April 2016: Bitcasa Drive has been discontinued.
Bitcasa. Infinite storage. Infinite backups. 180 day file version history. Access your data from any device. Sound too good to be true? It sure sounded that way to me. For $100 a month, you can have an unlimited amount of space in the cloud. Bitcasa also offers a whopping 1TB of space for only $10/month, beating out most competitors.
- Unlimited storage space; backup your entire hard drive to the cloud
- 180 days of file versions
- Fast file uploads
- Apps for Android, iOS, and Windows
- 5 device limit
- Security could be better (there’s no option to use a personal encryption key)
The Bottom Line
Bitcasa delivers on its promises, and if the business model holds up, this could be the Dropbox killer we’ve been waiting for.
Free vs Paid Plan
Bitcasa offers a free plan and several paid plans.
- 5 GB storage
- 60 day trial
- Access files on any device
No file version historyNow includes 30 day history.
- $10 per month
- 1TB storage
- 180 day file version history
- Access files on any device
- $49 per month
- 5TB storage
- Includes all features of Premium plan
- $99 per month
- Unlimited storage
- Includes all features of Premium and Pro plans
First Impressions: Simple, Easy-to-Use Interface
By default, files stored in Bitcasa don’t use any space on your computer; they’re all stored in the cloud. This is unlike Dropbox and other services, which also store a local copy of files.
You can store files in both locations by choosing to “mirror” folders. This will keep local copies, while also mirroring them to the cloud.
Your Bitcasa drive is accessible from the desktop, system tray, and Windows Explorer.
I liked how minimalist the interface was. There’s no GUI (only a settings box). Most Bitcasa actions can be performed from the right-click context menu, such as:
- Send a file to a friend
- Copy a file to Bitcasa
- Mirror a folder to Bitcasa
- Stop mirroring a folder
I’m wary of any service that advertises “unlimited” storage, only to throttle your connection down to unusable levels after a certain amount of GB have been transferred.
Let it be known: Bitcasa is the real deal.
I uploaded a whopping 700 GB without any noticeable slowness.
The Bitcasa web interface is where you access your files, and restore older versions of files.
Bitcasa can also display thumbnails of camera RAW files – making this a great service for the professional photographer.
Any old, changed, or deleted files will be kept on Bitcasa – apparently forever, according to their support department. This breaks from the standard “30 day history” common with other online backup services. Bitcasa has an unlimited file version history.
Bitcasa has apps for the most popular mobile devices.
- Windows Phone (Metro)
The apps have the same functionality as the desktop application. You can upload, share, backup (on Android), and view all your files.
Bitcasa is fast; it maxed out my upload speed at 7.4 megabits per second (Mbps), and remained at that speed for all 700 gigabytes of my test files.
Download (restore) speeds were also fast – about 23.4 Mbps, although it did not max out my internet connection (34 Mbps).
Bitcasa encrypts all files before transfer being transferred, and all files are stored encrypted. It also stores at least 3 copies of files on their servers.
Bitcasa has come under fire for their choice of encryption. It uses convergent encryption, which derives the key from the file itself. This means identical files encrypted on two different computers will result in identical encrypted files. This enables Bitcasa to de-duplicate data and offer infinite storage, since only 1 instance of a file is stored (even for multiple customers).
The downside to this is that an attacker could “know” the contents of a file if they also have a copy of the file. Although this isn’t a problem for family photos and other personal documents, it could be used to discover copyrighted works like MP3s (which aren’t unique) or banned books, for instance.
Update Nov 2014: For the personal plans, Bitcasa apparently only provides support through their community forums now.
Bitcasa provides a variety of support options:
- Live chat
- Searchable knowledge base
- Community forums
I was blown away by their live support, there’s very little wait time and I got instant solutions to problems (thanks, AJ!).
Bitcasa is a game changer – a service which all new cloud storage services will be judged by. It combines cloud storage, sharing, and backup features with huge amounts of space.
|Average Upload Speed||7.4 Mbps (8 Mbps connection)|
|Average Download Speed||23.4 Mbps (30 Mbps connection)|
|Free Online Storage|
|Mobile Apps||Android, iOS, Windows Phone|
|Keep Deleted Files||Forever|
|Back Up to Local Drive|
Sync and Share Features
|Public File Sharing|
|Zero-knowledge Encryption||Bitcasa cannot decrypt data, but uses convergent encryption|
|Data Center Location(s)|