Livedrive is one of the few companies that offer both backup and cloud storage services, for both end-users as well as businesses. The backup service is intuitively called “Backup“, while the online cloud storage service is called “Briefcase“.
Before we get into the meat of Livedrive’s offering, you should be aware that although we are going to focus more on the cloud storage service, should you also be in need of a complementary backup service, Livedrive does have the advantage of a 2-in-1 provider.
Livedrive is available on the following operating systems:
- Amazon Kindle OS
- BlackBerry OS
Why Use Livedrive?
Livedrive’s Backup option is a choice you might want to consider if you’re in need of an unlimited backup provider. If you work with files that are essential to you, but do not need to share them with other people, or transfer your data between machines, then Livedrive’s Backup service might be right for you.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a way to store your files online, but still use them as if they were stored locally, Briefcase is one paid cloud storage service that you should consider. Basically, Livedrive’s Briefcase installs an cloud hard drive that you can use just like your internal one.
Livedrive Backup & Briefcase Pricing
Livedrive’s Backup service allows for unlimited backups and will set you back $6 per month. The basic plan will work on just one computer, although you can add an unlimited number of machines for $1.5 per month (for each).
The standard version of Livedrive Briefcase comes with 2TB of online storage space and costs $12 per month.
The combined plan for both Backup and Briefcase is called the “Pro Suite” and comes with unlimited backup and 5TB (that’s 5000GB) of cloud storage space. This plan costs a hefty $19 per month.
Note: the prices mentioned above are valid only when you sign up for a 24-months contract. Here are other pricing options for Livedrive’s Briefcase service:
|Storage||Monthly||1 Year||2 Years|
|Unlimited||$ 8||Save 50%
|2000 GB||$ 16||Save 60%
|5000 GB||$ 25||Save 60%
Although there are no free accounts available, Livedrive lets users sign up for a fully-fledged 14 day trial (no credit card information required).
Getting Started With Livedrive
Once you sign up for a plan, you’ll have to download that fits your operatyng system. Although the mobile apps are really good and offer a lot of features, it is obviously recommended that you use either the Windows or the Mac app on your primary machine.
As far as the backup is concerned, the setup process is fairly flexible and straightforward: once you install the app, you’re allowed to select the folders that will be backed up using Livedrive. Restoring the backups can be done from the “Backup Restore Manager” window, accessible to you by right clicking on Livedrive’s systen tray icon.
To get started with using Livedrive’s Briefcase, all you really have to do is install the app and you’re set to start using the Livedrive partition as you desire.
Folder Sync, File Versions & Deleted Files
Folder sync is a feature that is available only with Livedrive Briefcase: basically every time you modifiy the contents of your Livedrive partition, the partition will automatically sync to reflect the changes on any other computer that uses your Livedrive credentials. Obviously, this works both via the dedicated app, as well as via the browser manager.
One thing that you should bear in mind is that unlike other cloud storage services (Dropbox for example), Livedrive’s Briefcase will not eat out of your hard drive’s space, since it does not create a folder on it, but instead is used like an external drive.
If you have accidentally overwritten a file with bad information and you want to revert to the previous version, Livedrive’s services have you covered. Both Briefcase and Backup will store up to 30 different versions of your files. Additionally, all the files you delete from the Livedrive Briefcase will be stored for up to 30 days on the company’s servers before being deleted permanently.
One very useful feature that’s available with Livedrive’s cloud storage service (Briefcase) is that the software will automatically detect if you’re trying to share files between computer that are on the same network. When this happens, the app will make sure that your files are transfered using your LAN thus severely increasing the upload/download rates.
File Sharing & Email Uploads
Sharing files with people that you know by email address is as simple as right-clicking the file in your Livedrive partition and introducing the addresses of your friends. While this is a feature that most cloud storage providers offer, Livedrive also offers its users the ability to create a “publicly shared” page. Any person with the link to that web page will be able to download the files that you have shared publicly. It’s a simple but very effective way of sharing your files online, but unfortunate, there is no file collaboration option.
File sharing is one aspect where Livedrive’s Briefcase excels among the various cloud storage services out there.
Another interesting feature of Livedrive’s Briefcase is the ability to set up personalized email addresses that can be used to upload files to Livedrive’s cloud storage. You can use these email addresses to forward email attachments from your own email address, or share your Livedrive email address with friends so that the files they send are directly uploaded to Livedrive’s servers.
Livedrive Briefcase Web Interface
Although the best way to use Livedrive Briefacse is via the dedicated app, you can also view and organize your files from the web-based interface. This comes very useful when you want to download files on a computer but don’t have the time/need to download and install the app. However, this web based interface can also be used to play music and video, or even edit photos or Office documents.
According to Livedrive, all the files (from both Backup and Briefcase) are secured using “military grade AES-256 encryption”. This type of encryption is approved for top secret data by the US government as it is almost impossible to crack.
LiveDrive Pros and Cons
Here is a sum-up of all the Pros and Cons we can think of when it comes to Livedrive’s Backup and Briefcase services:
- Available on almost all platforms
- Unlimited backups, huge amounts of cloud storage space
- Doesn’t eat up out of your hard drive space
- Fast uploads and downloads
- Flexible File Sharing System
- File versioning & Deleted files
- AES-256 encryption
- No free accounts
- No file sharing permissions
- No file collaboration options