Storage Wars: Dropbox vs. Bitcasa
Why Cloud File Storage?
Online cloud storage isn’t anything new. In fact, users storing their personal files online has been around for many years; over and above emailing attachments to yourself. Although many contend to host your plethora of digital “stuff” on a secure cloud, few have maintained their promises of: storage size, transfer speed, file security and platform-availability.
Being a freelance web developer I constantly sync files across my phone, tablet, netbook and home desktop. Meeting clients and doing development in several locations, being mobile is critical for me. Using a USB or any physical type of file transfer medium would feel ridiculous at this point in the amount of time I would waste waiting for files to copy over and worrying if I have enough space for the files on my transfer device in general or trying to keep track of which devices had which files.
Thankfully, with cloud hosting server architecture becoming the predominate hosting method for any-scale solution, it seems natural that file storage would benefit from the cloud computing revolution, and boy did it ever. After trying several services I found my favourite, Dropbox. Recently however, a new contender entered the race and is stirring the cloud quite a bit.
Every morning I’m greeted by a little blue box in the corner of all my devices. Usually, there is a green check-mark letting me know everything is synced and all files can be accessed from the device I’m currently looking at. Any file you save to Dropbox also instantly saves to your computers, phones, and the Dropbox website. What drew me in was the list of features Dropbox provides:
- 2GB of Dropbox for free, with subscriptions for 50GB & 100GB available.
- Your files are available from Dropbox website.
- Dropbox works with Windows, Mac, Linux, iPad, iPhone, Android and BlackBerry.
- Works even when offline like a regular folder on your device.
- Dropbox transfers just the parts of a file that change (not the whole thing).
- Manually set bandwidth limits — Dropbox won’t hog your connection.
Simple sharing, done right.
Shared folders allow people to work together on the same projects and documents. You can invite friends, family or teammates to a folder. It’ll be as if you saved the folder to their computers and you can see other people’s changes instantly. Create photo galleries, video folders, and book libraries view-able by anyone you choose just by sending a link to any file in your Dropbox using the online folder (found on the website).
Dropbox protects your files without you needing to think about it because Dropbox keeps a one-month history of your work. Any changes can be undone, and files can be undeleted. This is a live-saving feature! All transfers are over Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and AES-256 bit encryption. Sweet.
Unlike other cloud-based storage solutions that simply copy your files to the cloud, Bitcasa gives you infinite storage on your desktop. Yes, that’s right. Infinite Storage. While Dropbox is a fantastic service, I’m just an individual user.. with a lot of digital “stuff”. More that just the 100GB than Dropbox has to offer. It was this reason alone which tempted me to Signup for Bitcasa Beta.
Infinite Storage? Check.
Cloudify any folder on your computer to make it infinite. It’s that simple. A few clicks and you can now save as much data as you want into this folder without running out of space. No more upgrading your disk drive or running out to buy external storage drives, of which I have several before I knew about Bitcasa.
With Bitcasa, you “Cloudify” all your data, including entire external drives if you feel like it, and access it from any bitcasa compatible device (currently Windows and Mac OSX only). Your data is intelligently streamed from the cloud and does not take up any space on your device and you can share your data with friends and family, instantly!
Using a different storage method to Dropbox, Bitcasa transcodes and streams all your data. Folders you share with friends and family show up instantly on their desktops. They do not have to wait for entire files to download or “sync” in order to enjoy your shared content.
Lots of Security
Bitcasa encrypts all your data before storing it in the cloud like Dropbox. Safely store all your digital “stuff” without ever having to worry about them getting into the wrong hands.
Even with the idea of infinite storage, I still will still be using and enjoying Dropbox for a while – it’s a great service which I continue to use daily. Once Bitcasa shines out of it’s Beta release stage I will review it further as to what I’ve been able to test so far. It is a very promising Cloud Storage System. Bitcasa is someone to keep an eye on as they continue to innovate and grow their method of cloud storage.