Bitcasa to offer unlimited cloud storage for $10 a month

Cloud-based storage of data files is nothing new. Microsoft offers up that kind of service with Skydrive while Dropbox offers a way to share files with others via an online interface. This week at the TechCrunch Disrupt start up conference in San Francisco a new company called Bitcasa revealed itself. According to a story at TechCrunch it's aiming to revolutionize how PC users think about and use their local hard drive combined with its cloud service

Bitcasa will offer users a way to store an unlimited amount of data on its cloud-based servers for a measly $10 a month. But that's not all. Instead of moving your files to the service via drag and drop, Bitcasa uses your PC hard drive as a cache. In other words, when you save a file on your PC, it is automatically saved to the Bitcasa cloud servers. The service also uses encrypted servers, so they don't actually know what kinds of files you are saving to the cloud. If you use a particular file on your PC a lot, the data is saved on your local hard drive as a cache file. That means that if you lose your Internet connection for some reason, you will still be able to work with the cached file. The service also allows users to share any data on the servers with family and friends.

Bitcasa plans to offer a free version of its service when it goes live, although it won't have unlimited data storage.  There's no word on when the service will launch but people who wish to beta test Bitcasa can sign up at the company's web site. A free limited beta should go online soon.

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Storage space is useless if the site has a) poor apps / platform support / ui, b) poor stability, c) slow transfer speeds, d) limitations on file sizes... But we'll see. I wonder if they delete files from their servers as soon as you delete them from your drive. It doesn't sound like a backup service, but rather a mirror service. Could be some important differences there.

Btw, Carbonite is a proven service for unlimited storage for $59/year -- cheaper than this one. It's truly a backup service too, although it doesn't backup applications, just "data" files (photos, music, videos, docs, ...).

These cloud 'solutions' are still years off. Most people have 10s to 100s of gb of data they want immediate access to. Even with usb 2 the time to backup/copy gb of data is slow enough, and usb 3 is only just emerging. We need at least usb 2-speed downloads to make this even remotely workable.

dancedar said,
These cloud 'solutions' are still years off. Most people have 10s to 100s of gb of data they want immediate access to. Even with usb 2 the time to backup/copy gb of data is slow enough, and usb 3 is only just emerging. We need at least usb 2-speed downloads to make this even remotely workable.

Or like the first poster said above, Dropbox is some what unique, since your data is stored locally and just synced to the cloud as well as your other linked computers, so technically there is no speed issue there.

You know what, I'm still fairly sceptical of the cloud as a solution. It has it's merits in abundance, but it's risks and downfalls are also rather heavy.

This cloud service seems fine, apart from the "If you use a particular file on your PC a lot, the data is saved on your local hard drive as a cache file." sentence. What if you don't use the file a lot, aren't online, but need access to your file. As long as it's configurable by last modified date for instance, then fine.

I use GMail, and Dropbox which are considered the defacto standard Cloud services, but I stop short of backing up all my data to a cloud. I suppose my experiences through work using Hosting providers at a data centre has crafted my opinion. They can help, and have advantages, but they are NOT a one size fits all solution.

Wiggz said,

I use GMail, and Dropbox which are considered the defacto standard Cloud services, but I stop short of backing up all my data to a cloud. I suppose my experiences through work using Hosting providers at a data centre has crafted my opinion. They can help, and have advantages, but they are NOT a one size fits all solution.

Defacto? Gmail? I'm quite sure a lot more people in the world use SkyDrive. Not only as the service itself, but even for attachments in Hotmail automatically.

neorik said,
the future of cloud will be so, hard drive will be used only for cached operation..the rest on the cloud!
That might be true, but we're still a long way off, if you do video & photography and have Petabytes of storage, it's going to be a few years before a connection is good enough for me to have those stored online.
Even today, the average connection isn't really ready to store the entire household digital photo collections without it taking weeks to upload (ADSL with it's 400k upload for example)

neorik said,
the future of cloud will be so, hard drive will be used only for cached operation..the rest on the cloud!

I doubt that day will come anytime soon. The speeds at which we can access online data is orders of magnitude slower than local access and we're looking at more and more ISPs around the world limiting bandwidth. Local storage access is also getting a lot faster with SSDs and higher density HDDs making their way into the mainstream. We're still very far off from a cloud only lifestyle (for better or worse depending on your side of the fence).

Exosphere said,
That might be true, but we're still a long way off, if you do video & photography and have Petabytes of storage, it's going to be a few years before a connection is good enough for me to have those stored online.
Even today, the average connection isn't really ready to store the entire household digital photo collections without it taking weeks to upload (ADSL with it's 400k upload for example)

Your hypothetical situation represents something like 0.0000001% of the actual population.

For the vast majority of people, using cloud storage as the primary means of mass storage is not far off.

I'd only be interested if it worked as well as Dropbox, i.e. support delta uploads (differential etc), versions etc, but I doubt it will.

This article is written as if Dropbox is a file sharing system, yes it has that - but it's just one of it's features, most people I know use Dropbox as cloud storage for sync & backup, 1% of my Dropbox use would be for file sharing.