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Don't buy a Bitcasa subscription

technologyEdward Kiledjian5 Comments

A question I receive regularly from readers is regarding the value of the Bitcasa service.

I was an early Bitcasa beta tester and have been working with their service for a long time now. I actually bought into their service when they still offered unlimited cloud storage for $99 a year. At the time, I could not believe the incredible value they were offering but like everything else in life "if something is too good to be true, it probably is".

The client

I performed a long term test on both Windows and Mac. I hate hate hate their client. It is clunky, buggy and fixes come in a very slow trickle. As an example, the ability to mirror a folder by right clicking in the Mac Finder is broken and there is no ETA to fix it. Early in the service's life, I was able to mirror external drives and that functionality went away. I have 30Mbps down and 10Mbps up connection speed and everything transfers super fast to Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, etc. Not so with Bitcasa. Even with an idle computer, it sometimes takes hours to upload 5-10 MB. 

I have the same speed issue with the mobile client (Android and IOS). I open a folder containing pictures and it takes forever for the app to download the thumbnails. Google Plus Photos and Carousel (Dropbox) on the same devices are almost instant.

The speed

The service is slow. Painfully slow and you will notice it. I'm not sure why but it just makes for a horrible client experience. Web interface is slow, mobile clients are slow and their desktop clients are slow.

Price

At $99 a year for unlimited storage, you could easily accept many of the shortcomings but the new pricing (for new customers) is $99 a year for 1TB. At that price, I say go with Google Drive's 1TB plan for $9 a month. Much faster and they will autoAwesome your images.

Verdict

I really had high hopes for Bitcasa. I thought it would be the crazy one that shook up the entire cloud storage market but instead it has turned (in my humble opinion) to be a dud. My only recommendation is look elsewhere. Options are Google Drive (good speed and pricing), Bitcasa Sync (your own sync service run from your house), or something like The Transporter (again a private sync service based on your home equipment).