One of the most enjoyable parts of my job is talking to our customers. They are the absolute best source for “in the trenches” information and feedback about IDrive. To this end I set up a special e-mail address for customers to send questions and comments to: askidrive@idrive.com.

This morning I was greeted with the following letter:

Hello,

I’ve been using IDrive for years, and like your software interface. I don’t have any complaints; however, I will admit that the 150GB storage cap has influenced what data I have decided to store on IDrive. The business plans with larger capacities are prohibitively priced.

I recently learned of one of your competitors, #########, and gave their service a trial run. Their software interface is inferior to yours, and looks to be targeted at novice users….basically backing up “everything,” with the user having to specify what to exclude. I like the IDrive approach better.

But then there’s the compelling aspect of ######### – unlimited storage. I can see that aspect of their service outweighing the limitations of the software interface, and now find myself considering a switch to ######### when my IDrive subscription is up for renewal next year.

Are there any plans for IDrive to offer unlimited storage plans at a comparable price? Hopefully you are considering this, vs. resting on your laurels thinking that unlimited storage is just a fad and that you won’t have to deal with it. I used to work for a hotel Internet service provider, whose CEO felt that charging hotel guests for Internet access would always be viable, and that the folks giving it way would fade into the background. Do guests have to pay for hotel Internet access these days? Oops!

As for me, the ######### vs. IDrive decision will be made next year. If ######### is still around and offering unlimited storage, and IDrive is still limited, I’m likely going to switch. I’ll take the hit on the software interface in exchange for the ability to back up all of my stuff.

Just my two cents. Thanks for listening!

This customer, we’ll call him John, subscribes to our most popular IDrive Online Backup plan: $4.95/month or $49.50/year for up to 150GB of storage space from an unlimited number of PCs, Macs and mobile devices. John will have to ask himself a few questions when he makes his decision next year on which service provider to go with:

  1. What kind of support are you going to get?
    Every IDrive user enjoys 24-hour live chat support and free access to our phone center at (866) 748-0555. Although IDrive for Business plans are more expensive – this is because Business users enjoy priority support and in the rare case of network overload are given priority bandwidth. Also, Business accounts have “soft” limits, meaning backups will always occur as opposed to being “hard-stopped” at 150GB (IDrive Personal) or 500GB (IDrive Family Pack).
  2. What kind of control will you have over your files?
    As John mentioned, IDrive has a powerful interface. Users have the ability to manage their backup at a file-level very easily. Users can create ‘exclusion’ file-types or names, use Automatic Selection to protect certain file-types regardless of location on the computer and when logged in to the User Portal at IDrive.com they can delete, copy, cut, paste, rename and create folders; they have complete control over their data in the IDrive cloud.
  3. What level of protection will you get?
    Check the Terms and Conditions of your new “unlimited” backup plan, it might be less unlimited than you think. Most of these plans have a limit to how long they will hold files that have been deleted from your computer – usually just 30 days. What use is your backup if you need a file six months after you accidentally deleted it and your backup has since removed the file because it assumed you didn’t want it anymore? Providers do this because “unlimited” storage with no limit to how long files remain in the cloud is simply not sustainable, in fact, some online backup providers have stopped offering unlimited storage plans for that very reason. Even further, IDrive holds the last 30 versions of each of your files indefinitely and versions don’t count toward your storage – that’s long-term security.
  4. How many computers and mobile devices do you want to backup?
    IDrive is license and contract free, users can backup as many computers and mobile devices to their IDrive account as they’d like to one plan, simple as that.
  5. Do you have Windows and Mac computers? iPhone or Android?
    IDrive plays nice between Windows and Mac OS X desktops and laptops – full access to files via IDrive.com or the IDrive mobile apps for Apple iOS or Google Android mobile devices.

Hopefully, next year when John is deciding to keep his IDrive account, he’ll take these points into consideration and find that IDrive Online Backup is the best-valued online backup service available.

If you have any questions or comments please send them to askidrive@idrive.com.

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Hoping you and your computer are having a great day!
Stephen Gold, Business Development Manager