Dropbox vs iDrive: which is better?

The world of cloud drives can be particularly confusing, especially since until recently companies typically stored their own data on internal servers, which are both expensive to purchase and often require specially trained personnel to their maintenance.

For businesses, cloud drives may represent better value for money, but personal customers will appreciate the added convenience of anywhere access not characteristic of built-in hard drives and external drives, such as USB keys.

There are two schools of thought when it comes to storing data online: jumping right into it and keeping all files online (with an option for offline access, if you have adequate storage ), and a space to store backups of your physical machines. . Dropbox belongs to the former and iDrive belongs to the latter, so let us help you dissect their key differences and figure out which is best for you.

Dropbox vs. iDrive: Features

Dropbox was one of the first cloud drives to gain traction, and although it’s been overtaken by Google Drive, iCloud Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive, it’s still a popular option that’s packed with features, some of which are slightly unique to Dropbox. or offering a competitive advantage over rivals, at least.

Most of your business will likely consist of saving and accessing files saved in Dropbox, accessed primarily from a browser portal. It’s the main hub for things like account settings and managing subscriptions, and it’s generally easier to share files from here.

For daily use, the easiest method would be to download the desktop client, which is available for macOS and Windows users. It runs in the background and has controls for things like bandwidth throttling for more granular control. It seamlessly integrates with the OS’s native file management system, so there’s no need to open a separate Dropbox app as such.

There is also a “Vault”, which provides a separate, password-protected space for confidential files, and a tool for sharing large files up to 100 GB with others (however, this is limited to some business users, personal accounts getting a less impressive 2GB cap).

Dropbox had to adapt to the introduction of more competition and in doing so launched its own password manager. So-called Dropbox passwords are free with all paid accounts, and even free Dropbox accounts get a limited version (capped at just 50 passwords).

Dropbox also gives its users access to its HelloSign e-signature tool, with three free e-signatures per month, which some business users can upgrade for a fee.

On the other hand, iDrive relies on you to use your own hard drive, which it will back up for you. All plans have access to macOS, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android clients for automatic background syncing and backup (though mobile devices are more limited), as well as backing up external drives and NAS devices. Top-tier Business subscription plans in server backup as well, which can be somewhat rare.

Whether you’re checking or accessing your files online, or using one of the company’s desktop clients or apps to set up what it called “continuous” syncing, the interface feels a little less sophisticated. than that of Dropbox. That said, it’s fully functional and, in essence, it’s a service you hope you never have to use.

If you need to call an iDrive backup but your internet connection is weak, you can use iDrive Express. This is a very valuable addition to all the plans we like, which involve sending a physical copy of your data to a temporary storage device within a week. These are free once a year for personal customers and three times a year for Team and Business users, but other requests can be made for a $59.95 fee.

Dropbox vs. iDrive: Performance

We’ve compared over 50 cloud storage and backup solutions to see which is the best. This can be largely subjective or depend on your own situation, but performance testing gives a good indication of whether a company is throttling its speed behind closed doors. Remember, however, that these times are only what we have experienced and are not fully representative of businesses in all environments.

Using the same 1GB test file, Dropbox and iDrive completed the download in four to four and a half minutes, which is about as good as it gets. It’s really reassuring to know that your data is backed up as soon as possible, and this is arguably the more important of the two tests.

Dropbox downloaded this same file in less than a minute, which placed it in third place in our speed tests. iDrive completed the same download in just over two minutes, which is good. For reference, the slowest speeds we tested were approaching ten minutes.

Dropbox vs. iDrive: support

With Dropbox being such a large and long-standing company, it’s no surprise that there are tons of self-help articles online. But these only go so far as to get your questions answered: For more in-depth help, paying customers have access to email and live chat support, while top-tier professional members can also pick up the phone.

iDrive users can access real-time support through an equally impressive number of channels, including 24/7 email and chat support, and a few phone numbers.

Dropbox vs. iDrive: Price

Dropbox’s pricing is pretty straightforward: if the 2GB of free storage isn’t enough for you (and let’s face it, it probably isn’t), you’ll want to join the company’s Personal Plus tier. This comes with 2TB or 3TB of storage, for $11.99 (£9.99) or $19.99 (£19.99) per month respectively. If you want family access, its personal family plan comes with a 2TB pot to share among up to six people (note: not 2TB each). It costs $19.99 (£16.99) per month.

For business users, there are three categories with 3TB, 5TB, or unlimited storage. They start at $18 (£14.50) per user per month and extend beyond $24 (£21.50) per user per month. Only the Professional plan can unlock access to unlimited electronic signatures, for an additional fee.

iDrive pricing is a bit more complex, assuming the free 10GB isn’t enough (which might be the case if your only intention is to periodically sync photos from a smartphone or tablet to a computer). There are three channels to go down, starting with personal accounts. These give a user access to 5TB or 10TB of storage to back up an unlimited number of devices for $79.50 or $99.50 per year.

The Team plan starts at 5TB for five users at $99.50 per year and goes up to 100TB for 100 users at $1,999.50 per year. Business plans are more expensive, but come with more features and regulatory compliance, starting at $99.50 per year for 250 GB, for unlimited users and/or computers. For reference, the 50TB Business plan costs $11,599.50 per year.

As with most online purchases, there are often deals that fly around, and the same goes for Dropbox and iDrive. Dropbox offers annual commitments that promise savings of up to 20%, while iDrive requires annual subscriptions, but signing up for two years can bring the price down.

Dropbox vs. iDrive: Verdict

It can be difficult to make the right decision, especially when you’re considering a long-term commitment like an annual subscription, but luckily it’s pretty easy to choose between Dropbox and iDrive.

If you need cloud storage and want to be able to access and edit documents virtually anywhere, Dropbox is not only the best of these two, but one of the more comprehensive solutions.

iDrive really comes into its own if you’re working from your own existing hardware. We appreciate that all plans back up computers and mobile devices, and there are server options as well. Not only that, but it’s reasonably priced and full of handy features. If it’s just a backup you need, iDrive is the way to go.

About Jon Moses

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