Livedrive has two separate modes. In Backup mode, all selected folders are backed up to the cloud as they are changed. With Briefcase mode, identified files are maintained on a local drive and are also synchronized to the cloud for sharing and access from mobile devices. A Pro Suite account includes both modes of operation.
Livedrive is a London-based company founded by CEO Andrew Michael in 2006. Michael had previously founded and later sold Fasthosts, the UK’s largest web host. The Livedrive cloud storage service was introduced in December of 2008. The company claims to be the top cloud provider in both Europe and the United States in terms of growth and ratings.
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Pricing: all plans include a two-week, free trial
– Unlimited space for backup
– Backup-only Plan: $7.95/month or $79.95/year for one computer
– The plans below offer “briefcase” drives that are synchronized to the cloud
– Briefcase Plan: 2TB = $15.95/month or $159.95/year
– Pro Suite Plan: 5TB = $24.95/month or $249.95/year with backup for five computers
– Computers can be added to the Backup and Pro Suite plans for $1.45/month.
– Additional space for the Briefcase and Pro Suite plans is $7.95/month per TB.
– MS Windows: Windows XP; Vista; Windows 7
– Mac: Mac OS X 10.6
– Linux: No, under development
– iPad: Yes
– iPhone: Yes
– Android: Yes
– Blackberry: Yes
– Others through a browser
Version rollback: Yes, up to 30 previous versions retained
– Encryption: AES-256 encryption
– Transfers: SSL transfers
Data Storage: Livedrive maintains military-grade data centers behind firewall protection
Cloud backup: Redundant backups to multiple locations
Proxy Access: Yes
FTP and Email Access: Yes, for Briefcase and Pro Suite accounts
“Network World” published a July article on Livedrive labeling their service “online storage excellence”. The UK’s “Web User” magazine agrees, awarding Livedrive its Gold Award for online storage.
Users voice concerns over cases where synchronized files are lost off of both the local drive and the cloud. Also, complaints exist regarding the responsiveness of customer support.
Pros & Cons
– Separates backup and synchronizing/sharing features for customers desiring only one.
– Handles computers with high volumes of data.
– Robust file version support.
– Access to customer support only through email.
– No Linux client.
The sizable volume of data supported – unlimited for backup and two, five, or more terabytes for sharing – make Livedrive worthy of consideration for any customer with files of great length or quantity.