ASUS typically builds things like computers, tablets, parts for both, and even wireless routers and adapters. WebStorage started as a value-add in that they threw into computers and tablets, but ASUS has recently expanded it into a standalone productivity-minded product, competing with the likes of Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive.
They’ve thrown in an impressive amount of features, even if their execution of these features is sometimes lacking. There are a few areas that ASUS’ promise shines, but WebStorage is marred with some frustrating limitations. This is a service to keep an eye on, but I don’t feel it’s quite ready yet.
- Desktop file folder with auto-sync and selective sync
- Bandwidth and manual proxy controls
- Good mobile apps on iOS, Android, and Windows Phone
- File previews with Google Docs
- Lots of sharing configuration options
- 256-bit AES encryption at rest
- Recent changes, recycle bin, and file versions
- User account not needed to view files
- Unintuitive interfaces
- No in-browser editing
- User account required for file uploads
- 500 MB free upload limit / 10 GB on paid plans
- Buggy desktop software
- Shared folders don’t sync in desktop software
- Comparatively expensive pricing
- No direct support for free plans
- Two-factor authentication only available on paid plans
ASUS’s WebStorage offers a good mix of features and security options. But this service is marred by unintuitive interfaces, annoying upload limits, a restricted collaboration platform, and a strange pricing model.
The website is a cloud storage vendor’s first impression. Sure, you can upload, download, delete, move files and create folders. But this website puts every option in front of you with its own interface.
On one side, that means the web UI is filled to the brim with features. There’s a recycle bin that keeps files for 30 days. There’s a Recent Changes section. You can view and manage backups, shared links, star items and even shared folders, and even the IP addresses of recent sessions.
The UI tends to be unintuitive at times. Despite the plethora of buttons on top ad to the left, downloading and sharing buttons appear to the right only when items are selected. If you want to download multiple files, there is a “Packing Download” button up above, which reveals the below dialogue box. The archive you receive is a 7Zip file. While I appreciate 7Zip’s compression, most users will need to download a new program to open it.
Finally, there are no media playback options and a basic photo viewer. But WebStorage allows document previews with Google Docs. While it’s easy to get fooled by the “Save to Drive” option in this viewer, the saved copy goes in a temporary folder never to be seen again. The only way to edit files is to re-upload.
Sharing and Collaboration Folder
ASUS’ web-based sharing is also initially odd but feature packed. Sharing a file or folder is actually like changing a file property. Open the dropdown box, select a “public share” option, and close the pop-up when you’re done.
You can share via e-mail, Facebook or web link, even add passwords and expiration dates in the Advanced Options.
Shared folders have two additional options, Co-Edition and Published mode. Both modes have you assign collaborators who will have access to the folder, but only those with a WebStorage account, by adding their registered e-mail address. The Publishing mode lets you have a public read-only access link as well.
When you add collaborators, you can choose to give them read-only or full-edit access. Either way, the collaborator will see the folder and contents in the “Collaborate Folder” section of their web UI, same as you. Those with edit access can upload files and those with view-only access will be able to see files, but not make changes or uploads.
Finally, should your collaborators make changes you don’t like, you can also go back to previous versions and make comments as well. It takes a little bit to get used to their sometimes unintuitive interface, but their web UI is actually pretty powerful.
Desktop Software + Backup
ASUS’ desktop software installs a folder that will upload, download, and sync your cloud files. The customization options are surprisingly granular, even letting you choose bandwidth restrictions and manual proxies.
The desktop software supports selective sync, shows recent syncs made with the software, and has a “backup” feature that will let you back up select folders, but only supports 1 PC.
I feel that Collaboration Folders are a missed opportunity. Your folders will sync, but folders shared with you show up empty. If you have edit access, you can drag a file in the folder and it will upload. If you have read-only access, it will not. But this isn’t explained, so a collaborator may end up thinking the software isn’t working.
Tthe software can be a bit buggy, especially as many forum posters and bloggers have reported lost data while using the software after a few months. I didn’t experience this as I’ve only used it for a few weeks, but at times the software refused to sync a change until it restarted itself minutes later. But if data loss is as much of a reality as it appears on the forums, that’s very bad news.
But the good news is that ASUS supports Windows, Mac OSX, and even Linux with their software.
ASUS has some great mobile apps on iOS and Android, and a simpler app on Windows Phone. The iOS and Android apps allow you to view, download, upload, and share files as usual. You can even view and upload edits in shared collaboration folders, which is something the desktop app lacks.
But if you don’t have edit permission on a collaboration folder, changes will unhelpfully appear as failed uploads.
ASUS WebStorage kept up to speed reasonably well. On a network ranked at 15 Mbps download and 5 Mbps upload, the service managed to hit speed peaks, but download speeds varied quite a bit.
ASUS WebStorage Speed
ASUS’ data centers use redundant hardware, double RAID 6 arrays to protect against hardware failure, and data is stored redundantly across multiple data centers. Furthermore, they use SSL encryption on data transfers and 256-bit AES encryption at rest.
That said, they do still store encryption keys on the server, meaning your data can be accessed internally.
Pricing and Support
ASUS’ pricing plans strike me as a bit expensive. $100 / year is the going rate of their established competitors without upload limits.
Also, their free plan is stupidly restricted. Not only do they impose a 500 MB upload limit, but they suppress Two-Factor Authentication and e-mail support behind a paywall.
That restricted e-mail support is the only way to get support directly from ASUS. If you have a free plan, you’re stuck to asking questions in their forums. Based on the top posts, they don’t spend a lot of time helping out folks in the forums.
|Average Upload Speed
|4.07 Mbps (5 Mbps connection)
|Average Download Speed
|7.63 Mbps (15 Mbps connection)
|Free Online Storage
|Android, iOS, Windows Phone
|Keep Deleted Files
|Back Up to Local Drive
Sync and Share Features
|Public File Sharing
|Data Center Location(s)