IDrive Safe, as the company calls this feature, allows users to choose between plans to allow a single backup with up to 1TB of storage ($99.50/year), annual backups ($199.50/year) or monthly shipments ($999.50/year for up to 13TB of stored data per year). Just like with IDrive’s regular hard disk-based backups, the company ships the 1TB drives to customers who then only have to plug them in and start the backup process. Data on the drive is optionally encrypted using 256-bit AES encryption.
The company believes that the consistency of the hard drive shipments encourages its users to routinely make backups.
The difference between this new service and the company’s regular backup solution is that the data isn’t always available online, but will only be made available once a customer requests it. This allows the company to offer significantly lower prices for this feature than for its regular backup service, though users lose some of the flexibility when it comes to retrieving data.
For companies with a dedicated development staff, solutions like Amazon Glacier may be more attractive for long-term storage, especially given that Amazon also offers hard drive-based backups to augment its regular online cloud storage for continuous uploads. As an offsite backup solution that’s augmented by a more traditional service, however, IDrive Safe could come in handy for businesses and individuals who want to add some redundancy to their records storage systems, for example.