Everything on Cloud Backup and Remote Access - The Official IDrive Blog

  • Five Questions to Ask Your Cloud Backup Provider

    After posing these important five questions to your online backup provider you should have a good picture of how reliable their services are and how safe your data will be. As the old IT saying goes, “A backup is only as good as its restore.”

    Five Questions to Ask Your Cloud Backup Provider

    1. Where is my data being stored?

    It’s important to know if the facilities holding your data meet international standards and are secured both physically and electronically.

    Privacy and reliability are our top priorities. In the IDrive cloud your data is held on our proprietary EVS servers in one of our four international standards-compliant data centers. Facilites are manned 24-hours and access to IDrive hardware is controlled through biometric and other security checkpoints. The network is monitored by our team ’round-the-clock to ensure your data STAYS yours.

    2. How is my data being stored?

    Is your data being encrypted properly before being copied? Who has access to the encryption key? Do you have the option to set your own encryption key?

    With IDrive your files are scrambled before they ever leave your computer. When first installing the software customers choose one of two methods to encrypt (scramble) their data, with either IDrive’s default key-phrase or with their own. We recommend customers choose a private encryption key for maximized security. Private keys are known only to the user and never saved on IDrive’s servers, however, if you ever forget or lose the key neither you or IDrive will be able to unscramble your files.

  • Announcing Universal Online Backup for an Unlimited Number of PCs, Macs, Smartphones and Tablets on One Plan

    We’re making online backup and file sharing easier than ever. With the the latest updates to our Windows, Mac and mobile apps customers can protect and access the files from an unlimited number of computers and mobiles devices with one plan, in one place. See? Easy.

    Not using IDrive yet? Sign up here. Your first 5GB are free. 🙂

    The updates come as we’ve made the final transition of IDrive from its original platform to EVS, our newly-developed cloud technology. As IDrive and our other services grew, so did our knowledge and experience with cloud storage and data-center infrastructure. Over the past two years we’ve been reworking our hardware and software to accommodate the growth. EVS is the result: a scaleable, secure and flexible storage network that’s affordable and quick.

    The important new changes are:

    • Backup an unlimited number of computers and mobile devices to a single plan
    • Universal access between Windows and Mac
    • Mobile devices can now backup contact information, photos and videos

    IDrive is mobile!

    IDrive is available for home and server editions of Windows and Mac OS X and for mobile devices in the Apple App Store and Android Market.

    Questions? Comments? Send them to publicrelations@idrive.com. You can also join us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ and LinkedIn.

    Hoping you and your computer have a great day,
    Stephen Gold, Business Development Manager | IDrive.com

  • Great Inventions In Backup History: The Spare Tire

    In this week’s Great Inventions In Backup History we take a look at the backup or “spare” tire.

    Driving around town in the early part of the 20th century had its drawbacks. You had to crank your engine to get it going, you couldn’t get where you were going very fast and because the first roads were just glorified dirt paths strewn with horseshoe nails, rocks and potholes. Back then tires had inflatable tubes inside (much like a bicycle tire) that, if punctured, needed to be deflated, removed, patched, re-inserted into the tire, the tire re-mounted and then finally re-inflated before anyone could go anywhere again. (Sound anything like trying to restore from tape-based backups?)

    The Thomas B. Jeffrey Company added a feature to their 1909 Rambler that no automobile before had included – a full size, fully assembled, ready-to-go spare tire that could be placed on the car in three minutes. The Rambler’s success was driven by this kind of innovation and a progressive advertising campaign that “emphasized the emotional appeal of the car.” (Hyde)

    For many of us our computers are just as important as our cars, and though cars today usually come with a spare of some sort, computers typically only come with one of each part: one display, one keyboard, one hard drive. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could have a spare copy of your data with you at all times just in case your computer failed? Enter IDrive Online Backup – open your own account today and get your first 5GBs of cloud storage totally free!

    Using IDrive you can create a privately encrypted backup of your important data that you can access anytime, anywhere with a web browser or supported mobile device and you won’t have to carry around another physical drive!

    Read more about spare tires on Wikipedia and stay tuned for more Great Inventions In Backup History!

    Join us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ and LinkedIn.

  • Ask IDrive: “What about unlimited storage plans?”

    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: publicrelations@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 publicrelations@idrive.com.

    You can also join us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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

  • Professional Photographers Use IDrive Online Backup

    I was recently visiting with my friend, Heather, at her home in Los Angeles. She’s a professional headshot and portrait photographer. We were talking about the Canon EOS 5D Mark II which had been featured in USA Today this week, CompactFlash memory cards and RAW data files.

    She started telling me how beleaguered she was becoming with all of the photos she had accumulated over the years and was curious if I had any recommendations for what she could do to better manage her production and ensure a safe backup of all her work.

    When I saw her office I could see what she meant by “beleaguered.” Her desk looked like a miniature data-center with a Mac Pro in the center connected to several USB hubs that linked countless external hard-drives, negative scanners, printers and pen tablets. She had placed a label on each hard drive so she could visually identify their contents because she said sometimes she had hard time finding files otherwise.

    This was how she stored and backed up her files, all in one place – and it was kind of a mess. Her goals were to create an offsite backup of her photos and reduce the amount of hard drives she had at home since the bulk of the data she was holding onto was for old projects – she only needed access to her most recent work.

    I gave her five great reasons IDrive would serve her well:
    1. She could store 1TB for only $80/month and not have to worry about failing drives, warranties and setup.
    2. IDrive uses “lossless” compression and encryption – meaning no risk to uncompressed photos.
    3. IDrive is a true archive – meaning she can store data as long as she likes even if the data is no longer present on her computer – that’s real online storage.
    4. She has full, 24-hour access from any web browser in the world by logging in to her account at IDrive.com – we also have mobile apps!
    5. She can share any file/folder to anyone with and e-mail address.

    It just took a few minutes to get her IDrive account setup and the software installed. I showed her how to select the drives she wanted to backup and we scheduled her backups to run nightly. A few days later she called me and let me know her backups had completed. She said she had eliminated three hard drives from her “data-center” and was happy to know her years of work were safely stored away in her IDrive. I love selling IDrive accounts to my friends!

    Hoping you and your computer have a great day,
    Stephen Gold, Business Development Manager | IDrive.com

    Connect with IDrive on Twitter, Facebook and Google+

  • “IDrive, ITweet, IWin!” Grand prize is an Apple iPad 2!

    IDrive will be giving away one new Apple iPad 2 on Wednesday, December 14th, 2011 as grand prize for our “IDrive, ITweet, IWin!” blog/essay contest! Also, two runners-up will each receive an Apple iPod touch!

    In order to enter the contest:

    1. Write a 300-500 word blog/essay covering one of the following topics:

    A. “Have you ever used IDrive to recover from a computer crash? Tell us about it.”

    B. “What was it like using IDrive Lite to transfer contacts to your new smartphone?”

    C. “Why would you recommend IDrive to your friends and family?”

    2. Post your blog/essay anywhere on the Internet!

    3. Tweet the URL of your blog/essay with the hashtag #IDriveITweetIWin in order to enter the contest!

    Rules and Eligibility. Contest is open to all residents at least 18 years of age in the United States with a valid US mailing address. Tweet the URL by December 11, 2011 with the hashtag #IDriveITweetIWin in order to be eligible; the URL must be publicly available. Blog/essay must be author’s own work. Only one entry per person. The blog/essay may not contain links other than to any page on www.idrive.com. If sources are used they should be cited appropriately. Inappropriate content will immediately disqualify the entry. Blogs/essays will be judged on clarity and quality of content. E-mail publicrelations@idrive.com with questions.

    Prizes. (1) Apple iPad 2 (16GB/WiFi), (2) Apple iPod touch (8GB), Internet access and other additional products, services and warranties not included. Winners will be announced on December 14, 2011 online including name and city. Prize(s) will be delivered within 6 weeks of draw date. Prizes must be accepted as-is and cannot be exchanged or redeemed for cash value. If the prizes are unavailable, IDrive reserves the right to substitute with a prize of equal value.

  • IDrive is called “Painless, reliable and fast.”


    We got a letter from one of our IDrive Basic customers, Art, and just had to share it:

    “I have been using ***** for a long while. It has been OK, but the backups seem to stall out inexplicably, requiring a reboot to get things going again. Time to check out a new service. Tried ***** a couple nights ago. Backed up about 130 MBs in 10 hours and wouldn’t go any further. This was a step backwards. Uninstalled it right away! Glad it was a free trial.

    Installed IDrive last night, set it to backup about 5 GBs. File and folder selection mechanism was straightforward and fast (*****’s was infuriatingly slow). Next morning, IDrive was still happily crunching away and about 55% completed. That’s about the best I can expect from a 600 kbit/sec uplink and 10 hours. Painless, reliable and fast. Exactly what I wanted. Will upgrade my account shortly. Thanks!” – Art M.

    Thanks, Art, for choosing IDrive!

    IDrive Basic is our forever-free, full-featured 5 GB plan – open your own here and start protecting your digital life.

    Join us on Facebook, Twitter or visit our homepage for more info.

  • Stop the Finger-Cramps, Use the Cloud [Infographic]

    420 million smart-phones will be sold worldwide according to IMS Research (July 2011).

    With all of today’s cloud-this and cloud-that it seems astonishing that 52 million of those new owners will use their fingers alone to put their contact info into their new device. This is according to a recent survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of IDrive. We asked the question, “When you purchased your latest smart-phone (e.g. iPhone, Android, BlackBerry), how did you get your existing contact information onto the device?”

    According to the survey, 46% of smart-phone owners have existing contact data to put into their new phones; the most common method is through one’s mobile carrier, either by an app or transferred at a retail location (39%). The next most common method is manual entry at 27% – that’s 52 out of 420 million phones. 25% of respondents synced their device with software like iTunes or BlackBerry Desktop – this usually doesn’t take too much time, but you do need to be near your computer. 18% used their SIM card or flash memory. SIM cards don’t always transfer everything though (like contact photos) and iPhones don’t have a micro-SD slot do they?. Only 10% used the cloud to transfer their contacts: no computers, no wires and done right where they were standing.

    Armed with this information, we wanted to know how long it would take all the new smart-phone owners of 2011 to transfer just 50 contacts into their news phones – so we did a little experiment. We had 10 of our fabulous employees hunker down and type the same 10 contacts into their smart-phones complete with first name, last name, address, phone number and e-mail. The average: 1.28 minutes per contact. Now, we know this isn’t definitive, but it’s a good place to start.

    So thats 52 million new smart-phone owners transferring 50 at 1.28 minutes per contact: would take them more than 56 million total hours to enter them! That adds 6,430 years worth of time! How many contacts are in your phone? How long would it take you?

    Don’t forget to join us on Facebook (and learn how to earn a few extra gigs) and Twitter. If you have questions, comments or feedback email publicrelations@idrive.com !

    This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive via its QuickQuery omnibus product on behalf of IDrive from August 2-4, 2011 among 2,148 adults age 18 and older. The data was weighted to reflect to composition of the adultonline population. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. A full methodology is available by contacting info@pro-softnet.com.

  • Cloud.e 2011: Disaster Recovery and The Cloud (Important Announcements!)

    It happens on August 31st. Registration extended to August 26th.

    There’s only 8 days left to reserve your FREE Cloud.e 2011 tickets!

    New speaker!

    If you’ve recently visited our updated agenda on the Cloud.e website you may have seen we added a new speaker! We’re happy to be joined by Brian Renken from Dell‘s Advanced Solutions Group who will present a solution that allows IBackup customers to build their own private clouds while utilizing IBackup for disaster recovery. As many small business networks have become little “clouds” of their own we have asked ourselves the question, “How do we make a cloud-backup of a cloud?” Brian will help us answer that question.

    Thank you to everyone who has registered for Cloud.e 2011, we can’t wait to meet you all!

    As this is Pro Softnet’s first public meet-up, we are absolutely grateful to all of you who have registered to attend. In addition to Brian Renken, Zane Alsabery, CEO of Alchemy Communications, will discuss disaster recovery’s relationship with the cloud from a data-center perspective. As one of Pro Softnet‘s valued partners, Alchemy helps us deliver the reliability and performance IBackup, IDrive and RemotePC have always been known for. We’ll also hear from one of our MSP partners that will talk about how they leverage Pro Softnet’s services to protect their own customers’ data.

    Open Q&A for partners & developers!

    Part of our afternoon session will be open Q&A with our staff who will be ready to demo our products and answer questions. Whether you are a MSP using IBackup to protect your clients, a small-town computer store recommending IDrive or a large organization looking for APIs that will help you build powerful and reliable applications we will have something for you!

    A little about the folks behind IDrive, IBackup and RemotePC

    Based in Los Angeles, CA, Pro Softnet is a pioneer in the field of cloud storage. Over 750,000 users are trusting our products to protect their digital lives at home and in the office. Our simple goals are to provide fantastic and reliable software, outstanding customer service and an incredibly great value.

    Pro Softnet has three brands to service our breadth of clients: IDrive is self-service online backup and file-sharing for consumers, home offices and small businesses; IBackup is integrated backup, cloud storage and file-collaboration for medium-large business and managed service providers; and finally RemotePC, our own “hobby” project, is remote desktop access including helpdesk solutions as well as mobile products like the popular iPad/iPhone app, RemoteVU, which fully reproduces the desktop experience on Apple’s iOS mobile devices.

    For more info about the agenda and venue please visit the Cloud.e 2011 website. Remember, registration is free, but less than half of the tickets are still left!

    Please join us on Facebook (and learn how to earn some free gigs) and Twitter. If you have questions, comments or feedback email publicrelations@idrive.com!

  • Get drenched with ideas at Cloud.e 2011 in Palo Alto, August 31

    We are very excited to announce the first annual meet-up for Pro Softnet‘s partners, developers and media friends – Cloud.e 2011 – to be held on August 31 in Palo Alto, CA in the beautiful Four Seasons Silicon Valley Ballroom. Registration is free and lunch will be provided! We’ll be joined by Zane Alsabery, CEO of Alchemy Communications, who will discuss the relationship between disaster recovery and “the cloud.” We’ll also be hosting workshops, talking about new products and having a Partner Exchange, where IDrive, IBackup and RemotePC affiliate partners can take the opportunity to meet with each other. And, of course: awesome swag and prizes!

    Calling all partners!

    If you’re one of our valued partners, this event will be your opportunity to dive into our products with our technicians, participate in workshops to learn more about IDrive’s mobile access features or IBackup’s advanced database storage options (and more!), and our partners have been asking for the chance to talk to other Pro Softnet partners about their successes, stories and best-practices; to that end we’ll be having an hour-long Partner Exchange and Q&A session where we do just that – we’re very excited about what we will learn and the ideas we will get!

    Calling all developers!

    If you’re a developer, our CEO, Raghu Kulkarni, will be demonstrating our newest set of API tools and will be talking about utilizing IBackup as a platform for cloud computing. Learn how to leverage our 15-petabyte cloud to provide world-class speed and reliability with your applications.

    Calling all media! Customers too!

    Our media friends and customers are also invited, we hope you will join us so we can say thank you for your support in person. We’ll be talking about upcoming products and features so this will be a great chance to get the first glimpse of what we’ve got planned.

    A little about the folks behind IDrive, IBackup and RemotePC

    Based in Los Angeles, CA, Pro Softnet is a pioneer in the field of cloud storage. Over 750,000 users are trusting our products to protect their digital lives at home and in the office. Our simple goals are to provide fantastic and reliable software, outstanding customer service and an incredibly great value.

    Pro Softnet has three brands to service our breadth of clients: IDrive is self-service online backup and file-sharing for consumers, home offices and small businesses; IBackup is integrated backup, cloud storage and file-collaboration for medium-large business and managed service providers; and finally RemotePC, our own “hobby” project, is remote desktop access including helpdesk solutions as well as mobile products like the popular iPad/iPhone app, RemoteVU, which fully reproduces the desktop experience on Apple’s mobile devices.

    For more info about the agenda and venue please visit the Cloud.e 2011 website. Remember, registration is free, but only 150 total spots are available! More details as they come.

    Please join us on Facebook (and learn how to earn some free gigs) and Twitter. If you have questions, comments or feedback email publicrelations@idrive.com !