There are several cloud storage providers which specialize in the safe keeping and backing up of sensitive data. If you are a small business owner, then you will definitely want to latch on to the cloud storage trend, as it can save you a lot of hassle, should your computer ever crash, or accidentally wipe all of the documents and files you have spend weeks and months pouring over. In today’s article, we are going to be comparing two of the providers which we have found to be the best for small business owners’ needs. Those are Carbonite vs iDrive. There is often some dispute as which one you should choose, as both are extremely similar in their characteristics and the services they offer their customers, as well as being on par when it comes to pricing and security. So, let’s take an in depth look at each one, to help you make an informed decision regarding which one will be most beneficial to your small business, in order of the features that we consider to be most important.
Security and Compliance: Carbonite vs iDrive
Each day, more and more businesses, including small businesses, face federal and governing agency mandates to maintain complete backup records of every single one of their electronic business transactions. These Industry-specific regulations are put in place to ensure confidentiality, industry portability, and preservation of financial records and in turn, they force many companies to implement processes that support data backup and recovery objectives. When it comes to compliance with these standards, IDrive is extremely useful to companies who operate within the medical, accounting and legal professions, in helping them to comply with these new standards to avoid the penalties which are being imposed against violators of cross board compliance standards such as HIPAA, SOX, GLBA, and SEC / NASD. By taking the following security measures, iDrive ensures that you will never be at risk of failing to comply with these new regulations and it automatically offer customers; Secure data transfer/storage using 256-bit AES encryption, Encrypted data storage to prevent tampering / alterations / unauthorized access, Date and time stamped data access by each user and 24/7 data access via any broadband connection.
Like it’s competitor Idrive, Carbonite is also HIPAA compliant and their Business Associate Agreement (BAA) meets the federal government’s standard, meaning customers can rest assured that the data they choose to backup to Carbonite’s servers, is secure and meets the necessary business associate compliance demands. They also ensure that their data centers are kept physically secure, by having on site security guards watching the servers 24/7, 365 days a year and personnel access is restricted by the use of biometric scanners, PIN codes and electronic key cards. Having their own data servers, means that they do not have to rely on a third party company to safe guard your information, meaning there is even less risk of your data being compromised. Data is encryped via a secure SSL connection when it is in transit to the servers and it remains encrypted at rest. Both Carbonite and iDrive allow users the option to create a personal encryption key, to ensure they have maximum control over their data.
Business Price Plans: Carbonite vs Idrive
Knowing that both platforms excel with regards to security, the next most important deciding factor in choosing which service to sign up to, is of course pricing. If you are a start up, or small business owner, then in the beginning it is likely that your budget will be limited. And whilst no company worth their salt will skimp on data protection, why would anyone want to pay more for a service, if they can find one that is of the same standard, yet more affordable.
iDrive Business Plans
iDrive, the masters of simplicity, currently offer six main business plans, with the lowest tier plan priced at $74.62 for the first year. This plan gives you 250GB of Storage space and 250GB of sync space, the next level up is 500GB priced at $149.62 if you pay up front for one year and then 1.25TB for $374.62. If you should require even more storage than that, there are also the higher level plans offering 2.5TB, 5TB and 12.5TB, with the most expensive plan costing $2249.62 for the first year. Monthly pricing options are also available and work out substantially more expensive for each respective plan.
Carbonite Business Plans
Business customers wanting to check Carbonite out, can try a fully featured version of the Business plan free for 30 days. You can install Carbonite on any computer and both business plans- the first priced at $229.99 per year and the second at $599.99 per year offer; unlimited computers for onsite and remote employees, unlimited external hard drives and NAS devices, web based admin dashboard and the option of hard drive recovery via snail mail. They also offer unlimited storage space with all plans, including the individual home plans, a mirror backup of your entire computer and the installation is quick and easy.
As you can see from the above, with regards to affordability and storage space, Carbonite is a better deal, versus iDrive.
Customer Support: Carbonite vs Idrive
If one of your employees accidentally deletes a folder full of important files, or you urgently need to access a file due to an impending deadline, then having a professional with expert technical knowledge is imperative. Part of the appeal of using cloud storage, is that you don’t have to spend extra money on hiring an onsite IT department to help you resolve issues regarding the backup and restore of your files. Let’s take a look at home carbonite vs idrive performs in this category.
Idrive offer 24/7 technical support via live chat, email or a contact number so you can speak to an agent to resolve your issue quickly and easily. They have a number for US customers and also a number for internation customers to dial. Their website also offers free video tutorials, as well as an extensive Knowledge base to help answer all of your common FAQ’s.
According to their website, Carbonite claims to have a 93% customer satisfaction rating. They too have a knowledge base on their website, which you can search by category, however they only offer email support, via submitting a ticket between the hours of 8.30 to 9pm EST. They don’t offer live chat, or a contact number visibly on their website, which is rather concerning to those who are new to the cloud storage concept.
Restoring Files: Carbonite vs Idrive
Being able to restore files when you need them, is in some aspects more important than the speed at which they backup. We took a look at the restoration process of idrive vs Carbonite, to see how each one performed with regards to ease of use and speed.
Restoring your files using Carbonite is easy to understand and they have recently resolved a couple of interface issues that they previously had. However, Carbonite still does not seem to be very keen on the “back” button option. For example, when clicking on the “Search and restore” icon, it is not easy to go back to select another restore option.
All businesses will be the victim of a hard drive failure sooner or later and if you have experienced this recently, then the most frequent scenario, is that you will obviously want to restore all of the data which you have backed up. They have an option for this and when you click on this icon, a wizard will allow you to select different user accounts (if you have more than one) and you can also choose the location where you want to restore your lost files to.
If you have managed to accidentally delete one of your files, then you just search the backup data in a straightforward manner, using the “search and restore option” When we tested this, it worked just fine and quite fast, too. If you need to search for a specific file extension, for example, .jpg then you can do this also, although be aware that you then are not able to choose the location where you wish to restore the file to, as Carbonite will simply use the existing path.
The “Browse your backup” option, will launch the explorer, meaning you can access all of your backed up folders, allowing you a quick glance at exactly what you have in your restore que. But what if you need your files back as a matter of urgency? Because Mr. Jones is currently sat in your boardroom, waiting to sign the contract which you spent weeks drawing up and perfecting for him? well, this is where you have to bear in mind that restoring files, especially larger ones can take quite some time. The more data you need to restore, the longer it will take, so in this case, you can take advantage of the option of having your hard drive shipped to your address, with the plan you have taken out.
As a whole, we found that the restore process worked smoothly, however we did notice that the bigger the data you are trying to restore gets, the more glitches you might encounter. For example, we had to occasionally re install the client, in order to get the full backup restored.
In order to retrieve your stored data, you will use the IDrive Web Client. They have made the interface for this feature simple and intuitive, making your job slightly easier. The files show up in a legible format, which allows you to specifically select which data you wish to restore to your local computer. Aditionally, you can also choose which backup version you want restored. For example, you may have the data that you want to restore in a particular format in an older backup, rather than a more recent version. Each time you begin a restore session, you will be required to enter you personal encryption key, so that you can decrypt the data in order to restore it to your local device. The iDrive web client also allows you to upload files and folders, although this folder option is presently only available if you are using Google chrome we browser. In order to use the drag and drop uploading feature, you will also need to be using chrome, or Firefox. You can also use iDrive’s desktop application, which gives you a few more options for restoring your files.
In the desktop application, the Restore tab is packed full of features. For example, you can search for files, drag and drop them to the desktop, or restore them in your folder structure using check boxes. Or you can just restore everything in place at the same time. If you right click a file here, you then get the option to view previous versions and with continuous backup activated, you can see the new file versions, right after you save any updates you have made. However, you are only able to get access to the 10 most recent backup versions, as opposed to unlimited versions, which other providers offer. Another great feature of iDrive, is that it archives every single deleted file online forever. This can be a total life saver if you accidentally delete a file from your computer and you only realize your error a few months later. If you need to free up storage space, then you can go through archived files, select the ones that you are positive that you no longer need and delete these entirely.
Conclusion: Carbonite vs Idrive
As you can see from reading the above, both of these products have their strengths and weaknesses. With regards to security they are on par- both are HIPAA compliant, although Carbonite has the slight advantage of employing a physical security presence to watch over their data servers. With regards to customer service, we vote for idrive.com vs Carbonite, because it gives you several options of contacting customer support, including the ability to speak live with an agent. Finally, Carbonite wins on pricing. It offers truly unlimited storage for affordable prices. With this in mind, we declare a tie between both Carbonite and Idrive.