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ADrive Review – A Closer Look

Quick Look

adrive logo

Previously providing 50 GB of free storage, Adrive has now transformed into a completely premium cloud storage and syncing service. It has backup scheduling, file syncing and many sharing options.

The plans start from $2.5 per month for 100 GB of storage space.

About ADrive

Founded in 2007, Adrive was initially offering 50 GB of free storage space to lure in new users, just like Mega. But, by the end of 2015 this offer was retracted, and now the company is pushing in for the premium plans. The notification was sent in September, and all the users were supposed to move their data to the premium storage space by 16th November.

The cloud company is headquartered in Emeryville, California. We tried searching for information about the founders of the company but, unfortunately, we reached a dead end. There aren’t any names available on their official website or any other website.

about company

Who Should Use ADrive? 

Until a few months ago, we would have confidently said that Adrive is great for personal use for students and PC users who need over 50 GB of free data. But, with the recent revisions, we are not sure. Though, we also have to mention that the monthly plans are quite affordable, and users can easily give this service a try.

company info

It has features like file synchronization, drive mapping and file versioning which could come in handy. For business users, Adrive can prove to be a bit confusing. While the storage space is cheap, there are no private encryption or collaboration features that could be problematic. Overall, we would recommend this as a secondary backup storage for both personal and business users.


Features

  • Backup scheduling
  • File Sync
  • File Sharing
  • Fast Up / Down Speed
  • Mobile App
  • No File Size Limit
  • Keeps Deleted Files
  • & more...

Uploads and Downloads

Signing up was easy though you have to answer some of those personal questions in case you lose your passwords. You would also have to authenticate your email address by clicking on a link emailed to you. Tiring, but useful. The desktop apps for the cloud service are available for Windows and Mac.

adrive desktop tutorial

Previously, desktop apps were only available for premium users and not for free users. But now that Adrive has replaced its free account with a 60-day trial, we decided to test out the desktop app. The first thing we noticed after installing Adrive on our desktop was that it doesn’t give any recommendations about which folders should be uploaded and which shouldn’t be. It leaves this decision entirely in the hands of the user. The problem – it would take you more time to select and upload all the folders.

account login screen

What we liked was that settings like ‘always keep logged in’ or ‘run at startup’ aren’t selected by default. This is a major issue with the desktop apps of many cloud backup services.

It’s easy to navigate through the desktop app with only five tabs available – Backup, Sync, Drive, Account, and Help. Once you go to the Backup tab, there is a ‘New Job’ option which you need to click to start backing up files. Once you have selected the files and folders, you can customize how you want the backup to take place. Backup scheduling can be done every 15 minutes, every hour, every week or every month. You can also select which day of the week you would want the backup to start. Every time Adrive checks for a change in files and only uploads those specific parts of the file that have been modified.

backup folder screen

With an option of selecting the location of the backup, the only thing that we found missing was a continuous backup.

In the Sync tab, you can drag and drop files that you would want synced with all the local devices. Also, syncing on Adrive is a bit confusing. There are two types of file syncing available – Basic and Advanced. In Basic syncing, a copy of every file in the sync folder will always be present on the Adrive server. With other cloud syncing services, if a file is deleted from a local machine, then it is also deleted from the server. All in all, basic mode is like combining both syncing and backup features, but it also means that it would take more space on local drives.

sync screen

The advanced mode works like normal syncing when a file is deleted from the local machine; it is deleted from the server as well.


Privacy & Security

The company has competitors which provide a zero-knowledge policy and private encryption, but all Adrive provides is an SSL encryption. This means that your data is only encrypted when it’s on the move, being transferred from your system to the server or vice versa. Apart from that, when the data is on the server, it’s not encrypted.

And this is only for the premium plans. When Adrive was offering 50 GB free storage space for users, it did not even provide an SSL encryption.

Adding to the mess is the fact that Adrive is based in the US which means it has an open door policy to the NSA, and the government can look through your data whenever they want.


Web & Mobile App

The web app can be used to restore files and folders back to your desktop. The interface is simple and users can also browse through previous versions of the files. Once you click on any file, you would be able to see the sharing options. Files can be shared via links and users can decide the total time that link would be active. There is also an option to set a password to access the file. Users can also choose how many times they would want the file to be downloaded. While Adrive does list collaboration as one of its features, we didn’t actually find any real-time collaboration features.

web app

While the desktop app didn’t even have a search bar, we were anxious to see if web app had it or not. The good news – there is a search bar on the web app. The bad news – it’s highly case sensitive. The search bar is basically up to no good because it’s very case sensitive and when we were testing, we couldn’t find a single file correctly.

Coming to the mobile apps, we were a bit disappointed when we downloaded the iPhone app. Maybe these apps haven’t been updated since a long time. When we tried the app on an iPhone 6, we couldn’t even log in because the keypad was hidden. So, we tried to test it on Android. We were able to log into the app on Android and upload files as well, but we couldn’t browse through the already uploaded files on Adrive.


Pricing and Plans

Adrive used to provide 50 GB free for all its users but now it only offers paid plans starting from 100 GB. First of all, 100 GB can be a lot of space for many users. If a user is only looking to backup 20-30 GB, then he wouldn’t want to pay for 100 GB knowing that he would never use it.

pricing

It also provides unlimited storage plans but, only for business users. Personal plans start at $2.5 per month for 100 GB of storage space. There is also a 60-day trial period if users want to try out the service and see if it suits their requirements.

We found the prices a bit high since Adrive doesn’t provide all the features provided by other cloud storage services.


What's It Missing? 

The interface needs some improvement. The desktop app also needs to be more equipped with features because currently it lacks some essential features. The Same problem lies with the mobile apps. They seem to be very outdated, and they need to be re-designed to make them more usable.

Another thing that Adrive lacks is security. Just SSL encryption is not enough. Cloud backup services provide private encryption and master keys to make sure the user data is protected and inaccessible even to their employees. But, it seems like Adrive didn’t want to put much focus on security.


ADrive Alternatives: 

justcloud logo

JustCloud with both cloud backup and syncing features is an excellent alternative to Adrive. Both apps are very easy to handle. It also provides 5 GB of free storage to all its users so that you can experience their features before buying.

Follow this link to read our full review of Justcloud.


Boss Verdict: 

Adrive is an affordable cloud storage service for people looking for a cheap secondary backup. With features like backup, syncing and backup scheduling, we would recommend Adrive.

Tech Specs: 

Specifications

  • Free Storage: No
  • Free Trial: 60 days
  • System: Windows, and Mac
  • Price: Starting at $2.25/month

Mobile

  • Mobile Apps: iOS and Android

Backup Features

  • Synchronization: Yes
  • Free External HD Backup: No
  • Continuous Backup: No
  • Incremental Backup: Yes
  • Backup Scheduling: Yes
  • Bare Metal Backup: No
  • Exclude File Extensions for Backup: No
  • Network Drives: No
  • Bandwidth Throttling: No
  • Web Access: Yes
  • HIPAA Compliant: No
  • File Size Limit: No limit
  • Included Machines: 1

Security

  • Local Encryption: No
  • Server Side Encryption: No
  • Keeps deleted files: Unlimited
  • File Versioning: 5 versions of the file

Sharing/Collaboration

  • File Sharing: Yes
  • Multiple Accounts: No
  • Share Photo Albums: No
  • Music Streaming: No
  • Folder Collaboration: Yes
  • Outlook Backup: No
Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 3 comments
Darius Rook - August 14, 2016

60 days is a very long free trial and this service is worth paying for. On top of that you have access to deleted files for an unlimited period of time. No more 30 day limits for deleted files. Some mention that this is not a service that has a lot of security features but I personally have never had a problem. If you just need a moderate amount of storage then Adrive is worth a try.

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Campbell Raines - August 14, 2016

This is a basic cloud storage service and not much more. It works well enough for me but I have a friend that has a Windows phone and it didn’t work for them. It is worth the 60 day trial to find out if it works for you though. I only need a little bit of storage so for $25 per year I can get what I need with A Drive. If you need a lot of storage then this is not a good service unless you are a business and can get their unlimited plans.

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Carter Cline - August 14, 2016

First off this is a terrible service for those that want to share a lot of pictures. That being said it is one of the better solutions for those that just need to back up a small to moderate amount of personal documents, pics, etc. At $25 per year for all the storage that I will need it is the cheapest option for me and it is very easy to use. The long trial gives you a chance to see what it offers. There is really nothing to lose if you want to try it and you may just save a lot of money overall on storage.

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