Cloud Backup and Remote Access - The Official IDrive Blog

  • RemoteVU – Flash and Videos from your PC onto your iPad

    RemoteVU lets you experience your PC on your iPad.

    On the face of it, it looks like just another remote access application for use within your local network/WiFi. But what it really shines is in video replication.

    Most remote access products, while being great at replicating the screen, text and images, are very poor at replicating video. This makes viewing any video, flash, games or a movie,

    via remote access, an impossible task.

    This is exactly where RemoteVU shines. It replicates video playing on your PC on your iPad with great fidelity, including audio.

    You can now watch DVD movies, Hulu, play Flash based games or do plain simple remote access.

    A Mac version is on the way.

    The App is priced at $1.99 and is available on the iTunes store now.

  • RemotePC: Connecting You to Where You Need to Be

    It’s Friday night and you’re hanging out with some friends. Your cell phone rings and before you can even speak your mom is yelling, “My e-mail is broken! Come fix it!” Trying to instruct her over the phone is like pulling teeth, and she just isn’t getting it.

    Do you really want to spend your entire night just trying to get her computer working, or would you rather access her computer from your iPhone to resolve the issue quickly and get back to having fun?

    With RemotePC, this feature and more are at your disposal. RemotePC gives you the ability to remotely connect to your host computer via iPhone, another computer, or even the iPad, and eliminates those late night house calls to mom’s place. Need to connect to a Mac with a PC or vice versa? No problem! With RemotePC you can do it seamlessly.

    However, sometimes just seeing and controlling a computer isn’t enough, so here are a few other things RemotePC allows you to do:
    • Transfer files between computers so you can easily continue your work at home when you are out or retrieve that document you forgot to send.
    • Print documents from your host computer to make sure that report is in on time.
    • Listen to audio files for when you can’t get that song out of your head.
    • Connect to computer via the application or any standard web browser depending upon what your needs ar or where you are.
    • 24/7 hour tech support for when you need assistance – no matter what time of day.

    You may be asking yourself “How is this different than Microsoft Remote Desktop or a Virtual Private Network (VPN)?” Well, Remote Desktop requires a static IP address and can be difficult to setup. With RemotePC, connecting can be accomplished via any dynamic IP and only takes a minute to setup, even behind a firewall. A VPN requires a network administrator to setup and maintain which could cost hundreds – RemotePC starts at only $4.95/month!

    From being able to help mom access her e-mail to just listening to music from home while you are out RemotePC offers it all.

    RemotePC – Your affordable solution to connect you to where you want to be.

    This entry was contributed by Will L., Support Technician.

  • IDrive (Online Backup) App for the iPhone!

    We had the contacts backup for the iPhone /Blackberry/Android devices, and recently added the Photo Backup for the ios devices, but till now did not have the App to view the backed up data and account details.  We have just launched the iPhone App called IDrive (Online Backup) App for the iPhone. This App lets users search and view their backed up data from anywhere on their iPhone. This works for both Windows and Mac based IDrive accounts.

    IDrive, is now the only online backup service that has Apps to view users backup data, and backup contacts and Photos for the ios platform.

  • Managing your IDrive Pro Quota

    One of the most common reasons IDrive Pro users contact our call center is to ask about their account quota – your quota is the maximum amount of data allowed to be stored in your account.

    If you subscribe to IDrive Pro Personal (150GB) or the IDrive Pro Family Pack (500GB) you have a “hard” limit on your quota. This means that if you reach your limit you’ll receive a message telling you your account is full and no further backups will occur.

    If you are an IDrive Pro Business customer (50GB to 1000GB) you have a “soft” limit on your quota. This means that you will be able to continue backing up new files once you reach your quota but will be charged a fee of $0.50/GB/month over that quota.

    As your IDrive account ages you can expect it to slowly grow. It will be backing up your new files, moved files, renamed files, date-stamped files and more. Although you are protecting yourself you might be backing up more than you need to. Imagine you download a 500MB movie to your desktop and the next day watch the clip and delete the file. Overnight IDrive would have backed up the file and now will keep it forever unless otherwise deleted.

    Here is our advise for managing your IDrive account!

    Sync your IDrive account
    Performing a Sync removes files you have since deleted, moved or renamed on your computer from your IDrive account – in essence it gets rid of the “excess” data. You can complete a Sync manually by opening IDrive on your computer, go to the Restore tab and select which computer or folder(s) on the account you’d like to Sync. IDrive will then scan your Backup Set (the folders you’ve selected for backup) and compare it with the backup currently on IDrive and present you with a list of files that will be removed:

    You can also set up an Automatic Sync! With Automatic Sync enabled IDrive will run a Sync operation after each scheduled daily backup. Any files no longer present on your computer will be removed from your IDrive account after 30 days. Should more than 5% of your total number of files be “out-of-sync” IDrive will cancel the operation as a protective measure in order to insure IDrive isn’t deleting files on accident!

    Delete old files from IDrive
    Deleting old folders and files from your IDrive is account is very easy! Simply open IDrive on your computer and in the Restore window place a checkmark in the box next to each folder and/or file you wish to remove then click the Delete button in the toolbar. Once you delete files from your IDrive account they are placed into the Trash Bin where they will remain for 10 days before being removed from our data-center completely. Note: files in the Trash Bin do not count against your quota!

    Delete an old computer’s backup from your account
    In order to completely remove a machine from your IDrive account first you must delete all the files and folders associated with the computer, then you will need to empty the Trash Bin of that computer – use a right click. Once all the files have been removed and the Trash Bin is empty you can right click on the computer you’d like to remove and select “Delete Machine.”

    Update your Backup Set
    If your account maxed out or went over quota due to too much being backed up, don’t forget to update your Backup Set after deleting the offending data or else you may find it being backed up again! Open IDrive on your computer – or use the Web Management console in your customer portal on IDrive.com – front and center is the Backup Set, uncheck and folders/files you no longer wish to be included.

    Get more GBs!
    Filled your account? Perhaps you need more space! Log in to your account on IDrive.com, select Upgrade Account at the top and select your new plan. Upgrade from IDrive Pro Personal to the IDrive Pro Family Pack and get 350GB more storage space for a mere $10/month extra and the ability to backup four other computers to the same account.

    Ask IDrive!
    Get your cloud questions answered! Send your question to publicrelations@idrive.com

    Have a great Monday – S. Gold, Business Dev. Manager

  • Building the IDrive platform: How we use RAID

    RAID stands for Redundant Array of Independent Disks – it is a standard method used to cluster many hard drives together into one unit for the purposes of space, speed and security. At IDrive, we use RAID to configure large amounts of fast storage that is many–many times more reliable than the hard drive in an off-the-shelf computer.

    IDrive Online Backup uses a method of incremental transfers to backup and restore files. Our software automatically breaks up files into half-megabyte sections known as blocks and moves those around instead – it’s much more effective and reliable than attempting to transfer large whole files. RAID arrays use a similar function to break up files into small, manageable pieces.

    Let’s discuss how RAID stores and protects blocks of data.

    Since RAID arrays are made up of more than one disk it is possible to spread blocks out, this technique in knows as striping. Striping leads to a key advantage: blocks can be read from multiple disks at the same time, significantly reducing access times. IDrive Online Backup customers consistently rave about the speed of our network – RAID is one of the ways we are able to provide this kind of performance. Striping blocks across multiple disks introduces a disadvantage however: should one disk in the array fail, the data from the entire RAID is at risk of being lost. We overcome this with an important RAID feature known as parity.

    At IDrive we used advanced storage techniques to safeguard our customers' data.

    This diagram illustrates four physical disks that would appear to a computer as one large disk. Data is striped (blue) across the array and parity information (green) is distributed across the drives to safeguard files in the event of a failure.

    A RAID configured to parity data creates one or more copies of special blocks that are used to reconstruct files that might otherwise be lost if one or more of the disks in the array fail; somewhat like a backup. IDrive RAID setups are very secure! Multiple disks would have to fail at the same time in order to result in files being lost – a highly-rare event. Our advanced storage arrays help us provide impressive performance and enterprise-level reliability to our nearly 700K customers.

    For IDrive Pro and IDrive Basic customers we hold data on one of these sophisticated arrays in one of our SAS 70 certified data-centers. We periodically backup IDrive Pro customers’ data onto a second RAID array as an extra layer of protection in the unlikely event of a failure. The IDrive Pro solution is perfect for businesses interested in regulation compliance.

    IDrive Unlimited customers’ data is also held on one of our RAID servers however we don’t perform a secondary backup to a secondary array.

    Send your online backup, cloud storage and other data questions to publicrelations@idrive.com!

    Have a great Wednesday – S. Gold, Business Dev. Manager

    UPDATE on 3/24/2011

    Brad C. e-mailed regarding the past experiences a few other online backup companies have had trusting RAID: RAID is one of the most powerful and safe methods of storing large amounts of data, however, it is certainly not bulletproof. IDrive’s performance and security measures go far beyond the hard disks that safeguard our clients’ files. The heart of IDrive is our software which was built by us to constantly error-check and verify data – it’s very good at it too. Our storage facilities have always maintained a very high level of reliability.

  • IDrive Tips & Tricks: Automatically find your important files with Automatic Selection

    C:UserUsernameMy MusiciTunesiTunes Media

    That’s the default “path” in Windows 7 for your iTunes library. Now check out the path for your Microsoft Outlook data:

    C:UsersUsernameAppDataLocalMicrosoftOutlook

    Did you know that? If you did, great, but if you didn’t you might be one of those people that are wondering how it would be easy to backup and restore things like your Outlook data when you don’t even know where to start looking in the labyrinth of files on your computer. IDrive has an amazing feature called Automatic Selection. Automatic Selection makes it a no-brainer – simply select all the types of files you’d like to backup; your photos, e-mails, PDFs, Word documents, etc. and IDrive will search your computer for them and back them up.

    Automatic Selection from IDrive

    When IDrive backs up all your automatically-selected files, it does so in a way that makes it easy to restore to the exact same location it came from, even if you don’t know where that might be.

    Or, use our Search & Restore feature to easily search your entire backup for a specific file and restore the latest version of the file – you’ll have access to the last 30 versions of the file as well.

    Don’t just recover from disaster, avoid it all together with IDrive Online Backup!

    Have a great weekend friends – S. Gold, Business Dev. Manager

  • Ask IDrive: Can I backup my portable hard drive to IDrive?

    Can I backup my portable hard drive to IDrive?

    Yes, you can! IDrive allows you to select files from attached storage devices (like USB sticks and external hard drives) and back them up to your IDrive account. If the drive isn’t connected when the scheduled backup occurs – or if you have Continuous Data Protection enabled – IDrive will simply skip those files and return to them once the drive is re-connected.

    Many people use external storage to backup data – the problem is that external hard drives just aren’t reliable – they constantly fail.

    IDrive is one of the few online backup companies that doesn’t use a third-party storage network. We build and maintain our own RAID racks which are millions of times more reliable than a standard computer hard drive and our data-centers and electronic network adhere to SAS 70 certification requirements. Our strict security practices have produced an environment safe enough for government organizations – we have a GSA contract that allows federal and state employees to easily utilize IDrive to protect their mission critical data.

    Use your local drives for current projects and archive your old data on IDrive: save space and give yourself real protection by backing up your important files somewhere truly safe. If you don’t have an account start a free 5GB IDrive Basic account here.

    Have a question about using IDrive, online backup, data storage or anything else related to life in the “cloud?” E-mail yours to publicrelations@idrive.com!

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone! – S. Gold, Business Dev. Manager

  • Why is IDrive Online Backup so fast?

    We often talk about how IDrive out-performs other services by 25-30% in the area of backup/restore speed and we thought to let you in on a few of the reasons why:

    1. The IDrive platform is built and maintained by us. Why is this important? Well, there are more online backup “companies” out there than there are data storage networks. Many of these online backup “companies” are utilizing third-party storage platforms (i.e. Amazon’s S3) to host their customers’ data for various reasons: they don’t have their own internal infrastructure talent, they don’t have the resources to build and maintain their own racks and they want to reduce costs.

    IDrive customers’ data is held on our privately-owned, developed and secured network – and it’s REALLY FAST. Try it out for yourself: open a free 5GB account, download the software to your Windows or Mac and run a bandwidth test. This will tell you just how quick the connection is between your computer and our data centers. We even have customers backing up their computers on the island of Cyprus in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea!

    2. Custom IDrive file-transfer technology. We have spent years honing our skills when it comes to data. We have become experts in storing and transferring data to and from points across the globe. Our software uses several techniques to speed up the backup/restore process:

    • Incremental/block level backup – only newly updated pieces of files are actually copied
    • Lossless compression during transfer – no risk of corruption to your photos, audio or video
    • Search index for restore – easily search your entire archive of backups and quickly restore a single or multiple files
    • Resource light application – you’ll hardly know the IDrive application is even on your computer, won’t bog you down

    IDrive’s technology for backing up files is intelligent and strong. It actively accounts for network issues during transfer, insuring you don’t have to hover near your computer making sure your backup is still running. Just install and that’s about it!

    3. Rapid Serve for when it’s not fast enough. Imagine you walk in to your office one morning only to find your building had been struck by lightening the night before and all your technology has gone haywire. You have an IDrive account with 250GBs of your photos, invoices and customer records and you won’t have a working computer for a few days because of the disaster. That’s why we have Rapid Serve. Rapid Serve is a program that utilizes IDrive Portable, our 320GB USB-powered backup hard drive. The cost of the drive is $69.95 + tax with free shipping to US customers; the Rapid Serve program is free.
    It could take days to download your whole backup depending on how much data you have and how fast your Internet connection is. With Rapid Serve, our network team will physically download your data to an IDrive Portable and ship it via USPS.

    Now that’s fast disaster recovery – and the price can’t be beat.

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  • Visit the IDrive booth at DEMO Spring 2011 in Palm Desert

    Come visit our booth at DEMO Spring 2011 at the JW Marriott in Palm Desert! We’ll be demonstrating our whole product line, answering questions and checking out the release of all the new products!
    We’ll be showcasing IDrive Photo Backup for iOS! Released on Jan 11, 2011, IDrive Photo Backup is able to backup the contacts and photos from any iDevice running iOS 3.0 or later. It is also geo-location enabled, allowing users to track each other on a map by permission.

    DEMO Spring 2011 will be full of new innovations, looking forward to seeing you there!

    Visit our booth and mention the IDrive Blog to to get an IDrive t-shirt! (while supplies last)

  • They are all different – they all use it differently – they all use IDrive

    Students, dentists, photographers, construction companies, musicians, sales people, programmers, gamers, moms and dads, whole families – they are all using IDrive to backup files that can’t be lost: dissertations, patient records, pictures, blueprints, MP3s, invoices, project files, saved games, the video of baby’s first steps.

    Today we’d like to profile a few of our friends so you can see the kind of benefit they are getting from IDrive’s amazing service!

    •••

    Richard R. – Illustrator and Visual Artist

    Every day Richard creates stunning landscape and character illustrations. His artwork is done almost exclusively on his Mac and he uses IDrive for Mac to protect his art, music and all of his other important files. The feature Richard likes most about IDrive is the ability to backup his USB and Firewire hard drives:

    “Most of my large art files are on my external drives. IDrive backs them up easily and because IDrive truly archives data my work will always be safe and sound no matter what happens to my computer or drives.”

    Richard, thanks for using IDrive and for your amazing work!

    •••

    Candice K. – Box Office Manager

    Candice is the Box Office Manager for a small community playhouse, she is in charge of all the money that comes in as well as insuring her customers get their correct tickets. Her computer is the primary machine used for financial data, customer information and ticket database.

    IDrive Online Backup is installed on the playhouse PC with Continuous Data Protection (CDP) activated. CDP is IDrive’s intelligent and real-time data protection tool that continually monitors the Backup Set for new changes.

    As Candice works IDrive is backing up data quietly in the background. In the event of a disaster, Candice’s work will be minutes old – if not seconds – rather than hours. This is the power of IDrive.

    •••

    Bill D. – Architect

    Bill has owned his own architectural firm for over 15 years now and the amount of data him and his crew have developed over the years has become too big for the backup systems of yesteryear.

    “We decided to start digitizing all of the work we had done on paper over the years so we could back them up as well. All those scanned images added to hundreds and hundreds of new GBs. IDrive backs up everything we’ve ever created for less than $1.40 per day, that’s a fifth of what we were paying per day for physical tape backups, and restoring from IDrive is easy as pie in comparison.”

    Bill’s firm is advancing with the times. Physical backup takes too much time, costs too much money and takes too much effort. With IDrive, small businesses don’t just recover from disaster: they avoid it.