Update: Copy shut down on May 1, 2016.
Copy is a cloud storage service that gives you 15 GB of free space (20 GB if you use my referral link). It’s backed by Barracuda Networks, a publicly traded company in the computer security and data storage industries. Using Copy, you can sync your files across computers, access them from mobile apps, and restore previous versions of your files. How does it stack up against other services like Google Drive? Read on to find out.
- Huge 15 GB of free cloud storage
- Multiple user support; 5 users for free
- Splits the storage cost with shared folders
- Easy file syncing, sharing, and backup/restore features
- Windows, Mac, and Linux clients
- Buggy web interface
- No personal encryption
The Bottom Line
With 15 GB of free space and support for multiple users, Copy is an excellent alternative to Google Drive and other cloud storage services.
Copy Plans and Pricing
Copy’s free plan gives you 15 GB of storage and up to 5 users. However if you sign up using the referral links in this review, you’ll get an extra 5 GB.
There’s a 250 GB plan for $4.99/month (or $49/year) and a 1 TB plan for $9.99/month (or $99/year). The free plan isn’t feature limited; it includes all the same features as the paid plans.
Copy also has business plans, which are significantly cheaper than both Dropbox and Box. The prices start at $79/month for 10 users, and go up to $239/month for 30 users, and custom plans for more users.
Getting Started with Copy
Using the Copy web interface, you can upload files and folders to your account. Doing this is as easy as clicking the upload button at the top of the screen and selecting a folder to upload.
I uploaded some pictures and videos to test, and I was impressed with the speed of my transfers. Not only did my files upload fast but they downloaded fast as well. I also liked how everything is laid out in a clean and organized manner.
The Copy Desktop App
The Copy desktop app works on Windows, Mac, and Linux (Raspberry Pi is also supported). Basically, the app creates a Copy folder in your home directory, so you can access it just like a local folder on your hard drive. Whatever you put into the folder will be synced to the cloud, and to any other computer running Copy.
You can exclude certain files and folders from syncing. You can limit the upload and download rates, change proxy settings, and allow “local peer discovery and syncing” which syncs your files over LAN. There’s also an “undelete” feature so you can restore deleted files and folders.
Copy has mobile apps for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone.
I tested the Android app and thought it was fantastic. With the app, you can:
- Upload files to Copy from your phone
- View previous versions of files
- Choose to sync on WiFi only
- Set a passcode for the app
- Share folders and manage existing shares
- Automatically backup your phone’s photos
- Stream media files to your Chromecast TV
I was impressed with the ability to view and restore previous versions of files. Most other cloud storage services only let you restore previous versions from the web interface; Copy lets you do it right from the app.
Copy works well as an online backup service. You can restore previous versions of files from the mobile or desktop apps (by right-clicking on a file). You can also restore deleted files, which are kept on their servers for 30 days.
Fair Storage – Split the Cost for Shared Folders
Instead of shared files taking up the same amount of space in each user’s account, Copy divides the usage between each person. So a 10GB folder synced between 5 people would only cost each person 2GB, rather than 10GB like many other cloud storage services. Copy calls this “fair storage.”
Sharing the contents of folders in Copy is simple and effective. All you have to do is right click on a folder, and click Share. A public link will be created that you can paste into an email, or share on social networks with the included Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus buttons.
Copy has two types of sharing: Simple and Secure. Simple sharing creates a public link that anyone can access. Secure sharing creates a link that’s “invitation only,” and requires recipients to verify their email address with Copy.
With securely shared folders, you can specify permissions that each user has. The available permissions are: Can Edit & Sync, View Only, and Can Manage.
Copy was very fast in my speed tests. I was able to upload files at 7.8 megabits per second (Mbps), which maxed out my upload bandwidth. Download speeds were around 27 Mbps, which came close to maxing out my download speed (at 30 Mbps) but not quite.
Copy encrypts your files using 256-bit AES encryption, both during transfer and while at rest. All files are stored on servers owned and controlled by Barracuda Networks, not on 3rd party servers.
Despite the high security, there is no option to use your own encryption key (personal encryption). This makes Copy unsuitable for storing confidential data.
What I Liked
With 15 GB of free space, sync clients for almost any operating system, and fantastic mobile apps, there’s a lot I like about Copy.
Copy creates stunning photo galleries. Shared links display a simple file list, yet when you click a photo it will enlarge to fill your entire screen. The interface isn’t cluttered at all; it’s simple, clean, and effective. There’s a “Save All” link, so the person you’re sharing with can download all the files in the folder. Copy even displays CR2 files natively, making this a great service for photographers who work with RAW files.
What I Didn’t Like
Despite all the positives, there are a couple things I didn’t like.
Copy has a few bugs to work out in their web interface. The contents of multiple folders would sometimes display on my screen, replacing the navigation pane. It’s not a huge issue, but it’s kind of annoying. I worked around it by using the “View Full Screen” option in the top right-hand corner, which displayed a single pane for browsing my files.
There’s also no option to use personal encryption, so the claim that “your content can only be seen by the people you want” is a bit misleading. You have to trust Copy to protect the encryption of your data – just like Dropbox and many other cloud storage services.
Who Should Use Copy?
Copy is also great for businesses – even with the free plan – due to the free plan supporting up to 5 users.
Update May 2015: Corrected plans and pricing.
|Average Upload Speed||7.8 Mbps (7.5 Mbps connection)|
|Average Download Speed||27 Mbps (30 Mbps connection)|
|Free Online Storage||15 GB|
|Mobile Apps||Android, iOS, Windows Phone|
|Keep Deleted Files||30 Days|
|Back Up to Local Drive|
Sync and Share Features
|Public File Sharing|
|Data Center Location(s)|