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IDrive Business review

Value, features, and extensive platform support make IDrive Business a great cloud backup choice

The IDrive Business user interface
£299 1.25TB, per year exc VAT
  • Unlimited platform
  • App and client support
  • Great for remote workers

SMBs with a keen eye on backup costs will love IDrive Business as its prices are based purely on cloud backup capacity. Yearly subscriptions start at only £60 for 250GB of cloud storage, with the package on review upping this to 1.25TB for a very affordable £299.

The best part is that all price tiers include unlimited platform, client and app support. The list is impressive and includes Windows, macOS and Linux desktops, iOS and Android mobiles, Windows Server, Hyper-V and VMware hosts, as well as popular business apps such as Exchange, SQL Server, SharePoint and Microsoft 365 Exchange mailboxes.

Procedures for creating backup jobs vary depending on the platform and app being protected, but in most cases, you'll need to download the IDrive client app from the cloud portal and install it on each system. It creates a default backup set for protecting common files, but this is easily customised by adding more files and folders and setting it to run every hour or at a specific time each day. These jobs copy data to the IDrive cloud, so creating a hybrid strategy that includes on-premises backup requires a separate job that uses a local or mapped network drive.

We had no problems creating a new job and set it to use a network share mapped from a Synology NAS appliance. IDrive can protect NAS appliances, and free apps are provided for Synology, Qnap, Netgear and Asustor. We ran the Synology version in the lab and used it to secure data from shared folders directly to the cloud. 

Home workers also come under IDrive's protection, with administrators able to use the portal's dashboard to view other account users, remotely create backup jobs, run restore tasks and set capacity thresholds on their cloud storage. The Business package also enables a Sub-account feature, so you can delegate backup and restore tasks to other users.

The IDrive Business UI

Backing up on-premises Exchange Server and running brick-level backups requires the agent loaded on the host, while SQL Server backups can be configured by remotely logging in to the host from an agent on another machine. Microsoft 365 mailbox backup is undemanding and requires the authentication account you provide to be assigned impersonation rights, with this process clearly documented on the IDrive support site.

Hyper-V backups also require the agent loaded on the host system, but we could secure our VMware vCenter and selected virtual machines by logging in from another system agent on the same network. Unlike workstation backups, Hyper-V, VMware and application backup sets defaults to a hybrid mode that uses a local folder or network share combined with the cloud.

Files and folders can be easily restored using the local agent or web portal, and iDrive provides ransomware protection by retaining up to 30 file versions. Microsoft 365 mailboxes can be restored to a local storage location on the system from which you're accessing the agent or directly back to a user's online account.

When restoring SQL Server databases and VMware VMs, IDrive requires access to the local backup folder. If this isn't available, you can use the standard restore service from the agent or portal to copy it back from cloud storage. 

Value looks even better as the price includes file-syncing services between computers logged in to the same account. You also get image-based backups, disk cloning and continuous data protection for real-time backup of files smaller than 500MB.

IDrive Business is a great choice for SMBs as it offers plenty of hybrid backup and data recovery features at very affordable prices. It's easy to manage, provides excellent application support and is a great choice for protecting home workers.

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