18
Dec
bitcasa

Bitcasa, the cloud storage offering that launched at TechCrunch Disrupt in 2011, is finally starting to make some headway in the mobile scene. The service - which will offer completely unlimited cloud storage for $10 a month, but is completely free for now - just launched its mobile app for Android, and it's actually pretty polished.

For those how may not be familiar with Bitcasa, it's essentially a Dropbox competitor with a twist. You see, Bitcasa doesn't just want to let you store some stuff in the cloud - it wants to help move your entire digital life into the cloud. That may sound scary for some, but one of the service's standout features is that it stores everything in an encrypted format, so the sync system never actually gets "eyes" on your data.

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Also, unlike Dropbox, Bitcasa doesn't require your files to be locally stored on your PC. In fact, when you first install the application, it encourages you to transfer all data from your local drive to Bitcasa's "Infinite Drive." Since it features full shell integration, you can still access all files from your PC like normal, they'll just be stored elsewhere. Of course, that has its drawbacks, as you can't access anything while offline (but, really, how often could that happen?). Thankfully, that's completely optional.

The Android app is laid out quite nicely, with a simple, intuitive interface. From the app, you can access everything stored in your Infinite Drive, and it even breaks everything down in to categories for easy navigation. Everything about the app is centered around media - pictures, music, videos, and even documents - as it features built-in image viewer, as well as audio and video streamer. Basically, you can do almost anything you need from within the app. You can also save files for offline access by "favoriting" them.

Bitcasa is free for the time being, but even after it goes paid after the first of next year, you will still be able to store up to 10GB in your Infinite Drive for no cost. To learn more about Bitcasa, head here - to check out the app, hit the widget.

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • Jonathan Wong

    Oh wow. This works with Ubuntu too? I must try it! Looks like I may Google Drive may be being replaced on my tablet.

    • http://www.facebook.com/benjamin.pavel Benjamin Pavel

      Beware as some people say they will START CHARGING for their services by the end of Feb 2013 so be careful not to get locked out of your files.

      • Sqube

        On the other hand, it's $10/year. Hardly an insurmountable cost.

        • CopierITGuy

          Try $10/month - still not terrible, though.

      • Alex

        "Starting in early 2013, Bitcasa will remain free up to 10 GB, or $10/month for infinite storage."

      • vitriolix

        Personally I would never store my stuff with someone who didn't charge me... how else are they going to make money? Any answer is not going to make me comfortable :)

        • Tee

          If there will be enough people signing to the 10$ per month for unlimited storage, the cost will get covered. It's so cheap there will be no problems gaining the coverage.

          The people behind this are former Mozy staff. So they are not starting from scratch.

      • Jonathan Wong

        ^ What Alex said. At first, I heard about some people being concerned about starting to charge at February 2013. "For a limited time, Bitcasa is totally free to try out." from teh website. But under it, "Starting in early 2013, Bitcasa will remain free up to 10 GB, or $10/month for infinite storage."

  • http://www.facebook.com/idan.yael Idan Yael

    Anyone knows where they store the data? Is it their own datacenter? amazon? pretty important info if they ask me to store my life on their virtual drive (even if it's encrypted and backed up 3 times...)

  • http://dennisbareis.com/ Dennis Bareis

    I would want to somehow have my own backup of any important data, so in that way DropBox is better as I can back it up myself along with any other local data.

    I would also want a lot more information about the company's backups. Also as we have seen in the past all it takes is difficulties with your account to lose all your data. The concept in general is good, its execution?

    • SAI

      You should check out OwnCloud then. http://owncloud.org/

      • http://dennisbareis.com/ Dennis Bareis

        OK, I'll have a look when I get some time, thanks

  • http://twitter.com/ToysSamurai Toys Samurai

    I am hesitated to use their service for anything critical. Make no mistake, $10 for unlimited storage is great, but I have a hard time understand how they can make enough money to continue offering such a low cost cloud storage service.

    • vitriolix

      They making a (hopefully well researched) bet that 95% of what people store is duplicated files from itunes and games and application installers. They do deduping on what you store so if you upload SongX.mp3 then I also upload SongX.mp3 bitcasa only stores one copy and we both point at it. They are betting that their storage usage won't increase linearly with new users joining... will be interesting to see if they are right.

      • Eric Jones

        I thought it was encrypted, and they couldn't see what it was? How can they dedup if they can't see it?

        • vitriolix

          it is, but the key is generated from the content itself... "convergent encryption" ... essentially they make a hash from the content and use it as the encryption key. that's their secret sauce :)

          • Eric Jones

            Ah, okay, so even if they don't know what it is, if they have two that match, they just store it together. Makes sense. I was thinking your whole drive was encrypted as one, but individually is smarter.

      • Bryan Kolb

        Wouldn't that require a licensing agreement with the copyright holder of each copyrighted file they do this with?

        • vitriolix

          No, they are just a dump storage layer, the users own the files they upload. Just like Gmail or Dropbox.

      • http://twitter.com/sam1am John Samuel αΩ

        That's not a new idea. How did it work out for the others that did it? Like Mozy...

        • vitriolix

          Those costs of cloud storage today are orders of magnitude in 2012/2013 than they were in 2005-2007 ... it is a completely different business proposition today

  • Alex

    Humm... that not good. "Bitcasa reserves the right to terminate Free Accounts at any time, with or without notice. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, if a Free Account is inactive for ninety (90) days, then Bitcasa may delete any or all of Your Files without providing additional notice."

  • JG

    Unlimited storage, as in you have to keep it under 5GBs, and if you dare to use more, they'll label you a data hog & threaten to cancel your account, or move you to a vastly more expensive tiered account?

    'Cause I have about 3TB of data in my (~20years old) digital archive I wouldn't mind making an off-site back up of.... And I'm sure I could find other uses as well... Like linking it to my HTPC-DVR to extend it's storage capacity & let me stream shows while I'm out & about...

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