This is a review for ReviewMe, first discussed here. The subject of the review pays me to review their product or service, though IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m under no obligation to provide a positive review. You can judge for yourself if this compromises meÃ¢â‚¬â€œitÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a question IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m eager to explore.
One other note: IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m using the rel=Ã¢â‚¬ÂnofollowÃ¢â‚¬Â tag for ReviewMe companies, so that theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re not buying my link juice along with their review.
This is the fourth request I’ve received to review backup solutions. The first was a long time ago, but I think it’s still my favourite–Box.net. Next there was Backup Platinum 3.0 (actually a local backup option) and the third one (which I never got a chance to write up) was Data Deposit Box. Today’s subject is iBackup. The storage space is obviously pretty hot.
And, frankly, there’s not a lot to differentiate between the products. They all do what they advertise–enable you to store files at a remote location. There’s no easy way for me to evaluate the two most important aspects of this service: reliability and security. That would require weeks of study and more certified experts than I keep around the house.
Bog Standard Backup Software
iBackup offers a free fifteen day trial, which is pretty standard (Data Deposit Box’s is 14 days). There’s a signup process (more on that later), you download an app, install it and away you go. The pricing is competitive with other services–the standard rate seems to be about US $2/GB.
The software uses the common two-pane FTP model, and has the usual scheduling features. I’m not nuts about the iBackup UI, as it features a bunch of menu options which would confuse the average user. The home user doesn’t know what a ‘SQL Server’ or ‘Mirror Path’ is, and probably doesn’t want to back up an ‘Exchange Brick-level Mailbox’. They should seriously consider a simple/expert mode, where the advanced functionality is concealed by default.
In short, iBackup is nothing to sing about, but it’ll do the job. However, a company is more than it’s product, and that’s where iBackup has fallen flatter than a poor man’s crepe.
iBackup is a Customer Relations Nightmare
iBackup makes a series of basic, obvious mistakes in how they relate to their potential and existing customers.
My first interaction with iBackup wasn’t this review. As I mentioned, in December I wrote a review of Platinum Backup 3.0. That’s a local backup product, so not necessarily a direct competitor to iBackup. That didn’t stop ‘Ted’ (using the peculiar address firstname.lastname@example.org) from spamming the comments for that entry with an impersonal, promotional message for iBackup.
A quick search indicated that I wasn’t alone in getting spammed by iBackup. Other sites feature comments from different iBackup reps with names like ‘Dave’, ‘Eddie’ and, oddly, ‘Sancho’. I contacted ‘Ted’, politely explaining why his tactics weren’t kosher. He hasn’t replied.
Those marketing tactics are egregious, and I’d discourage you from using iBackup on that basis alone.
The signup process is a minefield. When you visit the home page, there’s a field for you to enter your email address to try a ‘free trial’ of iBackup. After doing so, I received two duplicate emails from the company, despite only signing up once.
The link in the email passes you to a signup page, which features this totally absurd chart. I specified that I wanted a free trial, yet I’m presented with 20 paying options before the free one, which I have to select again?
Finally, they required me to enter my credit card details in order to use the free trial. That’s a fairly common tactic, but it’s a lousy one.
iBackup has a fine product, but their customer relations and marketing tactics make them untouchable. Spend your backup money elsewhere.