iDrive backup and sync...a few thoughts

I wonder if anyone else has played with iDrive?

I received yet another of their promotional emails, this time $1.00 for a 1 year 5TB subscription, so I decided to bite and see how it works out. I figured I can always cancel in a year if I don’t like it.

So far, I have found some good, and some bad:

– On the good side, it seems to be working well for doing backups on a daily basis, and as far as I can tell (looking at files via the web interface, I have not tried a restore) it looks like all of the data I have asked it to backup.

– It is not a true continuous backup like BackBlaze supposedly is, but rather it runs once a day for a full backup. There is an option to set up continuous backup limited to 500MB (!!) / day, which I have enabled, but I cannot tell what if anything that is actually doing.

– I do like the web interface for restoring, especially its method for browsing back to previous versions.

– It appears that you can save versions as far back as you like (subject to a pruning policy which is pretty well delineated on the support pages) subject to total space allowance.

– You can add multiple computers to one account and share the backend storage, which is a big advantage for me over BackBlaze. Presently, my desktop is doing its initial backup of some 2TB of data and my laptop has put its fairly small amount of data into iDrive as well.

– You get a Sync store equal in size to the backup store, but as a separate amount of space which is nice. I am not using this as iDrive, like other zero-knowledge sync systems I have tested, does NOT sync extended attributes, such as Finder tags, which is crucial for me.

– It is also backing up data from my iPad. Not sure if that will help compared to iCloud backup.

– There is one very significant issue that bugs me, not because it affects functionality, but because it suggests the iDrive people might be a bit out of touch. iDrive throws an icon into the Finder windows icon bar with it’s icon and iDriveFinderSync written underneath, just as other sync services like Dropbox and Sync do. However, clicking on that icon does NOTHING. I have emailed the iDrive support team several times, and their response is repeatedly to tell me that that is the way it is designed to work (!!!). I have pointed out that is seems brain damaged to me to put an icon that is intended NOT to do anything into my Finder windows, and they don’t seem to get that. I just removed it from my Finder configuration, and right clicking on files in the Sync folder does show some contextual menu items, so I suspect they HAD to make the icon to enable a Finder extension, but couldn’t;'t figure out what to do with it. Sloppy.

Would be interested to hear if anyone has used iDrive for enough time to have thoughts on it.


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I read it as “only files that are not larger than 500 MB”:

The Continuous Data Protection (CDP) feature automatically recognizes the changes made to the files (limited to 500 MB in size) in the backup set and starts the backup operation in near real-time.

Could be. Either way not a big deal for me as I have Arq for continuous backup (well, hourly, anyway) as well.