Aimed at SMBs who want simple, easy-to-manage file sharing in the cloud, hosting company Ionos’ HiDrive service has a few tricks that could add extra appeal. We review the top-tier HiDrive Pro service, which brings data backup services for cloud storage, desktops, laptops, mobile devices, and NAS devices into play.
It’s comparatively good value: a Pro subscription starts at £20 per month and includes 2TB of cloud storage space plus support for ten users. One feature that will appeal to those who want to send large files is that the only limiting factor is the amount of cloud storage available.
However, one thing to keep in mind is that cloud storage is not per user, it is shared between everyone. Device backups also get their share of this, so companies with a large user base will need to closely monitor consumption.
The HiDrive administration portal is quite basic but very easy to use. To add new users, issue email invitations from the portal, allow admin rights on selected accounts, and if necessary, globally enable two-factor authentication (2FA) for tighter access security.
After HiDrive account creation, users can download the desktop sync app from their personal portal, and along with Windows, Ionos now offers one for macOS. Previously, Mac users could only access their cloud data from the web portal or WebDAV protocol, but now they can access it directly from the Finder app and create scheduled backups of their photos, videos, and contacts folders .
Files are easily managed from the portal, and each user gets a personal folder that cannot be shared with other team members. This service is handled by the wildcard “Common” folder, which authorized users can access from your portal. Any file uploaded here will be available to all others.
External collaborators don’t need a HiDrive account, as you can email links to shared files and folders from the portal, Windows Explorer, or macOS Finder, and protect them with passwords, download limits, and expiration dates. However, HiDrive does it differently when you want external clients to send you files; its mail upload feature creates a unique address for each user, and when emails are sent to you, attachments are automatically removed and saved to the linked cloud folder.
Windows and Mac users will find device backup easy to set up from their desktop app by selecting the folders they want to protect and choosing a daily or weekly schedule. We also tested this service on an iPad loaded with the free HiDrive app and were able to schedule backups of photos, videos, contacts and calendars and use the iPad’s camera to scan documents directly to the cloud.
HiDrive’s NAS backup service has its limitations as it only supports Qnap devices and dated online help refers to the outdated QTS Backup Manager application. It still works though: we used Qnap’s Hybrid Backup Sync 3 app with the HiDrive SFTP address and were able to create a job to sync local folders on a TVS-675 device with our cloud account.
All HiDrive plans support automatic data backup to the cloud, which administrators can run every four hours and retain data for up to a year. Data restoration is fast: browse your backups from the portal and restore files and folders as cloud copies or download them as ZIP archives.
Ionos HiDrive Pro is light on collaboration tools, but makes up for it with extreme ease of use. Small businesses that don’t need large amounts of cloud storage space will find it an affordable option, and its backup features add extra value.
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