Easy to use and packed with features, Livedrive is the best all-in cloud storage service
In its efforts to be all things to all men, Livedrive now comes in three flavours: a backup-only service offering unlimited storage, a “Briefcase” syncing service with 2TB of online storage space, and a Pro Suite that does both with 5TB of sync space. It’s a good deal if you want to back up an entire PC.
Livedrive makes that process easy, with right-click selection, support for external and network drives, and a continuous backup option.
Restoring files used to be a pain as you could only download files one at a time from the website, but a new Livedrive Restore utility now handles entire nested folders too. The versioning features work well, but one thing that concerned us was that a couple of files the desktop client marked as backed up weren’t visible on the website.
Synchronisation works in much the same way as Dropbox, using the special Briefcase folder. Again, you can add files and folders to this with a right-click. Syncing is usually speedy, too, with files added or amended on one system and the changes replicated in less than 1min 20secs. In one case, a file took 38 seconds to upload, but more than five and a half minutes to download on the second PC – but that was an exception.
With the Pro Suite installed, Livedrive isn’t short on features. As well as backup and syncing, it offers easy folder- and file-sharing through email invitations, plus excellent photo-sharing and music-streaming features.
Thanks to integration with Picnik and FotoFlexer, you can edit uploaded photos from within the website, or view and edit Office documents using Zoho Office and Scribd. The mobile apps are another strength, allowing you to browse and play stored music, display a slideshow of stored photos and see files other users have shared.
Livedrive pretty much does it all, with a strong feature set and an easy-to-use interface. While other backup or sync services are stronger in specialist areas, and close rival SugarSync is cheaper, Livedrive is the best choice if you want to opt for one product only.
|Software subcategory||Online backup|
Operating system support
|Operating system Windows Vista supported?||yes|
|Operating system Windows XP supported?||yes|
|Operating system Linux supported?||no|
|Operating system Mac OS X supported?||yes|
|Other operating system support||Windows XP|