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OpenDrive provides cloud storage and backup solutions that can be used for personal or business needs. There’s also a free – but limited – plan. Backups can be slow and it definitely lacks a few more modern features, but pricing is incredibly reasonable and customer support is reliable and fast.
Some Solid Features, but Definitely Lacking in Other Areas
OpenDrive is a versatile cloud storage provider with plans suitable for personal, business, and corporate use. It has unlimited storage, mirror-image backups, and can be accessed via the web, desktop, or mobile app.
It has practical features like Zoho Docs, which allows you to create documents and other types of files within the app itself. I was also impressed by its retention period, which is three times longer than you’ll find with other services. But you’ll need to be patient when backing up your files, as speedy backups aren’t one of OpenDrive’s strengths.
In my in-depth review, I’ll focus on ease of use, security, customer support, and privacy. Here’s a small spoiler: OpenDrive falls relatively middle-of-the-road when it comes to these features. There were a few areas that I felt were a bit lacking, but it certainly isn’t the worst cloud storage solution I’ve encountered.
Modest but Dependable Features
Data Server Locations
Backup and Restore Options
Continuous/scheduled, backup from external drive, offline restore option, mirror-image backup
Limits and Restrictions
Limits on file size, fair use limits, bandwidth throttling
Applications and Operating Systems
Windows 7 and later, Windows Server 2008R2 and later, macOS X 10.12x and later, Linux, iOS and Android mobile apps
128-bit SSL encryption on website and mobile apps, 256-bit AES encryption on desktop, optional private encryption key
Via web, desktop, and mobile apps, multi-device syncing
If what you need is the basics, then OpenDrive just about ticks all the boxes. Its features aren’t as fancy as other cloud solutions, but it’s a relatively reliable, user-friendly tool nonetheless.
A few aspects make it special, like the ability to use OpenDrive on WordPress through its dedicated WordPress plugin. WordPress plugins for cloud storage are rare, and OpenDrive is one of the few cloud storage solutions that have this option. Developers can also access OpenDrive through WebDAV and the available API.
But the real strength of a cloud storage solution doesn’t lie in its bells and whistles. So, let’s take a look at how OpenDrive handles backups and uploads, data restoration, and security.
Free Plan with Size Restrictions
Backing up files with any of OpenDrive’s apps is a simple process. The desktop app has the most functionality, and this is where you can schedule backups and syncs. I found both the desktop and mobile apps super easy to navigate.
Backup options include hourly, daily, continuous, and manual – which is a wider range of choices than what many other cloud hosts offer. You can also choose which files you’d like to include, exclude (like temporary files), or ignore altogether.
The one thing I sorely missed was a backup status report on the web app. Each individual file has a loading bar to track its progress, but there’s no way to check the total status of the upload or any countdown of sorts. Once your backup is scheduled, though, you can enable email notifications so you’ll be alerted even if you’re away from your computer.
OpenDrive’s free plan has a 1GB per day bandwidth limit, but only for downloads (upload bandwidth is unlimited). Once your bandwidth limit has been exceeded, you’ll have to wait until noon (Pacific Standard Time) the following day to be able to access, download, or open files via links. There’s also a max upload file size of 100MB.
Retain Deleted Files for up to Three Months
You can restore files or folders from the trash within 90 days of deletion. Since most cloud hosts only offer a 30-day retention period (especially for free plans), this is certainly a plus for OpenDrive. If you want file versioning capabilities, you’ll need to upgrade from a free account to a paid plan.
There are two (super easy) ways to restore files from the trash: you can right-click on an individual file or click the counter-clockwise arrow in the top right corner. You can read more about my experience restoring files directly to my desktop and backing them up via the web app in the Performance section.
If you want a physical copy of your data, OpenDrive can mail an external drive to you for a one-time processing fee. But this service is only available for Business accounts, so personal account holders won’t have this option without an upgrade.
Basic Security That Gets Slightly Better with Paid Plans
The security features with OpenDrive leave a lot to be desired. I was able to enable two-factor authentication, but that was truly the extent of my security privileges.
When you enable two-factor authentication, you’ll be asked to enter your number to receive a link to download a mobile app called Authy. When I entered my phone number in Authy, I was sent an access code that was auto-detected, which immediately logged me into the OpenDrive authentication account. There’s also an option to verify the account using Whatsapp or an email address.
Although two-factor authentication is great, I didn’t have much personal control over my data’s security beyond that. OpenDrive does have an activity log, but I was only able to view up to 100 rows of activity at a time. Since each file uploaded counted as an activity, and I uploaded over 400 files, this feature didn’t prove very useful to me in the long run.
OpenDrive uses both 2048-bit encrypted Secure Socket Layer (SSL) connection and AES-256 bit encryption. Premium users also get the benefit of a zero-knowledge Secure Files folder, where you can create your own private encryption key. Servers are monitored (I’m assuming 24/7) and premium accounts have their data mirrored through multiple servers.
Ease of use
Easy to Navigate User Interface and Apps
OpenDrive is easily one of the more user-friendly cloud storage solutions I’ve used. The interface is a bit outdated, but its simplicity works if you don’t like some of the unnecessarily complicated frills that other hosts may have. I was able to intuitively find everything I needed on the web, desktop, and mobile apps without issue.
Here are a few of the OpenDrive usability features that stood out to me the most.
Create Notes, Lists, and Reminders in the Web App
OpenDrive Notes is a simple feature that lets you create notes in the web app. You can create up to five notes at a time on the free account (an upgrade will remove this limit).
If you want to color-code your notes, there are six color options to choose from. OpenDrive lets you upload documents and images into notes, but I received an error message when I tried to add videos. Although it isn’t anything extravagant, I liked having this feature. I used the Notes feature a few times to jot down reminders and create a quick to-do list.
Easy Project Management in the Cloud
Whether you’re using your OpenDrive for personal or business use, the Tasks section is incredibly useful. Once you’ve created a Project, you can assign color-coded tasks that can be assigned or set to private, with the option to add due dates and priority level. Tasks can also be duplicated or set as Fixed, In Progress, or In QA.
The uses for this feature are obvious if you have an OpenDrive business account – easy collaboration and task management with team members. But if you have a personal account, you can still use Tasks for things like planning parties or organizing a trip with multiple people.
Streamlined Workflow with Integrated Office Software
Zoho Docs is an online office suite (similar to Office 365 or Google Workspace) that’s integrated into OpenDrive for easy creation of commonly used office documents. Zoho also supports a number of file types for documents (.doc, docx, .html, .pdf), spreadsheets (.xls, .xlsx, .csv), and presentations (.ppt, .pps).
With Zoho Docs, you don’t have to open any other browsers or apps to create and edit your documents. All you have to do is save your document as a compatible file type and it can be opened and edited in the office suite of your choice.
When I created and opened my document, OpenDrive asked me whether I wanted to keep the document in read-only mode or allow others to edit it. If you share a file with someone else as read-only, they can still view edits live, so you’ll need to password protect the file to make it private.
Once you sign up, you can download the mobile and desktop apps. I found the mobile app in the Google Play store, and the link to download the desktop app is available on the OpenDrive website.
After downloading the desktop app, I signed in and began exploring my backup options. You’ll need to create a new task for each action you’d like the app to complete. The desktop app lets you choose between doing a backup or sync (depending on your preferences) and moving or backing up your data as a one-way mirror image.
The mobile app was a breeze to use at first – the interface is pretty similar to the web app so within a few seconds, I was able to locate all of the important sections. But although the uploading process was pretty easy, the app crashed whenever I tried to open a file.
The trash folder also doesn’t seem accessible from the mobile app – I had to open the web app to access it. And even though I can upload documents, images, and videos, there currently doesn’t seem to be an option to backup contacts on mobile.
You’ll Need to Set Some Time Aside for Backups
An important part of any cloud storage or backup is how efficiently it backs up your data. I wanted to test how long it took to upload a 3GB folder with videos, images, and documents using the web app. Since the file size limit is 100MB on the free plan, I had to remove and replace a few of the larger files to ensure my entire folder could be uploaded.
I tested my upload on three separate days (Monday, Tuesday, and Saturday), and deliberately chose times in the morning, afternoon, and evening. I have high-speed internet, so my Wi-Fi upload speed is generally around 150-160Mbps and the average download speed is 170Mbps.
My Monday test was done at seven in the evening and the entire folder took 3 hours and 9 minutes to upload. This is slower than other cloud storage solutions I’ve tested, but I’m in Trinidad and Tobago, around 3,500 miles from the data center in Phoenix, which is a significant distance.
The second test I ran was on Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. and the upload took a bit less time, coming in at 3 hours and 4 minutes. After this test, I ran into a storage capacity issue – although I deleted all the files in my account, my storage usage did not change.
I had to contact support to ask them to reset the storage usage before I was able to run my final test. This is when I was informed that it takes up to 36 hours to sync any storage changes you’ve made. So if you reach your storage quota and delete files to upload new ones, you may have to wait a couple of days or contact support for help.
I ran the final test on Saturday at 9:00 a.m. to see how weekend traffic would affect the upload speeds. Interestingly, this test took the least amount of time and finished in just 2 hours and 53 minutes.
From these results, I can conclude that a 3GB folder can take around three hours to upload. But, if you have slower Wi-Fi speeds, then you should expect a longer upload time. (I should also note that on free plans, bandwidth transfers are capped at 200KB per second.)
After I did my backups, I wanted to see how long restoring (read: downloading) the same folder would take. The 3GB of data I uploaded took 2 hours and 12 minutes to download as a compressed (zipped) folder.
One thing I noticed about OpenDrive is that neither the backups nor the restoration slowed my computer. Since I didn’t experience any lagging, I was able to keep working as I ran my different tests.
Although it doesn’t explicitly state the conditions around this, OpenDrive is an American company and it falls under Five Eyes and Patriot Act jurisdiction. It is HIPAA and PCI compliant and, according to customer support, it is also GDPR compliant.
Quick Email Support
Although the website states that both email and phone support are available for users, I couldn’t find the contact number on the website at all. It wasn’t until I submitted a support request that I noticed the number in the footer of the email I received.
My support requests were always answered promptly, which is likely a result of OpenDrive’s 24/7 email support. The support staff I spoke to was polite and communicated well. When I reached out about my difficulty with the desktop backups and resetting my storage quota, I received a response in under 20 minutes and the issue was resolved within a couple of hours.
On the other hand, OpenDrive’s help center is rather disappointing. Many of the articles are from a few years ago and haven’t been updated. The community forum isn’t very active either. Overall, I wasn’t able to answer any of my questions using the help center.
If you need to contact support, my suggestion is to use the support request. But if you’d like a faster response, you can contact phone support during business hours – although, OpenDrive doesn’t state when these hours are.
Great Pricing for Unlimited Personal or Business Storage
With OpenDrive, you can choose between Personal, Business, and Enterprise plans, depending on your usage needs. There is a free plan available and a free 7-day trial is offered for any of the paid plans.
I signed up for the free Personal plan, but there are two other paid plans for personal use. You can choose between the standard Personal plan with unlimited storage or a flexible Custom plan. While you can add up to 999 users on the Custom plan, you won’t get unlimited storage, tasks, or bandwidth.
Like the personal plan, there’s a scalable Custom business plan where you can get up to100TB of storage. But if you want unlimited storage, you’ll need to invest in the Business plan, which also comes with unlimited tasks, up to 1,000 added users, and customized branding. OpenDrive also has a Reseller Unlimited plan, geared towards businesses that want to sell cloud storage under their own brand.
If your company is large, you can contact OpenDrive to purchase one of its Enterprise plans. Each Enterprise plan is tailored to individual company needs, so pricing can vary greatly.
Pricing with OpenDrive seems a bit costly at first. But, when you account for the fact that you can get unlimited storage for $9.95 a month (which is less than some streaming services), it turns out to be a great deal. There’s also no restriction on how many devices you can backup and sync to your account.
At the moment, OpenDrive accepts all major credit cards and PayPal as methods of payment.
My experience with OpenDrive was a bit of a rollercoaster. There were many features that I liked and many others that I felt fell short.
One of the things about it that I appreciated was how quickly customer support responded to my support requests. But the help center articles weren’t very “helpful” and I found myself having to reach out to support for questions that I believe should have been more readily available on the website.
I also like the Notes and Tasks features, which I can see being incredibly useful for users. The pricing with OpenDrive is also something worth noting – it’s definitely one of the cheaper options for unlimited storage you’ll find on the market.
Is OpenDrive good for beginners?OpenDrive is a great cloud storage host for beginners or anyone who doesn’t consider themselves tech-savvy. The user interface is simple and uploading, downloading, deleting, and backing up your data isn’t overly complicated (see more in my Ease of Use section).Does OpenDrive have iOS and Android apps?OpenDrive has mobile apps for both Android and iOS. You can find the links to download these apps via the website or by searching for them in the Google Play Store or the App Store.When should you use cloud storage?If you find yourself running low on space on your devices, then you’ll likely want to consider cloud storage. Cloud storage is a great way to free up space on your hard drives by storing your data virtually rather than locally. When you need to access these files, you can view, edit, and manage them via the cloud storage’s apps.
You can also use cloud storage if you want to keep your data safe. Devices can be damaged or hacked and data can be permanently lost. By using cloud storage, you ensure that your data is always accessible – even if your devices aren’t.Can I back up my files for free?Yes! Most cloud storage or backup solutions offer a free plan or free trial. For example, OpenDrive has a free plan that allows you to back up 5GB of data. You can also request a free 7-day trial for any of its paid plans.
Free plans are a great way to save money on storage, but you’ll be limited in how much data you can backup. If your needs aren’t significant, then a free plan can work. But if you need more space, you’ll have to pay to back up your data. Not all cloud hosts are the same, though. Read our expert’s list of best cloud backup services in 2022 for our recommendations.
With over 15 years of graphic design, branding, and UX experience, Alicia has worked with clients big and small from around the world. When she’s not glued to her computer screen, you can find her teaching visual communication design classes, roaming through farmers’ markets, or searching for treasures at second-hand bookstores.