Update:

They've changed their pricing and plans, infinity storage priced up from $9.99/month to $99/month. Which makes the only good thing of Bitcasa vanish.

 

The online storage war never ends, and Bitcasa is one of them which offers competitive choice. I've been using the paid plan (Infinity storage) for some time, and would like to share my experience.

Bitcasa is a online storage, and there are few ways to access the files.

Native client

I only used the Mac client, so not sure what happends on windows.But the experience on Mac is not good.

After installing the native client, a network drive appears in finder. While it is a network drive, it doesn't appears in the Devices group, it appears in the favorites group, staying at the top of the list.

Music-1

The network drive work as expected, you can see all your files online, and files are downloaded instantly when you open them. Quicklook, thumbnails simply works.
However this only works well if you have a fast internet connection. Browsing files using Finder constantly freeze under slow connection. Not a spinning wheel or loading sign, it just freezes. I don't have similar experience when I connect to my VPS, but Bitcasa does freeze Finder, it does not responding at all.

Screen Shot 2013-10-16 at 7.53.00 PM

Uploading

Infinity storage at that price is what makes Bitcasa special. To take advantage of the unlimited storage, upload experience is very important. Native client seems to be the best way to upload files, just drag and drop, no web interface. Since most the the file browsers are designed for local storage, Bitcasa creates a layer between your files and the online storage, to make the upload experience smoother.

Basically it creates a local cache area, your file are actually copied/moved to that area, then being uploaded to Bitcasa later. If you are uploading small files, Bitcasa can just copy the files locally, and the copy operation ends instantly, but it is not uploaded yet.

Screen Shot 2013-10-16 at 10.34.05 PM

Bitcasa will upload the file in background, you can check how much does it left on the menu bar.

It seems to have its own way to upload files, you cannot set the order of upload, you can't even know which file is it uploading. But you can guess it through the web interface, some files appear to beincomplete, they are in grey, you can't delete them or move them.

Incomplete files

I uploaded around 30GB of files, tried to open one to them, and Finder says the file cannot be read or write. What is that? That's incomplete file.

My Bitcasa-2

A incomplete file appears randomly, it looks exactly the same on your machine, and no error message is presented at all during upload. Those files looks a bit different on the web interface. The share button and download button of incomplete files are disable, it cannot be deleted or moved, and of course downloaded.

This is a big issue. I paid for the storage because it stores my things, and it says I cannot download what I uploaded? And why isn't there any error message? There are other people facing the same problem but Bitcasa does not provide any useful solution.

However after few days, I check the same folder and the incomplete files turn into downloadable file. Maybe there are something going on the the Bitcasa server, but as an uploader, I want my files to be availble anytime.

Uploading via web interface

The web interface supports uploading multiple files at the same time, and the best thing is, it tells you when the upload fails, you won't get incomplete files if it fails. The bad part about using the web interface is slow, uploading can be fast depends on your environment, but it always shows "finalizing" after upload, which takes a very long time to complete, probably long than the time to upload.

If you don't mind keep clicking and retrying, maybe web interface is not a bad choice since if avoid the annoying incomplete files.

The Bitcasa Downloader

This is Bitcasa Everywhere. The idea is, instead of you downloading a file, Bitcasa downloads it for you, and the file can be accessed in Bitcasa drive. I personally don't find it useful, but it is a good tool for uploading data.

Screen Shot 2013-10-16 at 11.38.51 PM

Since the native client freeze frequently, and web interface is slow, why not start a web server on my computer and let Bitcasa download from my computer?

The download(or upload?) speed is not very fast, similar to the native client, but you can control which file to be uploaded first, and the chance of turing into incomplete file is lower. Bitcasa's servers sit on amazon's network, which means if you want to transfer files from amazon s3, it's blazingly fast. The down side of this method is, only three files can be downloaded at the same time, there is something on Github which may helps you to upload files, I haven't tried that though. Bitcasa does not provide a public API thus this kind of tools tends to break easily and difficult to maintain. Also, one point to note, this downloader sometimes fails for no reason, no error message at all. The files are just not there.

Mobile Support

I use iPhone. The Bitcasa app feels a little bit old, not iOS7 style, but usable. It can load files on the drive and stream to the phone, only in the app.

The music player is well done, it integrates into system's audio control, so it can play in the background, and control music on the lockscreen.

Videos are streamed from the server, but it is kind of weird that you can not fast forward or seek forward. The progress bar keep showing "Live" and you cannot skip like a normal media player. That's only fine if you want to watch a video from the beginning without skipping at all.

It's a little bit sad that, both audio and video files cannot be played through Safari or other third party app.

Pricing

Probably the only part that Bitcasa leads. $9.99 every month or $99 a year is very cheap, the same price can only buy abount 800GB on Amazon Glacier (vary depends on how you use it). Dropbox, Skydrive and Google Drive are much more expansive, but they are stable and fast. So Bitcasa is a cheap alternative and you can choose to pay for the risk.

Conclusion

Not the best, but usable and cheap.

If you don't mind spending long time on finding incomplete files and reuploading them, if you don't mind the video playback function on mobile device is half baked, Bitcasa is a choice for you.

Not recommended but here is a referer link:http://l.bitcasa.com/1ga3QgMa

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