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iDrive Feels Growing Pains

Last week, idrive.com sent a message to its 3 million members apologizing for recent problems accessing the free service.

Idrive.com promises "infinite" storage space for mp3 files, photos, software, and games. But it informed users Thursday that it must implement a 150-megabyte limit on amount of data they download off the service to their computers each day.

Jeff Bonforte, idrive.com's chief executive officer, said a small number of users found loopholes in the company's generous acceptable use policy, and forced it to rethink its strategy.

"The intention of iDrive was always to be a system that a individual would use and they would collaborate and work amongst themselves are amongst small groups of colleagues," said Bonforte. "And in some cases, people were using iDrive to distribute to thousands of people. So, we were getting traffic of a very small number of users that represented a large percent of the overall usage and, what we were coming over over time was, 'How do we define abuse?' because there are certain users that we love. They are our evangelists. So you don't want to hurt them. The intention was to find the most damaging usage that wasn't necessarily adding value to the whole user base."

Bonforte said that fewer than 2 percent of idrive users will be affacted by the bandwidth limit, but as a result most users will expereince an increase in speed as a result.

The company gets its bandwidth from Exodus Communications. Bonforte said i-drive's goal is to be in the top 5 percent of sites in terms of performance.



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