Livedrive Review

Livedrive Top 10 Best Online Backup

When looking for an online backup service, the amount of storage space is just as important as the amount of features offered. The amount of storage space that your photos, songs, and videos consume can quickly add up and with Livedrive you will never have to worry about running out of storage space. Livedrive delivers by offering an unlimited amount of storage and the features you need all at a great price.

Price

Livedrive offers some very generous storage space with their plans. They offer discounts if you signup for a 1 year subscription plan. Since you probably want to save your files for a long time, we recommend the 1 year subscription plans. Their Briefcase and Pro Suite plans offer syncing to all your devices as well as backup to their online cloud storage, however, the Backup plan only offers backup for 1 PC or Mac. The backup is Unlimited though.

Backup Plan (Unlimited backup for 1 computer):

Monthly 1 Year
$7.95 / mo $6.66 / mo

Briefcase Plan (2TB syncing & online storage, unlimited computers):

Monthly 1 Year
$15.95 / mo $13.33 / mo

Pro Suite Plan (Unlimited backup for 5 computers, 5TB syncing & online storage):

Monthly 1 Year
$24.95 / mo $20.83 / mo

You can add additional backup computers to the above plans for $1.45 / mo. Syncing is available for an unlimited number of computers with the Briefcase and Pro Suite plans. The Backup plan is only for backing up your computer. You can easily signup and download the Livedrive software from their website (www.livedrive.com). Livedrive also gives you a free 2 week trial.

Features

Livedrive really beats the competition with the amount of storage space and syncing space that they offer. Unfortunately, you must signup for the Briefcase or Pro Suite plans to take advantage of the syncing capability. The Backup plan is only for backing up your computer. Remember that "Backup" means copying your files to Livedrive's online storage servers, while "Syncing" means copying your files to all your registered computers and devices keeping them in sync. The Livedrive "Briefcase" feature is used to automatically sync your files between your devices, even between a Windows PC and a Mac! Just drag & drop your files on the "Briefcase" and they sync to all your devices automatically.

You can easily select which files to backup using Livedrive's desktop application. You have the ability to configure Livedrive for continuous backup or scheduled backup which is nice. Livedrive also has the ability to throttle the amount of local bandwidth you use for backups and syncing.

You are able to view your files, photos, and documents anywhere using Livedrive's web interface or their mobile apps for Android and iPhone. You can even listen to your music or watch your movies from anywhere - from any web browser or from your mobile phone or tablet. This is a very cool feature. You can even edit your Microsoft Office files using Livedrive's web interface. Just navigate to your files and click on them to edit right from your browser! This edit capability is only available in the Briefcase and Pro Suite plans though. You can also share your favorite files, like your photos and videos with friends and family and on Facebook with one click from within the Livedrive website. However, this feature is also only available with Briefcase and Pro Suite plans.

Livedrive offers many cool features but we were disappointed that you have to purchase the more expensive Briefcase and Pro Suite plans to get some of the cooler features.

Features
Unlimited Backup Storage Space
Super Fast Transfers
Sync Files Between Unlimited Computers (Briefcase & Pro Suite)
Access Files Anywhere
Access Files on Your Mobile Device
File Archive - keeps every file ever backed up
File Versioning - Saves 30 previous versions
Share Files via Email, Facebook, & Flickr (Briefcase & Pro Suite)
100% Safe and Secure
Ability to set Continuous Data Backup
 
OS Support
Windows 7
Windows Vista
Windows XP
Mac OS X
 
Mobile Device Support
iPhone, iPad
Android
Mobile Website for Blackberry, Windows OS
 

Screenshots (click to enlarge):

Backup Screen Manage Backups Web Interface

Ease of Use

Livedrive was very simple to install and has a nice setup wizard which walks you through your initial backup settings and selecting your files to backup. We thought the layout of Livedrive's interface was a bit more confusing than other online backup software. We were not able to view all our settings or files from the main application window. We had to right-click on the system tray icon to select different windows for settings, status, and our backup file list. We were eventually able to get to all the configuration settings, however, this does not seem as intuitive as other backup applications.

We think that their web interface is much easier to navigate. And we like Livedrive's unique ability to edit documents and photos right from the web interface. This would be particularly helpful if, for example, your computer was to crash and you had to finish editing a document to meet a deadline. Just login to your online account from another computer, finish editing online, then restore your computer later. We also like just how easy it is to stream music and videos to our other devices from Livedrive's cloud storage.

Speed

While Livedrive's best feature might be the amount of storage space offered, we couldn't overlook the speed of their service. They were very fast, in fact, we could easily upload around 30GB a day with their service. This is on par with the fastest online backup services. Livedrive does not limit your connection to their servers. Remember, when backing up your files, you are "uploading", not downloading, and when syncing files you must first upload them.

Livedrive also allows you to throttle your connection speed, and upload and download bandwidth. Unless you are performing network intensive operations, such as playing an online video game, we recommend keeping these settings at their maximum to ensure the quickest possible backups. You can set Livedrive to perform real-time backups. As soon as files are saved, they are backed up and will sync to your online storage, which reduces the amount of bandwidth necessary because only the changes will be uploaded.

Security

Livedrive takes security seriously and uses the industry best practices to keep your data safe and secure. Your files are encrypted using the military grade 256-bit AES algorithm, which is an industry standard for file encryption. They also require a password when sharing files with your family and friends.

One thing we really didn't like was an "encrypt all file transfers" option in the Livedrive settings. This was not enabled by default, meaning you have to make sure to check this setting so that your files will be secure transferred to Livedrive's servers. Most other online backup services enable this setting by default and don't even give you the option of disabling it. Disabling the encryption transfer setting may speed up your backups, but it is less secure and we recommend you set this option to enabled.

Customer Support

Livedrive offers descent customer support. They only have email support but are available to respond to your questions 24/7. They responded to our email within a day and were very clear with their responses. They also have a ticket tracking system so you can follow the progress of your issue on their support page. We really liked this feature as most online backup services don't offer this. On their support page, they also have an FAQ section, knowledge base, and current issues portal which is very helpful.

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