete files based on age.