There are a ton of cloud service options out there. Inevitably, everyone finds a favorite, but more than likely, you’ll end up with a bunch of unused free storage from other services. Maybe you’re even juggling files across multiple clouds due to your work’s infrastructure. Cloud aggregators like Oxygen’s Odrive were created to help by collecting all of your cloud services in one spot and move files between services with just a quick copy and paste.
But the job of Odrive and other aggregators is different from that of cloud storage services. Since aggregators aren’t providing the storage themselves, they have to focus on providing great software and a feature set that rivals or beats the features of their own partners. A user is more tempted to use the aggregator’s software if their favorite features are covered.
Odrive isn’t perfect in this regard, but Oxygen Cloud’s service is full-featured enough for me to recommend trying out, at least to try reclaiming some of that unused cloud potential.
Impressive Partner Line Up
Oxygen’s partner support is pretty extensive and regularly expanding. Currently, they support Amazon Cloud Drive, Google Drive, Box.com, OneDrive, Dropbox, Copy, Oxygen Cloud, social media images Facebook, Picasa, Instagram, and Flickr, and even Gmail backup.
iCloud and MEGA are coming soon as is business level support through Amazon S3, SalesForce, WebDAV, Al Fresco, Basecamp, OneDrive for Business, FTP, SFTP, and even Command Line. If that wasn’t impressive enough, there’s even a future file server program coming that will turn any computer into your own remotely accessible cloud server.
Progressively Syncing Desktop Software
The desktop software is impressively capable, and generally works just like you’d expect from the top cloud storage providers. You can drag and drop files in, cut and paste files out, add new folders, move files and folders around, and all of these changes will be synced up to their respective cloud providers.
Many of Odrive’s partners don’t even have file system integration, so they’re already a step ahead of their partners. But Odrive also added a fairly unique feature to the mix that picks their software up a few notches. Progressive Sync.
Progressive Sync is an ingenious feature that will download cloud files only as you need them. At first, the software inserts zero-byte placeholder files called CLOUDFX files to represent your linked cloud services.
Open a folder for the first time and it will automatically download small files. Then, it will insert more placeholders for the next group of folders and large files within that directory. 500 MB is the default file size limit for auto-download, but there are a few additional options you can choose for your auto-download limit too. The process is surprisingly quick, and your first foray into a cloud folder may only take a few seconds to sync. After the first sync, there is no wait. Opening a file represented by a placeholder will stick it in the queue and open the file when downloaded.
Finally, should you not want a file, folder, or even an entire service provider anymore, you can “Unsync” that folder and even unlink a cloud provider from your Odrive. That way, the files you don’t care about are no longer sitting around taking space.
Not So Powerful Web Interface
By contrast, Odrive’s web interface is minimalistic, sometimes to a fault. You can download files, delete files, upload files with a simplistic drag and drop interface, add new folders, and get sharing links.
But that’s literally it. There’s no moving files, no web-based editing, and other than a simplistic photo viewer, there’s no way to open files, movies, or anything else in the browser.
Clearly Odrive’s desktop software is the focus of the service.
Unfortunately, Odrive’s sharing options are pretty limited. You have one option. Get a web link. There are no access restriction options, no invitations, and no webpage embedding. Anyone with the link can see and download the files shared, but there’s no collaborative editing and no way for the user to re-upload a file. You can share with the desktop software, but it’s similarly limited.
That said, Odrive is not alone. Sharing is typically the weakest part of an aggregator’s feature set. Not all cloud providers support complex sharing, so an aggregator like Odrive would have to offer separate sharing options for each partner, which causes confusion. But it’s still disappointing that despite Odrive’s great feature set, sharing is still best with the individual provider.
Performance & Security
In both performance and security, Oxygen’s services excel. While both factors will be largely dependent on the cloud storage provider you use with Odrive, the service does not appear to add any meaningful delay between you and your data. Downloads and uploads were almost exactly the same when downloading or uploading with Odrive and through the provider’s website.
Similarly, all data transfers are secured on Odrive’s side with 256-bit SSL encryption, which will keep your data secured given that your storage provider is also secured.
Odrive is free for the first 5 accounts that you sync with the service, with only one account per provider. $4.99 / month ups that limit to 10 and a $9.99 Pro plan increases it to 20.
I feel like $60 / year might be a bit steep for a cloud aggregator, but if you’ve got 10 cloud storage accounts to sync, it might be worth it. For everyone else, the free plan should be good enough.
Despite a couple of niggling feature issues, I do recommend trying this service if you’re looking for a good cloud aggregator. Its incredible partner support and excellent desktop software make this one of the more capable aggregators in the business. It will get even better as they add more partners and eventual file server support. That said, if you find yourself working out of a web browser most of the time, or need extensive sharing and collaboration support, you might want to look elsewhere.