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Live Drive Review

Sunday, March 3rd

2024 Online Backup Service Reviews

Live Drive Review 1.5 Star Rating

Live Drive

1.5 Star Rating
  • Backup plan: one device at $89 per year
  • Briefcase plan: mobile apps plus 2TB storage $156 per year
  • Pro Suite plan: 5TB storage +5 devices at $240 per year

Once a 2008 tech-startup among many, LiveDrive is now owned by "J2 Global" , a massive technology holdings company. LiveDrive's time as a dot in the portfolio of a tech investment giant appears to have done little towards improving their services. With an overall poor product, there is nothing to recommend about LiveDrive when compared to competitors, especially as they artificially separate key services into expensive, individual plans.

Home backup plans

For home and personal backups, LiveDrive offers 3 plans to choose from.

  • LiveDrive's Base Backup Plan costs $89 per year, and includes unlimited device backup for one PC.
  • LiveDrive's Briefcase Plan at $156 per year will get you an integrated desktop and mobile application, 2TB of storage, and allows you to easily transfer files across synced devices. However, the Briefcase plan does not include any backup services.
  • If you want backup services in addition to file transfer and storage, you will need to purchase LiveDrive's Pro Suite Plan, which includes 5TB of storage across five devices, and costs $240 per year.

Business backups

LiveDrive also offers 2 business backup plans.

  • Their Business Express Plan allows for three users with integrated PC, tablet, and mobile backup, with 2TB of cloud storage at $50 per month
  • Their Business Standard Plan allows for 10 users and 10TB of storage per month.
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Both home and business plans are overpriced

LiveDrive is absolutely overpriced for what they offer. While unlimited online backup storage may seem a plus, their storage is strictly limited by the device limits they set on their plans: in other words, there is only so much you can backup from one PC. In addition, we don't appreciate that LiveDrive separates their backup services and their network attached storage services into two separate plans, which feels like a way to artificially inflate their prices.

No security services offered

One glaring oversight with LiveDrive is that they do not offer any encryption or multi-factor authentication services. In this day and age - one of growing ransomware attacks - half the point of an online backup service is to ensure the safety and security of your files. The fact that LiveDrive does not offer any security services, and is more expensive than competitors who do, is indicative of a service best avoided.

Frustrating cancellation policies

In addition, if you want to cancel your services with LiveDrive, there is no easy way to do so. Instead of simply including a button you can click to cancel your services, you have to fill out and mail a form to their UK business address, or jump through hoops on their customer service line during UK business hours. We strongly disapprove of such customer-unfriendly practices; a reputable company should keep customers based on the quality of their product, and not on how difficult they made it to cancel their services.

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Mixed reviews, frustrated customers

Customer reviews for LiveDrive on aggregate review sites tend to be mixed. While some customers like LiveDrive's ease of use, a huge number of complaints state that LiveDrive makes it near impossible to cancel their services (as you have to call during UK business hours. Tough luck if you live elsewhere it seems.). While LiveDrive does not have a page or rating with the Better Business Bureau, we think that repeated customer frustration with canceling LiveDrive's services paints a picture of a product to skip.

Little benefit to LiveDrive

There is little benefit to using LiveDrive: not only are their services overpriced and underwhelming, but their cancellation policy is downright kafkaesque. Don't be fooled by their "unlimited" storage, which is limited due to its licensing restriction to one device alone. In short, do yourself a favor: avoid LiveDrive and go with a higher rated backup service on our list.

Which Online Backup Service is the Best?

When it comes to backups and cybersecurity, you can never be too safe, especially when it comes to your files. When we use our computers, everything we save feels permanent, but that permanence is - quite frankly - an illusion. Everything saved is saved somewhere on a physical drive, which means that far from existing in some ethereal cloud, your files can be lost.

Your computer could just break one day from wear, have water spilled on it, be dropped, or even locked-in with a ransomware attack. This isn't even to mention the fact that hard drives decay. In fact, every single hard drive and SSD WILL fail at some point - it's just a matter of when. All of these issues explain why online backup services have exploded in popularity over the last several years.

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Online Backup Service FAQ

Online backup services give customers the ability to back up, secure and restore their files. In the event of data theft, hard drive failure or other loss, clients can easily get their information back from the service's cloud storage facilities.
Definitely not. Anyone can benefit from having their computers backed up to a secure cloud, whether the data contains sensitive financial data or treasured digital photos.
For the average personal user, the monthly fee starts at around $5. Business pricing begins around $30/month. Fees vary by the number of users and the amount of desired offsite storage space.
Free services are handy, but they're not designed to give you automated backup and seamless restoration of your files. If you're not on top of saving absolutely everything on your computer, your free storage is going to be incomplete. Using an online backup service with regularly scheduled backups is the best way to ensure that none of your files are lost.
At least once a week. Your online backup service may allow you to have continuous backups; your system is monitored constantly for any files that have been deleted, modified, created or moved and it updates accordingly in the background with no effort on your part.
If you use a reputable, reliable provider, your files are extremely secure. Be sure to choose a service that encrypts the data not only as it's being transferred but also as it's stored in their cloud. You should also check to see how your encryption key is stored; if you've got serious concerns, pick a service that allows you to create your own private key (and don't lose it, because the service won't be able to recover your data if you don't have the key). Finally, it's worth asking where your provider's data centers are located; ones in the EU and US are preferred.
That will depend on how much you're backing up and your internet speed. It could take as little as an hour or as long as a week.
That's a frequent complaint among users of online backup services: difficulty in accessing support at all stages of the relationship (questions prior to signing up, during the initial backup process, several months into the service). Some providers have a better track record than others in this regard, so if you expect it to be less than smooth sailing because you're not tech-savvy, you should carefully choose an online backup service with a reputation for helpful, reliable customer support.
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Continued from above...

Online backup services are super convenient. Gone are the days when users had to manually transfer data to external hard drives or rely on physical backups that could be lost or damaged. Online backup services automate the process, running in the background and ensuring that data is continuously backed up. This automation makes it easy on users and eliminates the need for manual backups, saving both time and effort.

Another reason why online backup services are so popular is they are an efficient and cost-effective solution for data management. Traditional backup methods often required substantial investments in physical hardware, such as extra hard drives, discs, and cables. These would have to be upgraded as technology (and storage limits) increased. Then, to prevent against environmental damage (such as fire or rain), the backup data needed to be physically moved and stored at another location. Online backup services, on the other hand, offer scalable, pay-as-you-go pricing models, require no additional equipment, and enjoy built-in offsite storage.

Furthermore, online backup services offer continuing technology improvements at no additional cost. Many providers offer advanced features like versioning, which allows users to retrieve previous versions of files, and continuous backup, which ensures that even the smallest changes are saved throughout the day. This not only enhances data integrity but also offers peace of mind, knowing that the data is always up-to-date and recoverable.

There are a host of services out there to help you save critical data and protect your computer from damage or malicious actors. However it can be a bit confusing when it comes to finding the right online backup service that meets your particular needs.

Here are some features to look for when comparing the various online backup services:

  • Disk imaging. A full disk imaging compresses your entire computer into an easily-transported file. Disk imaging is a great choice for a full backup (including your OS and any virtual machines), but may be overkill for the casual user. Decide if you need something at this level before you start looking for an online backup service, so that you only pay for what you'll actually use.
  • Cloud. A cloud service allows you to edit files hosted on an external server. This can be an excellent way to secure files and programs you are actively editing or sharing with others.
  • Deletion policies. Keep in mind that most backup services have a 30-day deletion policy unless they explicitly say otherwise. This means that if your computer doesn't communicate with their servers for 30 days, or it detects that you've deleted a file on your hard drive, it will be deleted in their backup. That being said, the best services on our list do not auto delete your backups or files.
  • Customer service. If you are going to be trusting a company to backup your data, responsive and robust customer service is a must. Be sure to check customer reviews before signing up for a backup service.

While some things involving computers can feel overwhelming, and saved files are in no way as permanent as they seem, some simple and prudent steps taken today can save you a host of headaches (or the pain of lost photographs, memories, or critical work) down the line. To that end, we've collected the best services we could find and rated them based on their reliability, price, and technical merits. We here at Top Consumer Reviews hope that our curated list can help you make an informed choice as you take steps to secure your critical files.

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