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Cloud Storage Showdown: iDrive vs Google Drive for Artists (Security, Backup & Pricing) - Part 2

Hey there, fellow creatives! Buckle up for part two of my cloud storage saga. Remember, this comes from an artist's perspective, not a tech whiz. I just want to share what's worked for me for years, letting me sleep soundly without fearing lost masterpieces. Now, let's tackle the burning question: why bother with an extra service?

In my previous post, I spilled the beans on my external storage saga. If you're in the "1 TB hard drive is child's play" club, check out (Part 1) for the backstory. But why, you ask, the fuss about cloud backup after fixing the external drive debacle?

Picture this: your backups and external drive cosy up in your office or home. Now, imagine a theft, a natural disaster, or the less Hollywood scenario of a virus corrupting both drives. This is where online backups swoop in like data superheroes. They're like insurance for your precious files. You might never need them, but if disaster strikes, you're covered.

Just like external drives, there are a zillion cloud storage options. Picking the right one is key. When I started this quest, like many, I first looked at Google Drive. After all, I'm already deep in the Google ecosystem. It seemed seamless... but hold your horses! I decided not to store my portfolio on Google Drive. iPhone photos, sure, but for the portfolio, I needed something more reliable. It might sound confusing, but trust me, it'll all make sense!


Cloud Storage - Google Drive vs. iDrive

Google Drive shines for online collaboration (seriously, can't imagine life without Google suits!). iDrive, on the other hand, is a champion for secure cloud backups. They seem different, but their features sometimes overlap. The key lies in understanding their unique strengths to choose the right platform based on your specific needs. 

Oh, and did someone mention costs? We artists are basically subscription and services tightrope walkers, trying not to fall into the financial abyss. Pinching a penny here and there? It's our frugal art form in action!

Both iDrive & Google Drive Offer:

  • Continuous Backup: Say goodbye to manual backups!

  • Incremental Backup: Only changed files get uploaded, saving time and bandwidth.

  • External Drive Backup: Back up your whole external drive for extra peace of mind.

  • NAS & DAS Backup: Got a fancy network-attached storage (NAS) or direct-attached storage (DAS) device? No problem!

  • Unlimited Backup: Some plans offer unlimited storage, perfect for photo hoarders like us.

  • Versioning: Accidentally overwrite a file? No worries, access previous versions.

  • Private Encryption: Keep your prying eyes out with secure encryption.

Pricing Plans of both Cloud Storage Services:

Google Drive

10 GB Free

15 GB free

5 TB

First year

Yearly: SGD 92.69 | USD 69.65

Monthly: SGD 7.72 | USD 5.80

After first yearYearly: SGD 132.41 | USD 99.50

Monthly: SGD 11.00 | USD 8.29

2 TB

Yearly: SGD 167.88 | USD 126.15

Monthly: SGD 13.99 | USD 10.51

For more storage requirement check out pricing here

For more storage requirement check out pricing here

Choosing the Backup Champ: It's All About the Photos!

Price aside, if I based my decision solely on syncing, sharing, and collaboration, Google Drive would win hands down (that's why I love it for other things!). But for pure photo storage, iDrive takes the crown for these reasons: 

Backup Banter

When it comes to backup, iDrive struts its stuff with an impressive array of features that leave Google Drive in the dust. iDrive is as versatile as a Swiss Army knife, accommodating backups for all sorts of gadgets, from Windows desktops to Apple MacBooks, NAS to external hard drives – you name it! Well, except for Linux-based systems, but let's not hold that against it. And it doesn't discriminate against the number of devices either; whether you've got two or twenty, iDrive's got your back.

Flexibility is the name of the game with iDrive. You can cherry-pick individual files or backup entire folders and disks – it's your call. Even better, iDrive takes the wheel by pre-selecting folders for you, saving you oodles of time. And hey, if you're feeling adventurous, you can always tweak the selections later.

Image showing the iDrive interface

Now, let's talk speed – With block-level file copying, it's like having a personal assistant scanning your files before uploading, only bothering to transfer the bits that have changed. Talk about efficiency! And if you're drowning in data with a sluggish internet connection, fear not – iDrive has a trick up its sleeve. But more on that when we delve into its rival, Backblaze.


Security of your Digital Data

Security-wise, both iDrive and Google Drive are on it, using strong encryption and 2FA to keep your files safe from pesky hackers. They stash your stuff in super-secure data centres too. But here's the scoop:

  • iDrive rocks a beefier encryption (256-bit AES) than Google Drive (128-bit AES), making it a tad trickier to crack your files. Now, I tried wrapping my head around the technical jargon, but it felt like trying to decipher an alien language, so I just went with it. However, if you fancy flexing your brain muscles, dive into this article explaining encryption. Consider yourself warned!  

  • iDrive boasts an extra layer of security called zero-knowledge encryption. This fancy term basically means even iDrive itself can't peek into your files. Google Drive, on the other hand, doesn't offer this feature. This means your files are unprotected from unauthorised access by Google employees or anyone who hacks into Google's servers.

Overall, iDrive provides slightly better security for your files than Google Drive.

Privacy of your Data

Now, let's talk about privacy. Here's the thing: Google Drive, bless its collaborative heart, makes its living from ads. That means your files might get scanned to feed Google's almighty algorithm. This might make you feel like someone's peering over your shoulder. Sure, they anonymize your stuff, but the thought of a Google employee peeking through your files in real-time is a bit... unnerving.

iDrive, on the other hand, is all about keeping your privacy under wraps. They don't scan through your files at all, which is like a big thumbs up for anyone who values their digital privacy. Plus, their policy follows strict regulations like GDPR and HIPAA, making them a great choice for security-conscious folks.

Here's the catch: iDrive’s servers are in the US, so with a legal warrant, they might have to hand over your data. But fear not…If you enable zero-knowledge encryption, even if they surrender your files, they'll be gibberish without the password (which iDrive doesn't store). So, your photos remain safe and sound.

Basically, if keeping your photos under lock and key is your top priority, iDrive is the clear winner.

My cloud storage process looks like this

image showing the photographs storage workflow

iDrive Vs Backblaze

Alright, so I was feeling pretty smug about my iDrive choice. Then, whammo! My photographer buddy throws Backblaze into the ring. Ugh, decision fatigue is real, folks. Here I was, ready to settle in, and now I'm back to square one comparing features. But thankfully, two key factors made the choice a breeze

Customer Support: Speedy Replies or Snail Mail?

Now, my tech know-how is like a toddler on a rollercoaster – shaky, uncertain, but determined to ride it out. When I need help, I need it fast, not after hours of waiting for emails. Backblaze fumbled this round big time. It took them a whopping 48 hours to answer a simple question! iDrive, on the other hand, has fantastic chat support, so I could get my questions answered in a flash. This is a lifesaver for someone like me. No brainer there!

Data Upload Dilemma

The burning question: how do you upload terabytes without breaking your back or turning your laptop into a digital hostage? This gets real tricky if you've got hard drives groaning under the weight of terabytes. iDrive swoops in with a game-changer: they'll ship you a physical drive on request. You back up locally, ship it back, and their express team does the heavy lifting, and once all is ready I just have to log in to the account, hook my system up and do periodic incremental uploads. Oh, this service is free once a year for US users, and for those outside, the shipping bill won't break the bank. Easy peasy! Backblaze, well, they don't have this handy option.

Considering these two factors (and the overall package), iDrive was the clear winner for me. But hey, that's just my experience! What do you guys think? Are there any other backup services that outshine iDrive? Hit me with your recommendations in the comments below!


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