Elephant Drive is a backup, sync, and file-sharing platform that offers strong functionality. The program differentiates itself from other file-sharing programs by being versatile and nimble, but like most programs of this nature, has pros and cons.
This article will break down the Program Features, Performance, Cost, Alternatives, and Other Considerations before giving readers the Verdict on Elephant Drive 2018. Read on to learn more about the program what it can potentially offer.
About Elephant Drive
Elephant Drive was founded in April 2005 by Ben Widhelm (now Company Principal) and Michael Fisher (CEO).
Both have considerable experience in providing technological services. Widhelm assisted heavily in the development of the application management product Burstly, while Fisher was involved for several years with Vivendi Universal Net USA.
The company is based out of Santa Monica, California, and has expanded significantly in recent years. The company currently has active partnerships with companies including QNAP, NETGEAR, and Thecus.
Elephant Drive has more strengths than weaknesses. The program lets users backup unlimited devices at no extra charge, has broad platform support, and is frequently rated by customers and professionals as easy to use.
Elephant Drive supports file sharing and versioning. Users can share data securely with anyone and access the files from anywhere over the Internet.
The downsides to Elephant Drive are the low file-size limits and cost. Most of the Elephant Drive plans exceed the cost of similar plans from competitors like BackBlaze and IDrive.
Elephant Drive does not look great on paper compared to other file-sharing program. When look at the program in terms of gigabytes and transfer speeds, the program seems somewhat mediocre, especially given the subscription cost.
However, the program has subtlety and nuance which can’t be seen just looking at the hard data.
For example, Elephant Drive can be used to sync multiple devices. If the user needs real-time access to the same content from multiple devices, this will be a very appealing feature. There’s also not a limit on devices-per-account, so users can back up as many devices as needed without the hassle of registering multiple accounts.
In addition to computers and mobile devices, Elephant Drive can also backup NAS (Network Attached Storage) devices. This feature is included with a standard subscription. Meanwhile, competition backup services like Keepit charge additional fees for the feature.
Elephant Drive’s Everywhere folder automatically syncs across all registered devices. A user can start working at an office desktop, then immediately pick up from a laptop at home. As the company puts it, Elephant Drive never forgets.
While these are all positives in Elephant Drive’s favor, the program is not without flaws.
Elephant Drive imposes upload limits on file size, which can be a deal breaker for users who move bulky files with regularity. The maximum file sizes permitted by Elephant Drive for upload are 2GB for the Pro plan and 15GB for business plans.
These size limits are relatively small, given that a downloaded movie can easily surpass the 15GB limit.
Another program limit is that users must restore from the browser, not the desktop client. Also, the Elephant Drive desktop client requires sub-programs such as Java to function properly, which can cause unnecessary clutter and lag on a computer.
Elephant Drive allows users to back up 1000GB of data for $9.95, and also offers a free trial for users on the fence. The company offers different features within unique pricing tiers (Lite, Home, Business, and Custom), which are covered in detail in the Cost section.
Backup from Multiple Devices
Key to Elephant Drive’s philosophy is the view “that users should be able to access their data from multiple devices without paying extra for the privilege”.
Today, most people utilize a variety of devices that might require file backup or storage – many use, at a minimum, a home and work computer as well as a smartphone. An advantage Elephant Drive users have over alternative file-sharing services is that the company does not charge users additional fees for multiple devices.
In addition to versioning, Elephant Drive also archives your saved files. This means that when data is deleted from a user’s hard drive, it won’t automatically be removed from the Cloud – your backed up copies will remain intact.
Users who have accidentally deleted an important document by mistake – and that’s most of us – understand just how potentially helpful this service can be.
User can also customize archiving rules, determining how long archived files are kept for, as well as deleting any files that are no longer needed.
Elephant Drive, like competitors including SpiderOak, offers unlimited file versioning. This means that files synced to Elephant Drive will not only exist in their most up-to-date form – users will also be able to access previous versions of all stored files.
File versioning can be a very useful tool should a user need to return to an earlier draft of a project to retrieve deleted information or undo any changes.
Most backup providers offer some form of versioning service, although many of the versioning services are extremely limited or restricted. While Elephant Drive doesn’t impose any such restrictions, it does give users the option to self-restrict, as multiple versions of the same file can take up valuable storage space.
User can change versioning rules from the Elephant Drive website, as well delete non-essential older versions to free up storage space.
Professionals reviewing the product found that the average upload speed for Elephant Drive was roughly 2.6 Mbps, similar to upload speeds seen in competition products (the majority of which sit between 2 and 4 Mbps).
Elephant Drive’s download speeds, on the other hand, averaged at just 3.2 Mbps. This figure was found to be considerably slower than many of their competitors, most of whom recorded figures between 4 and 5 Mbps.
Elephant Drive offers a number of options in the interest of getting users to try their product.
To start, the company offers a 30-Day free trial on all of their paid products. This will certainly entice some users to give Elephant Drive a shot.
The free version of Elephant Drive is called the Lite Plan, which only requires that the user create an account. The company describes the package as “perfect to protect a couple of files for your first steps in Cloud Backup.”
The Trial Plan features:
Next in line is the Home Data plan, available for $9.95/month. The plan promises to “protect your family's devices and your Home setup.”
The following features are included in the Home Data plan:
If you wish to “Backup your Data, Collaborate and Guarantee Business Continuity,” then the Business plan is your best option. This plan includes all of the following:
If the Business plan does not include all the features that a user needs, they may reach out to Elephant Drive about adding any of the following:
To contact Elephant Drive about any of these additional service, you can e-mail the company at this link or call 1-800-778-4055.
Customer Service and Support
Elephant Drive provides customers with an online FAQ and video tutorials, and Lite/Trial subscribers have access to the company’s email-based support ticket system. Personal users also have the option of having a live chat with a customer service representative.
On the whole, Elephant Drive does a good job with basic customer support. But while Elephant Drive’s online resources are helpful for beginners, more advanced troubleshooting resources are absent or limited.
There is a lot of information available on the Elephant Drive site for NAS users, so those using Elephant Drive for its NAS compatibility will find plenty of assistance.
If users have a question that cannot be answered via video tutorial or FAQ, they may submit a request via e-mail. The company also has a customer support phone number, and representatives can be reached at (855) 256-8338.
Elephant Drive Alternatives
There is no shortage of file-sharing and transfer services available, and each tries to distinguish itself as best it can while remaining price-competitive. Elephant Drive’s signature trait is probably NAS compatibility, but it is not the only NAS compatible file-sharing service running today.
File-sharing and storage alternatives to Elephant Drive include:
And these are just a few of the many alternatives available on the market. NAS compatible backup services include Cohesity and Pronto.
Elephant Drive Mobile App
For iTunes and Android Store users, the process of downloading the Elephant Drive mobile app is very straightforward. However, users who purchase the Elephant Drive app through Google Play may require a bit more effort to get the app up and running.
The Elephant Drive mobile app not currently listed in the Google Play store, meaning users will have to install it directly from the Elephant Drive website. The issue is that Elephant Drive does not yet have a mobile-friendly version, making Elephant Drive a less-appealing option for Google Play users.
The consensus is that the mobile app is easier to use than the desktop or website versions, though some reviews claimed that the mobile app crashed frequently.
Elephant Drive is compatible with Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. User who run multiple devices with different operating systems – for example, a laptop with Windows and an iPhone running iOS – can utilize Elephant Drive on both platforms without any problem.
Elephant Drive always encrypts data with AES 256-bit encryption before it even leaves your device. Transfer of the already encrypted data is also done using a 128-bit SSL secured channel. This is the same standard of protection used by banks to keep online transactions private and secure.
For those needing additional security, the option remains to further encrypt data using a password-based private key. This double-encryption is a very powerful way to privatize and secure files, as Elephant Drive will never know or store your personal password in plain text form.
Amazon Web Services provides Elephant Drive’s data storage infrastructure on a physical level. All data is stored across multiple devices in diverse geographical locations across the world to ensure that, should one data center suffer any physical damage, a user’s files and personal information will still be safe at another physical location.
There are plenty of security measures in place inside the physical data centers as well, protecting servers against extreme temperatures, power failure, and natural disasters.
Security does not appear to be an issue with the product, per user and insider reviews.
Elephant Drive compares favorably to most other file-sharing and storage programs based a number of key features, namely file versioning, file archiving, and NAS compatibility.
While the cost can be a bit high compared to similar programs, Elephant Drive should still be viewed as a high-value product based on ease of use, exclusive features, and functionality.