IT Pro Verdict
Great for remote teams
Simplistic client deployment
With a track record going back over 15 years, IDrive has been in the cloud backup market longer than most, and for good reason. It offers a range of affordable subscription tiers, with the flagship Business version on review priced according to the amount of cloud storage you require.
Yearly subscriptions are the best value and start at $99.50 (£60) for 250GB of cloud storage, with 2.5TB upping this to $799.50 (£479). Even better, all Business tiers include unlimited clients and apps, with IDrive providing outstanding platform support.
The guest list includes Windows, macOS, and Linux desktops, iOS and Android mobiles, Windows Server, Hyper-V, and VMware hosts, along with business apps such as Exchange, SQL Server, SharePoint, Oracle, and Microsoft 365 Exchange mailboxes.
A new feature is optional cloud-to-cloud (C2C) backup for Google Workspace and Microsoft 365, with the latter supporting OneDrive, Exchange, SharePoint, and Teams, costing $21 (£16) per user/year and managed from the same IDrive admin portal.
IDrive Business review: setup
Client deployment is painless, with email invitations issued to users from the admin portal. These contain links to create backup accounts, set passwords, use a default or custom encryption key, and download the desktop app. The app opens with a default backup set for protecting common files and is easily customized by adding more files and folders. Jobs can be set to run on demand, every hour, or at a specific time each day, and email alerts can be issued for all jobs or only those that fail.
Hybrid strategies that include on-premises backup require an extra job that uses a local or mapped network drive. We had no problems creating a backup set to use a network share presented by a Synology DS1823xs+ NAS appliance. Value gets a boost thanks to the price including cloud file syncing services between IDrive computers, and your subscription enables an equal amount of sync space. What's more, it supports image-based backups, disk cloning, and continuous data protection for files smaller than 500MB.
NAS data can be protected, as free apps are provided for Synology's DSM and Qnap's QTS/QuTS hero operating systems. We run the Synology version in the lab and use it regularly to secure data from shared folders directly to the cloud.
IDrive Business will appeal to businesses with remote workers as administrators can remotely view other users from their portal, create or edit backup jobs and run restore tasks. You can lighten the management load, too, as the Sub-account feature in the Business package lets you delegate backup and restore tasks to other users.
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Hyper-V backups require the client loaded on the hypervisor host but jobs to protect VMware virtual machines can be created from any IDrive client app on the same network as the ESXi or vCenter host. This applies to SQL Server databases as well as Exchange mailstores and, in all cases, these types of backup job default to a hybrid mode that uses a local folder or network share combined with the cloud.
Files and folders are easily restored using the local client or web portal, and IDrive provides ransomware protection by retaining up to 30 file versions with only the current ones factored into your cloud quota. When restoring SQL Server databases and VMware VMs, IDrive requires access to the local backup folder, and if this isn't available, you can use the standard restore service from the agent or portal to copy it back from cloud storage.
SMBs that want affordable cloud backup and data recovery features need look no further than IDrive Business. It's easy to manage, its platform and app support is extensive and client deployment doesn't get any easier.
Dave is an IT consultant and freelance journalist specialising in hands-on reviews of computer networking products covering all market sectors from small businesses to enterprises. Founder of Binary Testing Ltd – the UK’s premier independent network testing laboratory - Dave has over 45 years of experience in the IT industry.
Dave has produced many thousands of in-depth business networking product reviews from his lab which have been reproduced globally. Writing for ITPro and its sister title, PC Pro, he covers all areas of business IT infrastructure, including servers, storage, network security, data protection, cloud, infrastructure and services.