ElephantDrive Review

ElephantDrive Top 10 Best Online Backup

ElephantDrive is a solid online backup service offering large storage space and focused on the security of your data. If you have a ton of data (> 100GB) to securely backup, then ElephantDrive is for you. The security of your personal data is more important than ever, and ElephantDrive will be there every step of the way to protect your increasingly digital life.

Price

ElephantDrive's personal pricing plans are aimed at those needing to store a lot of data. Signing up for a 1 year plan offers significant discounts over the monthly plans. Since you probably want to save your files for a long time, we recommend the 1 year plans. Depending on how much data you wish to backup, this may not be the most economical option for you, so check out our comparison page. All ElephantDrive plans cover up to 3 devices.

1 Year Plan:

100GB 250GB 500GB 750GB 1TB 2TB
$9.95 / mo $16.63 / mo $33.29 / mo $49.96 / mo $71.63 / mo $141.63 / mo

Monthly Plan:

100GB 250GB 500GB 750GB 1TB 2TB
$9.95 / mo $19.95 / mo $39.95 / mo $59.95 / mo $85.95 / mo $169.95 / mo

ElephantDrive offers a Lite Account which comes with 2GB of storage for free. They also give you a 15-day free trial with their upgraded plans. You can easily signup and download the ElephantDrive software from their website (www.elephantdrive.com).

Features

ElephantDrive offers some great features that you come to expect from the best online backup services. Their backup plans cover up to 3 devices without any extra cost. While ElephantDrive has some great backup features, they don't currently offer syncing capability, which we were a little disappointed with. More experienced users will like ElephantDrive's ability to configure multiple different backup sets with different files and folders, different backup schedules, and different archiving and versioning settings. Backups can also be configured to continuously backup, so as soon as you change or add a file, it is immediately backed up to ElephantDrive's servers.

You have the ability to view all your backup sets and files from either ElephantDrive's desktop application or their web interface. You can also view file versions and restore files from either interface. We found the web interface to be more responsive and easier to navigate. A nice feature is that ElephantDrive integrates into your system context menu. This means you just need to right-click on a folder and you can add it to your ElephantDrive backup set.

ElephantDrive currently does not have any mobile apps for iPhone or Android devices, but you can access all your files from a mobile web browser. They do offer easy file sharing. From their web interface you can easily share files with friends and family by sending them a link to your online storage. You can even password protect your shared files ensuring that only the users you approve get access to your files. ElephantDrive also allows you to create multiple user accounts with different privilege levels. This neat feature is coupled with a reporting tool showing you each user's storage usage.

Features
Large Storage Space Plans
External Hard Drive Backup
Backup Multiple Computers - Windows & Macs
Access Files Anywhere
Configure Multiple Backup Sets with Different Backup Schedules
File Archive - keeps deleted files
File Versioning - configurable
Easy and Secure File Sharing
Military Grade Encryption
Ability to set Continuous Data Backup
 
OS Support
Windows 7
Windows Vista
Windows XP
Mac OS X
 

Screenshots (click to enlarge):

Backup Manager View Activity Web Interface

Ease of Use

ElephantDrive is a bit confusing at first. The desktop program does install quickly and during the install a wizard is run to perform the initial backup configuration. However, the program was a little tough to follow as some of the user interface screens are not that intuitive. You can configure multiple backup sets to run on different schedules, which more advanced users will probably like, but the novice user may find confusing. There are no automatic backup sets, so the novice user may not know which files to backup.

The archiving and versioning of files are only kept for 30 days by default so if you want to keep deleted files or older versions of your files, then you have to change these settings for each backup set. This configuration is not very user friendly. The web interface is easier to use as the layout is very similar to Windows Explorer. We found it much easier to view our files, perform restores, and configure our backups with the web interface. Overall, ElephantDrive is geared towards the computer user with more experience, so the novice user may find it difficult to use.

Speed

ElephantDrive seemed about average for backup speeds (~25-30GB / day). As part of their desktop application, the offer a resource usage tester which will test your upload speed. This will give you some idea of how long your backups should take. ElephantDrive also allows you to throttle your data transfer speed, however, we recommend you don't limit your backup speed to get the quickest backup possible. The only time you may want to limit your speed would be if you were using a network intensive program, such as an online game.

Although most initial backups will be slow, ElephantDrive did well with our initial backup. Subsequent backups with ElephantDrive are much faster because they use differential or incremental backups. This will only backup files that have been modified or added since the previous backup. Remember when backing up, you are "uploading", not downloading.

Security

ElephantDrive is very focused on security. They do an excellent job explaining their methodology for security on their website. The use the industry standard 256-bit AES encryption algorithm for securing your files. Your files are encrypted locally before being sent to ElephantDrive's servers via secure 128-bit SSL connections, the same secure connection used by banks for online transactions. They also have multiple physical locations for their backup servers ensuring that your data is secure and always accessible.

You have the option of encrypting your files using ElephantDrive keys or your own personal keys which are derived from your account password. We recommend using your own personal keys because this is much more secure. Keep in mind that if you forget your password, ElephantDrive won't be able to help you. ElephantDrive will never know your personal key, so pick one that you will not forget! You can configure your key and security settings using ElephantDrive's backup manager desktop application.

Customer Support

ElephantDrive offers email support but no live chat or phone support. They did respond to our email within a day and were very knowledgeable about our questions. ElephantDrive has a nice FAQ section that will answer pretty much any question you could have about their service. They do have a nice knowledge base support forum and some tutorials, but it is a little tricky to find. You have to go to the FAQ section to find them, which was confusing to us. They do have a blog which will keep you up-to-date on the latest happenings with the company and service, although we didn't find this that useful.

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