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Visit IDrive
  • Feature-rich backup
  • Incremental backups
  • Zero-knowledge available
  • File sync & share features
  • No device limit

IDrive Review

IDrive has affordable plans with many features for online backup and cloud storage. It’s an easy-to-use service that lets you back up unlimited devices. It’s not the perfect solution, as it does not offer unlimited storage. We cover these elements and more in our IDrive review.

Jason Stagnitto
By Jason Stagnitto (Writer)
— Last Updated: 2024-03-13T16:02:51+00:00 Facts checked by Alison Spedale
Key Takeaways: IDrive Review
  • IDrive has several different sized plans that meet various needs, each with excellent online backup and cloud storage features.
  • You can make your account zero-knowledge when signing up, though you can’t go back and change this once your account has been created.
  • IDrive allows unlimited devices you can add to your account. It supports backups for computers, mobile devices and servers.

Use IDrive If You Want…

  • Value for Money: IDrive has plenty of features in its personal and business plans, offering some of the best prices per terabyte of any backup service.
  • Users: It is particularly effective for individuals, small businesses and larger enterprise operations.
  • Cloud Storage and Backup: IDrive is a feature-rich service that offers the best elements of an online backup service and a cloud storage provider.

IDrive Review Video

IDrive is a cloud service that lets you back up your devices and provides cloud storage features like file sync and sharing. It is a feature-rich experience with apps for Windows and Mac and gives you complete control over your backups. Read on as we explore this service in our IDrive cloud storage review.

IDrive has a lot going for it, as it does not limit the number of devices you can back up on your account. It is a secure service that tops our list of the best online backup services. Zero-knowledge encryption is not the default, but you can enable it when creating your account.

Though its plans are reasonably priced, none of them offer unlimited storage. You can try a free personal IDrive plan that includes 10GB, or opt for the affordable paid plans.

  • 06/02/2021

    Updated the pricing, conducted new speed tests, included some clarification on sharing features and added new images.

  • 06/30/2021 added more information about IDrive for Business.

  • 11/24/2021 updated the review to include new speed test results.

  • 07/03/2022 Facts checked

    Updated to reflect an increase in the 5GB free plan to 10GB.

  • 05/23/2023 Facts checked

    Updated to remove the discontinued free plan and add the new free 30-day trial.

  • 01/01/2024 Facts checked

    Updated the review to reflect IDrive’s new pricing.

  • 02/14/2024 Facts checked by Alison Spedale

    This article was rewritten to include current features and updated pricing.

What Is IDrive & Who Is It For?

IDrive is a software as a service (SaaS) that offers online backup and cloud storage in one package. It was founded in 1995 and is based out of Calabasas, California. IDrive is a great option for anyone looking to back up a device or share folders and files with others. In addition to devices, you can back up servers like MS SQL or open files such as emails. 

You can use IDrive for personal or professional reasons. It is particularly effective for individuals, small businesses and larger enterprise operations. IDrive only offers annual paid plans and does not have unlimited storage.

A quick note about this review: IDrive has a separate product called IDrive e2. This service is not the same as IDrive, as it focuses on cloud object storage. To learn more, check out our IDrive e2 review.

The Cloudwards Expert Opinion: IDrive

Jason Stagnitto is a expert in cloud storage and online backup.

IDrive is my top online backup suggestion for most users, and for good reason. It has plenty of features at affordable prices, offering some of the best prices per terabyte of any backup service. Additionally, it has features that can be found in most cloud storage services.

From my experience testing the service, IDrive puts few limits on what and where you can back up your data — you can back it up to computers or mobile devices, servers, network-attached storage (NAS) or external hard drives.

IDrive also offers the option to back up your Google Workspace or Microsoft 365 accounts, though these are additional paid services. 

IDrive Pros & Cons

IDrive Pro & Cons:


  • Feature-rich backup
  • Incremental backups
  • Zero-knowledge available
  • File sync & share features
  • No device limit


  • Zero-knowledge off by default
  • Feature poor MacOS app
  • No unlimited storage

IDrive Alternatives

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    Visit Acronis Cyber ProtectReview

Features: What Can IDrive Do?

95 % – Excellent

IDrive is a feature-rich service that offers the best elements of an online backup service and cloud storage provider. It has plenty of functionality to set up, manage and schedule backups. IDrive also has a sync folder that keeps whatever you store synced across your devices. You can share files from your cloud backup or cloud drive folders, which we will cover in more detail below.

Cloud Backup Features

IDrive’s appeal is that it offers great flexibility in terms of what you can back up. Most will use IDrive to create and schedule computer backups. However, you can also create image-based backups or network drives, use a NAS device, protect your mobile devices or back up the contents of an external hard drive.

With IDrive, you are not limited to one device or even one type of device. You can back up multiple computers, such as your PC or Mac. Additionally, IDrive offers a courier service called IDrive Express with which they send a physical external hard drive to you. IDrive can upload the contents to your account when you send it back, or you can use it to recover lost data.

idrive backups
The main page of the web interface shows you all the backups from your devices.
IDrive Sync and File-Sharing Features

IDrive differentiates itself from competitors by offering traditional cloud storage features, specifically file sync and file-sharing capabilities. Your account has different tabs for your backed-up devices and for data you add to your cloud drive folder. Additionally, the desktop app comes with a sync folder.

IDrive does a good job with file sync. However, if you need a service with more synchronization options, check out our best cloud storage with sync article.

Using the desktop app gives you access to selective sync with the contents of your cloud drive folder. You can only choose folders, as selective sync does not work at the file level. However, if there is a folder you don’t want synced with your account, you can deselect it.

You can share data in your cloud drive folders and files in your cloud backup. Sharing is a simplified experience — you don’t have to worry about directly adding emails to invites. IDrive lets you create a link to share with anyone. It also has a few advanced settings to add a password, limit the number of downloads or determine how many days the link stays active.

Overall, IDrive’s sharing is limited, especially if you opt for a private encrypted account. The following sections cover this in more detail. For better sharing cloud services, read our article on the best cloud storage for sharing.

idrive file share
IDrive cloud storage has file-sharing features that include adding a password and limiting the number of link downloads.
IDrive Business Features

There are plans with specific features to help businesses and teams manage corporate data and multiple users. The dashboard includes a “users and groups” tab with the tools needed to add, edit or delete users and teams. Additionally, IDrive supports single sign-on, simplifying the login process. 

IDrive offers assistance to keep your organization in compliance with regulations like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX). Additionally, you can back up servers, including:

  • Windows Server
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • Microsoft Exchange Server
  • Microsoft SharePoint Server
  • Oracle Server
  • Linux Server
idrive server backups
IDrive Business has backup support for many popular servers.

IDrive Business Versioning

IDrive has a generous versioning policy, keeping the previous 30 versions of a given file. There is no time limit to how long it can keep these versions. However, if you go over 30 versions, it will delete the oldest one. Additionally, enabling continuous data protection, which is an option in the desktop app, will keep changes you make to files in a backup updated in real time.

IDrive provides some other measures to protect against data loss beyond versioning. IDrive’s bare-metal disaster recovery (BMR) enables a backup of an entire hard drive, complete with the operating system (OS), to an on-site server.

Snapshots is another tool that provides a historical view of your account’s data. With it, you can perform point-in-time recovery.

Productivity Suite Backups

IDrive offers the opportunity to perform cloud-to-cloud backups of your Google Workspace or Microsoft 365 accounts. Both of these options are paid add-ons that are separate from a paid subscription. Using either of these options will protect the data associated with these services, including emails, calendars and contacts.

idrive cloud to cloud backup
You can back up your cloud account with Google Workspace or Microsoft 365 using IDrive.

IDrive Features Overview

100GB – 5TB$2.95 / month(All Plans)
Backup Scheduler
Continuous Backup
Incremental Backup
Image-Based Backup
External Drive Backup
NAS Backup
Server Backup
Hybrid Backup
Mobile Device Backup
Unlimited Backup
Unlimited Devices
Speed Throttling
Block-Level File Copying
Multithreaded Backup
Courier Recovery Service
Browser Access
Mobile App Access
Deleted File Retention
Private Encryption
At-Rest Encryption
In-Transit Encryption
Encryption ProtocolAES 256-bit
Two-Factor Authentication
Hardened Data Centers
Proxy Server Settings
HIPPA Compliant
24/7 Support
Live Chat Support
Telephone Support
Email Support
User Forum
File Sharing
Device Sync
Free Trial 30

User-Friendliness & Hands-On Testing

90 % – Excellent

IDrive is easy to navigate, as it has a familiar left-sidebar layout for menu items and the web page’s main content is dedicated to your data. The challenge with IDrive, mainly for newer users, is learning about everything the service can do and where to go. For example, some elements are only available on the desktop.

How to Install IDrive

To get the most out of your account, you’ll want to download the desktop app for your chosen OS — either Windows, Mac or Linux. 

  1. Download Installer

    Navigate to the IDrive download page and click on the download button for your OS.

    idrive destkop download
  2. Install the App

    Follow the prompts on your device to install the desktop app. Then, sign in to your account.

    idrive desktop install
How to Set Up & Use IDrive on Desktop

Using the IDrive desktop app is the best way to get the most from your account. We will walk through each tab and highlight what they do.

  1. Create a Backup

    The backup tab shows you the current folders you have backed up on your device. Unlike on the web interface, it does not show you all your backups. You can opt for local, WiFi or Express device backup for your files, or keep them backed up to your IDrive account. There’s also a “backup now” and a “schedule” button. The “change” button lets you choose the folders to back up.

    idrive desktop backup
  2. Restore a Backup

    You can restore files to your device by choosing the folder you want to restore. A dropdown menu lets you decide where you want to restore from. Other options include changing the location, viewing snapshots or viewing trash. You can also restore files from a local, WiFi or Express device backup.

    idrive desktop restore
  3. Schedule a Backup

    The scheduler tab lets you customize when and how often you back up your device’s contents. A dropdown list offers “online backup,” “local backup” and “network and external drive.” You can choose the day and time when backups run, run one immediately or set a cut-off time. If you want an email notification, you can set that up, too. A link at the bottom lets you view all your scheduled jobs.

    idrive desktop scheduler
  4. Sync With Cloud Drive

    The cloud drive tab’s main feature is a large button that takes you to your sync folder. From the sync folder, you can move, download or upload files. You can also click on “selective sync” to choose the folders you want to sync with your account. Another option lets you change the location of your sync folder.

    idrive desktop cloud drive
  5. Create a Server Backup

    If you connect to and set a server backup, you can back up or restore from this tab. Examples include MS SQL Server, Oracle Server and MS SharePoint Server.

    idrive desktop server backup
  6. Tweak the Settings

    The settings tab has many options to choose from that control what your account does. You can enable “continuous data protection,” optimize CPU resources or upload multiple chunks simultaneously, among others. The exclusions tab gives you granular access to the folders you can back up. “Archive cleanup” deletes data from your device, and “throttle” lets you control bandwidth usage.

    idrive desktop settings
IDrive macOS & Windows Apps

There’s very little difference visually or functionally between the Windows and Mac desktop applications. The Windows app has more options, like server backup and clone/computer backup.

idrive windows desktop
The IDrive desktop client for Windows has the full range of features,
including server and cloud-to-cloud backup. 

The cloud drive sync folder works the same for both operating systems. Right-clicking on a file does not bring up any additional IDrive-specific options. As long as you enable the sync button in the app, you’ll see the contents in your cloud drive folder.

idrive mac desktop
The IDrive desktop client for Mac does not have as many features as the Windows version.
IDrive Android & iOS Apps

The IDrive mobile app, available for iOS and Android devices, gives you full access to your backups and the contents of your cloud drive folder. You can schedule backups specific to your mobile devices, including contacts, videos and your calendar. Additionally, you can enable automatic camera uploads for images and back up any existing photos.

idrive mobile apps
The IDrive mobile app has backup capabilities for popular data on your device, like contacts, photos, call logs or music.

Another mobile app option is called IDrive Photos. It works similarly to the photo backup in the original mobile app, with added options to edit, share or create favorites. The editing features aren’t overly robust and won’t replace a dedicated photo-editing studio. However, you can crop, adjust the orientation and apply filters.

idrive photo app
IDrive has a dedicated photo app with more features for your images, including basic editing tools.

IDrive Pricing: How Much Does IDrive Cost?

85 % – Very Good

IDrive is an affordable option with plans designed to meet the needs of a variety of customers. There are plans designed for personal, team and business users. The per-terabyte price is good value for what you get, including backup and cloud storage features. Most plans have the same features, with some exceptions for IDrive Express and the team and business plans.

IDrive Free Plan

If you’re looking for a free plan to try out the service, IDrive does make 10GB of storage space available at no cost. Additionally, you get 10GB of cloud backup and 10GB of cloud storage. If you choose to buy a plan, there is a 15-day window for a refund. 

At the time of writing, the free Basic comes with 10GB of storage space for your backups, plus an additional 10GB to use as quick-access cloud storage.

IDrive offers free trials for some of its plans. The Enterprise plan, intended for server and workstation backup, has a 30-day free trial. IDrive 360 is an endpoint cloud backup service that comes with a seven-day free trial. Additionally, both the Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 services have seven-day free trials.

IDrive Personal Pricing Plan Breakdown: Cost & Cloud Storage Capacity

IDrive has two personal plan options based on whether you pay annually or monthly. IDrive Mini costs $35.40 per year and has 100GB of storage space. IDrive Mini is not available as a monthly plan.

IDrive Personal costs $69.66 for the first year for 5TB of storage. If you opt for a two-year plan, it costs $149.25. You can increase the storage space in increments of 10TB, 20TB, 50TB or 100TB, with a corresponding price increase. These options come in one-year and two-year plans, with the two-year plan offering the best deal.

If you choose to pay for the personal plan by the month, it will cost $9.95 per month for 5TB and up to $99.95 per month for a maximum of 100TB.

  • One user, multiple computers. Plans starting from 5TB up to 100TB. Big discount for first-time signup.
  • 5TB
Does IDrive Have Unlimited Storage?

No, IDrive does not offer unlimited storage space. If this is something that you need, check out our articles on the best unlimited cloud providers and the best unlimited cloud backup.

IDrive Business Pricing

Teams and businesses have two options. The IDrive Team plan focuses on the number of computers or users you need to support. The minimum is five computers or users and comes with 5TB of storage. It costs $69.65 for the first year or $149.25 for two years. The IDrive Team plan can scale up to 500 computers or users.

IDrive Business does not limit the number of users, computers or servers on a plan. It scales shared storage space, starting at 250GB for $69.65for one year or$149.25 for two years. Storage amounts scale to 500GB, 1.25TB, 2.5TB, 5TB, 12.5TB and 25TB. The maximum storage allotment is 50TB, which costs $8119.65 for one year or $17399.25 for two years.

IDrive has many plan options and different pricing structures. To learn more, check out our IDrive pricing article.

  • Unlimited users, multiple computers and servers. NAS devices. 250GB storage. Starting at 250GB up to 50TB. Large discount for first-time signup.
  • 250GB
  • 5 computers, 5 users. Starting at 5TB up to 500TB. Big discount for first-time signup.
  • 5TB
  • No credit card required.
  • 10GB
  • One user, multiple computers. Plans starting from 5TB up to 100TB. Big discount for first-time signup.
  • 5TB

File Backup & Restoration

100 % – Excellent

IDrive’s backup and restoration features are the best part of the service. A good example is the ability to back up individual files or create a full image of your hard drive. IDrive does not limit the number of devices you can protect. You also have the flexibility to keep everything in the cloud, on local backup servers or both.

Managing Your IDrive Backup

When you first set up a backup for your device using the desktop app, IDrive provides a set of common folders as a default that includes pictures, videos and documents. You can change this by selecting the “change” button and choosing the folders and files you want to include in the backup.

idrive change backup
If you want to change the folders or files in your backup, click the
“change” button and select the items to include or remove.

Alternatively, if you want to back up immediately, click the “backup now” button and IDrive will include everything in the default folders.

Cloud Backup Options

The scheduler tab on both the web interface and the desktop app provides excellent flexibility to determine how often you conduct a backup. You can set specific days or times and include notifications of when your backup begins. 

IDrive supports incremental backups, which helps speed up the backup process. With incremental backups, only the edited or changed portions of a given file are updated, rather than updating the entire file every time there is an alteration. 

idrive restore location
If you need to restore your data from a backup, you can choose the restoration location.

If you need to restore data from a backup, navigate to the “restore” tab and choose the items you want to restore. Clicking the “restore now” button begins the process. You can change the destination if you don’t want to restore to the original location.

IDrive Backup Types

You have plenty of flexibility with the types of backups available. The most common is to back up files and settings from your device. Another option is to create a disk clone. With this option, you can create a backup of the drives and a system image, including applications. 

idrive clone backup
IDrive supports disk image backup, or you can back up your entire machine.

Mobile device backup works for both iOS and Android. With iOS, you are limited to contacts, photos, videos and your calendar. Android adds in music files, texts and calls. If you have a server, you can back that up as well by choosing from a list of possible options, as we covered above in the IDrive Business Features section.

IDrive Express

If you have a large amount of data to back up and the process may take hours or even days via an internet connection, you can take advantage of the IDrive Express service. With this courier service, IDrive sends you an external hard drive.

idrive express
IDrive Express is a courier service that speeds up transfers of large data sets.

When you receive the hard drive, load up your data and send it back to IDrive when it’s ready. IDrive will then upload the data to your account.

Backing Up Files & Folders With IDrive

You can begin backing up your data with IDrive in a few quick steps. 

  1. Open the App

    Open the desktop or mobile app on your device. The backup option is the first tab on the desktop app. Click the “backup” button on the mobile app.

    idrive backup button
  2. Select Files and Folders

    If you need to change the folders or files that are selected, click the “change” button and choose the items for backup. On the mobile app, you’ll see a list of available choices to back up.

    idrive change backup button
  3. Schedule Backup

    To immediately back up on either device, click “backup now.” To schedule a recurring backup, click the “schedule” button and choose the day, time and frequency for your updates. When you’re done, save your changes.

    idrive schedule options

IDrive Speed

90 % – Excellent

During some of our previous tests, IDrive’s speeds were one of the main elements holding it back from being a top option. Recently, IDrive has improved its speeds, which our most recent round of speed testing demonstrated. 

IDrive Speed Test Results

Upload Speeds

1st Test2nd TestAverage
Upload Speeds0:06:430:06:400:06:42

Download Speeds

1st Test2nd TestAverage
Download Speeds0:07:110:07:030:07:07
Notes From the Lab: Our Detailed Speed Analysis

We uploaded and downloaded 5GB of data from a remote virtual server capped at 100 Mbps. Uploads went very fast, quickly hitting the max speed. CPU usage was low, with only a few spikes. Downloads performed similarly, with fast speeds and low CPU draw. Clicking through each file was a bit tedious, and IDrive stuttered a bit with larger files during downloads.

Security: Is IDrive Safe?

100 % – Excellent

Security is an area in which IDrive excels, as it has strong encryption that protects your data. IDrive checks its applications for security vulnerabilities and maintains physical security at its multiple data centers. IDrive had not suffered any widespread data security breaches at the time of writing.

IDrive Security Features

IDrive protects your data at rest and in transit with AES 256-bit encryption. With this encryption, your data is protected against brute-force attacks that use repeated attempts to guess your credentials. Protection while data is in transit helps stop man-in-the-middle attacks that try to intercept your data transfers.

idrive security
IDrive has excellent security features to keep your data
protected while on its servers or in transit.

Enabling two-factor authentication from your account settings enhances personal account security. Two-factor authentication adds another step to the login process, which protects against anyone who may have your login credentials. 

Detailed Security Analysis: Encryption & Cloud Security
File StatusEncryption Protocol
At RestAES-256
In TransitAES-256

IDrive’s servers are in the United States in secure facilities that include smoke detection, fire suppression, motion sensing and 24/7 secure video monitoring. 

Private Encryption Key & Zero-Knowledge Encryption

You can set up zero-knowledge encryption for your account, but it is not automatic. We will go over the details in the next section.

90 % – Excellent

Privacy: Is IDrive Private?

IDrive’s privacy is nearly as good as its security measures, as it does an excellent job by providing a clear privacy policy that’s easy to read. It complies with the GDPR and HIPAA. IDrive has private encryption, but it is not immediately evident and is not the default when setting up your account.

Zero-Knowledge Encryption

If you have an account with zero-knowledge encryption, you don’t have to worry about unauthorized access from outside entities or even from employees at the cloud service. Unless you share your password or it is compromised in some other way, zero-knowledge means only you have the password needed to decrypt your account.

idrive private encryption
The only way to make sure your account has zero-knowledge encryption is to enable the private encryption key option when you first create your account.

The good news is that you can activate zero-knowledge encryption for your IDrive account, but only during the initial account setup. If you miss this step during signup, you cannot retroactively change your account to have a private encryption key.

Another important note is that if you choose to have a private encryption key, you will not be able to share files or folders from your account. This is a somewhat restrictive byproduct of having a protected account.

IDrive Privacy Policy

We reviewed IDrive’s privacy policy; here’s what you need to know. IDrive does collect data when you use its service, as does every cloud provider. It collects some personal data like your name and credit card. It also stores your password if you opt for its default encryption setting. IDrive also collects the files and data you transmit between your devices.

We’ve read many privacy policies and found nothing in IDrive’s that gives us cause for concern. The data it collects on you is to provide the services you expect from IDrive. IDrive does not share your personal information with outside entities without your consent or unless compelled by law.

IDrive Customer Support

95 % – Excellent

If you need help with your IDrive account, plenty of options are available. On its main page, you’ll see a dedicated support telephone number that anyone can call, and there’s also a live chat option. The support page has more telephone numbers and extensions to different departments. 

To summarize, you can get help with IDrive by using one of the following:

  • Phone support
  • Email
  • Form submission
  • Live chat
  • FAQ
  • Video tutorials
Support Page
idrive support
IDrive has several support options to get you the help or answers you need.

On the support page, you can fill out a form to receive an email response or send an email directly to the support email address. For those who like to research, IDrive has an FAQ section with helpful information that runs the gambit of its services. 

Live Chat & Email Support Speed & Quality

During our testing, it took IDrive some time to reply to our submission using the form on the support page, but not longer than two business days. The live chat connected straightaway to a real person who answered our questions.

IDrive vs Other Cloud Backup Services: How Does It Compare? 

Backblaze is an alternative to IDrive that offers unlimited storage in an easy-to-use package. IDrive has more features than Backblaze, but Backblaze is a more affordable option. IDrive comes out ahead when comparing the backup features, which is what most people look for with cloud backup providers. Read more in our IDrive vs Backblaze article.

Unlimited GB$7.88 / month
(save 12%) (All Plans)

Dropbox is another alternative to IDrive, as it has cloud storage and online backup features. Dropbox is the better option if you are more focused on cloud storage capabilities like file sync or third-party integrations. IDrive is the clear choice for online backup. We pit the two against each other in our Dropbox vs IDrive article.

2TB – 5TB$9.99 / month
(save 16%) (All Plans)

Community Feedback: IDrive Reviews on Reddit & Social Media

IDrive consumer reviews are a bit of a mixed bag. Most enjoy IDrive’s prices and ease of use. A key component is the restoration process, which consumers tend to agree works well. There was a note of caution for Mac users due to the way IDrive indexes: “IDrive indexes according to PC standards, which is different from Mac OS.” 

Others have noted that IDrive can make decisions about backing up your data:

“Found out yesterday that they added AppData to my exclusions too, ended up not backing up a lot of data…” 

Another concern is the charges that some users have experienced. When contacted, IDrive did offer some refunds but not for the full amount. Some commenters noted the slower speeds. We noted this as well, but IDrive has shown improvement with its overall upload and download speeds.

The Verdict: Is IDrive Worth It?

IDrive has plenty of tools and features that many want from a service that offers online backup and cloud storage in one package. It has affordable plans and excellent security and privacy. You can make your account zero-knowledge, but at the expense of sharing files.

Do you use IDrive? How has your experience been using the service? Would you recommend IDrive or another service? Let us know in the comments section below. Thanks for reading this article.

FAQ: IDrive

  • Yes, IDrive is a safe online backup and cloud storage service. It uses AES 256-bit encryption to protect your data at rest and in transit. Additionally, during signup, you can enable a private encryption key, giving your account zero-knowledge encryption.

  • IDrive lets you back up unlimited devices to your account and includes computers, mobile devices and external hard drives. Unlike other cloud backup services, you can back up individual files with IDrive.

  • Overall, we like IDrive better than Carbonite. In our IDrive vs Carbonite article, we pitted these two online backup heavyweights against each other.

  • Typically, no, but it depends on the size of your data transfer. If the transfer is large enough, IDrive can tap into your CPU resources, which could impact performance.

100GB - 5TB $2.95 / month (All Plans)
Visit IDrive
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