In the world of online backup and storage accounts, LiveDrive seeks to provide a little bit of everything based on a customer’s needs with its several plans. Regardless of whether you are a personal or business user, the company claims to provide backup, storage and file syncing, and even cloud hosting services with its plans.
I’ve heard a lot about LiveDrive from people who are into all things involving cloud backup and storage which is why I chose to feature this particular service in this Livedrive review. Let’s take a look at its features and what it has to offer.
LiveDrive at a Glance
LiveDrive is not your average backup and storage service provider in the sense that it has three separate plans with different services. It has an unlimited online backup plan, a cloud storage and file syncing plan, and a third plan which combines the first two offerings. Like most cloud solutions companies, it also has a business plan that business users can take advantage of. For the purpose of this review however, I will just concentrate on the first three plans for consumers and discuss how each can address a user’s needs based on the service that he or she requires.
LiveDrive also differs from other online backup and cloud storage service providers in terms of storage allowance. Although its backup plan is similar to most unlimited services in the market, what’s impressive is that it provides 2TB worth of storage to users who have the file syncing and storage plan. This is a pretty large amount considering that most providers only offer up to 100GB of space for personal user accounts. Anything above 100GB would fall under a business plan for many online storage providers, and this may cost anywhere between $80 and $100 a month.
LiveDrive Backup Plan
LiveDrive Backup is the company’s first offering to consumers who want the peace of mind of having their files secured and protected in the cloud. The plan includes unlimited backups and allows easy access to the web interface whenever a user needs to access any of the backed up files even while away from the primary PC or laptop. Being a simple backup plan, you can’t expect to have any of the bells and whistles in LiveDrive Backup that most backup providers offer to the public. What you get is a fast and easy way to make a copy of all of your files on your PC and store them in the cloud for later use in case your machine malfunctions and crashes.
What LiveDrive offers however is redundant backups and military-grade encryption, so each file that is backed up onto your cloud account is protected and only available to you as a user. As for file restoration, the service allows quick and painless retrieval using the web interface and onto another PC.
The LiveDrive Briefcase
LiveDrive’s storage plan on the other hand is aptly called Briefcase because it allows one to store files and documents in the cloud and sync between PCs, Macs, and mobile devices. The 2TB storage allowance is perhaps the biggest draw to LiveDrive Briefcase, and this is just for a personal account. This means that one can store large files without worrying about them eating up the storage space in the cloud. Home office users and small businesses can also take advantage of the Briefcase plan and this is certainly worth considering, more so because it allows for an unlimited number of PCs or Macs that can share the 2TB storage allowance.
Another draw to the Briefcase plan is the file syncing feature. Whereas one can sync between a limited number of computers – mostly 3 to 5 PCs or Macs – on other service providers, LiveDrive can sync files across all PCs and mobile devices that are linked to an account. So if you do business at home and have, say 10 PCs, being utilized by you and your employees from various locations, the Briefcase plan can be quite handy because you don’t need to send emails back and forth just to be able to share files and edited versions of documents. What you do is edit a document or another type of file, place it in the Briefcase folder on your home PC, and all other computers linked to your LiveDrive account will reflect the synced document for easy access.
File sharing is also possible with the Briefcase plan, and users can share files among friends, family, colleagues, and the public with just a single click. LiveDrive sends a username and a password to the person you have chosen to share your files with if you choose to forego the public sharing feature, so you can be sure that only the people you have given access to that particular file will be able to do so. Aside from this, any stored file or document is easily available on a mobile device whether Android or iOS.
The ProSuite Plan
ProSuite is by far the most attractive plan in LiveDrive’s arsenal in my opinion simply because it offers both backup and storage options. One can take advantage of unlimited backup space for up to 5 PCs plus 5TB of cloud storage allowance for documents and other types of files. If you’re not the type of person to nitpick on price difference and value, the additional $10 per month in fees when you choose ProSuite over Briefcase will surely be worth the investment especially since you are actually getting a great deal. Aside from backup and storage, you will also be able to sync across devices and share your files with others. Moreover, you can have WebDAV, SFTP, and FTP access to the LiveDrive sync folder on your PC or Mac wherever you are in the world. With the corresponding mobile devices on the other hand, you can just as easily have access to the files you have already backed up and stored online. Plus, you can also stream music and videos on your devices from your LiveDrive account – something that is lacking in other backup and storage services in the market.
LiveDrive Customer Service and Support
As with almost every type of backup and cloud storage service, LiveDrive does not offer phone support to users but instead has email reps that are trained to handle various queries and concerns. I’ve heard a lot of feedback – both positive and negative – about LiveDrive’s email support team ranging from good to excellent to bad to worse. What I have noticed however is that the service has an excellent knowledge database that one can utilize whenever there is an uncomplicated issue that needs to be resolved especially for new users who aren’t familiar with the service just yet. Nonetheless, I tried emailing their support team when I signed up for the ProSuite trial and got a response within 24 hours upon sending the query. This is more or less the same timeframe that you can expect from other service providers depending on the volume of emails they need to attend to.
Competitive is the word I can use to describe LiveDrive’s prices for its plans. The Backup plan costs $7.95 per month for a single PC, and users also have the option to sign up for a year’s worth of service for $79.95. When you calculate this amount, you’re basically getting 2 months’ worth of service free for an annual payment upfront. The Briefcase plan on the other hand goes for $15.95 per month for an unlimited number of PCs and 2TB worth of storage space, while the ProSuite will set you back $24.95 for both backups and storage space.
There is also an option for resellers who are looking to partner with LiveDrive and sell the cloud and backup service to their clients. A reseller account goes for $59.95 which allows the account holder to create as many backup accounts as needed at no additional charge. The white label option meanwhile provides the reseller with the option of marketing the LiveDrive brand, his brand, or both.
LiveDrive has a 14-day trial period that I suggest you take advantage of if you’re thinking of signing up for the service. I say this for two reasons: one, two weeks will greatly help you determine whether or not LiveDrive is the service you’re looking for, and two, you are not obligated to provide any payment information upon signup for the trial so there is no obligation on your part.
LiveDrive is worth looking into if you’re comparing between backup and cloud storage providers. It is feature-rich, easy to use, and convenient. The generous storage space allowance doesn’t hurt either especially if you’re the type of person who measures value by the amount of space being offered by a company. With a 30 day money-back guarantee to back it up, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t go for the free trial and sign up for the paid service once the two weeks are over. For personal users and small business owners, LiveDrive is one service that I can recommend.