Gadget news
ADP TotalSource payroll services review
6:01 pm | January 19, 2021

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Comments: Off

ADP is a large multinational company offering a range of professional service software to businesses across the world. The ADP TotalSource review software we're looking at here is specifically designed to streamline workplace processes, covering areas including HR, employee benefits, payroll, recruiting and performance benchmarks.

Selecting the best payroll software for your situation is vital to ensure you’re complying with legal and regulatory requirements and paying your employees the correct amount. In this ADP TotalSource payroll review, we take a closer look at the company’s payroll software to help you decide whether it’s the right option for your needs.

ADP TotalSource review: Plans and pricing

Unfortunately, ADP doesn’t openly advertise the prices of its payroll software. This means that you will have to reach out to the team for a custom quote. 

However, it does provide information about the different subscription options. There are four plans designed for small businesses with between one and 49 employees and four plans for larger companies. 

The small-business plans start with Essential Payroll, which includes basic tools to streamline the payroll process. Upgrading to the Enhanced Payroll plan adds background checks, state unemployment insurance and more. 

The Complete Payroll and HR Plus package comes with all payroll tools, plus basic HR tools, including an integrated HelpDesk, training and toolkits along with other useful functions. Finally, an HR Pro subscription adds even more advanced HR tools, including employer and employee training and sexual harassment prevention training. 

On top of this, all small-business plans come with three months for free if you meet certain criteria. 

Larger businesses can access ADP payroll software through one of the four ADP Workforce Now packages, or through the ADP TotalSource program. Once again, though, prices for these aren’t openly advertised, which means that you will have to contact the sales team for a custom quote.

ADP TotalSource review

There are four small-business plans available (Image credit: ADP TotalSource)


If you decide to use ADP TotalSource or any of ADP’s other payroll solutions, you will benefit from a range of advanced features. 

ADP’s payroll software includes powerful tax tracking and processing features that streamline the entire process. When an employee’s details are entered into the system, the appropriate amount of tax will be automatically calculated. 

ADP also provides powerful time and attendance tracking features through its mobile apps. Let employees record their work hours, access payslips, and more from the comfort of their mobile device. 

Finally, the ADP payroll platform provides regular updates when state and/or federal regulations change. Pay attention to these to keep on top of your legal requirements. 

ADP TotalSource review

ADP TotalSource payroll is backed by a suite of advanced features (Image credit: ADP TotalSource )

Interface and in use

We tested the ADP TotalSource user interface briefly, and we were very impressed with both its useability and its power. At the simplest level, it allows you to monitor, preview, and approve employee payroll inputs. You can connect bank accounts or other payment methods for automatic payments, view any of a range of custom reports, and add or remove employees as required. 

On top of this, the employee mobile app is great. It enables workers to sign in and sign out as required, keeping an accurate record of hours worked. It also provides information about payment details, benefits, retirement income, and more.

ADP TotalSource review

The ADP user interface provides a neat overview of payroll statistics and data (Image credit: ADP TotalSource)


ADP provides a range of different support and customer service options, although live support does appear to be a little limited. Automatic phone support and a virtual chatbot are available via the company’s main website, and other live support options may be available through your local service center. 

There are also numerous self-help resources and how-to guides available through the help center. These are separated into employee and client administrator sections, and there’s even a neat search bar to help you find the exact resources required. 

ADP TotalSource review

ADP offers a range of customer service options and self-help resources (Image credit: ADP TotalSource)


Since ADP’s payroll software deals with very sensitive information, the company naturally uses strong security measures to minimize the risk of hacks or data breaches. In fact, it has an entire security division dedicated to maintaining security and identifying potential breaches before they occur. 

On top of this, ADP has top security certifications from a range of certifying bodies around the world. It uses multiple layers of advanced security to ensure problems don’t get out of hand, and its fraud prevention tools are among the best we’ve seen. 

ADP TotalSource review

ADP’s software is backed by powerful security integrations (Image credit: ADP TotalSource)

The competition

ADP TotalSource comes with extremely powerful, industry-leading payroll features, but there are still plenty of alternatives that we’d recommend checking out. 

Gusto is a powerful, US-based payroll program that incorporates a range of features, such as benefit management, time tracking, compliance, and tax management. It’s quite an affordable option, with prices starting from $19 plus $6 per employee per month. 

Another great option is QuickBooks, which is designed with a focus on versatility and ease of use. It’s available across mobile and desktop devices, enables you to generate automatic payslips and reports, and more. It’s available from $13.50 plus $4 per employee per month. 

Final verdict

ADP TotalSource is a great option for those looking for powerful payroll software combined with other HR and employee management tools. Reports suggest that it’s slightly expensive for smaller businesses, but its advanced features mean that it still provides great value for the money. 

What’s more, ADP payroll is backed by great desktop and mobile interfaces, a range of advanced features, and various support services. All things considered, we’d recommend reaching out to the sales team if you’d like to find out more about this program and how it could work for your company. 

IceDrive review
10:02 am | January 14, 2021

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Comments: Off

IceDrive is a cloud storage solution that aims to make cloud storage feel like a physical hard drive with what the company calls “revolutionary” drive-mounting software. With IceDrive, you’ll be able to access your cloud storage just as easily as on your own device’s hard drive, but without taking up any space.

The cloud storage provider is a relative newcomer to the market, founded in 2019. So, we’ll look at how the experience compares to some of the best cloud storage providers in the business across performance, platform availability, pricing, and support. 

IceDrive: Plans and pricing

There is a free account with 10 GB of online space, which matches some of the best free cloud storage providers. You’re limited to 3 GB daily (not monthly) bandwidth, but it doesn’t have client-side encryption.

There are three subscription tiers named  Lite, Pro, and Pro+ offering 150GB, 1TB or 5TB of storage which should be enough to cover most people’s needs. You can’t get Lite on a monthly subscription, unlike Pro ($5 a month) and Pro+ ($18 a month). All are available on an annual plan for $20, $50, and $180 a year. 

You can also get a lifetime plan for a one-off purchase. These are interesting because they’re similar to buying an external hard drive. You’d pay less for a physical device, but in the likely scenario where you need a cloud backup, with the lifetime license, you’d be killing two birds with one stone. Expect to pay $100, $500, or $1000 for one of these, as there are currently huge savings to be had offering around one-third off the usual price. 

If you do choose to pay the full price for one of these lifetime subscriptions, you’ll need to keep it for between five and seven years, depending on the tier, to make your money back.

It’s worth considering other providers like pCloud for lifetime subscriptions, or iCloud and OneDrive, which offer family plans with centralized billing and shared storage support if that’s important to you. 

IceDrive cloud storage showing the interface

(Image credit: IceDrive)

IceDrive: Interface & experience  

The cloud storage service features a clean, easy-to-navigate interface. Even if you’ve never used any form of cloud storage before, understanding how to use IceDrive will take next to no time. Searching for files and transitions between pages happens very quickly, as does uploading documents to your account.

It is also easy to create public links for files and folders or share them with people by entering their email address. Shared content can have passwords and expiry dates, but there is little else in the way of collaboration features.

We found the overall experience to be much slicker using the browser. It looks just as up-to-date as the likes of Dropbox, Box, and Google Drive, all of which put a heavy emphasis on user experience. However, the desktop app - in our case, the macOS version - let the experience down somewhat with not as clear a layout.

Windows users also have the option of mounting the virtual drive. This has the same interface as Windows’ file explorer, allowing them to interact with files in the drive in the same way as anything else on their computer.

The mobile app experience mirrors the functionality of the browser-based access and desktop client, sitting somewhere between the two in terms of design and ease of use. The lack of consistency in design and layout depending on how you access IceDrive can present navigational challenges for those who are less familiar with the technology.

IceDrive cloud storage showing file sync options

(Image credit: IceDrive)

IceDrive: Features

One of IceDrive’s best features is the ability to use it like a virtual drive that is attached directly to your computer. In fact, you can mount it like any other drive with a single click from within the client app. When we used the Windows version, appropriately enough IceDrive assigned itself the drive letter 'I'. 

IceDrive uses special software so that all the operations you’d need to perform on files—open, edit, delete, and upload—feel as fast as they would for files on your own hard drive or an attached drive. Intelligent caching of your recently used files means you’ll notice almost no slowdown. The only downside of this feature is that it is Windows-only.

Other operating systems aren’t left out completely, though. IceDrive has a ‘portable’ app which can be used on Windows, Mac, and Linux. It’s portable because it doesn’t actually need to be installed; just download it, and then you can run it directly from wherever you’ve downloaded it to.

With it, you can upload and download files and folders, stream media, and preview documents and images without needing to download them first. You can edit files on your computer and the portable app will watch them for changes and upload new versions to your account in the cloud.

IceDrive cloud storage showing drive mount capabilities

(Image credit: IceDrive)

There is also a web app that has been designed to work almost identically to the portable app. This means you can access your account from anywhere that has a web browser installed. Apps for iOS and Android provide similar functionality, including the ability to share content and back up your entire device. The web app also supports previewing some files such as images and audio.

Although online collaboration tools and editing are is limited to basic file sharing, when we reached out to IceDrive in April 2022 we were told that it is “not yet possible to edit documents online however [IceDrive’s] development team are working on this,” which suggests that the company is willing to part with some cash in order to keep its services up-to-date and competitive.

The email continued: “File sharing is currently available as well as file request features for [collaboration]. Our development team are working to implement more enhanced collaboration as a priority and will be releasing within the next few weeks and will feature:

  1. Set different access permission for files and folders
  2. Extensive, intelligent discussion system implemented for collaborating on files and projects
  3. Track discussions through the dashboard and get alerted on new comments, and more
  4. Upload and download to shared access folders for true collaboration”

Since May 2022, we noted that Access Control had been introduced for files and folders. While file sharing works well, it's not yet possible to collaborate on documents as you would with Microsoft 365 or Google’s G Suite

The number of file versions saved differs based on your plan, however regardless of subscription these are kept indefinitely. We were told that “this may change” in the future, though, so bear this in mind.

Of particular interest and use is the lack of file size limits. That means even content like large videos can be uploaded and stored in IceDrive. However, the company has said that some browsers can impose limits, so it’s better to use the dedicated software when performing heavy uploads. By comparison, other companies often limit file sizes, presenting limitations that are hard to overcome.

IceDrive support options are a bit limited. The company is based in Wales in the UK, and publicly lists a phone number and Skype ID, but the contact page suggests submitting a support ticket for a faster response.

There is also a help center where you can search for articles, but the few searches we tried didn’t yield too many results.

IceDrive: Support

IceDrive support options are frankly somewhat limited. The company is based in Wales in the UK, and publicly lists a phone number and Skype ID, but the contact page suggests submitting a support ticket for a faster response.

There is also a help center where you can search for articles, but the few searches we tried didn’t yield too many results.

IceDrive: Security

IceDrive is the only cloud storage solution to use the Twofish algorithm, which is recognized as one of the most secure encryption algorithms available. It also features client-side encryption for paid subscribers, so that your data is encrypted on your device before even being transferred to servers. And the service takes a zero-knowledge approach, which means that only you can view and decrypt your data. Note that the separate, encrypted drive within the drive also is only available to paying customers.

Of course, as the software is proprietary we have to take IceDrive at their word that end-to-end encryption and the encrypted drive has been set up and implemented properly for paid customers. One way to reassure privacy-minded users would be to have the encryption algorithms used by the client audited by independent security researchers. Alternatively IceDrive could make their software open source so that the security features can be reviewed by the coding community. Still, few cloud providers do this so we aren't singling IceDrive out for criticism. 

We like the addition of two-factor authentication, which works with an authenticator or a physical key. SMS authentication is available to premium customers but we don't recommend using this, as text messages are far easier to intercept than one-time passwords generated by the best authenticator apps.  

IceDrive cloud storage showing access options

(Image credit: IceDrive)

IceDrive: Alternatives 

IceDrive does many things well, but, we do feel it lacks collaboration features. If those are important to you, some alternatives to consider are Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive, which both have more robust collaboration options.

Google Drive comes with 15 GB for free with any Google account. Paid plans range from $2 a month for 100 GB, up to $300 for 30 TB. OneDrive also has a free plan, but with only 5 GB of storage. Its paid plans go from $2 a month for 100 GB, up to $10 a month for 6 TB, which accommodates up to six people (1 TB per person). 

IceDrive : Our tests 

For IceDrive, we ran three core tests measuring sync speed, file recovery and versioning. Our tests were conducted on a Windows 11 virtual machine running the IceDrive desktop client. The VM was connected to the internet via fiber broadband via VPN server, which in our speed tests consistently showed an average upload speed of 70 Mbps  

  • Test 1 - Sync speed

To gauge sync speeds, we copied a folder containing 22 files including MP3s, images, metadata files and a PDF into the application directory. We then measured how quickly the desktop client was able to sync the files to the cloud. 

Our most recent tests showed a huge improvement over our previous tests, which showed upload and download times a little behind competitors. Our 22 files totalling just under 625MB of date took less than 74 seconds to upload. This is slightly faster than big name cloud storage providers like OneDrive.

When we set up the Sync Pairing for our test files we also noticed three options. The default is Two Way, so that any changes either made on the local device or in the cloud will be updated by the app in both locations. You can also choose One Way (PC to cloud or cloud to PC) so changes only go in one direction. 

  • Test 2 - File recovery

In this test we simply deleted the audiobook folder from the application directory, removing it from the device. We then checked to see if the files had been removed from the cloud drive and if it was possible to recover them. 

As we'd chosen to sync files one way from the device to the cloud, for this test we deleted the local synced folder on our device. The client app didn't seem to register this at first and when we opened the IceDrive web interface the folder was still listed there.

However, when we deleted the folder from the web interface. It was moved into the cloud Trash. From there we were able to right click to restore it, generating a ZIP file of the folder for download. The files were recovered intact, but we'd like to have seen the option just to restore the folder to its original location without having to download and extract an archive.

  • Test 3 - Versioning

To test versioning in IceDrive, we copied a Microsoft Word (.docx) file to the cloud application folder. Once it synced, we then deleted all the text except the introduction, then saved and closed. We then tried to restore the document back to its original form, complete with all chapters. 

IceDrive doesn't support syncing individual files so we created a new Sync Pairing with the Documents folder which contained our test Microsoft Word document. Once syncing was complete we removed all text from the document except the introduction, then saved and closed the file. 

However, the IceDrive client didn't register this change to the document, simply saying all files were still up to date. It was only when we quit the client and relaunched that the updated version of the file was synced to the cloud.

When we went to the IceDrive online portal we could then see both the original and modified versions of the document in Version History. We clicked the download icon to save the original to the Downloads folder. Again, it would have been better if the original could simply have been restored from within the app but it opened without issue. 

IceDrive cloud storage showing file versioning options

(Image credit: IceDrive)

IceDrive: Verdict 

IceDrive impresses in a number of areas, including its approach to security, ease of use, and market-leading features like its virtual drive - although it would be better if the virtual drive were available for operating systems beyond Windows.

Its pricing is attractive, with the lifetime license options in particular representing good value. We also like the unlimited file size support, which adds an extra layer of protection for long-term investments, helping you to futureproof your decision. However, support options are limited, as are collaboration features. Despite the promises of adding more features in the future, it’s important to base any purchase off its current offering, as things can change.

If collaboration is important, IceDrive wouldn’t be your best choice. But if you’re more concerned with security, and are looking for a well-designed, easy-to-use cloud storage solution, IceDrive is a great choice.

Rippling employee management review
1:37 pm | January 4, 2021

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Comments: Off

Rippling is a one-stop software solution that lets businesses manage their HR needs along with providing a series of add-ons that can help improve efficiency. Alongside HR, there are several benefits administration features within this all-in-one platform augmented by payroll and talent management tools. Adding wider appeal is the way that Rippling lets you expand the feature set to include IT products, with the option for managing employee apps such as Slack and Gmail

The IT aspect of Rippling gets an extra boost from the ability of the software to handle device management. Employee computers, software and security can all be administered using this innovative software package. On a practical level, Rippling offers lots of flexibility as you can scale it up to include as many add-ons as you think your business needs, with pricing that adjusts accordingly.


Rippling starts at just $8 a month per user but you'll probably want to enlist the help of its add-ons too (Image credit: Rippling)

Rippling: Pricing

You can start using Rippling from $8 a month, per user, which offers access to the Employee Management Platform. This is the core aspect of Rippling that allows management of vital areas including employee data and general operations. However, in order to make use of the other available features within the Rippling arena you’ll need to pay for the various add-ons. 

Rippling suggests that you get in touch with them for a customized quote, depending on your requirements. You’ll be able to pick from options including full service payroll, benefits administration, applicant tracking along with Rippling’s app management package, its device management option and more.


Rippling can be supplemented by its great payroll feature (Image credit: Rippling)

Rippling: Features

While Rippling can be used by smaller businesses, it’s certainly powerful enough to be employed by larger concerns, thanks mainly to its advanced set of additional features. Rippling is particularly useful for automating many manual tasks, such as the onboarding of new employees, along with offboarding and all points along the way. 

The Employee Management Platform sits at the heart of Rippling and comes armed with a variety of tools, while also providing a unified employee database structure. Business owners can carry out task management from here, keep tabs on workflow and approvals, perform reporting chores and customize other areas such as fields and alerts along with position management. 

Move on through the HR management aspect of Rippling and you’ll find the capacity for carrying out full service payroll too. This lets you pay staff across all 50 states, and international territories. It offers federal, state and local tax filing, W2, W4, 1099 and new hire filing while also being able to handle garnishments, multiple pay rates and more besides. 

In addition, benefits administration chores are covered, with management of medical, dental, vision and 401K areas all capable of being handled. Employees can also be given the option of utilizing online self-service features.


Other add-ons include this neat device management option (Image credit: Rippling)

Rippling: Performance

It’s all about the performance factor if you’re using Rippling to not only tackle HR and payroll duties, but also stitch together IT tasks too. For example, if you’ve got the IT products configured as part of the package you’ll be able to manage employee hardware including choosing devices, machines and software configurations. 

Meanwhile, everyday employee management tasks are similarly easy to handle thanks to the lean, almost minimalistic interface, which offers speedy performance even when you’re navigating more complex data heavy areas such as running payroll and collating detailed reports. Rippling also benefits from its easy integration with over 400 different apps, allowing you to add in extra functionality and speed up workflow with very little effort.


You also get access to a raft of powerful reporting tools inside Rippling (Image credit: Rippling)

Rippling: Ease of use

Full marks should go to the team who developed the Rippling interface as it’s got a great look and feel. The overall design is slick, easy to use and feels bang up to date. This makes working with the feature set very easy indeed, with a central dashboard area that lets you dip into core features instantly. 

The main menu offers quickfire access to key areas of Rippling, such as people, apps, tasks and reporting, while the central work area offers up a reassuringly straightforward overview of the task in hand. We also love the single sign on option, which lets users pick from their list of apps in one location. Add it all together and the Rippling user experience proves to be wonderfully fuss free.


Rippling also offers integration with over 400 different productivity apps (Image credit: Rippling)

Rippling: Support

There are all of the usual support options available to customers of Rippling, with subscribed users being able to log into a dedicated help center. You’ll find that the support is basically divided down the middle, with an option for administrators who handle all things Rippling for a company able to get help via the center mentioned above. 


There are options for administrators and employees when it comes to support (Image credit: Rippling)

Meanwhile, employees who make use of Rippling’s features and functions and who need support are encouraged to contact the designated Rippling administrator at their place of employment.

Rippling: Final verdict

Rippling is a great proposition if you’re a business that’s looking to streamline your HR workflow along with other administration tasks. With its slick interface, flexible package options and keen pricing there’s plenty to like about Rippling. 

While the costs might start to add up as you add on features, including the likes of the payroll and app management aspects of the software, the resulting increase in productivity looks like it could produce a decent return on your investment. 

The best bit about this arrangement is that you’ll only end up paying for the features that you need, with the provision for adding more easily if you find your business needs them further down the line.