Nowadays, the cloud is where it’s at. If your business hasn’t made the move yet, then it’s surely only a matter of time. Even if you don’t have a business, you’ve no doubt considering some cloud storage options for your own personal documents.
There are plenty of options to choose from, however, a common drawback is that many offer a limited amount of storage.
If you need more, you usually need to pay. With OpenDrive, you don’t.
This cloud-based platform provides unlimited storage space, meaning you never have to worry about deleting old files to make room for new ones.
But that’s not all OpenDrive is good for.
Getting Started with OpenDrive
You can start using OpenDrive today or free, without any credit card information. All you need is an email address.
The free account is just for one user, but you won’t get to enjoy the unlimited benefits discussed above. Instead, you’ll be restricted to:
- 5gB of storage space
- 1gB of bandwidth daily
- 100 MB maximum file size
- 200 kB/s maximum upload speed
By stepping up to the Personal Unlimited plan, you can really maximize the potential of OpenDrive.
For $9.95 per month, or a one-off annual fee of $99, you and your team can use OpenDrive as much as you like, as it allows unlimited storage space for an unlimited number of users.
If you fancy something in the middle, check out the Custom Plan, which enables users to choose how much storage, how many users and the bandwidth they need. These plans begin at $5 for 500GB each month.
OpenDrive is compatible with Mac, Windows, Android, and iOS. It also has a WordPress plugin, and offers an API and WebDAV for web developers to use.
Basic Functions of the OpenDrive Desktop Application
To access the OpenDrive desktop client, use the same email and password you used to create the account on the website, or else create a new account in the desktop application.
With the desktop application, users can set up folders to sync, and also create backups of new files. This can be set to perform automatic backups. If you are running a lot of backups regularly, it’s a good idea to disable the notifications.
The virtual drive looks similar to a regular window in File Explorer. Through this interface, you can open the menu for syncing files and folders, as well as manage backups, access web settings, and create or delete your folders.
Backing Up Files in OpenDrive
Compared to some competitors, OpenDrive doesn’t offer a lot of guidance in the backup process. You are effectively dropped into it, with three methods to choose from:
- Upload files through the web interface
- Add the files via the File Explorer interface
- Create a separate new task through the desktop window
When you back something up, OpenDrive will store the original file online. Every time you make edits to the local version of the file, the revised version will be uploaded to the cloud to reflect the changes.
By choosing the Synchronization option, your files will be hosted in a shared online folder. This option updates file changes across a range of devices, similar to DropBox. The Move option works like the archive function featured in many online storage services.
One caveat about OpenDrive that may deter some users is that the program cannot default to use cloud backup. Users must select the main folder for cloud storage, or else a different subfolder every time they are creating a backup.
You can set the schedule to backup Hourly or Daily, which are the most commonly used options. Aside from that, you can choose Permanently, which backups data every 30 seconds, or Manual, which leaves it up to you to backup files whenever you see fit.
Filter Content Type
In this section, users can add custom filters for various file extensions, and then set each to include or exclude. There is also an option for controlling backups depending on the file size or the date the file was created.
What to Expect from the Performance of OpenDrive
Testing on this cloud storage system has served up some mixed reviews. Even with a high-speed internet connection, results were underwhelming.
In fact, OpenDrive managed an average upload speed of 55 minutes for a 1GB compressed folder.
If you have huge amounts of data that need to be backed up regularly, then this will be a big problem. Slow performance may not be an issue for personal users, but for companies with multiple users and the need for lots of storage space, speed matters.
Tips for Using the Web Interface
The web interface of this program is well-designed, providing a pleasurable user experience (UX) that is easy to get to grips with, thanks largely to the drag-and-drop feature.
Whenever you drag images across to your drop target, a little progress bar will appear, and your image will be accessible once progress has completed.
The left-hand side sidebar is ever-present, making it easy to switch between notes, tasks, files, and users. Plus, you can find a shortcut to the main settings at the bottom.
With the right-click feature, you can explore other options on each file, such as sharing, editing, or viewing the properties. By clicking on a photo, you can open it in a separate tab, where you can see the details, rotate it, share or download it.
Another great feature of the web interface is the ability to listen to your audio files and edit documents directly. However, you won’t be able to play videos.
Using OpenDrive to Restore Your Files
If you want something back from OpenDrive, you can download the files from the internet, or else use the drag-and-drop feature to pull them out of the drive. This is done via the File Explorer interface.
Unlike Carbonite, you can’t recreate a whole new system, so downloading the files can take a lot of time. Furthermore, OpenDrive isn’t equipped with a disaster recovery service. That mean any major malfunctions with your hard drive will leave you depending solely on the web interface.
File versioning is turned off by default, but users can reset this in the account dialog. This permits you to set the limit, up to 99 versions, and it will delete older versions if you exceed the set limit.
There is Limited Mobile Support
The Android app is lacking in some key features, in spite of a good design. Its interface is similar to the web portal, with a search bar at the top and an easy-access button at the bottom to create new folders or add files from your photo gallery.
However, you can’t set the photos to automatically backup. Further to that, photos are the only file type you can upload using this app.
It’s possible to play various audio files in the Android app, but you must download videos and documents and use them with other apps.
In the settings, users are restricted to what they can actually change, with limited information provided on what your actions actually achieve.
Is OpenDrive the Best Choice for You?
When it comes to flexible cloud storage, OpenDrive is worth considering, purely for its unlimited storage space and the ability to use it for a large team.
However, the shortcomings are hard to ignore.
From a tricky backup process, slow upload speeds, and a disjointed user interface on the desktop client, there is a lot to get frustrated with when using this program.
The web interface is a bit better, with a good UX and easy drag-and-drop feature. If you’re on a budget, OpenDrive is a reasonably-priced option that may do the job for personal document storage, or even for backing up data for a small team.
Overall though, the poor mobile functionality is a big downer, especially in the modern age. As digital transformation of all industries surges forward, more and more businesses will be operating with mobile devices.
Speed matters, and people want to be able to use their smartphones and tablets for just about everything.
Unfortunately, OpenDrive just falls short in these key areas. While it may have its uses today, when it comes to the best cloud storage options available, it may not be able to hold its own for much longer.