LiveDrive’s tagline is “Cloud Storage for Everyone,” which is an accurate description of their service. It is rare to find a storage provider which intimately caters to both individuals and businesses alike. LiveDrive is a United Kingdom based company with over half a million user accounts, some of which are large IT companies such as CompUSA and PC World. Seeing these two computer corporations as clients demonstrates the kind of cloud storage service LiveDrive offers. LiveDrive has been the recipient of some prestigious storage awards including the Web User Gold Award. The Wall Street Journal also labeled LiveDrive as “cloud storage excellence.” While these awards were given out a few years ago, LiveDrive has continued to maintain their innovation and edge as a premium cloud storage solution while offering a broad range of features and an easy to use interface.
What do you go with? 100GB, 250GB, 500GB or 1TB of cloud storage space? It doesn’t matter, because LiveDrive offers unlimited cloud storage space even with their most basic plan. LiveDrive opponents will be quick to point out their high pricing, yet they fail to mention that there is no need to upgrade to receive unlimited storage space. However, we should mention that synching and file sharing features are not offered on the ‘Backup’ plan – their most basic plan. The one area LiveDrive could improve on is offering more devices per user as LiveDrive caps this at 5 devices per user with their most upgraded plan, however perhaps that is overly critical. Significant features include:
- Unlimited cloud storage space
- Unlimited computer synching
- Unlimited file and folder sharing (similar experience to DropBox)
- Automatic, scheduled and/or selective backups
- Seamless file transfers to social media accounts
- File versioning
- Stream straight from your LiveDrive folder
- Supports: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Blackberry
- Web & FTP access
- Support for mapped and external drives
One key feature we would like to expand on is file versioning. While most cloud storage providers offer this, LiveDrive offers up to 30 prior versions of any file you have stored. Further, if you accidentally delete a file, you can retrieve that file up to 30 days after deletion.
Ease of Use
At first glance, LiveDrive looks to be a rather difficult service to use. Perhaps this is because many cloud storage providers aim to have similar looking control panels and file managers. LiveDrive specifically went out of their way to create a unique experience for their users. Needless to say, this is a slippery slope as a reduction in performance efficiency can cost them greatly. Surprisingly though, LiveDrive’s customization proved to be not only a winner but a game changer. The entire set up process was completed with a few clicks and under 60 seconds. Your entire computer will automatically be backed up unless otherwise specified by you. It runs quietly and resourcefully in the background, and is no hassle to pull up and perform any task you would like. All initial backups require some time however LiveDrive specifically notifies you of this.
Selection of Folders to Backup and the Option to Add Undetected Folders
Settings Dashboard and Status Update
Because LiveDrive is quite literally for any type of user, LiveDrive offers a wide range of pricing plans. For individual users, the most basic plan named ‘Backup’ is priced as low as $6/month if you sign up for a 2 year plan. Otherwise, it is $7.95/month. Two additional upgraded plans for individual users run as low as $12/month and $19/month. For businesses, you can opt for the $37/month plan which provides access to 3 users. Or, you can choose the $125/month plan which allows access to 10+ users. More importantly, LiveDrive offers a 14 day free trial – no strings attached.
LiveDrive’s security is a bit of a conundrum. On one hand, they offer the highest level of security – 256-bit military grade encryption. On the other hand, users can share files publicly and there is FTP access which in nature means it isn’t completely protected. While your data is completely secure once they reach the servers, they may be exposed during the transfer process. However, LiveDrive is very open about this. Customers want access anywhere and FTP access meant a reduction in maximum security levels. Further, LiveDrive specifically monitors for suspicious behavior because of this.
LiveDrive does not offer a variety of support options however their actual support is second to none. They employ a very responsive email ticket system which operates 24/7, however they differentiate themselves by assigning each ticket to a targeted technician. Little known fact: most other companies may actually send technical related support emails to regular customer service representatives who are not quite trained on these types of inquiries. Additionally, LiveDrive has over 200 FAQs and a helpful Knowledgebase. If you are in dire need of assistance, you can always get in touch with them via Facebook, Twitter or Google+.
Unlimited cloud storage space? Check. Best file versioning? Check. Intuitive, unique and easy to use service? Check. Competitive pricing and quality customer support? Check. Don’t let their open source security mentality scare you. LiveDrive is a leader in cloud storage and there is good reason for that.