Icedrive review

Icedrive is new to the storage scene, but is already showing great promise with its fast speeds and great ease of use. It has some rough edges, but you just can't beat 10GB of free space now, can you? Check out our full Icedrive review for the details.

By Branko VlajinWriter
— Last Updated: 13 Aug'19
2019-07-04T23:38:09-08:00
Table of ContentsRating
Features
69%
Decent
Pricing
98%
Excellent
Ease of Use
79%
Good
File Sharing & Syncing
69%
Decent
Speed
87%
Very Good
Security
80%
Good
Privacy
77%
Good
Customer Service
80%
Good
User Reviews & Comments

Good
Starts from $ 167 per month for 150 GB
Cloud Storage Reviews

Icedrive launched in January 2019. Because it’s a new service, it lacks features, but we assume more are in the works. It offers a free 10GB plan and competitive prices to help it get it a piece of the pie that the best cloud storage services have.

The free offer and enticing premium plans may help make heads turn, but Icedrive also has strong security, fast speeds, average sharing features and decent customer support. The sync process could use additional features, though. The same can be said about the desktop client. The privacy policy also lacks some of what we like to see.

If that doesn’t sound like a deal breaker and you’d like to know how Icedrive does at finding a place under the sun, stick with as we go into the details in this Icedrive review. Otherwise, consult our best cloud storage comparison for alternatives.

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths:

  • Great value
  • 10GB free plan
  • Simple and attractive web client
  • Good transfer speeds
  • Private encryption
  • Fast customer support

Weaknesses:

  • No file versioning
  • No block-level sync
  • No sync folder or sync features
  • No two-factor authentication
  • Lacks folder permissions when sharing
  • Privacy policy is sparse
  • Private encryption only for premium users

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Features

69% - Decent

Because Icedrive started operating recently, it’s reasonable that it doesn’t have as many features under its belt as its competitors do. That said, it provides sharing features and a sync feature, though not a conventional one.

Sync helps you move your files to the cloud, which enables you to avoid losing them to hard drive malfunctions, and share lets you send files to other people. Icedrive doesn’t use the conventional model of sync developed by Dropbox. If you’d like to see how Dropbox does sync read our Dropbox review.

Instead, Icedrive mounts a network drive that shows your cloud files and lets you sync files to the cloud and your devices.

The advantage of a network drive is that you can access your online files from your computer without syncing them first. That saves hard drive space and time. That said, the disadvantage is the fact that you won’t be able to access your files if you’re offline.

Icedrive doesn’t remove the need for hard drive space, though, because it uses a caching system that speeds up access to online files by saving them to your hard drive. You can’t turn it off, but you can reduce the amount of space it uses to 1GB. You can also clear it at any time.

That approach is similar to the one used by pCloud, which is a staple storage service in many of our articles. Though Icedrive only uses a network drive, pCloud has a network drive and a sync folder. In fact, it can sync any folder. If you want that, read our pCloud review.

We’ll talk more about how Icedrive does syncing and sharing in the corresponding section below.

Icedrive and Office

Icedrive can preview Office and .pdf files, but it doesn’t integrate with Microsoft Office Online, Google’s office suite or any third-party document editor, such as OnlyOffice or Zoho Docs. Box integrates with Office Online and Google’s office suite,. Read more about its productivity features in our Box review. If it’s not suitable, consult our best cloud storage for collaboration list.

Icedrive doesn’t have an integrated notes app, either. If you need an app to take notes, read our best note-taking apps article for ideas. Microsoft OneNote integrates with Microsoft OneDrive and is third in that comparison. OneDrive is a capable cloud service, and you can learn more about it in our OneDrive review.

You can also use Icedrive to preview your images, but you can’t do much else. If you want more image features, you should learn about the services on our best online storage for photos list.

Icedrive doesn’t offer file versioning to help you against ransomware or accidental file changes and deletions. If that’s a feature you require, read our best cloud storage for versioning roundup.

Though Icedrive is missing several staple features, its mobile app has a feature that most cloud storage services don’t: mobile backup. Most cloud storage services can automatically backup photos and videos, but Icedrive’s smartphone app lets you backup your documents and audio files, too.

Plus, IceDrive has private, end-to-end encryption, which we’re going to talk more about in the “security” section.

Icedrive Features Overview

Starts from$ 167per month for 150 GB

Sync

Sync Folder
Block-Level Sync
Selective Sync
Bandwidth management
Sync Any Folder

File Sharing

File Link Sharing
Link Passwords
Link Expiry Dates
Folder Sharing
Folder Permissions
Link Download Limits
Upload Links

Productivity

File Previews
Edit Files
In-App Collaboration
Office Online
Google Docs
Notes App
Media Playback
Mobile Apps
Deleted File Retention
Versioning
WebDAV

Security

At-Rest Encryption
In-Transit Encryption
Encryption Protocol
Twofish
Zero Knowledge
Two-Factor Authentication
Server Location
US

Support

24/7 Support
Live Chat Support
Telephone Support
Email Support
User Forum
Knowledgebase

Misc

Free Plan

Pricing

98% - Excellent

Before subscribing to any of Icedrive’s three premium plans, you can create an account and get 10GB for free, which lets you see how Icedrive works. It’s a generous offer, to say the least.

Lite
  • 250GB Monthly bandwidth
  • 150 GB Storage
Pro
  • 2TB Monthly bandwidth
  • 1000 GB Storage
1-year plan $ 4.17/ month
$50.00 billed every year
Save 16 %
Pro+
  • 8TB Monthly bandwidth
  • 5000 GB Storage
1-year plan $ 15.00/ month
$179.99 billed every year

If 20GB of free space doesn’t cut it for you, though, you can subscribe to any of the three premium plans at a competitive rate. 

The first plan is Lite, which provides 150GB of storage space and 250GB of monthly bandwidth. You can’t pay per month, though. Instead, you’ll have to pay $19.99 for a year in advance.

That’s the same price as Google Drive’s 100GB plan. Still, Google Drive has more plans and some offer more than Icedrive does. If you need a lot more storage, read our Google Drive review for the pricing details.

Icedrive’s next plan, Pro, has monthly and yearly options. It’s $4.99 per month, but if you pay for the year, you get a discount that brings the price down to $49.99 per year. The plan provides 1TB of storage and 2TB of monthly bandwidth.

That’s a great offer, and it beats Amazon Drive’s 1TB plan, which is $60 per year. Amazon Drive has a lot of plan flexibility, though, so if that suits you, read our Amazon Drive review.

If you still need more, the final option is the Pro+ plan. It gets you 5TB of storage space and 8TB of monthly bandwidth. It’s $17.99 per month or $179.99 with the yearly discount.

Like pCloud, Icedrive has lifetime offers, which are currently discounted. A lifetime license only requires you to pay once. Lite is $59, Pro is $149 and Pro+ is $499. 

Even though those plans are great value, pCloud’s lifetime prices are $175 for 500GB and $350 for 2TB. The 2TB plan offers less than Pro+, but it’s a better deal for users who don’t need 5TB. Those who do will get more for their money going with Icedrive, though.

Ease of Use

79% - Good

You need to register for an Icedrive account to start moving your files to the cloud. You can do that by using the web app, mobile app or desktop client. 

The desktop client only works on Windows. The lack of Linux support isn’t surprising, but the lack of macOS support is. If you need one or the other, read our best cloud storage for Mac and best cloud storage for Linux articles for ideas. After you install the desktop client, it prompts you to mount a drive, which only requires you to click a button.

Unlike some cloud storage services, Icedrive has a thin desktop client. It consists of a network drive and a system tray icon. The system tray icon lets you unmount the drive or access the settings. The settings allow you to enable or disable basic options, such as turning on Icedrive at start-up, checking for updates and clearing the cache.

There’s a noticeable lack of other options, though, such as a link that opens the web client, a help section or a bar that shows how much space you have left. That said, if you click the icon, it opens your Icedrive network folder. The desktop client is simple and easy to use, but it should have some more options to make it more useful.

The web client is simple and clear. You can use the navigation menu on the left to go through your files, encrypted folders, files shared with you, recently uploaded files and deleted files. The bottom right corner has a useful bar that shows how much space you have left. If you have a lot of files, you can find specific ones using the search bar at the top.

Icedrive Settings

You can click your account name in the top right to access a menu that lets you open your account settings, statistics and apps, as well as get help. The privacy tab in the account menu is surprising because you can use it to download personal information related to your account or delete it. Most services require you to send an email to do that.

The smartphone app doesn’t stray from the recipe that most cloud storage services use. When you enter the app, you see your files and folders, which you can organize in grid or list views. The “+” button in the lower right lets you create a folder, upload a file or folder and take a photo that’ll upload directly to the cloud.

You can use the burger icon on the left to navigate files shared with you, encrypted storage, recents, favorites and trash. You can also access the useful backup feature, settings and help. 

There’s no way to mark files for offline access, but Icedrive goes into offline mode if you go offline. It only lets you browse your files, though, you can’t preview them. Automatic photo and video upload is also missing. 

The overall experience of using Icedrive is smooth, but the lack of macOS support and common features that we’ve come to expect from smartphone apps detracts from it. That said, considering Icedrive is a new service, we hope that future updates will correct those things.

File Sharing & Syncing

69% - Decent

The core features of cloud storage services are file sharing and syncing because they determine how you’re going to upload your data to the cloud and share it once it gets there. Icedrive has basic file sharing features, which you can access from the web client or mobile app. If you need to share from the desktop, read our best cloud storage for sharing guide.

The web client lets you share files by creating a sharing link that you can copy and paste or send via email. If you create a link, you can protect it by setting an expiration date and access password. There’s no way to set a download limit, though. You can disable the public link, but that isn’t the same feature.

Folder sharing works the same way, which means you can’t invite people to access your folder and give them different permissions.

There’s a “shared with me” page that lets you access files and folders shared with you, but there’s no page that shows you what you’ve shared with others. Upload links, which would give others the option to upload files to your storage space, are also missing. There’s no way to share directly to social networks, either.

The mobile app has the same sharing features, but it enriches them with a chain link icon that tells you which files and folders you’ve shared.

As mentioned, there’s no sync folder. To sync your files from the desktop client you use Icedrive’s network drive. Anything that you place in it will be synced to the cloud. That said, you don’t know how long it’ll take before your data is synced to the cloud. The addition of file and folder icons to notify you about the status of your transfer would help with that.

We uploaded several folders using the network drive but they didn’t appear automatically in the web client once their transfer was complete. We had to refresh the client manually to make them available. The mobile app showed them as soon as they uploaded, but we had to refresh it manually on one occasion, too.

The sync folder isn’t available so you can’t sync any folder from your computer. Because of that, we expected to be able to copy files and folders to Icedrive’s network folder by using a right-click option, but there isn’t one.

We didn’t experience lag or hanging during the sync process, but the network drive needs work to make it more user-friendly. File sharing could also be improved with the addition of folder permissions, upload links, download limits and sharing from the desktop.

Speed

87% - Very Good

Icedrive has servers in the U.S. and the EU. The closer you are to its servers the better your transfer speeds will be. That said, they’ll depend on your internet service provider, too.

We were close to the EU servers because we performed our tests over an Ethernet connection in Belgrade, Serbia, with an upload speed of 9.84 megabits per second and a download speed of 105.45 Mbps.

 First attempt:Second attemptAverage:
Upload time:00:15:1000:14:0800:14:39
Download time:00:01:1100:01:1900:01:15

Our upload time averaged 14 minutes and 39 seconds, which is almost the exact time it should take in theory without overhead. The download speed was even better, reaching an average of one minute and 15 seconds, which is fast and the time we expected.

There’s no way to throttle transfer speeds to keep them from taking too much of your data plan. There’s no block-level sync, either, which would help speed up the transfer of subsequent uploads.

Security

80% - Good

Unlike most cloud storage services which use the Rijndael AES algorithm to scramble data, Icedrive uses the Twofish algorithm. It was one of the finalists of the Advanced Encryption Standard process, but the Rijndael algorithm was chosen as the winner

That said, the Twofish algorithm’s encryption isn’t weak and largely depends on how good Icedrive’s implementation of it is. The AES algorithm has an advantage because it has received much more attention over the years, which means it has sophisticated implementations on the market.

Icedrive uses your encryption passphrase to generate 256-bit keys, the same length as AES 256-bit. It generates them on the client side and doesn’t transfer them to its servers which means only you have access to them. That makes it private, end-to-end encryption.

If you’re a free user, you don’t get the benefit of encryption, though. It’s reserved for users who subscribe to Icedrive’s premium plans. That said, the TLS/SSL protocol will protect your files in transit from attacks, such as man-in-the-middle attacks, even if you’re a free user.

Icedrive doesn’t have two-factor authentication, so you should create a strong password.

Privacy

77% - Good

It’s great to have private encryption to ensure your privacy, but the privacy policy should be mindful of the personal information that you submit.

Icedrive’s privacy policy says Icedrive and its owners “take a proactive approach to user privacy and ensure the necessary steps are taken to protect the privacy of its users throughout their visiting experience.” The service also complies with all UK laws and requirements for user privacy. 

The privacy policy says users contacting Icedrive or Icedrive’s owners “provide personal information requested at their own risk.” It also says your personal information is kept private and stored securely as detailed in the Data Protection Act of 1998, though. 

Your contact information will be used to subscribe you to email newsletter programs, but only if you give your permission.

The privacy policy isn’t as detailed as some we’ve seen. It doesn’t, for example, say whether Icedrive collects additional data, such as metadata. For an example of a more robust approach, read the “privacy” section in our Tresorit review.

That said, Icedrive is compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation. For more details about it, read our GDPR guide.

Icedrive uses private encryption so it can’t access the content of your files. Plus, it says it doesn’t share any personal information that you provide with third-parties. 

Still, It’s alarming to read that users provide contact information to Icedrive at their own risk. Then again, Icedrive says it keeps such information safe and private. That’s not the best description of protecting users’ privacy, and because of the lack of details about whether Icedrive collects metadata, we’ll mark that as a miss.

Customer Service

80% - Good

If you encounter an issue, you can use Icedrive’s support page to help you resolve it. It’s divided into several categories, but if that doesn’t help you can search it, too. There aren’t many articles, but they’re clear. Presumably, Icedrive will add more as it grows.

If you don’t find an answer, you can contact Icedrive’s team by creating a ticket or via Skype at “support_66327.” The contact page says the team responds within 24 to 48 hours but we got a response within three hours. That’s quite fast, but it’s not surprising because Icedrive’s headquarters are in Europe. There’s no 24/7 support, though.

The Verdict

Icedrive is a capable service that probably owes its lack of features to launching relatively recently. Its most obvious plus is that it offers a 20GB free plan and premium plans that are great value. It’s also simple and easy to use, but it lacks features that’d make it more user-friendly.

Plus, file sharing and syncing lack features that the best cloud storage services in our cloud storage reviews have. Icedrive’s transfer speeds didn’t disappoint, but there isn’t a global network of servers to guarantee such speeds to users across the world.

We like that Icedrive offers private encryption, even though its behind a paywall. The lack of two-factor authentication is a major miss, though.

Besides security, the privacy of your data is also important. We didn’t find alarming clauses in the privacy policy, but the lack of detail is disturbing. Finally, Icedrive’s support team was quick to respond to our query.

What do you think about Icedrive? Do you think it’s worth your while thanks to its strong security, good transfer speeds and great subscription deals?  Let us know in the comments below. Thank you for reading.

Starts from$ 167per month for 150 GB

Sync

Sync Folder
Block-Level Sync
Selective Sync
Bandwidth management
Sync Any Folder

File Sharing

File Link Sharing
Link Passwords
Link Expiry Dates
Folder Sharing
Folder Permissions
Link Download Limits
Upload Links

Productivity

File Previews
Edit Files
In-App Collaboration
Office Online
Google Docs
Notes App
Media Playback
Mobile Apps
Deleted File Retention
Versioning
WebDAV

Security

At-Rest Encryption
In-Transit Encryption
Encryption Protocol
Twofish
Zero Knowledge
Two-Factor Authentication
Server Location
US

Support

24/7 Support
Live Chat Support
Telephone Support
Email Support
User Forum
Knowledgebase

Misc

Free Plan

Icedrive Review

A very strong new contender.

Icedrive is new to the storage scene, but is already showing great promise with its fast speeds and great ease of use. It has some rough edges, but you just can't beat 10GB of free space now, can you? Check out our full Icedrive review for the details.
Starts from$ 167per month for 150 GB
Visit Icedrive
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