Livedrive Review

Executive Summary:

What’s good? Lowest price – $6.95/month for unlimited storage, mobile app for iPhone and iPad

What’s bad? No separate license required for each individual computer

Recommendation? Not as cheap as Mozy and Carbonite, but recommended if you have multiple computers

Livedrive Simple, Secure Online Backup

In-depth Livedrive Review…

Livedrive Review: What do Livedrive products do?

Livedrive Backup is a London-based software for online backup of your files, pictures, and emails.  (Livedrive’s “Briefcase” product for businesses costs a lot more, because it is priced by the GB.)

This is the info on your internal hard drive they will automatically back up:

  1. Documents
  2. Photos
  3. Emails
  4. Settings
  5. Music

Livedrive Review: How much does it cost?

“Livedrive Backup” pricing

Storage Space Monthly Rate Yearly Rate
Unlimited USD 6.95 USD 59.88

Basically, the same service as Mozy and Carbonite, but for more money.

Arguably, by the GB is also a better way to charge for online backup because there’s no incentive to discard your previous versions of files.  (The #1 reason for folks restoring files is accidental deletion, btw, so this feature may well come in handy in that you don’t have to worry about the service deleting a file copy you may want later.)

Also, Livedrive offers 2 weeks free as an incentive to get started.

Livedrive Review: Is it safe?  What kind of data encryption do they use?

Encrypting your data protects it from prying eyes by turning it into “ones and zeroes” for transportation over the internet and eventual storage.

Livedrive uses “military grade” encryption.  From the time your data leaves your computer it undergoes its first encryption, then a different type of encryption is used when it is actually stored on the online backup server.  Basically, all online backup companies are doing this now, though.  Your data is well protected with all major online backup services, but there’s no differentiator with encryption.

Livedrive Review: How are they different than the others out there and is it a better value for your money than other similar services?

Livedrive  lets you pay monthly, as you go – outstanding in that they have to sing for their supper or you will go elsewhere.  They also have an iPhone app and an iPad app, so you can see your saved files on your mobile device.

One of Livedrive’s main strengths though is that if you have multiple computers, you DO NOT have to get a separate license for each computer.

Livedrive Review: How long will Livedrive store my files?

This is another Livedrive’s strength…if you accidentally delete a file, you can go back in time and pick a previous version – they keep the last 30 versions you created. You don’t have to worry that the file version you need might not be there because the time limit on keeping versions of files has occurred, like with Mozy and Carbonite.

Of course, Livedrive and all online backup companies will drop you like yesterday’s cigarette butt if you stop paying them.

Livedrive Review: How easy is it to set up and use?

It is easy to get started with Livedrive, just like all of the popular online backup providers. Just download the agent software and the backup proceeds (slowly), but smoothly from there.

Restoring records is easy, too. Their agent software lets you see all the files you have stored and you can click the restore function to download that version back to your hard drive, or you can just backup everything with one click.

One caveat: Whether you choose Livedrive or another company, online backups over broadband take a loooong time!  My initial one took weeks to complete for about 22 GB.  But, that is an upload limitation imposed by internet service providers, not online backup services.

The good thing is, if you set it up on automatic, the agent software quietly runs constantly in the background, doing its backup work.  The bad thing is, the time to get the initial backup done can be frustrating if you aren’t expecting it.

Unfortunately, Livedrive, nor any of the other online backup service providers we have reviewed do a very good job of letting customers know what to expect, unless you dig deeply into their FAQs.

The best way to get backed up fast initially is to leave your computer on overnight, so the backup can be done without having to compete with the work you do during the day.

Livedrive Review: Does Livedrive have a version for Mac?

Not yet, but on the way.  A tech preview version is being tested by other Livedrive users but comments so far on their blog have been very positive so far.

Livedrive Review: How’s Livedrive’s customer service?

Customer service is not a real strength at Livedrive.  They will interact with you only via email.

Livedrive Review Summary:

Good, reliable company with a versatile package but other similar services are cheaper.

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