PROS / This service has the best value out of the 10 services in our review.
CONS / It lacks two-step verification.
VERDICT / IDrive is the best cloud-storage service, because it provides the best value with the best performance.
IDrive is a cloud-storage service with an app that does it all: It's a cloud-storage app, a backup-and-restore app, a file-syncing app and a file-sharing app. At the 1TB level of the subscription, this service provides the best value per computer in our review. In our tests, it recorded some of the fastest upload and download speeds. And it's one of the most secure and easy-to-use cloud storage apps available. For these reasons, IDrive earns the Top Ten Reviews Gold Award for best online cloud storage service.
We tested and evaluated 23 cloud-storage services to find the best. We evaluated the subscription costs for a large family with at least five computers, a small family with at least three computers and an individual with just one computer. Then we tested the upload and backup speeds to gauge the desktop app's performance. Finally, we scrutinized the app's ease of use. If the best cloud-storage service combines high value with performance and a highly intuitive app, then IDrive certainly fits the bill.
Price & Value
IDrive's subscription for 1TB costs just $59.50 a year, but the service offers a 20-percent discount for the first year. To put this in perspective, the average yearly cost for a cloud service is over $130. Since IDrive costs the same whether you're covering five computers or one, it's easily the most valuable service in our review, receiving an A at each level of our evaluation. Consider this: For a large family with five devices, it costs less than $9 per year for each device, which is less than $0.75 per month per computer. If you need more storage, you can upgrade to as much as 10TB.
In our upload tests, IDrive received an A-. It recorded an average speed that suggests you could complete a 1TB upload in about 6.5 days. The average speed among the top cloud-storage services in our review is just over 11 days. The download speed received a B+, recording a speed that suggests you could download 1TB in about eight days. In both phases of cloud storage, this service provides exceptional performance.
The ease of use for the desktop app received an A-. IDrive's interface is divided into six tabs: backup, restore, scheduler, sync, server backup and settings. This makes it look more complex than many online storage apps that only have sync folders, but the steps in each process are few, and the app walks you from one step to the next. One of the best characteristics of the app is that all the features are identifiable with text. You never have to guess what a symbol means.
One of the features that differentiates IDrive from other cloud-storage services is drive seeding and courier recovery, which is included once per year as part of the subscription. If you have a lot of data that you want to upload to your account, the service will send you an external hard drive. You simply copy the data to the hard drive and send it back. Conversely, if you need to download all of your data, the service can send you a hard drive with all of your data. This is much faster than using the internet. Other services offer these features but at a significant cost.
IDrive encrypts your files with 256-bit AES encryption before the files are uploaded and transferred to the servers. The data is also protected with 256-bit encrypted SSL transfers. One of the best security features is the option to own your encryption keys. A private encryption key ensures that your files are private and that you're the only one who can decrypt them.
The one security measure that's missing is two-step verification, which is also known as two-factor authentication. This is a security measure designed to protect your account from a hacker that's gained your password. When you log in, instead of gaining immediate access to your account, the service would send you a PIN in a text message, phone call or email. Thus, your immediate attention is required to log in.
Help & Support
IDrive's help and support is excellent. You can contact support representatives directly through phone, email and live chat. The service also provides an extensive library of video tutorials that cover every feature the service offers, allowing you to master the app easily. You can also access a blog and a FAQs page. If you have issues with your account, IDrive has the support in place to help resolve your issues.
IDrive is the best online storage service, because it combines the best value at all levels with impressive performance and ease of use. The annual cost for 1TB of storage is the lowest among any cloud storage service we evaluated, and the upload and download speeds are among the fastest. In addition, since you have the option of owning your encryption keys, your data is remains private and secure, despite lacking two-step verification.