iDrive vs. Carbonite – We Bet You Can’t Guess Who Won!

Practically all important information is digitized these days. Is your important data safe? If you keep medical, financial, legal or other sensitive documents on your computer, there’s something you should know:

Physical or electronic damage can destroy your data in an instant. This can be a fire or flood in your home, an electrical accident in your neighborhood or even a virus or other malware which sneaks into your system electronically. Not only are the important documents stored on our PC at risk but so is your library of music, movies and even family photos!

idrive vs carbonite

Cloud storage is a great way to keep your documents safe. When you store documents on secure, remote servers your data is practically imperious to physical and virtual harm.

Today we’re going to compare and contrast the top features of cloud storage providers iDrive and Carbonite. Want to know which service is the best for your specific needs? Check out our complete report below:


idrive logo

iDrive was founded in 2007 by Rahul Kulkarni. Headquartered in Los Angeles, over 150 employees currently work for this fast-growing company. They’ve backed up over 50 petabytes of data from over three million worldwide users.

Their platform is built with the EVS system. This is a proprietary cloud platform which allows for custom applications and fast speeds.

iDrive offers a wide variety of features. They provide cloud backup but also file sync and remote access. They target individuals as well as both small and large teams.

Key Features:

  • Social Media Backup
  • Scheduling Options
  • Fast Speeds
  • Remote Management
  • Incremental Backup


carbonite png logo

Carbonite has an edge in that many people are familiar with the term. That’s right, this is the copper-colored substance from the Empire Strikes Back which freezes Han Solo. The goal of Carbonite the cloud storage company is to provide the same rock-solid, impenetrable security as the movie type of carbonite.

Carbonite has backed up an impressive 500 billion files. Their team of 550 team members works throughout the various company offices located in Boston, California, Maine and Germany. Support is U.S.-based.

Above all else, Carbonite is focused on security. At the same time, they understand you don’t need to be a security expert in order to appreciate top-level cloud security. Their goal is to offer secure file transfer and storage without bogging users down in complicated details.

Key Features:

  • Unlimited Storage
  • Compliant with Major Regulations
  • Private Encryption
  • Incremental Backup
  • Mobile App

Which Company is Easier to Use?

If your cloud storage platform isn’t intuitive and hassle-free, you’ll be shooting yourself in the foot. Because a difficult-to-use cloud service is a service which nobody wants to use at all. In order to make sure your files are always backed up securely, you’ll want to choose a provider which is easy to use.

iDrive is easy to use because it’s very accessible. Compressed backups transfer files in small portions, which means your network bandwidth is never severely impacted when you want to use your PC. Also, the web-based console lets your manage your entire cloud storage system from anywhere. You can also use whatever type of device you’re comfortable with.

idrive apps

Carbonite is easy to use because it’s extremely automated. During installation you can select specific folders you wish to backup, or you can sit back and let Carbonite backup the entire hard drive. If you want cloud storage, but aren’t particularly interested in how it works, then Carbonite is for you.

Carbonite is the easier of the two providers. While you don’t get as much flexibility, you also don’t have to do as much work. A few clicks and your entire PC can be safely copied into the cloud.

Which Company is Fastest?

which backup service is faster

If you can’t access your files when you want them to, then your backup isn’t really very useful. There are a variety of ways cloud service providers handle restoration. Some companies store data in a way which means retrieval can take days or even weeks. Other companies offer file versioning and file restoration, which allows you to check previous drafts instantly.

iDrive offers two options for fast retrieval. Their iDrive Express can return data of up to 3 TB in less than a week. They also offer the iDrive One. This is a secure local storage space which is often used as a companion to the traditional cloud storage service.

Carbonite doesn’t really have a feature similar to the iDrive One. They do offer fast, large data retrieval with their Prime paid plan. This plan includes a courier service which will deliver your data directly to you on a thumb drive.

Carbonite provides a ton of security but their retrieval is generally going to be slower than iDrive. The Hybrid iDrive is a fast, secure way to store files locally. Of course, there are size limitations. But the iDrive Express is roughly similar to Carbonite Prime‘s courier-based plan. Overall, we find iDrive to be faster.

Is One Company More Reliable than the Other?

When you store data on a remote server, you want to feel confident about a few things. First, you want to know that the company is going to be in business for the foreseeable future. Next, you want the company to be able to protect their servers. This includes physical protection for the electronics as well as virtual protection against all types of malware.

iDrive is a dependable company. They offer a variety of security services as well as reliable U.S. based tech support. They’ve been in business since 2007 and there’s really no reason to think they’re going away anytime soon, if ever.

Carbonite is also a very reliable company. Founded in 2005, they have a few more years of experience than iDrive. Their entire company is focused on security and protecting user privacy. Any exception to that would seriously damage their business model.

We’d trust both companies with our personal data but Carbonite is our favorite here. They’re one of the original cloud storage providers and they have a sterling reputation. While iDrive is very serious about security, Carbonite has made user privacy the main focal point of their entire operation. This is a company you can rely on without a doubt.

What Kind of Features are Offered?

Online backup is more than just a virtual storage locker. The right features can help you easily manage storage across multiple devices and even among multiple users. Some people prefer a simple, automated platform where most functions are performed automatically. Others want a lot of options for customization and overall file control.

iDrive has an interesting blend of features, many of which are fairly unique. They offer multiple, unlimited device backup. Their iDrive One provides secure, local storage. iDrive even offers Instagram backup. One iDrive account can be setup to store from an unlimited number of Instagram accounts.

carbonite feature list

Carbonite is comparatively light on features, preferring instead to focus on ease of use. During installation you can select folders for backup or let Carbonite backup everything on its own. In fact, if you want a platform which will automatically backup your entire hard drive, this is the one to choose.

This automation doesn’t always translate to the best experience. When comparing features, we actually prefer iDrive to Carbonite. iDrive’s features take a little while to completely understand, but that’s because they’re rather unique. In the long term, iDrive has plenty of flexible features which we think most users will find useful.

How Does Each Company Handle Security?

Security is one of the most important features when selecting a cloud storage company. Local side encryption protects data on your PC and in transit. Server side encryption ensures nobody can access your files, even the storage providers themselves, while those files are in storage. Also, you want to ensure the cloud storage provider provides 24-hour protection to their physical servers.

iDrive has a variety of security features including 256-bit AES encryption. The user defines the key, which is not stored on the iDrive servers in any way. iDrive also offers their hybrid backup service iDrive One. This is a secure local server which allows for speedy backup and recovery.

idrive security graphic

Carbonite also offers solid security with 256-bit encryption on both the local and server sides. Their commitment to security is apparent from the very beginning, when the initial setup prompts you to enter your network key. Note that this integrates security for you alone. Your encryption key can never be seen by any employees at Carbonite (or anyone else, for that matter).

Carbonite is a safe choice but we actually like iDrive just a bit better. Their iDrive One is an interesting, effective way to combine fast recovery with secure local storage. Regardless of which provider you prefer, always remember to keep track of your encryption key. Losing the key means losing access to your files, and your cloud storage provider won’t be able to help.

What Are the Differences in Pricing?

iDrive offers four different pricing plans based on the number of people using the storage. Their free plan is available for an unlimited time period and includes both 5 GB of storage space and an additional 5 GB of sync space. Their personal plan increases the space up to 1 TB for $52.12 a month. Their other two plans are for teams and businesses, and have varying price points based on team members and space needs.

pricing list for idrive online backup

Carbonite doesn’t have a free plan but they do offer a 15 day free trail. Their three paid plans all include unlimited cloud storage for one computer, automatic backup scheduling and remote file access/sharing. The Basic plan is $59.99. The Plus plan is $99.99 and includes mirror image backup. Finally, their Prime plan, at $149.99, adds video backup and overnight thumb drive data delivery service.

Carbonite offers a lot of services with their paid plans. Their Prime plan, with courier service, is particularly impressive for the price. However, we’re going to choose iDrive as the overall better deal. Their free plan with a total of 10 GB of space is a great free plan which many people will find useful.

Did You Guess The Winner?

Carbonite is an easy-to-use cloud storage provider which offers powerful security features and intelligent automation. For users who wish to back up the contents of their entire hard drive, Carbonite is a simple, no-nonsense solution.

idrive logo

When comparing the two platforms directly, however, we think iDrive is the better option for most people. iDrive is more flexible and offers some very exciting features such as iDrive Express and iDrive One. If you want more mobile options, quicker file retrieval and an option for secure local storage, iDrive is the online backup provider you should choose.

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