11 Questions with IDrive

Today we are talking with Shane Bingham about IDrive. Shane is a Business Development Associate with IDrive in their office in Calabasas, California.

We asked him some questions to learn a little bit more about IDrive.

Q: Can you tell us about the history of IDrive? It has been around a long time, what was the vision for IDrive when it was started?

Bingham: IDrive was launched in 2007 as a separate service – our earlier service, IBackup, was launched way back in 1999. When we first released the product, our goal was to demystify the act of backing up critical data, and make it easy for everyone to secure their most precious files.

What’s a typical day like at IDrive? What’s the corporate culture like there?

Bingham: It’s a very fun place to work, in my opinion. We work hard every day to deliver the best possible service for our users, but still make time to enjoy ourselves. Occasionally you’ll hear a nerf battle raging in the support department, or see the development team coming back into the office after playing cricket.

About how many people work at IDrive?

Bingham: Our headquarters in sunny Calabasas boasts a little over 40 employees, with about 100 more in our sister office in India.

How has the industry changed since IDrive started? How has IDrive embraced the evolution of online backup?

Bingham: The biggest change has been the explosion of smartphones. Back when IDrive launched, the first iPhone was still cooking in Cupertino, and Blackberries were something only businesspeople were interested in. Now, everyone and their grandmother has a phone that can take pictures, shoot video, and much much more. So it’s become important to us to be a truly universal service. We let users back up their data from any device to a single account, so they can easily access it from anywhere. It’s turning into a post-platform world, and users expect their data to be with them at all times. IDrive does that for them.

What makes IDrive stand out from other online backup companies?

Bingham: Many other online services off “unlimited” pricing plans. I use the finger quotes there because they either restrict the number of devices you can connect (often to only one) or they throttle your bandwidth if you’re uploading more data than they’d like you to.

With IDrive, you choose a plan based on how much space you need, and then you can connect all of your devices to that one account. Our tests have shown us to have about a 30% advantage in performance with the competition, being able to both upload and restore files faster than other services. We also offer some unique features, such as the ability to remotely manage your backup set and schedule, by using our robust web interface.

What are some of the features IDrive offers? What sort of features does it come with?

Bingham: IDrive offers users the opportunity to back up data from an unlimited number of devices, across multiple platforms. Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android devices can all be connected to the same IDrive account, and made accessible from anywhere.

People are trusting IDrive with their data. What security measures are in place to protect their data?

Bingham: Users data is encrypted with 256-bit AES encryption, widely considered one of the best methods of encryption available. It’s even been approved by the Pentagon for the encryption of “TOP SECRET” data. Users have the option when creating their account to choose a private encryption key, that’s known only to them. That means even we won’t have access to a user’s data.

About how many customers do you have? How much total space is used every month in online backups?

Bingham: Across the IDrive brand, we have over 2 million users, and store 30 Petabytes of data, stored across four world-class data centers. More servers are being added almost every day!

Any new plans or features you can share with us?

Bingham: We just launched a full redesign of the IDrive service, including web, desktop and mobile apps. The redesigns include better UI based on html5, better integrated desktop experience, and better mobile experience. We are about to add a lot more to the Apps gallery that use the publicly available APIs to access the storage.

What is something interesting most people do not know about IDrive?

Bingham: IDrive is one of the few services that offers APIs to access their encrypted data. We use these APIs ourselves to build the desktop and mobile products. We are opening them more to the public, to see what kind of applications the developer community can come up with.

Anything else you would like to add?

Bingham: There are a lot of cloud backup providers out there, and we understand choosing one can be daunting – that’s why our goal is to make finding the right plan as easy as possible – tell us how much space you need, and we’ll match you with the plan for you. All of our features are available to every user, no matter what plan they have.

Thanks Shane for your time. We look forward to hearing more about IDrive in the future.