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Get a two-year iDrive Personal cloud subscription for $29.50

Cheapskate exclusive! Normally $69.50 per YEAR, this top-rated cloud service offers easy backup and file-syncing for an unlimited number of devices, and 1TB of storage. Plus: two great bonus deals!

CNET's Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. And find more great buys on the CNET Deals page.


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iDrive backs up not just your computers, but also your mobile devices. And not just some of them, but all of them.

iDrive

Here's a hard truth: Data loss is not a question of if; it's a question of when. At some point, your hard drive is going to fail, or get infected by a virus (or, worse, ransomware), or suffer some other calamitous fate.

Whether or not that proves to be your Worst Day Ever or just a Moderately Inconvenient Day depends on whether or not you have a backup.

Alas, most of us are cheap or lazy, which is why we need an inexpensive, highly automated backup system. Like this one: For a limited time, Cheapskate readers can get a two-year iDrive Personal 1TB cloud backup subscription for $29.50. Regular price: $139.

I've run iDrive deals before; usually you'd get the first year at a discount, then subsequent years at the regular rate ($69.50). This is the first time the company has offered this kind of deal on a two-year subscription. That works out to just $14.50 per year, or a measly $1.20 per month -- to back up all your devices.

See, unlike a lot of cloud-backup services, iDrive doesn't limit you to a single device. Here you can backup your desktop, laptop, phone, tablet and whatever else you might own. (The service can also preserve photos and videos from your Facebook and Instagram accounts.) Backups are done continuously and in real-time, so there's really nothing you have to do once the initial setup is complete.

Here's a full rundown of the features included with your iDrive subscription.

One thing I feel it's important to note: This is not designed to back up (or restore) an entire hard drive. For that you should use an external or network drive. Cloud storage is for data, which is ultimately what you want to preserve.

You should also be prepared for your initial backup to take some time -- possibly several days or even longer, depending on how much data you've got. This is normal, and true with all online backup services. Fortunately, your subscription also includes iDrive Express, which works like this: iDrive ships you an external hard drive, which you use to quickly back up your files. Then you ship the drive back; the data gets added to your cloud repository. This can take up to a week, though, so it's not necessarily a faster solution, just a more expedient one.

How well does all this work? CNET hasn't reviewed iDrive (nor have I), so let me steer you to this PCMag review from a little over a year ago. Verdict: 4.5 stars and an Editors' Choice nod.

What's my take on some of the very angry comments below that review? Many of them are from the same disgruntled person. Others come from users who, I think, had unrealistic or misinformed expectations about how cloud backups work -- if not how iDrive itself works.

My advice: Do your homework. Read the company's FAQ page to get answers to any initial questions you might have and see what issues you'll potentially encounter. Visit the iDrive Forum to see what problems others have experienced, and whether they've been resolved.

I'll also add that iDrive has been in the game a long time (the company was founded in 1995), and an admirably cool-headed company rep responded to nearly all the comments in the aforementioned PCMag review. I think that speaks volumes.

Your thoughts?

Sarah Tew/CNET

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