We used iDrive for several years without incident … until we needed them after a small disaster (vs. their “needing” us, or more correctly our $$). It appeared to work fine for routine backing up and did work fine for restoring a file or two at a time. But that was all. And most of the time, that’s all people need.
I do not recommend iDrive.
I had a client who had used them, then they needed to restore when their NAS died. And it was an absolute mess. Just getting a list of files that they had took hours, then downloading the files took forever.
It was a huge mess for them.
This mirrors our experience. Our disaster revealed a very different side of iDrive and I will never recommend iDrive.
Our old NAS, a Drobo, died without warning. I immediately contacted iDrive for an expedited fast-shipped restore-drive confident we would be up and running in 3-days, max.
TWO WEEKS later I was still waiting for the “expedited extra-charge fast-shipped hundreds-of-dollars upfront restore-drive”. It turned out “expedited” is only expedited after the “M-F, during business hours, excluding holidays, when available etc.” restore-drive has been populated, and then fast only compared to the back of a small slow snail.
An expensive small slow snail carrying a jumbled hot mess.
The restore-drive could not simply be “restored” to a new drive, nor copied, nor x-copied, nor whatever else one might try to do onto a new drive. Files in hierarchical nested folders … weren’t. The structure was hosed. We used empty folders as annual templates for tax purposes so we didn’t have to spend several man-hours every year to recreate them. G-O-N-E. iDrive does not keep empty folders. The restore process had to be done manually. Folder-by-folder. Sometimes file-by-file.
Quick, take a look at how many files you have, then think about 1- to 2-min per file minimum. It doesn’t take long to see how ugly that picture will become before it’s all done.
After spending hundreds of dollars on the disaster recovery on-loan restore-drive (arguably the “real reason” for using something like iDrive) for < 600GB of data I and everyone associated with the situation all swore, nevermore.
We reviewed several alternatives including Acronis, Amazon, Backblaze B2, Carbonite, MS OneDrive, and Synology C2. Back in the day we used to use a tape drive for backup and housed some tapes off-site in a bank safe deposit box. The tapes were kind of fast-ish, mostly reliable, sort-of, and while still an in-use technology today it’s decidedly less than optimal, not to mention the overhead and complexities for us of transportation, dealing with a bank for the safe deposit box, etc.
Amazon, OneDrive and Synology C2 all made the first cut and presented as optimistic alternatives, but the dollar value just wasn’t there for us.
Every other backup technology and service including tape, iDrive, C2, BB2 (Backblaze B2), etc., has its own learning curve to climb. After conquering the BB2 learning curve with the help of Synology+Backblaze tech support engineers, it now costs us < $3.00/mo for a bit < 3TB of deeply encrypted data. In the event of a disaster Backblaze’s service is predictable. Things take the time they say they take, and everything, including costs and abilities, is transparent. In contrast, iDrive was a black box.
Our primary NAS backs up all of our endpoints every 5-minutes 24/7/365 and syncs with a twin setup in a distant geographic locale within ms. It handles versioning as far back as set for each item; in some cases over 2-years, in some as little as 90-days. Each NAS backs up once an hour to on-site attached drives using a different medium. The entire Primary NAS, which includes all of the versioning and versioned endpoints, backs up once-a-day every day to BB2.
This gives us multiple [ local | on-site | off-site | cloud ] backups with the public cloud side (BB2) having multi-site backup with 24/7/365 theft and disaster protection on a scale we could not provide.
We initially seeded the BB2 backup over internet to establish a baseline. We felt this was safe and the risk minimal due to our existing level of private-cloud backups.
Our internet is not fast, nor slow. It’s relatively typical USA, 1Gb down, 45Mb up. The initial seeding took about 6- to 7-days as I recall. I expect a full download with my Gb down and BB2’s backbone-level Gb+ up could take 1/3 of the time or less.
This morning’s backup from our primary NAS to BB2 took about 8-min at ~40Mb up. It’s very very efficient.
Today we run a private-public hybrid cloud at multiple locations far, far apart with endpoints sometimes spanning the globe. Our disaster scenarios now cover a multitude of situations including multiple concurrent acts of war, terrorism, theft, sabotage, natural disaster, etc. We do everything we can to ensure that absolutely no potential is overlooked. It’s naïve, but we do our best. Nothing is (intentionally) taken for granted.
For our money and IMO, Backblaze is an order of magnitude above iDrive. It’s really hard to beat BB2’s price if you setup your system for “last ditch wholesale fire / war / natural disaster” recovery and use their service accordingly.
For routine backup and file recovery, Synology’s trifecta of Active Backup for Business + Hyper Backup + Snapshot Replication is a very hard solution to match, let alone exceed.