F-Secure’s Younited is now available publicly, sort of

standards

via XKCD

F-Secure is best known for its security products such as Internet Security or Anti-Virus, and not necessarily for non-security related products.

The company released a private beta version of Younited some time ago, and has made available the new product publicly today. To be precise, program and app downloads are now available, while sign-ups are still limited and not available right away.

Younited on first glance is yet another cloud-based file synchronization application that you can use to keep your files in sync on all of your devices. It supports Windows and Mac, as well as the three major mobile operating systems iOS, Windows Phone and Android, and web access on top of all that.

What sets Younited apart from other services is the fact that you can integrate other cloud services into it. For now, that just means Google Picasa, with support for other services such as Dropbox or Facebook planned in the near future.

The basic idea behind the service is to make it the central location for local and cloud-hosted files.

But wait, isn't that already possible, at least for some services? If you are tech-savvy enough, you can easily add synced folders of services such as Dropbox to other sharing services, so that they get synced using them as well.

While that is an option for users who know how to do so, most users probably do not and that's where a service like Younited may come in useful.

Once you have installed the service on your system you will notice that it creates a new folder under your user directory on Windows. This is the core sync folder where all the magic happens.

It won't do you any good right now, as you still need to sign up for a -- free -- account before you can start using it to synchronize data.

While downloads are provided on the project's website, accounts cannot be created right now. All you can do is leave your email message to be informed when spots become available.

This is everything but elegant, considering that users who have downloaded the client for their operating system may be discouraged to give this a try as they cannot start to use the service right away.

The support page highlights other issues and provides additional information about the service.

It highlights the costs associated with it. The free account gives users 10 Gigabytes of free space until 2014, when it will be reduced to 5 Gigabytes for all new users. Users who need additional storage space can sign up for a Medium account for €74.99 per year and 200 Gigabyte of free space, or a Premium account for €120 a year and 500 Gigabyte of space.

That's cheaper than Dropbox's Pro plan which sets you back $99 per year and gets you 100 GB of space, and about the same price as Microsoft's SkyDrive and Google's Drive charge for 200 Gigabyte of space ($100 and $119 respectively).

Younited's unification feature may be giving it an edge, at least when it comes to the services that it supports. As far as other features are concerned, it supports version controlling, offline access, remote access on the web, and file sharing.

Closing Words

It is rather unfortunate that downloads are already available on the Younited website while the account creation is still limited. This will certainly discourage several users who download and install the program, as they will find out that they cannot use it for anything at that time.

The success of the service depends largely on the integration of third party cloud services. If it launches with just Picase, it is almost certain that it won't be as appealing as if popular services such as SkyDrive, Facebook or Dropbox would be available.

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Responses to F-Secure’s Younited is now available publicly, sort of

  1. Transcontinental December 6, 2013 at 5:55 pm #

    "The free account gives users 10 Gigabytes of free space until 2014, when it will be reduced to 5 Gigabytes.". Odd. Problems ahead for those who will wish to remain on the free account. Of course the solution is to move on to a paid account, especially when the prices seem attractive. I just dislike this sort of marketing approach.
    As for now, very little marketing strategy in making an application download available when registration is not, indeed.

    • Martin Brinkmann December 6, 2013 at 5:58 pm #

      I should have clarified better. The users who have been given 10 GB keep that, but new users who sign up afterwards get only 5 GB. It is a time-limited promotion.

  2. Krishna Parmar December 6, 2013 at 8:25 pm #

    Well, personally I was waiting for this thing from last few times and its good news to me atleast!

  3. smaragdus December 6, 2013 at 10:48 pm #

    Once I subscribed to a cloud service called CX, which offered 10 GB for free. The CX program worked fine (at least better than DropBox) but one day I got a message from CX notifying me that there wouldn't be any free accounts any more so I would need to pay if I wanted to continue using the CX service. I immediately deleted all my data and cancelled my account. After my unpleasant experience with CX, Cubby and SugarSync I no longer trust cloud providers and their free offers.

    • mutinga December 7, 2013 at 8:04 am #

      I used to be a big fan of cloud storage and would sign up for any free offer. But like you, some bad experiences changed my opinion.

      Cloud companies will lure early adopters with free space so they use them as beta testers for a business product, change prices or storage limits (BitCasa, Rapidshare, Mozy), go bankrupt (Nirvanix), get shutdown without warning (MegaUpload, Hotfile).

      They will invade privacy by scanning filenames and file fingerprints (MediaFire, SkyDrive) or have security problems (Evernote, LastPass, Dropbox). Not to mention they will give files to any governement agency or track your location (BackBlaze).

      • JohnMWhite December 9, 2013 at 7:36 pm #

        Speaking of giving your files to government agencies, Younited.com offers merely a vague "we don't like that other people let governments see your stuff", and the F-Secure general privacy policy says they'll do the exact same thing if asked, and clearly do not encrypt data sufficiently to prevent their own company accessing it, as they say they'll be able to look at your content when assisting with technical issues. The best they seem to be offering is "we'll store European customers' data in Europe". That's not privacy. Am I missing something here? It seems odd that they're advertising themselves as a secure, private way to coordinate all your cloud data when they don't really offer any sort of privacy at all.

      • smaragdus December 9, 2013 at 8:32 pm #

        I used Hotfile to store some private documents packed into password-protected archives. What I liked about Hotfile was that it offered FTP upload. What amazed me was that they closed the service without any warning, giving the users no option to download their data. This was outrageous.

      • Pdexter December 9, 2013 at 11:45 pm #

        Well they do have their servers over in Finland, that is more neutral country in data privacy than its neighbour Sweden, that can by law use the data trespassing, like in US.

        They also use AES-256 for encryption, that you certainly don't see on popular cloud providers for average cloud user.

        Skype is a great example were fully encrypted service from Estonia was made less secure by Microsoft my removing that back to back encryption.

  4. Sunil Thakur January 6, 2014 at 7:13 pm #

    Wow its really superb news for me.Now i can use f-secure publicly.Thanx for such great news

  5. Nelly March 4, 2014 at 11:49 am #

    It's indeed a great update for basic users like mine. I was using the old megaupload service for my personnal documents. I hope this new update will encourage others to follow and trust Younited more.

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