Cloud storage is one of the largest and most important fields in tech right now.
With more being done on computers and online data has become king. And if your entire life revolves around data, losing even a small part could be disastrous. The days of local backups aren’t gone, but it’s wise to keep your most important documents and files copied to an off-site location to ensure that no local disaster can wipe you out.
So, in a crowded marketplace of cloud services, what does ADrive bring to the table?
What Exactly Is ADrive Cloud Storage?
“ADrive Desktop” was the first program released by the ADrive company and hit shelves in 2009. A smaller subsidiary of Adobe, it was the company’s first real push into cloud storage.
It began like most cloud services, with a desktop application that synched chosen desktop files to the cloud. Live copies of these files were then stored on ADrive servers, encrypted, and would update as users saved and uploaded them.
These days, ADrive is known for being an incredibly inexpensive cloud drive. It doesn’t offer all of the features you’d expect from the paid versions of Google Drive or Dropbox, but it does provide a massive amount of storage for a fairly low price tag.
What Features Does ADrive Have?
ADrive has plenty of features, ensuring that whether you’re a big company or simply an individual looking to back up your files, your needs will be covered.
Obviously, it backs up all of the files you choose to pack up, uploading them and safely storing them to prevent accidental deletion or destruction. And since the files are just being essentially copied, they still remain on your computer even if you’re not connected to the internet.
Also, unlike the desktop applications of old, ADrive is also accessible anywhere. There’s a mobile app on both the Google Play store and the iTunes App Store, meaning you’ll be able to access, alter, and even print documents from your tablet, Android phone, iPad, and iPhone.
This feature is especially useful for things like work presentations, where you don’t know what kind of A/V environment you’re coming into. If you can access your files on any conceivable device, you can always stay agile and mobile, and never have to panic and worry.
ADrive also has a data recovery service that’s designed as another layer of protection for your files. Whether natural disasters, accidental deletion, viruses, or hard drive failure tank your data, ADrive Data Recovery has a team of data engineers who specialize in bringing files back from the dead.
How Much Does ADrive Cost?
There are quite a few ADrive plans at various price points and for different purposes. Whether you’re a business, an individual, or a one-man operation, each tier provides access to different features.
The Free Plan
There’s a 60-day free trial that has all the features of the Personal Premium subscription, detailed below.
The Personal Premium plan costs $2.50 a month, or $25 a year, which saves you about $5 dollars, or two months of subscription costs. It comes with a host of features and is probably the most commonly used plan.
It comes with the search tool, the ability to do remote file transfers, international character support for other languages, FTP and SFTP, public file password, file history (and recovery), the desktop application, SSL encryption, WebDAV (which allows you to move documents on a server), online collaboration between users, mobile app, no advertisements, 24/7 technical support, and multiple concurrent sessions.
You also get 100GB to 20TB of storage for your documents, pictures, and files.
The business plan comes with all of the features of the “Personal Premium” tier, with some major improvements.
For one, the amount of data to start with is doubled (from 100GB to 200GB), with an upper limit of “unlimited” depending on needs. The business plan also supports multi-user accounts, allowing you to partition your cloud data among your employees or partners. This is especially valuable to a company that uses online collaboration – if everyone has an ADrive account, it’s easy in theory to work together on a communal document.
The business plan costs $7 a month, or $70 annually.
What Do Users Think Of ADrive?
Reviews at sites like Cloudwards and PC Magazine put ADrive firmly in the middle of the pack.
Most praise ADrive for its price, which is well under what many other paid cloud services are charging. It’s also credited for a large amount of storage you get for the price. However, ADrive does frequently get tagged for not having as many features as its competitors.
User Sheiban Shakeri says “Huge storage, but lacking in a few places,” while an unnamed Google user said that Adrive “Seriously needs more options.”
The professional reviews at PC Magazine categorized ADrive as “Fair” at three stars, saying “ADrive Business lacks a few advanced features found in other products as well as proper third-party validation of its security practices, but what it does offer comes at an attractive price.”
How Does ADrive Compare To The Competition?
The Price And Storage Capacity
ADrive used to have a free tier, but it’s since been removed. By contrast, Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive all have free plans. Dropbox offers 2GB for free, OneDrive offers 5GB for free, and Google Drive offers 16GB. Consider ADrive doesn’t even have a permanent free tier, that’s a bit of a strike against it.
For the lowest tier account, Dropbox charges $10 a month for 1TB. So, about 4 times the cost of ADrive for 5 to 10 times the storage. Google Drive also charges $10 a month and offers 1TB as well. OneDrive charges the same for its lowest tier but gives 5TB of space instead.
However, Google Drive and OneDrive both have a sort of “value tier” that Dropbox doesn’t have. At this value tier, Google Drive offers 100GB for $1.99 a month, while OneDrive offers only 50GB for the same price. This is comparable to ADrive, which offers a little more storage for an additional 50 cents a month.
Going up the scale of payment plans is trickier because they all have different layers that aren’t as comparable. Dropbox offers a professional plan for $20 a month, which comes with 2TB of storage. So, you get more storage than ADrive’s professional plan, but ADrive is far cheaper and offers multi-user accounts.
Google Drive doesn’t label the tiers the same way, but you can get 10 Tb for $99.99 a month, which certainly points to use by businesses and organizations.
When it comes to pricing, ADrive has its benefits, but you don’t get as much storage as some of your other options.
Security And Privacy
ADrive uses SSL to ensure that files are encrypted while being transferred. However, this means that while “at rest,” they have no encryption and could be vulnerable. What this means is that while the data can’t be scooped and stolen while it’s moving, it can be more easily accessed from the cloud drive itself.
On the other hand, most of the major competitors (including Dropbox and Google Drive, just to name a few) have a 256-bit encryption for files at rest.
If you’re dealing with particularly sensitive information, it may be wise to avoid ADrive.
With more people working at home than ever or working at great distances, the need to collaborate on digital files has never been higher.
ADrive makes use of Zoho project collaboration software to aid in digital collaboration. If you’re not familiar, Zoho is an online service that connects a partner or a team of partners in order to facilitate the working, planning, and editing of any digital project.
ADrive works with Zoho, and together you can all work on documents shared in your ADrive. You can create calendars around the workflow of the document, create tasks & milestones, timesheets, and even invoices or expenses for paid editing work and the like. It’s a fairly solid platform and is easy to use. Plus, Zoho comes with a handy progress bar you can customize, to give everyone working on the shared project a sense of accomplishment.
Competitors, of course, all have their own collaboration tools. Google Drive uses apps like Google Docs and Google Sheets, autosaving, comments, version histories, and other features to facilitate collaboration.
OneDrive uses the entire suite of Microsoft Office products, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, and the rest, which all have built-in tools like comments and track changes to make collaboration easier. Plus, many people are already deeply familiar with Office products, making it a painless choice for many workplaces.
Dropbox has interesting collaboration tools, some implanted in the desktop version, while others are available online. When a file is being worked on, it can display viewer info, commenting, mentions, and even desktop notifications for due dates and more. It can even tell you when a user looked at a file, even if they didn’t edit it, and when and for how long they read it.
So, in short, all of these services have their own version of collaboration software. OneDrive and Google Drive’s features are generally more well-known than the others, but Dropbox and ADrive are not slouched.
ADrive’s collaboration software (through Zoho) is fairly robust, all things considered and stands just fine next to its competitors.
What We Think About ADrive
When it comes down to it, ADrive is the very definition of “middle of the road.” The price is low, certainly, the amount of storage is high, and the upload/download speeds are pretty impressive, which is enough to recommend ADrive to people on a budget.
However, ADrive fails in its security and privacy features, which could drive users away who have to deal with sensitive files (or who simply don’t feel like being hacked).
At the end of the day, we’d recommend keeping an eye on ADrive, because it has potential. However, we can’t definitively say there’s a reason to choose ADrive over Dropbox (for more robust features and a safer platform) or Google Drive (for better price/storage ratio and online collaboration tools).
It’s perhaps best used by small businesses who don’t want to dive into the deeper pools of the large cloud storage companies, and instead want something simple and affordable that just works.
The Final Word About ADrive
ADrive has most of the features you’d expect from a cloud service but is lacking in security and privacy.
Still, with fast syncing speeds, a low price, and a fairly large amount of storage, it could be what you’re looking for if you just need to save money and back your documents up.
It’s no-frills and doesn’t have the finest UI/UX, but when it comes to simplicity ADrive works just fine.
Small businesses, sole proprietors, and folks who want to back up their picture library on the cheap are the ideal users of ADrive. If you’re just looking to back up your baby photos or wedding videos, files that aren’t particularly sensitive but you’d like to protect off-site, ADrive will provide the storage and the speed for a fraction of the price of other cloud services.