Livedrive = Massive Fail, a customers review

Livedrive = Massive Fail, a customers review

It's not often these days that you can come across a company which fails in so many ways that it's almost unbelievable they are operational, however in the past 3 weeks I have come across just a company that I think has failed on so many aspects that it's impossible not to warn other people about them.

So the company in question is Livedrive and it is a cloud storage company create by the same founder as Fasthosts. I've head great things about Fasthosts, so I was expecting good things from Livedrive, but unfortunately almost from the get go there were severe issues.

You see, I'm currently testing out which cloud storage system can act as a true file store for 100% true cloud computing. In my tests, I have come across a lot of solutions, from Dropbox, SugarSync, Gladinet and Livedrive. The problem was that to really get true cloud computing, where your original file starts from the cloud, there are many things you need to consider.

For anyone working in extended remote teams, you'll know what I mean when I say that you need full Windows Explorer type controls, permissions and functionality. To have a truly cloud based storage device act as if it was a drive on your computer, you need all these things and you need stability, reliability and speed.

Unfortunately in all our tests, not one single platform could achieve this. So for anyone reading, there is a massive opportunity right now to develop something that fills this gap.

The thing I want to highlight in this particular post is DO NOT EVER USE LIVEDRIVE.

Livedrive fails on both service, support and technical. The only thing they might be good as is sales, but that is subject to opinion. They are good at sales because they can sell you all the features and benefits of their system, even though over 60% of it does not work as intended or fails completely.

This means they lie to you during the sales process!

Ok, I so swamped with issues I don't know where to begin.

Let's start with support. Zero attention to their customers is where their starting position is. No telephone support, email only support and they don't even respond to email support via their support website. In fact the only way I got a response was calling their SALES line, pretending to need sales, and then telling them I'm a customer and I need some mission critical issues solving right now.

Only then did they respond, but they did not help, they just asked for logs. I'm guessing it'll take them a few months to get round to it. The problems on their support highlight a critical factor if you are running a business. No matter how good your products are, or your services, if your customer support is crap, it will be the worst marketing for your company you could do.

Negative marketing!

Technical issues are abound with the FTP system, their desktop client and also their web interface. In fact, every part of their system seemed to have serious flaws. Here's a few tech issues I've encountered:

  • unstable file syncing
  • unreliable file copying, you can never be sure that you're file hasn't been corrupted by the transfer
  • desktop client software issues with file integrity
  • unable to specify an upper limit on cache size
  • ftp unable to support more than a handful of connections, and then when you do, you get locked out
  • client software indicates potential for multiple connections to speed up downloading, however only 1 download at a time ever happens
  • using files from the Pseudo mounted drive will slow your applications down to hanging sometimes
  • folders will often look empty when you enter them

the list goes on.

This is a warning, avoid LIVEDRIVE at all costs. The pain is not worth the promise, so far I think I've lost 3 solid weeks of my life dealing with the aftermath of using them.

10 Responses

  1. Maybe with superior support you might have a different opinion of cloud services.

    We have over 3000 customers and some storing over 1Tb and all without any service outages or problems.

    I’ve offered you 3 months free trial and supported by Monster Cloud support to see if we can change this review to one that shows another side to Cloud Storage.

    1. It's not just the support that sucks, their actual infrastructure has a lot to be improved.

      For a start they are attempting to create the cloud infrastructure themselves when they really should adopt one of the big 3 providers just like Dropbox has. There's no way they can compete in terms of reliability, uptime, speed and many other aspects, with Amazon S3, Rackspace, Google Cloud or Microsoft Cloud.

      If the desktop software just worked, and the system was fast, then customer support would hardly be needed. With Dropbox I hardly had to contact them because their system "Just works", taking on Apple's motto.

      Unfortunately for Livedrive, their system JUST DOESN'T WORK. Too many technical faults, no reliability, lost files and corrupt files.

      My tests were done with 4 people using the system with over 385,000 files in a true working environment and Livedrive simply could not live up to the tasks that were demanded of it.

      Note we are not looking just for cloud storage, but a true 100% cloud computing file platform that can replace standard Windows File Explorer.

      As a side note, I didn't realise there were so many resellers, so I would recommend avoiding any company using the Livedrive backend, so that means all the resellers.

      To name a few: Tapnet, Bulldog Backup, GotABackup, Zovo, Backify.

      AVOID!

  2.  

    I can second your opinions about LiveDrive. I only use their collaboration feature – called briefcase. 

    There is no support whatsoever with LiveDrive. But they sell an one-day get back to you support. That’s a blatant lie!

    They have serious – and I mean serious – technical problems. They have lost some of my uploaded data in the past. I didn't even get an apology. Nothing. 

    The software client is very slow (using .NET). In the past you could use up to 8 concurrent connections. They have disabled this option. I asked them in a support ticket. I got actually reply – after several months (!). They played dumb. Hadn't an explanation. Well, I have one: You disabled this feature without telling your customers. 

    There is where the lies start. In the past LiveDrive advertised secure data transfer – something very important when dealing with the cloud. File sniffing proofed there was no encrypted data transfer. LiveDrive never – not once – answered any question about this issue. But they did act: They closed their forum where people where complaining about this lie and many more things. Today’s forum can only be accessed by customers. Every post has to be pre-approved to be published. Every post with critical questions won't get approved. 

    Recently a part of LiveDrive's customer experienced an almost week long outage. They did apologies. But they offered no refund. Support tickets asking for some kind of refund where closed without any answer! 

    They assure every potential customer they would not cap or throttle upload bandwidth. Yet they privately admitted to me they do throttle. They cap upload bandwidth at about 2.2 Mbits/s. They openly lie to their customers! 

    When it comes to backup they only recently introduced block level incremental updates. But still it's only available for a very limited number of file formats. Competitors have long been using this feature. It means that only the part of a file that actually has been changed will get uploaded and not the whole file. This is especially useful for database files or your Outlook pst file. 

    And lastly: The data you upload to LiveDrive will be encrypted and stored on their servers. But LiveDrive has the key. So the encryption is basically useless. Competitors often give you the option to have your own keys. Without the keys nobody will be able to decipher the stored data. And that's what encryption is all about. 

    Bottom line: Don't get fooled by the apparently cheap price. Their service is cheap and not only the price. Never ever store critical data (critical in content or without any other backup) with LiveDrive. 

  3. Hi,

    How can close my account with Livedrive???
    They don't respont to emails.

    Many thanks in advance
     

    1. You can try all sorts of methods, but you'll have to be super pro-active to get any results.

      One way I tried was to use social media, in particular Twitter to get in touch with them. Because social media is all about having a public conversation, companies are more active to respond to mitigate against excessive bad press.

      Best way is really to make your issue public and you'll soon hear back.

    2. See my post at ‘http://www.bestonlinebackupdeals.com/reviews/livedrive-review/#comment-1713’. Hopefully this may help.

      Regards

      Keith

  4. 02031376445 try this number to get straight through to management team.

  5. Have you looked at Oxygen Cloud – http://www.oxygencloud.com I moved away as a LiveDrive reseller for this reason.

    Thanks

    Keith

    1. To be perfectly fair, I think that in the end the big boys of cloud storage will win out overall because they have a lot more resources to throw at the problem.

      Google Drive, Dropbox, Skydrive and perhaps even Amazon will dominate and have the best overall service, after all they all have an edge over the smaller companies trying to service this area because

      1. The have more money to create bigger and better server banks
      2. They have a better technology infrastructure
      3. They have more employees researching and implementing
      4. They have a better sense of customer service

      I would be looking very closely at Google Drive at the moment. Despite the fact that currently their upload speeds is not quite up to scratch, their overall offer and future plans will be sure to raise on eyebrow or two with their whole methodology aiming towards replacing your desktop PC with their cloud services.

  6. Any more bad experiences with LiveDrive being a completely failure to response to any support on their system?

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