Does a Dropbox-style cloud storage service with unlimited free storage sound too good to be true? It probably is, since newcomer Bitcasa is only offering this during its beta period (which happens to be right now). But this may be the shape of things to come, if you consider that (a) storage is becoming cheaper and cheaper by the minute, and (b) the only real barriers to entry in this business is your own reluctance to move your data around once it is up there.
These guys are fighting for the long term, when so much of your data is on their servers that you would willingly pay a flat fee or whatever to get some of the services that you need.
In any case Bitcasa offers destkop clients of Windows, Mac, Linux, a web portal for mobile access, and slew of attractive features such as data encyption and nice desktop integration.
So, let’s get down and dirty with some facts:
- What happens after beta?Is unclear. There are references to a flat rate of $10 a month for all the storage you need, and a referral program for friends at 1GB free storage/referral, so presumably unlimited free storage is temporary. (“Give us your data now and we’ll discuss later”).
- Infinite?: my Bitcasa desktop client says 15 GIGS, but I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.
- Encryption: client side. Your data is secure.
- Number of devices: seems to be unlimited from what I could figure out. I wish they would make it expressly clear.
- Folder and file sharing: with fellow Bitcasa users or with anyone else.
- iOS/Android apps: strangely, none. I am guessing it is sure to come, but no mention of these on their website, with mobile users relegated to the web portal.
- Desktop integration: is rather nice. A synced folder, Dropbox style; except it integrates with Windows to enable you to sync any folder anywhere (which is quite nice for backups if you actually had unlimited storage). There are 3 kinds of folders in Bitcasa (see below).
- Versioning: [updated] they do offer versioning. Thanks to reader Richard H for pointing this out in the comments .
Bitcasa’s three types of folders: infinite (never fills up, on their servers), sync (a finite folder on your desktop or device), and backup (a backup of a folder on your device). I know, I am getting a headache trying to figure it out myself. But I do like the desktop integration (see screenshot down right).
The verdict: if you’ve read this far then I know that you will sign up anyway, whether you intend to use it or not. This is what I will do, and basically wait and see what they have to offer, since I like to be in on the latest and greatest, but I am wary of some of the too good to be true aspects.
However, if you are or someone you know has an immediate need to back up their computer or gobs of data that they are concerned about and/or do not know what to do with, Bitcasa can do this for them right now, which is not too shabby.
Otherwise, if you want an overview of other similar services check out our previously published comparison of free cloud storage services.
Get Bitcasa here (Windows, Linux, Mac). Note: this is my referral link, so presumably we both will get a little something extra. See note about available Linux version in the comments section.