How Good is Livedrive for Online Backup?

Does Livedrive work?If you’re looking for unlimited storage, Livedrive says they’ve got it. They also say that they’re one of the fastest growing online storage companies. You can choose what sort of plan you need, either for your personal computer, or for business. Their rates are pretty comparable to other, similar services, so let’s see how they match up.

Overview
Online backups are all the rage now, as cloud technology has reached a critical threshold where companies can offer a ton of storage space at relatively low prices. It is hard to think about the concept of unlimited storage, or 2 terabytes of storage, when our handheld devices like the iPad and desktop computers are still talking in terms of gigabytes. But soon enough unlimited storage will be the norm, and youngsters today will wonder how we ever lived in a world with storage capacity limits.

The Claim
Livedrive claims that you get unlimited storage with some of their plans, that they are remarkably easy to download, install, and get started with, and that it keeps your files safe. On the unlimited plans, you can backup your entire computer, and restore your files any time you need to, whether disaster strikes, or you change computers, or you just aren’t near your computer but need to access a file.

The Cloud
The cloud is a hard concept when you really think about it. Where do your files go? Where are they stored? Is there a copy of your file on some hard drive, somewhere? Is this the same as virtual storage? While it can raise many questions, the basic concept is that your files are stored across multiple servers, and so there is not a physically dedicated hard drive where you could point to your data and say “there it is”. But the system of storing files this way is very solid, it’s how the entire Internet works. Website owners upload their website’s files to a server, and that is how users anywhere in the world can access a website.

The Cost
Livedrive has a few different price points, but the most common one is for personal users, and is their unlimited plan for $8 a month.

Really Unlimited?
When companies toss around the term unlimited, it’s easy to question if this is really the case. Surely there must be some limit to how much you can store, or some unscrupulous person would use it nefariously and put many terabytes of data on it. Of course they likely have some stopgaps in place and fine print in their terms and conditions that limit conduct like this. But for the average user, the basic premise is that you don’t have to worry about how many files your computer contains, or about adding more files in the future. It’s basically designed to give you peace of mind that you’re always covered, and you can stop thinking about it – until you need to reload your files.

Evaluation
Livedrive is pretty easy to get started with. They offer free trials on all of their plans so you don’t need to worry if you don’t like it after trying it. If you want to get started without a credit card, just be sure to choose it as one of the options during sign up. That way you get to the download area in about 2 minutes and get to try it out with no obligation, and nothing to cancel later if you don’t like it.

Sizing up the Competition
This is a pretty competitive industry, and there are plenty of other cloud storage companies aiming to be King of the Hill. There are services like SOS that say they’re the fastest at uploading, and services like Carbonite that also play the unlimited card. Be sure to do your research on this one because getting set up with a service only to change it down the road can be a bit of an annoyance, and fudges up the whole set and forget feature they all boast.

Final Livedrive Review

Livedrive gets solid reviews, not just from users, but from the critics as well. It’s definitely a solid choice and deserves to be shortlisted along with a few others for your final choice. These services are basically offering the same product, so it gets down to the little things, like how easy it is to use, how long it takes to get your files uploaded, and how many different devices you can use to get to your files. Take an inventory of what you consider to be the 3 most important features, and then find the service that best lines up in the sweet spot.

Our Recommendation
When you think about $8 a month, that’s like a Netflix membership or a grande cappuccino at Starbucks. It’s not a big outgo, and is something that you probably wouldn’t notice on your statement, but the feeling of well-being that you’ll tap into by having all of your files backed up, not just the important ones but all of them, is something that makes it all worth it.

Official Website: Livedrive

What do you think? Does Livedrive work or not?

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Chase September 12, 2012 at 9:31 pm

It used to be that unlimited offerings on cloud space didn’t make financial sense, but I think with data devices getting so cheap, it’s actually doable now. As long as software pirates and hackers don’t abuse the system, I think unlimited offers can work and I love getting things for unlimited. For 8 bucks it’s so cheap, I’m tempted to move from my current cloud service.

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