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Livedrive Review | Online Backup Companies

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Online Backup Companies Livedrive Review

Livedrive Review http://onlinebackupsearch.com/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/300x225s/b0/05/a3/livedrive-300x225-75-1360924510.png

Expert Rating:7.6

User Rating:5.4

$7.95/Month

GO

What We Like:

  • Unlimited storage on multiple computers
  • Incremental backup and bandwidth throttle
  • Email support - No phone support or live chat
  • Software, web and FTP restore
  • SSL encryption on geo-redundant storage
Review by Steven Johnson
Created: January 14, 2011 / Updated: April 29, 2013
 
Write Review

Editor review

Backing up Files
After the initial installation, it will automatically backup everything in the selected folders. To modify the files and folders go to the Livedrive menu, click the icon and select “Manage Backups”. Automatic selection is helpful for backing up general files, but we needed to backup specific files and folders. After working with the software for a while, using the “Manage Backup” tool was fairly simple.

After all files are backed up they are visible in the “Uploads” screen. This screen shows a queue of the files to be uploaded with a progress bar to indicate how long it will take. The backup doesn’t take too long, of course it depends on the total size and connection speed.

The files uploaded quickly on our cable connection. To take advantage of Livedrive’s speed make sure the upload and download bandwidth settings are set high. We were able to change this in “Preferences” under “Bandwidth”.

After files finished processing, It was frustrating to see that some were “Aborted” and there was explanation (an error log with description text would improve this).

Scheduling in Livedrive is simple, but limited. You are able to backup per hour. Every hour or up to every 48 hours. There is an option to backup as files are changed but Livedrive mentions there are issues with file locking.

Viewing Files
There are three methods to viewing your backed up files with Livedrive:
1. Livedrive Website
2. Livedrive Software
3. Livedrive Mobile app

Viewing files is easy from the website. Once logged in, you are taken to a home screen that shows recently uploaded files. Go to “Backup” to see all the files backed up on a particular computer. We felt that this was simple enough for average Internet users to understand.

Viewing files from the software. For us, finding the software on the computer was more difficult than it should have been. The software (running on a Mac) does not open in one primary window. It is located in the status bar and the only way to open a section of the software is to select a specific area from the menu. It would be better if all the area’s of the Livedrive software could be open in one window with multiple tabs like a central control panel.

Viewing files from the Mobile app. There is a mobile app that gives you access to your files. You can use it to listen to your music and watch your videos. If purchased, the Livedrive briefcase allows you to share your files with anyone. The mobile app is there, but we did not see much need for it. Though, if there was not an app, it would be hard to compete with the other backup companies.

Restoring Files
Restoring files with Livedrive was very easy. I preferred going through their software because loading speeds were much quicker then going to their website. Both software and web access are easy to navigate and restore. In the software click “Restore from backup”, navigate to the file, select the files and click “Restore file”. It will ask you if you want to restore to the original location or a new one. The files download just like any file would in the internet browser.

Getting different version of the files is easy in both online and in the software. Simply select a file or folder and click “Versions”.

We felt that it was easier to restore from the software then online, especially when restoring more than one file. If you need to restore a whole library of music or pictures, we suggest using the software.

Advanced Backup Settings:
There are several tools available through the Livedrive software that makes the backup process more efficient and also allows for greater personalization. The following are tabs within the preferences settings of Livedrive.

Account: access your account details, report a problem or manage users. Click “Change Details” to launch the Livedrive website to change the details. “Report Problem” opens a window so that a brief description of any issues can be submitted to Livedrive. Click, “Manger Users” to add, remove and switch users on that particular computer.

Advanced: this area provides three additional tabs. The first is “Misc” with check-boxes for “Automatically start Livedrive at Login” and “Show hidden items in Manage Backup”. The second is a Maintenance tab. This tab checks to make sure the version of Livedrive running is current, stable or in need of repair. The third tab is for configuring a proxy. This is not going to be necessary for a majority of users, but it’s nice to know it’s there.

Bandwidth: in this area, select the amount of bandwidth Livedrive should use while it is backing up. There are custom fields there for entering a personal set of download and upload maximum bandwidth limits.

Services: there is a link to managing the backup files and folders. Also, in this area, is where the overlay on backup items can be removed in finder (This overlay is seen on items on the computer which are backed up).

Online Files: select a new cache location or move the caching to a new location. Here, there is also the option to automatically keep files on the computer as well as online or to just store files online. Click “Exceptions” to set file type and size exceptions. This means certain files like “MP3’s” and files over 5MB’s, for example, will not be saved back to the computer.

Priority: reorder which types of files will be backed up first by selecting the type and clicking “Move Up” or “Move Down” in the list. We like this setting because it can get the important data backed up first. If there are large video files that will slow down the backup, it could be better to priorities them after the more important, less large files like tax or financial documents for example.

Updates: check and keep Livedrive up to date.

These settings are helpful. Overall, it simply feels good to know that they are there in plenty. We could find uses for most of these options and think some of you will as well. The options involving “Caching” Livedrive creates a duplicate copy of files stored locally. This can be helpful to increase retrieval speeds. This can also be used to backup everything to an external drive as well as on the live drive website. That would give you a total of three places your data is backed up; your computer, the external drive and the Livedrive servers.

Additional thoughts:
The software is hidden in the status bar which is nice because it cuts down on clutter, but makes it hard to find for users who are not tech savvy. The only place to find Livedrive is in the applications folder or in the status menu.

If it read “Open Livedrive” instead of “Status” in the menu, it would cut down on the confusion of where to see the upload queue. The main flaw here is that lake of a centralized control panel or home screen to navigate around. That being said, once we got used to it, it was not so bad.

There are scheduled backups, but they are awkward because they are done by hour. The max amount of hours you can set is 48. This as a limitation, because some people only need to backup weekly or even monthly.

Livedrive is an English company whose hours are on the English time zone. Calling and getting support may be difficult. If you are a business or in need of immediate service we would tell you to be couscous about it.

One huge plus that the software offers is the Service Status. The Server Status keeps you up to date with the Livedrive maintenance on their servers. There is a short description that explains the issues, what will happen while the maintenance is carried out, and how long it should take. This kind of information is extra, but we think everyone could find it useful.

Conclusion:
Livedrive is a great solution for those who want to take advantage of their unlimited plan. It stays out of the way and in the background. Upgrades for multiple users and sharing files are available. Livedrive is well rounded and has good features with only a few complaints.
Overall rating 
 
7.6
Ease of Use 
 
7.0
Features 
 
8.0
Space / Price 
 
8.0
Customer Support 
 
7.0
Security 
 
8.0

Pretty Good but a little Confusing

Reviewed by: Steven Johnson
Experience Level: Backup Professional
Reviewed on: November 26, 2012

Overview

We found Livedrive to be good for home use as well as some small businesses.

The installation went very well and only took a few minutes. The backups ran when they were supposed to and the website has a clean look. Livedrive has a nice set of features including bandwidth throttling and setting a backup start and stop times. It is available for both Mac & PC.

We have a few Livedrive criticisms. The software was a little challenging to locate for the first time on a Mac. Note: we did not have this issue on a PC.

Instead of a single management window there were three separate windows needed to use Livedrive. Things started to make more sense once we learned our way around, but there was more switching between windows and extra clicks, than we would have liked.

When backing up our files, we experienced a number of unexpected “Aborted” error messages. The scheduler also lacked a some useful options that are found with other backup companies.

We were able to backup and restore files but there were errors and the overall experience was a little more complicated than it needed to be.

Pros and Cons

Pros
Easy to install
Ability to throttle bandwidth
Online file access
Online music player
Livedrive system maintenance updates
Cons
Some file transfers were marked as “Aborted” without explanation.
Hard to find software on the computer.
Largest backup interval is 48 hours.

Full Review

Backing up Files
After the initial installation, it will automatically backup everything in the selected folders. To modify the files and folders go to the Livedrive menu, click the icon and select “Manage Backups”. Automatic selection is helpful for backing up general files, but we needed to backup specific files and folders. After working with the software for a while, using the “Manage Backup” tool was fairly simple.

After all files are backed up they are visible in the “Uploads” screen. This screen shows a queue of the files to be uploaded with a progress bar to indicate how long it will take. The backup doesn’t take too long, of course it depends on the total size and connection speed.

The files uploaded quickly on our cable connection. To take advantage of Livedrive’s speed make sure the upload and download bandwidth settings are set high. We were able to change this in “Preferences” under “Bandwidth”.

After files finished processing, It was frustrating to see that some were “Aborted” and there was explanation (an error log with description text would improve this).

Scheduling in Livedrive is simple, but limited. You are able to backup per hour. Every hour or up to every 48 hours. There is an option to backup as files are changed but Livedrive mentions there are issues with file locking.

Viewing Files
There are three methods to viewing your backed up files with Livedrive:
1. Livedrive Website
2. Livedrive Software
3. Livedrive Mobile app

Viewing files is easy from the website. Once logged in, you are taken to a home screen that shows recently uploaded files. Go to “Backup” to see all the files backed up on a particular computer. We felt that this was simple enough for average Internet users to understand.

Viewing files from the software. For us, finding the software on the computer was more difficult than it should have been. The software (running on a Mac) does not open in one primary window. It is located in the status bar and the only way to open a section of the software is to select a specific area from the menu. It would be better if all the area’s of the Livedrive software could be open in one window with multiple tabs like a central control panel.

Viewing files from the Mobile app. There is a mobile app that gives you access to your files. You can use it to listen to your music and watch your videos. If purchased, the Livedrive briefcase allows you to share your files with anyone. The mobile app is there, but we did not see much need for it. Though, if there was not an app, it would be hard to compete with the other backup companies.

Restoring Files
Restoring files with Livedrive was very easy. I preferred going through their software because loading speeds were much quicker then going to their website. Both software and web access are easy to navigate and restore. In the software click “Restore from backup”, navigate to the file, select the files and click “Restore file”. It will ask you if you want to restore to the original location or a new one. The files download just like any file would in the internet browser.

Getting different version of the files is easy in both online and in the software. Simply select a file or folder and click “Versions”.

We felt that it was easier to restore from the software then online, especially when restoring more than one file. If you need to restore a whole library of music or pictures, we suggest using the software.

Advanced Backup Settings:
There are several tools available through the Livedrive software that makes the backup process more efficient and also allows for greater personalization. The following are tabs within the preferences settings of Livedrive.

Account: access your account details, report a problem or manage users. Click “Change Details” to launch the Livedrive website to change the details. “Report Problem” opens a window so that a brief description of any issues can be submitted to Livedrive. Click, “Manger Users” to add, remove and switch users on that particular computer.

Advanced: this area provides three additional tabs. The first is “Misc” with check-boxes for “Automatically start Livedrive at Login” and “Show hidden items in Manage Backup”. The second is a Maintenance tab. This tab checks to make sure the version of Livedrive running is current, stable or in need of repair. The third tab is for configuring a proxy. This is not going to be necessary for a majority of users, but it’s nice to know it’s there.

Bandwidth: in this area, select the amount of bandwidth Livedrive should use while it is backing up. There are custom fields there for entering a personal set of download and upload maximum bandwidth limits.

Services: there is a link to managing the backup files and folders. Also, in this area, is where the overlay on backup items can be removed in finder (This overlay is seen on items on the computer which are backed up).

Online Files: select a new cache location or move the caching to a new location. Here, there is also the option to automatically keep files on the computer as well as online or to just store files online. Click “Exceptions” to set file type and size exceptions. This means certain files like “MP3’s” and files over 5MB’s, for example, will not be saved back to the computer.

Priority: reorder which types of files will be backed up first by selecting the type and clicking “Move Up” or “Move Down” in the list. We like this setting because it can get the important data backed up first. If there are large video files that will slow down the backup, it could be better to priorities them after the more important, less large files like tax or financial documents for example.

Updates: check and keep Livedrive up to date.

These settings are helpful. Overall, it simply feels good to know that they are there in plenty. We could find uses for most of these options and think some of you will as well. The options involving “Caching” Livedrive creates a duplicate copy of files stored locally. This can be helpful to increase retrieval speeds. This can also be used to backup everything to an external drive as well as on the live drive website. That would give you a total of three places your data is backed up; your computer, the external drive and the Livedrive servers.

Additional thoughts:
The software is hidden in the status bar which is nice because it cuts down on clutter, but makes it hard to find for users who are not tech savvy. The only place to find Livedrive is in the applications folder or in the status menu.

If it read “Open Livedrive” instead of “Status” in the menu, it would cut down on the confusion of where to see the upload queue. The main flaw here is that lake of a centralized control panel or home screen to navigate around. That being said, once we got used to it, it was not so bad.

There are scheduled backups, but they are awkward because they are done by hour. The max amount of hours you can set is 48. This as a limitation, because some people only need to backup weekly or even monthly.

Livedrive is an English company whose hours are on the English time zone. Calling and getting support may be difficult. If you are a business or in need of immediate service we would tell you to be couscous about it.

One huge plus that the software offers is the Service Status. The Server Status keeps you up to date with the Livedrive maintenance on their servers. There is a short description that explains the issues, what will happen while the maintenance is carried out, and how long it should take. This kind of information is extra, but we think everyone could find it useful.

Conclusion:
Livedrive is a great solution for those who want to take advantage of their unlimited plan. It stays out of the way and in the background. Upgrades for multiple users and sharing files are available. Livedrive is well rounded and has good features with only a few complaints.

Was this review helpful to you? 
 
Learn More at Livedrive

User reviews

Average user rating from: 1 user(s)

Overall rating 
 
5.4
Ease of Use 
 
8.0  (1)
Features 
 
7.0  (1)
Space / Price 
 
10.0  (1)
Customer Support 
 
1.0  (1)
Security 
 
1.0  (1)
Ratings (the higher the better)
  • Ease of Use
    How easy was the software to configure and run your first backup?
  • Features
    How many helpful tools are available?
  • Space / Price
    How much space do you get for your money?
  • Customer Support
    How helpful and accessible is customer support?
  • Security
    How secure do you feel your data is?
Overview
Pros and Cons
Comments
I have been a LiveDrive customer for many years. So I know LiveDrive quite well.

1.) Customer support is non existing. Please keep that in mind when dealing with LiveDrive. There won't be anybody to help you. You won't get more than an automatic response from their support. So support is definitely 0/5.

2.) LiveDrive is capping the upload speed to their Briefcase product. Upload is capped at around 2.2 MBit/s. I have written proof from LiveDrive were they acknowledged the upload limit. However they openly lie to their customers on their website and in the internal forum (which only LiveDrive customers can access) by stating they wouldn't cap upload speeds.

Please decide for yourself whether you want to do business with a company that openly lies to you.

3.) They have technical issues. I lost data because LiveDrive's servers wouldn't let me download some of my uploaded data. LiveDrive was not able to resolve those issues. There are other customers who experienced similar issues.

Keep in mind that LiveDrive already has lost customer data in the past.

4.) Security issues: Your data on their servers is encrypted. However the only one who has the key is LiveDrive itself.

5.) Their Backup product is only able to do block level incremental backups for a very limited range of files. What does this mean? Almost all of LiveDrive's competitors will upload only the changed portion of a file after it's initial upload. If you have a 1 GB Outlook file and you receive an email, only a few Kilobytes will be uploaded. LiveDrive has recently introduces block level incremental backups for some file types, in this case including Outlook PST files. But this list is very limited. For most file types LiveDrive will reupload the complete file - even it is Gigabytes in size - whenenver at least one Bit of the file has been changed.

If you're dealing with larger files LiveDrive's Backup is almost useless.

5.) Finally: The price is more or less unbeatable. You get a technically outdated (Backup) and unreliable product with no customer service. But if you're only interested in size - the amount of data you can store online - LiveDrive is a bargain.
Overall rating 
 
5.4
Ease of Use 
 
8.0
Features 
 
7.0
Space / Price 
 
10.0
Customer Support 
 
1.0
Security 
 
1.0

Good price - terribly company

Overall Rating: 5.4 out of 10
Reviewed by: Alan
Experience Level: Backup Expert
Customer for: more than 1 year
Reviewed on: October 03, 2011

Pros and Cons

Pros
- very low price
- more than enough storage (5 TB)
- intuitive GUI
Cons
- no customer support whatsoever
- data is not secure (LiveDrive has the key to your data)
- a lot of technical problems in the past (getting better recently)
- LiveDrive lies to customers
- upload bandwidth is throttled

Full Review

I have been a LiveDrive customer for many years. So I know LiveDrive quite well.

1.) Customer support is non existing. Please keep that in mind when dealing with LiveDrive. There won't be anybody to help you. You won't get more than an automatic response from their support. So support is definitely 0/5.

2.) LiveDrive is capping the upload speed to their Briefcase product. Upload is capped at around 2.2 MBit/s. I have written proof from LiveDrive were they acknowledged the upload limit. However they openly lie to their customers on their website and in the internal forum (which only LiveDrive customers can access) by stating they wouldn't cap upload speeds.

Please decide for yourself whether you want to do business with a company that openly lies to you.

3.) They have technical issues. I lost data because LiveDrive's servers wouldn't let me download some of my uploaded data. LiveDrive was not able to resolve those issues. There are other customers who experienced similar issues.

Keep in mind that LiveDrive already has lost customer data in the past.

4.) Security issues: Your data on their servers is encrypted. However the only one who has the key is LiveDrive itself.

5.) Their Backup product is only able to do block level incremental backups for a very limited range of files. What does this mean? Almost all of LiveDrive's competitors will upload only the changed portion of a file after it's initial upload. If you have a 1 GB Outlook file and you receive an email, only a few Kilobytes will be uploaded. LiveDrive has recently introduces block level incremental backups for some file types, in this case including Outlook PST files. But this list is very limited. For most file types LiveDrive will reupload the complete file - even it is Gigabytes in size - whenenver at least one Bit of the file has been changed.

If you're dealing with larger files LiveDrive's Backup is almost useless.

5.) Finally: The price is more or less unbeatable. You get a technically outdated (Backup) and unreliable product with no customer service. But if you're only interested in size - the amount of data you can store online - LiveDrive is a bargain.

Was this review helpful to you? 
 

Company Overview

Lowest Price
$7.95/Month
Storage Space
Unlimited
Free Trial
Yes - 14 Day
Free Plan
No
Single Computer Plans
Yes
Multi Computer Plans
Yes
Business Plans
No
Enterprise Plans
No
Year Established
2008
Price
$7.95/Month

Supported Operating Systems

Supported Platforms
Windows
Yes
Mac OSX
Yes
Linux
No
Windows Server
No

Backup Features

Scheduler
No
Versioning / Snapshot
Yes
Browse Files Online
Yes
Incremental Backup
Yes
Bandwidth Throttle
Yes
Idle Backup
Yes
Resumes After Interruption
Yes

Support Options

Email/Online Ticket Support
Yes
Phone Support
No
Live Chat
No
Blog
Yes
Knowledgebase
Yes
FAQs
Yes
Tutorials
No
Video Tutorials
No

Web/Mobile/Remote Access

Web Access
Yes
Mobile Phone Access
Yes
FTP Access
Yes
Can Set Permissions
No

File Restore Options

Restore from Software
Yes
Restore from Website
Yes
Restore to Hard Drive and Ship
No

Security

SSL Secure Transfer
Yes
Data Encryption
Yes
Geo-Redundant Storage
Yes
User Generated Encryption Key
Yes

Company Highlights:

Livedrive is designed for home and business users to backup their data simply. Offering some of the more basic features, It streamlines the backup process for those who are looking for easy online backup.

View All Livedrive Prices & Plans

 

About Livedrive:

Strives to make your staying current and backed up a streamlined process. Clean, well designed application with lots of features. They remove the limited nature of online backup services by offering an unlimited amount of storage with their plans. Their two plans our well fitted for all types of people.

Livedrive Facts:

  • London, UK
  • Founded in 2008 by current CEO Andrew Michael
  • Over 500,000 Paying Customers
  • They have won multiple awards

Livedrive Features & Plans:

  • Backup - $6.95/month - $66.53/yr - Unlimited backup space
  • Backup Briefcase - $16.95/month - $170.53 - Unlimited backup space, Local drive on computer to drag and drop files. Edit files and sync easily with backup

Livedrive Technical Features:

Versioning (up to 30 snapshots) support, Unlimited storage, Use on unlimited computers,  Use the ‘Livedrive’ as a local drive, mobile view, Email to live drive and FTP support.

Livedrive Support:

  • Phone Support: No
  • Email Support: Yes
  • Ticket System: No
  • Live Support Chat: No
  • Support Forums: No
  • FAQ & Knowledge base: Yes
  • Video Tutorials: No
  • Company Blog: Yes

Photos

View All Livedrive Prices & Plans
1.
9.2 / 10
 
2.
9.1 / 10
 
3.
9.0 / 10
 
4.
9.0 / 10
 
5.
8.6 / 10
 
6.
8.4 / 10
 
7.
8.4 / 10
 
8.
8.4 / 10
 
9.
8.1 / 10
 
10.
8.0 / 10
 

Top User Rated

1.
9.6 / 10
 
2.
9.3 / 10
 
3.
8.9 / 10
 
4.
6.6 / 10
 
5.
4.5 / 10
 

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These are the three top best sellers there will be some more text that goes across the top of the module it will have some links and other helpful resources that will give people what they are looking for. This one long paragraph is pretty far for the eye to travel.  Maybe it should be shorted on the wide desktop or maybe moved to 2 separate blocks. Just a thought.

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