If you’re searching for outside-the-box solutions for your cloud storage needs, you might be tempted to give bit player FlipDrive an audition. During this FlipDrive review, we’ll save you some time and frustration by doing just that for you — and hopefully persuade you to consider other options in our best cloud storage guide, instead.
The bottomline is that FlipDrive simply doesn’t have the features you should expect from a capable cloud storage tool. Heading the list of misses are no file syncing, versioning or server-side encryption. At best, FlipDrive has failed to evolve with the times. At worst, it’s a money-grab operation that doesn’t really care about providing a complete service.
We prefer to give the FlipDrive the benefit of the doubt and assume that it’s more incompetence than greed underlying its many issues. However, the fact that FlipDrive is also suspiciously overpriced compared to much better options doesn’t help dispel that thought.
If you’d like to form your own opinion on the matter, you can sign up for a 10GB free account to give it a whirl. If you’re as disappointed as we were, no worries: there are plenty of great services out there, which you can read about in our cloud storage review library.
- 24/7 support
- Media streaming on mobile
- No desktop app
- No file sync
- No server-side encryption
- Doesn’t handle large files well
- No password-protecting for file sharing
- No two-factor authentication
- No knowledge base
While technically a cloud storage service, FlipDrive doesn’t actually have many of the common features we’ve come to associate with that term. We’ll talk about what’s missing in a moment. First, let’s look at what it does do.
FlipDrive can be used to upload files to the cloud — that is, a remote server. The primary goal is to save space on your hard drive, although as you’ll see when we discuss pricing, next, FlipDrive doesn’t offer much in way of total gigabytes.
The FlipDrive experience is run entirely through a web GUI; unlike most other cloud storage tools, it doesn’t have a desktop client.
Within the GUI, you can upload files directly from your file system and later access them from any other device by logging into your account.
Mobile apps for Android and iOS are also offered. Using either, you can preview images and play music and videos in your FlipDrive storage. The apps also cache media files to lower bandwidth needs, which is helpful if you’re on a capped smartphone data plan.
The web GUI has a dedicated page for photo uploads, contact information and website bookmarks
FlipDrive also has basic file sharing features accessible from its GUI, but you’ll need to be a paying subscriber to create file links for others to use, since that feature isn’t available on the 10GB free plan.
The biggest miss with FlipDrive is that fact that it can’t be used to synchronize files between devices. With no desktop client, there’s no sync folder. Almost every other service in our cloud storage reviews library offers sync.
Another critical and usually common feature missing from the FlipDrive repertoire is file versioning, which lets you rollback files to previous states in the case of unwanted changes or file corruptions. FlipDrive also doesn’t let you recover accidentally deleted files.
While testing the service, we also noticed several glaring feature omissions with regard to security. You can read about those in the security section of this review.
Note that while the FlipDrive website touts the services ability as a file backup tool, it isn’t technically an online backup solution. Among other absent features, there’s no way to schedule backups. We have an article on the differences between online backup and cloud storage if you’d like to learn more.
Or, check out our best online backup guide for suggestions.
There are range of different subscriptions you can choose from if you elect to go with FlipDrive as your cloud storage service.
$ 5 00monthly
$ 50 00yearly
$ 10 00monthly
$ 100 00yearly
$ 20 00monthly
$ 200 00yearly
|Storage||10 GB||25 GB||100 GB||250 GB|
File size limit: 25MB
File size limit: 1GB
File size limit: Unlimited
File size limit: Unlimited
We like the variety. What’s we don’t like is that FlipDrive doesn’t give you much in the way of storage space compared to other providers, and costs too much on top of that. By signing up for a year in advance, you’ll get two months free, but that doesn’t much help improve its value.
The most popular FlipDrive plan, for example, is FlipDrive Pro, which nets you just 100GB of storage for $10 per month. Compare that to Sync.com, which has a 2TB subscription for just $10 per month (read our Sync.com review).
Even ignoring Sync.com, which admittedly might be the best deal in cloud storage, FlipDrive just doesn’t make sense when it comes to bottom line. It makes the 1TB Dropbox Professional plan, which costs $20 a month, seem like a good deal in comparison.
The business plan is likewise badly priced; there are many better cloud storage for business services available that you can read about in our best EFSS (enterprise file sync and share) guide.
FlipDrive does offer a free, 10GB plan. While that might seem generous, the plan comes with several limitations that keep it from landing a spot on our list of the best free cloud storage plans. These limitations include a 25MB max file size and no option to create links to files for sharing.
The biggest issue when it comes to ease of use with FlipDrive is the absence of a desktop client. With nearly any other cloud storage service, you can just drag a file into a special file system folder and send it to the cloud. With FlipDrive, you have to log into the online GUI and upload files manually.
An issue with that approach is that if you close the GUI during file upload, the upload won’t complete because there’s no FlipDrive client running in the background. Given the fact that FlipDrive doesn’t handle large files well — at least based on our speed testing, detailed in the next section — that makes for a potentially very difficult and frustrating user experience.
The GUI itself takes more getting used to than it should. There are multiple views to navigate between, including “my drive,” “photos,” “contacts” and “bookmarks.” The issue is that the user experience from one view to the other feels completely different, almost as those each was put together by a different development team.
The biggest difference is that the My Drive view doesn’t have navigation tabs along the top to jump to other views like the other tabs do. Instead, you need to use a menu button found on the top-right side of the page.
All of the pages seem to run a bit sluggish, too, with long long waits between clicking a button and the resulting page action.
While the bookmarks feature seems like a smart inclusion, there are better designed, more fluid tools out there, including Pocket and Google Bookmarks. The same is true of the contacts feature.
Overall, it doesn’t take long to figure FlipDrive out. However, that doesn’t change the fact that it all feels very clumsy when compared to more streamlined tools like pCloud (read our pCloud review).
As mentioned when we reviewed FlipDrive features earlier, the service doesn’t offer sync. That’s a momental miss when you consider that nearly every other cloud storage does sync.
You can, however, use it to share both folders and files. This is done via the My Drive view by clicking the drop-down menu button beside the item you want to share.
You can either create a direct link to share a file or you can invite people to access it by inputting their email address. Both share features are pretty common. You can also share a folder, granting read, write and management permissions to others.
Sharing folders and files via email address requires that those with whom you share setup a FlipDrive account. Link sharing will let anybody download the file.
The FlipDrive approach to link sharing is far too loose for our tastes. There are no options to password-protect links or make them automatically expire like you can with pCloud, Sync.com and Tresorit (read our Tresorit review).
Also, there’s no way to quickly audit what content has been shared, making it too easy to lose sight of content. This oversight amplifies the lack the of link security, making it too easy for unauthorized others to access your files.
Our advice: whether you’re looking to sync or share files, look elsewhere. Sync isn’t an option at all, and FlipDrive file sharing is simply too flimsy to regard as safe.
We decided to perform a series of file upload and download tests to see how fast FlipDrive can handle those operations. As with all cloud storage services we review, these tests were performed using a 1GB compressed folder (which acts like a single file) over a WiFi network.
The results weren’t impressive, mostly because we were never able to successfully upload the our test folder. Each time, the upload stalled after around two hours and never resumed.
Most cloud storage services we recommend are able to perform this same upload in 15 to 30 minutes. Tests with Dropbox, for example — which you can read about in our Dropbox review — uploaded the same file in about 15 minutes.
Some of that is no doubt attributed to the fact that we were working with a slow internet connection when testing FlipDrive, but much of it is likely do to limited infrastructure. FlipDrive only has one data center, which is located in New York.
We did perform uploads of smaller files, too, and most of those uploaded within about 30 seconds. Given that FlipDrive can’t be used for sync, those speeds should be fine for general. If you’re a film buff looking for someplace to stash your giant media files, though, check out our article on the best cloud storage for video for options that will actually work.
FlipDrive doesn’t talk much on its website about the security it has in place. That may because there doesn’t appear to be much to talk about.
Secure HTTP (HTTPS) offers some file transmission security, using 128-bit SSL. However, your files aren’t encrypted in transit and aren’t encrypted while stored on the FlipDrive servers. That means that any FlipDrive employee or anyone who gains unauthorized access to the FlipDrive servers can read your files without needing a decryption key.
The lack of server-side encryption should be enough to dissuade you from using FlipDrive to store files — assuming the cost, low storage capacity and no sync haven’t already done so.
If you really want to make sure your files are safe, just about any other cloud storage service will do a better job. However, at Cloudwards.net, we favor those services that offer an option for zero-knowledge encryption, such as Sync.com.
FlipDrive also doesn’t offer two-factor authentication, which is a means of making sure anybody that gets a hold of your password can’t log into your account without also having your computer or smartphone.
The absence of file versioning, which we mentioned earlier, also means less security against ransomware attacks, which work by corrupting files. With versioning, should you get hit by such an attack, you can just rollback files to uncorrupted versions once you remove the offending malware.
FlipDrive Services contracts with third party ad-serving companies to display advertisements within FlipDrive Services. You agree that these companies may place cookies on your computer, and You acknowledge that FlipDrive Services will use reasonable efforts to obtain from our ad-serving contractors contractual restrictions to use such cookies only for the purpose of fulfilling their ad-serving obligations to us.
There’s really nothing good to say about the FlipDrive approach to security. If you do decide to use it, at the very least make sure that you’re not storing sensitive information as the service seems like an easy target for cybercrime. Also, consider using a VPN service to prevent online eavesdropping.
One of those in our best VPN guide should do the trick.
For those DIY moments, don’t count on getting much help from the FlipDrive website. The knowledgebase is restricted to a thin FAQ page that only answers basic questions. There are no troubleshooting or how-to articles to guide your way.
If you can’t find answers to your questions, you’ll need to contact FlipDrive directly. There are no live support options like telephone or chat; all direct contact relies on email.
Support technicians work 24/7 answering emails according to the FlipDrive website. However, we checked response time by firing off a test email and, well, we’re still waiting.
One thing that irked us is that FlipDrive didn’t deliver an automated response letting us know that our support request had been received. We prefer some level of assurance, even with services that don’t tend to keep their customers waiting several days.
There’s really nothing we can say to recommend FlipDrive in any scenario. While the 10GB plan seems generous, file size limitations and other feature restrictions prevent that plan from competing with better free storage offers, including 10GB of free cloud storage you can get from pCloud.
Subscription plans are overpriced and don’t provide enough storage capacity for modern use. Even if you are okay with the lack of value, there’s a laundry list of other reasons to look elsewhere, including:
- No file sync
- No file versioning
- No server-side encryption
- No private encryption
- No two-factor authentication
- Weak file-sharing security
FlipDrive also doesn’t handle large files well based on our testing, with slow upload speeds and frequent failures.
The best thing we can say about FlipDrive is that it’s a fine example of how not to construct a cloud storage service. Check our best cloud storage comparison for more useful recommendations, which will help you find the ideal service for your precise needs.
Of course, we’re happy to be proven wrong. Can you flip our opinion on FlipDrive? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading.