LiveDrive Briefcase Review: Cloud Storage
|Sign up for LiveDrive Briefcase|
|Very pricey service best for those who want to sync all of their files with 2 TB of space|
Briefcase is LiveDrive Online Backup's answer to cloud storage, where users get all the perks of unlimited backup plus the ability to access updated versions of their files anywhere, anytime. LiveDrive is one of the more expensive cloud storage services, and the free trial only works with the steep monthly plan. However, if you decide to pay up front for 5 years, it comes out to only $7.50/month, plus the other annual plans are discounted as well. Read on and see if this service gives enough bang for your buck.
Setup and Initial Backup
Like most services, the initial backup takes a very long time depending on how many files are on your computer. Setup is easy and a LiveDrive shortcut appears on your desktop for easy access. The desktop controls are pretty standard, including a "services" tab where you can choose how often your computer is backed up and exactly what files you want to backup. To select individual folders for backup, simply right-click, select LiveDrive, and click "backup with livedrive". Unfortunately, you cannot do this for individual files on your desktop, rather you must select an entire folder to backup. Little green squares will show up on the folders that are backed up by LiveDrive.
For $6.66/month (with annual plan), you can get LiveDrive's basic online backup solution that lets you view your files on any computer when signing in on LiveDrive.com. So why pay extra for LiveDrive's Briefcase? Essentially, the briefcase is cloud storage at its finest. When putting files in the briefcase, they are synced across all of your computers. The LiveDrive briefcase appears as another hard drive on your desktop as well, acting as if it's an external or USB drive. Any file that you add to the briefcase on one computer, will be updated and synced on all your other computers. As an additional advantage, with Briefcase cloud storage you have the ability to edit your files from the LiveDrive web interface instead of having to download the file and editing it on a desktop program on another computer. We found the web interface to be a little too cluttered when navigating through our files, but wasn't too much of a problem.
Mobile App and Extra Features
LiveDrive's free mobile phone application is one of our favorite parts of this service. It is very intuitive and is even more organized than the web interface. When clicking on your backup folder or briefcase on the iPhone, the file navigation is much like scrolling through the songs on your ipod — alphabetically organized and easy to find. You can also stream music that was on your backed up computer. There is also a web sharing feature. This is available on the web interface as well and is great when you want to send a file to someone. When sharing, you can either choose to share publicly, where your files will appear on your sharing portal linked to your LiveDrive web address, or privately. If you choose the private option, the person you are sharing with will be sent a username and password that they can use to access the file.
The simple backup option is $7.95 for the monthly plan, and $6.66/month with the annual plan and comes with a free trial. The Briefcase plan is $15.95 per month or $13.33/month for the annual plan and includes all of the features mentioned in this review as well as the free trial. If you want to, you can pay up front for one year, skip the trial and get a 30 day money back guarantee and a new price of $139.95, which is only $11.66/month. Other annual plans are heavily discounted, the cheapest being the 5 year plan at only $7.50/month, if you want to pay up front and forego the free trial. You can also backup additional computers for only $1.45 extra per month. Other plans include the Pro Suite plan, which is $24.95 per month, and the Business Plan, which is $49.95 per month. As you can see, one of the service's pricing drawbacks is that you can only get the free trial if you sign up for that first monthly/yealry plan. LiveDrive does a good job of laying out all the pricing options at registration, so check it out for yourself.
Overall, all of the cool features like web sharing, music streaming, file syncing, and an awesome mobile app make this a solid service. The only thing that drops this service down a notch is its slightly hefty price tag. Try it out free for 2 weeks, and to give a little more peace of mind, there is a 30-day money back guarantee if you aren't fully happy with the service.
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LiveDrive Briefcase Forum Posts
- LiveDrive Review
Here is NextAdvisor's review of LiveDrive Cloud Storage: http://www.nextadvisor.com/cloud_storag ... review.php