iBackup: The Product’s Fine, But Enough With the Comment Spamming

iBackup Transfer WindowsThis is a review for ReviewMe, first discussed here. The subject of the review pays me to review their product or service, though I’m under no obligation to provide a positive review. You can judge for yourself if this compromises me–it’s a question I’m eager to explore.

One other note: I’m using the rel=”nofollow” tag for ReviewMe companies, so that they’re not buying my link juice along with their review.

Backup Everywhere

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 greensolo@mail.com) 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.

4 comments

  1. The problem is, no matter how good a product is, once you crossed the line into black hat, some people will completely reject the thing all together.

    I wrote a short entry on online backups on my personal blog (and thanks for linking to it). Two weeks later “Eddie” came along and commented about iBackup.

    Two months later I wrote another article on offsite backups, on a completely different blog (web hosting related). And you know what? A few days later, someone else came along and commented about iBackup, using very similar block of text, coming from exactly the same Indian IP address, but signed a name other than “Eddie”. I can’t remember what name it was now because I filed it as spam to Akismet straight away 🙂

    And this practise turns me off. No, I have never tried iBackup, but I will not recommend anyone using it, simply because of their tactics in marketing it.

  2. Amen. Ibackup, Idrive, Pro Softnet corp or whatever they are calling themselves these days are *very* black hat. They’re notorious for email harversting, email spam, comment spam and payola – steer clear. Send an email to CEO Raghu Kulkarni, Product Manager Naveen Athresh or “spokesman” Sreedhar Acharya and let them know you disaprove of their tactics.

  3. Naveen Athresh is famous for harassing people psychologically. He is not a human being at all.

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