IBackup is one of several online backup services that are available today. It is easy to install and set up, and suitable for most users but financially, perhaps, more suitable for business use than personal, because the storage space provided is fairly expensive.
IBackup offers a free fifteen-day trial plan, but users are expected to include their credit card details when signing up. Many of the other services available allow users to sign up for their free option with just an email address and password.
IBackup is expensive in terms of the amount of storage space it provides. For instance, the cheapest plan gives the user 10GB (gigabyte) for $9.95 per month; many other services are far more generous, and some provide unlimited storage for half the amount that IBackup charges.
On demand storage is available with IBackup so the user can exceed his storage limit if he wishes, but he will be charged a further $2 per GB, per month. This makes the cost per GB twice what it is for the plan itself; usually, the more of something a customer buys, the bigger the discount, so IBackup may lose customers unless they change this policy. Why stay with a service that charges you more, when you can purchase unlimited storage for half the price, and with none of the worries of running out of space? Users do benefit somewhat if they pay for a year’s plan paid for in advance, which saves them the cost of two months of service.
Plans are available from 10GB to 300GB ($299.95 per month over a year paid for upfront) and, at the time of writing, each plan was subject to a promotional offer of ten times more space for the same price. The offer is available for just a few days, from 11th to 16th August, and is open to all new users, but only as part of an upgrade for existing users.
Security for both transfer and storage with IBackup is as good as can be found with most online backup services. It uses industry standard 256-bit AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) encryption for backup and for data once it’s reached its destination. Data is stored at IBackup’s fully protected data centers using an encryption key, and users can opt for a private encryption key, too. This means that only the user will be able to access his data, so ensuring an extra layer of privacy and security.
File sharing and collaboration with IBackup enables files and folders to be shared with others to whom the user has given his permission. This is especially useful for co-workers who may be working as a team on a particular project, and for families who want to share photos and videos with other family members. This option is not available to all users, however, only those with default encryption.
IBackup provides file versioning, which enables the user to access versions of any file that has been backed up over the previous thirty days. There is also provision for restoring any file that has been deleted, as long as it is within thirty days of deletion.
As with file sharing, certain features are not available to all users, so the website needs to be studied thoroughly for the user to ascertain just what he will get for his money. Some features are only available on accounts that were opened before 08.10.2011. The information is all there on the website, but users will have to spend time hunting for it.
IBackup has the usual FAQs but with no search facility, so some users may find that they have queries that are not addressed, and they will have to look elsewhere for assistance.
IBackup has an ‘Information Bank’ in which users can access user manuals, and demos and videos, and learn more about the features provided. FAQs can be found here, too.
IBackup provides telephone numbers, one US and one international, so that users can access a real person with whom to discuss their problems, but the numbers are only manned from during office hours; there is no provision for out-of-hours or weekend assistance. Each of the numbers has various extension numbers to dial, giving users a choice between ‘Sales’, ‘Technical Support’, and ‘Billing’, so they can get direct access to the department they need.
There is also an email address, ‘live’ chat support (24/7), and a ‘Technical Support Request/Feedback Form’ for submitting requests for help.
While IBackup offers a reasonably robust online backup service, its plans are expensive when compared with much of its competition. Special offers providing increased storage space are a good idea, but they need to be kept open for more than five days at a time, and restricting them so that existing users have no choice but to upgrade, seems a little harsh.
The free fifteen-day trial is useful, but users are asked for their credit card details, and many will be reluctant to go that far simply for a free trial.
The lack of a FAQs search facility will disappoint the sort of user that just wants to be able to find a quick answer to a problem without having to spend time searching all over the site for it.
The website has all the information a potential user could want, but not all of it is accessible without a time-consuming search, and users wanting to get an account up and running quickly will not find it as easy as it could be. IBackup may have plenty of useful features but finding out about them, and to whom they are available, is not a simple task.