This weekend I ran into an advertisement on a site which promoted itself as similar to Dropbox, and offered a 15GB free account. You guessed it. I clicked.
What I got was Copy. It’s a service to store files online and it’s a Mac app to help you do that. Copy seems to work well enough, except for one nagging issue that is mostly solved by Dropbox and Apple’s iCloud. More on that in a moment.
Copy syncs up files between devices; pretty much like Dropbox. 15GB is free, which is about triple what Dropbox gives for free. 250GB of Copy storage is less than $100 a year, which makes it more competitive with offerings such as Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, and Apple’s upcoming iCloud Drive.
Sidebar: Why do we call all storage ‘drive?‘ Or, ‘disk drive?‘ Most Macs, and all iPhones and iPads don’t have a ‘disk’ in the SSD storage.
Copy’s Mac app works great and gives you only the basic options you need, including free will to move the synchronized Copy folder wherever you want. The app tells you how much of the 15GB of free storage you using, at the moment.
Copy works on Macs, Windows PCs, and both iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. One feature I like is the multiple user option. If you have 20GB of storage for a family or small business, the total can be split up among four users at 5GB each.
Files synchronized between devices using Copy are encrypted with multiple layers, including the ever popular AES-256 bit encryption. You can even share files securely.
OK, two issues. The first is how much of my Mac’s CPU Copy uses when copying files. CPU usage drops when files are not being synced.
The second is the number of applications which have an option to use Copy. Dropbox and iCloud have the neighborhood covered, though I’m starting to see more apps with Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive and even Box, but not many that integrate Copy.
Therein lies the advantage of using Dropbox or iCloud to store files from individual apps that can synchronize data between devices, vs. simply using Copy (or, any other service) to sync files between Mac, the cloud, and, say, Windows PCs.
The Death Of What?
Now, back to the headline party. Are we witnessing the death of local storage? There must be a reason any all these companies offer free online storage, right?
The benefit to me for online storage is that my files become seamless travelers between devices. The problem with online storage is the amount required to make my Mac’s disk storage useless. I have 200GB of photos, 300GB of movies and music, 200GB of video clips, plus about 100GB of other files. Storing them all on multiple disk drives is a no-brainer. Storing them on anyone’s online storage plan is expensive.
At least Yahoo! gives Flickr users 1TB of free storage.
Online storage services may want me to move everything to the cloud but that’s not going to happen until bandwidth increase in speed and decreases in price, and online storage decreases in price and increases in total storage.