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ADrive: A Review of the Site with the Largest Free Online Storage

written by: Rebecca Scudder•edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 3/27/2010

ADrive is a fairly new online storage company, with free and paid storage and file sharing options. They offer an extremely generous free 50 GB of storage for individuals.

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    ADrive is an online storage company established in 2007. They stand out from the crowd of companies offering free options by the storage space and options they give to their free users. Individuals can sign up for a basic account with 50 GB storage space, for an unlimited time. Accounts can be set up by any individual over 18, or a minor over 13 whose account is setup by a user over 18 who accepts responsibility for the minor adhering to the terms of service.

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    Features

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    Storage

    Because this is cloud storage, the 50 GB space can be accessed from any computer, at any time, with any web browser. They store all types of files, and allow the user to encrypt them before uploading. They do not offer an SSL upload connection to basic users, and do not offer duplicate storage in geographically remote locations for those users. A basic user is limited to a single open sign-in session at any given time. They do offer tech support for basic accounts, but only through email or a web form on their site.

    With 50 GB storage, you can lose track of what you have stored. ADrive has a search function to find files without looking into your folders or directories.

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    Online editing

    For document or spreadsheet files (.doc or .xls) stored online, they offer the ability to do online editing through the Zoho® Online Document Editor, without downloading the file first. The editor is not fancy, but it does allow editing from any location, rather than bringing the files onto your computer and uploading them again. ADrive also takes snapshots of the stored material, which go back about two weeks, daily, and once a month for two months. Basic account holders pay a $25 fee to get an earlier version of a stored file, although the option is free for paid accounts.

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    Uploading

    You can upload files, folders, or entire directories for backup, with a total size of 2 GB selected per upload. This is quite a contrast to the online storage companies that offer a total of 2 GB free storage, sometimes with an upload limit of as little as 100 MB. ADrive provides a Java uploader for folders and directories, and individual files can also upload through a HTTP uploader. Basic account holders manage their files through a provided file manager program. A much more versatile desktop application allows automatic backup and mapping your computer drive to your ADrive account for paid users.

    Basic users do have international character support for file names, as the company has clients across the globe. They also can use the remote URL file transfer, from any location.

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    File sharing services

    There are companies that offer cloud computing backup services, and there are companies that offer cloud file sharing. This lets the user upload a file or group of files, with the ability to assign a link to them and the link given anyone the account holder wishes, who then can download the files to their own computer. Many of these companies also have a free account option, with conditions. They limit the size of files that can be uploaded, the total stored, and the length of time they will keep those files on their system.

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    Shareable files

    ADrive seems to be fairly unique in their combination of these services, and the scope of services they allow to free users. Any material you upload, up to the 2 GB upload or download limit, can be put in a sharable folder, and a link created for downloading the material. Email attachment sizes are no longer limitations on what you can send to another computer user. You can share the link any way you please, or send it to a friend via email directly from ADrive.

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    File sharing limitations on ADrive

    Like other companies, ADrive does limit the length of time a link is valid for free users to share those files. Their limit is two weeks. Unlike most other companies, they do not then delete the files, because they are allowing you backup for an unlimited time. You can create another link, valid for another 14 days, as often as you want. You are also allowed up to five simultaneous downloads, with a limit of a terabyte of downloading for free users. Accounts are not deleted or expired without a request from the user.

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    Setting up an account

    To set up an account with ADrive, you must sign their user agreement. Terms of service include the agreement that nothing obscene or illegal will be stored in ADrive online storage. They participate in DMCA protection of intellectual property. ADrive is not responsible for the safety of your data. They suggest that they do not provide your only backup for your data.

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    Summary

    While basic account holders can backup their files, and encrypt them before hand, they must backup manually, do not have SSL encryption on their uploads or downloads, and do not have FTP access. There is no guarantee on remote storage of your data. The free accounts are only for individuals. They also have limitations on their file sharing ability, although the restrictions are less drastic than many other companies offering free file sharing. For uploading the pictures you took at your cousin's wedding, and giving a link to all your relatives, it is practically perfect. It is a dandy method to give yourself an additional backup, and actually allows you enough space to store quantities of music files, pictures and movies. They have no limits on how long a basic account can exist. Within their limitations, they are extremely useful. Just remember not to rely on them as your sole backup.