Easy data backup and archiving. Lacks a few customizations features. Overall, it's easy to use.
By Mauricio Prinzlau – Last Updated: 28 Jun'17
The content below refers to a defunct version of AltDrive. Unfortunately, they’ve gone out of business completely, leaving their customers in the rain. We cannot recommend using AltDrive at this point in time. Please check our cloud storage comparison chart for alternatives.
The makers of AltDrive recognize that in today’s always-on, über-connected world, life takes place just as much online as off. That means that the availability of a simple, efficient, and accessible means of securing, storing, and retrieving one’s data is more important than ever before.
Still, even though data security and storage unite the majority of people today, the company behind AltDrive understands that the users themselves and the data those users create is anything but monolithic – and that’s why the program comes in both corporate and individual/home user iterations.
Now, the good part is that AltDrive offers unlimited storage for your files. Don’t believe that’s possible? You might want to check out our article about unlimited online backup services or use our cloud storage comparison chart. Unlimited online backup frees you from worrying about how much data you have or will create in future. You always know there is plenty of space available at AltDrive’s servers without you having to pay more.
Sounds too good of a deal? Read on to get all the details.
AltDrive Home is just what it sounds like – a simple file backup utility for the individual and small business customer, whatever their age or requirements. At least that’s the theory.
Whether it’s grandma’s photo albums, your teenagers’ iTunes libraries, or your own Masters thesis, AltDrive Home provides a sleek, no-fuss means of keeping it all safe and accessible. It doesn’t matter what operating system you’re on, either. When it comes to this, Macs and PCs can play nicely… and not only with each other, but with Linux as well.
AltDrive offers similar features like Backblaze and other unlimited online backup services. In our testings, it performed very well in comparison with both speedy uploads of your files and also running smoothly in the background.
Plans in the AltDrive Home line include Gold (storage, security, and back-up/retrieval of files on one machine) for $4.95 USD / mo. or $44.50 / yr., and AltDrive Platinum, which includes all the features of the Gold package, but with the added benefit of space for up to three computers and/or other devices.
Should a prospective user find that every penny truly counts in their search for the best solution to their needs, they will find the Platinum level the company’s best value, with monthly plans costing $9.95 USD, while annual plans are set at $99.50, or just a hair over two dollars per month.
As far as the feature set of AltDrive Home is concerned, “robust” is perhaps the best word one could use to describe it. There’s the issue of safety, for instance: AltDrive’s dual SSL / AES 256-bit encryption, its authorization protocols which utilize user-generated keys, and target-device decryption make sure even the most sensitive files stay secure both on your machines and on AltDrive’s own servers.
AltDrive’s Home plans come with unlimited capacity and a two month retention window, while its unique algorithm tracks changes and backs them up incrementally, greatly increasing speed of access for the end user. Of course, these aren’t the only features available with AltDrive Home, but an exhaustive list would be nearly impossible to give in this short review; the user is encouraged to take advantage of the AltDrive free trial, which lasts for 30 days and is ample time to explore all that the AltDrive system has to offer.
AltDrive Business – For serious entrepreneurs and small businesses
Do you own or manage a mid-size to Fortune 500-level business? Perhaps you’re a system administrator responsible for the technological day-to-day operations of such an entity. If so, you know just how crucial timely and reliable access to your files and programs can be. AltDrive maybe a good fit for your needs. Let’s see why.
In addition to all the features discussed above in the AltDrive Home section (and the many which weren’t, yet come standard within it), AltDrive Biz comes with its own set of specific and unique enterprise-grade features.
For example, AltDrive Biz customers enjoy zero caps on their bandwidth, transfer rates, and so on, as well as no file restrictions. What you need is what you need, and AltDrive is there to make sure you have it, no matter what it is, what size it might be, or what OS you’re on. In the same vein, storage and transfer rates are highly competitive; rates for simple storage are around fifteen cents (USD) per month, while entire machines can be managed for just north of $3 USD per month.
Of course security is paramount in a business information context, which is why the business level of the AltDrive product uses dual SSL/AES 256-bit encryption, secure off-site storage facilities with redundant security features (caged server racks, multiple surveillance layers, etc.), and so forth.
Additionally, system administrators can set up custom access profiles on both the individual and group level, the better to control who can see and interact with what. Data retention is redundant, with default wipe windows set for 30 days, seven years, and open – that is, your data stays forever. Whichever you choose, the data is backed up again on an entirely separate server. Loss of that which matters most to you and your clients need no longer be feared.
As with the AltDrive Home service, an exhaustive list of features is simply too large an undertaking for a review of this type. A prospective client’s curiosity may best be assuaged through the use of the free 30-day trial available to all new customers.
The AltDrive company was founded in 2005. As is so often the case with technological advancement, its founder – an engineer – saw his own need for a simple, secure solution to his file storage quandary and decided to do something about it.
Eight years later, this once humble start-up is running in the black and better than ever, which is no small thing in a town like Seattle – just ask all the companies the city has chewed up and spit out! It just goes to show you what a company built upon an ethos of helping others can accomplish.
How to backup and restore files with AltDrive
Of course the most important part about an online backup service is how well it backs up your data. But backup is not enough if the restoration process is faulty you can forget about fancy features and nice security perks.
AltDrive backs up both automatic and hands-off, and can be done on either a user-defined schedule or else simply left to the automatic program presets.
Restoring files is similarly intuitive – just select anything from individual files to your entire machine, and AltDrive will handle the rest, and all under strict security protocols. Users can simply enjoy a cup of coffee or mess around on Facebook, and let AltDrive do its thing in the background, with most users reporting no significant lag or drop in Internet speeds. It’s all as close to one-click as an operation like this can get.
In comparison to other backup programs, we’re happy to report that AltDrive works flawlessly, restoring our test files without any major incidents.
It’s no secret that there are a plethora of file backup utilities on the market today. However, many of them suffer from various limitations, some of which can be quite severe.
AltDrive strive to be accessible to everyone, whether young or old, rich or not, big biz or small fry, and their service reflects that. The bottom line is this: You may not stay with them forever, but if you’re looking for an approachable, feature-rich, elegant solution to your file storage, security, and access needs which will work for you no matter who you are (and which won’t make your wallet gasp at your ill treatment), then you should definitely take a look at AltDrive.
|Free Trial||30 Days|
|Price||Starts from $ 4.45 per month|
|Free External HD Backup|
|Bare Metal Backup|
|Exclude File Extensions for Backup|
|File Size Limit||Unlimited GB|
|Share Photo Albums|
|Server Side Encryption||256-bit|
|Keeps deleted files||60|