Bitcasa vs Google Drive: head-to-head review

Bitcasa vs Google Drive

Bitcasa and Google Drive are cloud storage services which offer an incredible amount of space at a low price.  They both charge $10/month for a terabyte, which puts them among the lowest-cost cloud storage services on a per GB basis.

They both provide easy access to your files anytime, anywhere, and on multiple devices.  So which should you choose?  Although Bitcasa and Google Drive are very similar, there are a few key differences.  I’ll take a look at both of them in this in-depth review.

Ease of Use

Winner: Google Drive (barely)

Both Bitcasa and Google Drive are very easy to use.  However, Google has a slight edge simply because there are fewer options.  The installation for Google Drive can be done in under 30 seconds, after which you’ll be able to start storing your files in the cloud.  You can drag and drop files into Google Drive just like a local hard drive, and they’ll be automatically sync’ed to the cloud.

Bitcasa is also easy, but there are more choices.  During the installation you’ll be asked if you want to setup mirroring, which stores a copy of your files on your computer as well as in the cloud.  By default, everything you move to Bitcasa will no longer take up space on your computer.  A “Bitcasa Infinite Drive” will be created on your computer that you can put files into, which functions the same as Google Drive.

Features

Winner: Bitcasa

Bitcasa has more features, no doubt about it.

Both cloud storage services feature:

  • A virtual drive to store your files
  • Powerful web interfaces
  • Public file sharing
  • File version history
  • Mobile apps to access your files on the go
  • Mobile app camera auto-backup

Features specific to Bitcasa include:

  • Mirroring (sync any folder to Bitcasa)
  • 180 day file history vs. Google Drive’s 30 days
  • Convergent encryption vs. no encryption with Google
  • Password protected shared files
  • Limit upload bandwidth

Features specific to Google Drive are:

  • Sync unlimited devices vs. 5 devices with Bitcasa
  • Google Docs integration

Price

Winner: Bitcasa (barely)

Bitcasa and Google Drive have nearly identical pricing.  They both charge $10 per month for 1 terabyte of cloud storage space.  However, Bitcasa is less expensive if you’re storing more than 10TB of data.

Google Drive’s other storage plans include 100GB for $1.99/month, 10TB for $99.99/month, 20TB for $199.99/month, and 30TB for $299.99/month.

Bitcasa’s other plans include 5TB for $49/month, and unlimited storage for $99/month.  So if you’re looking to store a ton of data in the cloud (or don’t want to worry about running out of space) you can save money with Bitcasa’s Infinite plan.

Both services have free plans.  Bitcasa offers slightly more space (20GB vs Google Drive’s 15GB), but the free plan is limited to 3 devices.  Other than that there’s very little difference here.

Speed

Winner: Tie

Bitcasa and Google Drive are very fast.  I was able to max out my upload speed of 7.4 megabits per second (Mbps) on both services.  With Bitcasa, I was able to sustain this speed for a whopping 700GB of test files, so you should have no problem with throttling or speed caps.

Download speeds were also fast.  I was able to download files at 20+ Mbps with both services.

Operating Systems

Winner: Bitcasa

The Bitcasa desktop software works on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

The Google Drive desktop software only works on Windows and Mac.  Google says it’s working on a client for Linux, but it “isn’t ready just yet.”  Sorry Linux users.  You can always access your files from the web interface, however.

Mobile Apps

Winner: Tie

Both services support the most popular mobile operating systems.

Google Drive has apps for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone.  There’s also an entire category of Chrome apps that work with Google Drive.

Bitcasa works on iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and even Firefox OS phones.  It’s also available as a Chrome browser extension, so you can download files directly to your Bitcasa account.

Security

Winner: Bitcasa

Both services will encrypt your files during transfer, so you don’t need to worry about people snooping on your data when using public WiFi and such.  However, only Bitcasa will encrypt your files during storage.

Bitcasa’s form of encryption has been dubbed “mostly” safe by ExtremeTech, which is a whole lot better than Google’s complete lack of encryption.  The way Bitcasa encrypts files is to use convergent encryption, in which the encryption key is derived from the actual data itself.  This allows Bitcasa to deduplicate data (only store identical files once on their servers).  The downside is that someone could “discover” if a file exists on Bitcasa’s servers simply by uploading it, and noticing that it uploads immediately.

Bitcasa vs Google Drive: Which should you choose?

Do you want more features?  More security?  Go with Bitcasa.  Bitcasa supports mirroring, which lets you sync folders outside of Bitcasa’s virtual drive.  Bitcasa also lets you choose whether you want to synchronize files on your computer, or only store them in the cloud.

If you need to synchronize more than 5 devices, go with Google Drive.  Google has no limits to the number of devices.  It also integrates seamlessly with Google Docs, so you can edit files in the cloud.

In the end, Bitcasa and Google Drive are both amazing cloud storage services.  They’re both easy to use, offer ginormous amounts of space, and let you access your files anywhere.

Get Google Drive at http://drive.google.com

Get Bitcasa at http://www.bitcasa.com

Geoff Akerlund

Geoff Akerlund

Geoff Akerlund is the founder and editor-in-chief of BackupReview.com. He is a cloud fanatic and regularly reviews online backup services. He believes backups should be easy, affordable, and automatic.

Geoff Akerlund

@backupsoftware

Reviews and ratings of the most popular backup solutions

@FabacusSuite Just noticed your tweet! I’m not aware of any cloud storage needs specific to manufacturing. I’m open to insight/suggestions. – 1 year ago

 
  • Taylor

    I wish Bitcasa had two-factor authentication like Google Drive offers.

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  • Bitcasa’s Linux usage model is pretty good too. You just mount your Bitcasa drive as any other drive. Once mounted you treat it as any other directory on your system.

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    • Thanks for the tip Mahesh! Big fan of Ubuntu.

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  • Jaymes Poudrier

    “Google Drive only works on Windows and Mac.” There is a web client…otherwise how would they use it with the chromebooks?

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    • Thanks for the correction, Jaymes. I’ve updated this to clarify I’m only talking about the desktop software.

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  • jvlo

    with the announcement of today you get unlimited space at Google Apps for Business if you buy 5 users 10 user/month, 600 (5 users/year) plus 8 year if you want your own domain

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  • DisgustedExUser

    Disgusting Company and Service. AVOID!
    Used them for 12 months, lost 1 in 4 of my files due to corruption. Unable to Stream videos from them due to a on-going EU-wide speeds issue that they are doing nothing to remedy. And to add insult, because I complained on the Forums that I felt it was disgusting to have a on-going issue for as long it’s been they deleted my entire account (No I was not abusive! I simply said it was disgusting to treat customers like they are treating us European Users!)
    Not to also mention that they charge EU far more than the US. They seem to think every currency from EURO to GBP equals 1USD!

    Try them at your own peril!

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    • Thanks for sharing your experience. I assume you’re talking about Bitcasa? That’s odd the speeds would be so slow, considering they’re one of the few cloud storage companies that stores data regionally in the EU.

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    • BitcasaSucks

      I had same experience with bitcasa. Used for 14 months and 1/4 of my files was lost (corrupted). Bitcasa support tell me that there is no way to recover my files. Don’t see any reason to use it! Go with Google Drive

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  • Antonio

    Since last year, Sugarsync was one step ahead with its ability to synch selected folders. Today, it is no longer free.
    I found only Cubby to be an effective substitute. It really allows for choosing folders, then, on the other device, it asks for merge or add the folder, like Sugarsync.
    Same policy; 5 Gb plus one Gb for each friend you bring to Cubby.
    Please, use my invitation link
    https://cub.by/i/01_AfOwOP8AVzn

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  • Graeme

    I’ve tried Bitcasa for over a year and here in the UK the speed is so slow for browsing photos and videos. Also loads of photos don’t display at all. So I decided to try google drive and the difference is like night and day. I can browse through photos and stream videos as if on the device itself. I contacted bitcasa and all they could say was that all of the EU servers are slow so can’t do anything about it. Well if its been like that since the start then I think they have just gave up on europe. So I will be cancelling Bitcasa even though I get unlimited storage for £69 per year due to subscribing from near the company starting. May work good in the US but if you are in the EU then stay away and go with Google.

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    • Thanks for the comment Graeme!

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  • Brian Gale

    bitcasa recently got rid of the unlmited plan and now has a 1 TB plan for $99/year

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  • WorstServiceEver

    I wonder how much the author is getting paid for this review. Bitcasa should not even be a beta service. half of the time you get file corruption. In fact migrating from infinite ( that they are no longer offer) to 1 TB 90% of my files were lost. and it is so slow I can’t get the rest. What a scam !

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    • Corrupted files seem to be a common complaint with Bitcasa. That’s really unacceptable. All my future reviews of the service will include CRC error tests.

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  • Bitcasa dead last!

    Wow… I don’t know how Bitcasa is anywhere close to Google Drive in terms of speed. For cloud storage, if speed is not there, you can toss all the other features out the window in my opinion. I have Google Drive and signed up for Bitcasa infinite storage. The different between the two is like night and day with Bitcasa coming dead last compared to any cloud storage I have ever used.

    The speed is great when you test out one or two large video files but as you start using it for backup and mirror data folder, you would experience timeout and the speed slows down to a crawl! I made complaints and they promised that they are working to fix all the issues I’m contacted them about. I suspect the person writing this review did not test out the service throughly with large data and large file count.

    Soon after I signed up, they did away with the infinite storage plan and grandfathered existing users into that plan. Now, they are kicking us off the infinite storage plan and giving us only 22 days to get our data off before we loose it. I say only 22 days because at the rate that I tested out the restore, I would need two months if I really needed to copy my data off Bitcasa to a local storage. Fortunately, I just use Bitcasa for backup only and don’t need to copy the data off.

    Stay away from this company. They make promises that they don’t plan on keeping!

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    • Thanks for the comment. The speed test was with 700GB of files, but it was from a year ago when Bitcasa was new and first came out.

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  • Col

    Bitcasa are awful, they keep changing the service and give you very short notice of any changes despite being paid up for a year. They also have appalling customer service. Do not use for anything important as they are untrustworthy and unreliable

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    • Thanks for the comment Col. I agree they are changing with very short notices. I received an email telling me my files need to be “transferred” to the new Bitcasa, or else they will be deleted. My guess is they’re trying to get rid of free users with inactive accounts. Not good for long term storage.

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  • Mike

    I joined bitcasa 2-3 months ago and was full of hope. On paper they offer an excellent service for a good price. However (and it’s a big however), there are many issues with this service and in my opinion it is just not mature enough to be trusted. For example:

    1. the service is slow in the UK (I know they are adding European data centres, but it is still laggy). I visited the States over Summer and it was much faster there.
    2. The apps are buggy – for example the Mac OSX app has a number of bugs in it. I logged a support call and the response was “yeah, we know about these”. No indication of whether they are working on them, when they might be resolved, etc. Very poor. Also, the latest version of the app throws errors every 5 minutes when mirroring. What is the problem? No idea, it just reports a code (which changes regularly). Is my data intact? No idea, there is no explanation about the error codes on their web site.
    3. The recent upgrade has been appalling. They have rolled out a new “improved” service and you have to upgrade your account online to move your data over. I followed the instructions and did this. The upgrade didn’t give any progress indication, the storage in the new area just increased slowly over the day. It lost all my mirrored data so I had to re-mirror the relevant folders. When I checked, the mirrors were going to the old storage area and not the new one. I had upgraded the app on my PC to the latest version before starting so not sure why this hasn’t been taken this into account. I logged a support call and had no answer after 3 days – they are normally quick to respond – other than to note they were very busy. I’m not surprised.

    This feels very much like a service that is running before it can walk and, if you judge by their web site, is focused on business customers rather than personal customers. Their support response suggests this as well. As I said at the start, it’s a good service on paper, but in reality it has been a very poor experience for me. I’ve gone back to Dropbox, which has less functionality, but is rock solid and has never let me down.

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    • Thanks for the comment Mike! Wow, what a mess.

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    • Frustrated_with_Bitcasa

      I’m an existing (paying) bitcasa customer, and my experience over the past several weeks has been much the same, if not worse. The upgrade roll-out has been appalling. Logged in a question; it took 4 days to get a response from tech support, and the response did not solve the issue at all. At this point, I don’t know how much of my data has been moved to the new server, and how much has been lost. The GB counter is unreliable to say the least (it displays 620 GB when my total data was 320 GB before the upgrade, and I have found a few files missing). The client app is unstable, slow, and a resources hog.

      I wouldn’t even call this latest upgrade a beta. I’m here to research alternatives, precisely because I’m done with Bitcasa

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      • Thanks for the comment! Let me know if you find a suitable replacement.

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    • Ed

      +1 to this and many of the other comments below about Bitcasa.

      Unreliable. Would not recommend.

      I was happy with their service for the first few months, but since this “new improved upgrade” where all users were forced to roll over all data to their new servers there have been so many problems. All kinds of mirroring issues, extremely buggy desktop app, terrible support and pretty much all the other issues mentioned above.

      And now the last straw for me:
      I received an email from Bitcasa saying that they can’t renew my service because my credit card has expired and the details must be updated within 2 days or my service will be downgraded (yes, that’s right, 2 days notice).

      I’ve been trying to update my billing info but the Bitcasa billing page does not load (have tried in several browsers and on different devices). Oh yeah and it’s a Sunday so there’s no chance of getting any support from Bitcasa.

      So now my premium service is going to be cut off and much of my data lost because of a fault in their website…

      Ridiculous. Looks like I won’t be renewing after all.

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      • Mami

        When ur credit card detail is expired, they will downgrade ur account to basic plan, but your files will remain for at least 7 days (if i dont remember wrong, it could be 2 weeks too). And yes, i agree, after this migration thing, some of my files got corrupted, and its hell slower than before. And the video playback doesnt use their hardware power, instead, they force the pc of your-end to render the video files. By caching it and streaming it, it uses alot of cpu power, this results old pc not to be able to watch it. I have 2 old laptops and a normal pc, laptops were 2gb ram with intel celeron and intel hd graphics. They run youtube etc good but bitcasa video playback was hell lots of laggy. Especially 720p takes forever to buffer. I dont see any problem on pc and on android device. Still, i only stick with them due their fully enceyption mechanism. Also, i pointed out few bugs, in return, got 100gb free lifetime cloud. (101gb). So, im happy since i use only around 20gb of of the cloud so im happy. I would give

        Performance: 6/10
        Functions: 7/10
        Design (Web, Android): 8/10
        Reliability: 4/10
        Usage: 8/10 (Easy to Use).

        Although, its not really reliabil since i cant download some files in a folder which bitcasa should zip it and make them downloadable that folder which it DOESNT. So, this migration simply f#[email protected] up my files.

        would recommend pCloud due of their pricing, and their Crypto function which will do same thing as Bitcasa encryption, but its UI is Better and much more performance since its video and music playback is not resource hogging.

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  • If you don’t mind loosing files all the time you should be using Bitcaas…

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  • JulieBoston

    Bitcasa is WAY too slow! Unable to stream anything or view photos. The phone app is a piece of junk. Doesn’t even load anything. Can’t find any files. Do yourself a favor and go with Google Drive or Amazon Cloud which has unlimited now for $60/year!

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