iDrive review: Online backup for the person who wants everything

Backup, storage, sharing, local backup... iDrive does just about everything.

Credit: IDG

There's no more complete online backup storage service than iDrive. And though it's not the cheapest, it's still affordable and comes with backup clients for nearly every PC and device, including Windows Phone—a rarity these days. The company also provides additional storage for syncing all your devices and PCs, allows sharing of files with anyone, and has the ability to back up to a local drive. See how well it compares to the competition in our big online backup roundup

Plans and pricing

iDrive has two personal plans that cover one user with unlimited computers and devices: $69.50 a year for 2.5TB, and $99.50 a year for 5TB. If you enable the separate sync service, you get an equal amount of storage just for that task, at no extra charge.

Business plans allow unlimited users and computers, but significantly less storage per dollar, starting at $99.50 for 250GB. Don't get completely caught up in the price-per-gigabyte game: The size of your essential data is probably a lot smaller than what's being offered as a minimum these days, unless you're into HDR and 4K.

idrive1 IDG

iDrive, like other vendors had specials to attract departing CrashPlan home tier users at the time of this writing.

iDrive also has a very nice ship-it-to-you restore policy. You can get up to 3TB of data delivered to you on a hard drive for free—the first time. Business users get three times. Subsequently, there's a $60 charge. You can also send your data to the company for safekeeping in the same manner. If your bandwidth is challenged, or your simply prefer keeping it off the grid, this Iron Mountain-like feature is just what the doctor ordered.


One of our favorite iDrive features is the continuous data protection (CDP). If you have a rapidly changing data set, it's nice to have files backed up when they are changed, not just on a schedule. iDrive also supports nearly every type of PC and device: Windows, OS X, Android, iOS, various NAS boxes, and as we said, even Windows Phone. Also nice are the snapshots, which make it easy to restore your PC to a particular point in time.

idrive5 IDG

iDrive's client will back up files as the change. That's CDP, or Continuous Data Protection.

The iDrive local client is nearly identical to iDrive's online dashboard, so you can change settings, including turning on and off CDP using either. iDrive will also handily create a local backup using the same data set that's being backed up online. That allows you to painlessly maintain the Rule of Three: your original data, a copy, and a copy of the copy. Also, it's much faster to restore from a hard drive than from any online service.


If you don't require online document editing, iDrive truly has the most comprehensive set of backup and backup-related features of any online service we've tested. And, they're all available at the basic service level, making iDrive less expensive that it seems. Good stuff.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jon L. Jacobi

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

This Holiday Season, protect yourself and your loved ones with the best. Buy now for Holiday Savings!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?