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Honest and updated bitcasa review

technologyEdward Kiledjian2 Comments

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Bitcasa released

There is no shortage of “cloud storage providers”, each trying to outshine the other with a “must have” feature. Bitcasa has now officially jumped into the ring with a novel proposal, unlimited cloud storage for $10 a month (or 10GB for free). As a launch special, you can buy the full annual unlimited storage plan for $69 ($30 launch discount).

Use promo code "betathanks" (without quotation marks) to get an additional $20 discount. Normally I don't share private discount codes (destined for beta testers only) but this is everywhere on the internet already.

Bitcasa versus dropbox versus skydrive versus Google Drive

In addition to the unlimited storage offering, they also bring another original concept to the tablet called “Infinite drive”. The Bitcasa client maps a new virtual drive on your client OS where you can store files directly on Bitcasa without keeping a copy on your PC. This is a way you can free up lots of space on your primary drive and still keep the files accessible to every app on your PC. The local client has a smart caching algorithm that predicts what files you will need and pre-downloads those so it usually feels pretty fluid (as long as you have a decent internet connection and data cap).

They also support a dropbox-like sync mode called “mirroring” however this mode has a couple of important flaws (which the company says they will eventually address).

Bothersome limitations

#1

You can mirror a folder from anywhere on your PC (which is great – no need to move the folder to a “magic” folder) and make it available on other devices however only changes made on the primary machine are synchronized back and forth. Changes made on other devices do not sync back yet. 

#2

The client doesn’t offer selective synchronization which means you can mirror an entire folder (with its sub-folders) but not a subset.

#3

There is a feature that allows you to share large folders or files using a special share function. Unfortunately there is no way to see everything you have shared so you can easily un-share. 

#4

You can sync your photo folders and then share them with family and friends easily. The issue is that the sharing interface for pictures isn’t optimized as a real photo sharing service yet. Additionally they should improve the photo download options for the people receiving the share links (selective or entire album).

#5

Bitcasa is a new startup and I am worried about their viability. Overall I love the concept of Bitcasa and hope they thrive and grow but what happens if they ever close up shop? What happens to my data? I want them to release a bill of customer rights committing via contract to allow customers adequate time to retrieve their stored info in the event of a sale or shutdown.

#6

Although the founders have a strong background in technology, online storage and fraud detection, I haven't received the details of how they protect my files (the real technical details). I have asked their support but haven't received an answer yet.

Verdict 

I have hundreds of gigs of pictures and videos that I want to store online (for safety and ease of sharing). I love their concept and really want them to success and drive the market to unlimited affordable storage.

I want their security features reviewed by independent analysts ASAP. I will continue using them for now but will be wary until the service improves (new features) and I get a more comfortable about their long term viability.