It is quite difficult to keep an overview of all the cloud hosting services that have launched in the last two years. This can be a problem for new services entering the market, and those that do, often need to provide users with features and offers that other services do not offer in this form for a chance to be recognized by the bulk of users.
Copy is a new service owned by networking and storage products company Barracuda Networks that leaves little to be desired in terms of functionality and storage that users get when they sign up to the service. New users get 5 Gigabyte of free cloud storage space which may not sound too impressive as first. Copy is running a promotion currently that uses a referral system to award users with 5 Gigabyte of additional storage for every user they refer to the service. So, for 50 Gigabytes of free storage users need to invite 9 friends to the party. And yes, you do get an extra five Gigabyte if you are referred by someone so use my link above to start with 10 Gigabytes of storage space (you get the extra Gigabytes once you install one of the programs or apps). You can snag away another 2 Gigabytes if you tweet about the service.
Users who need more space right away can subscribe to one of the two paid plans for individuals the company is making available. It is offering 250 Gigabyte of space for $9.99 per month or $99 per year and 500 Gigabyte of space for $14.99 or $149 per year. To put this in relation, Dropbox users pay $9.99 per month or $99 per year for 100 Gigabyte of extra storage, SkyDrive users pay $50 per year for 100 Gigabyte of storage and Google Drive users pay $9.99 per month for 200 Gigabyte of storage.
Copy is available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux desktop systems, the Android and iOS platform, and as a web based version. The desktop version installs a root folder of the service on your system that is used to automatically transfer files from inside the folder to the cloud, and from the cloud back to the computer.
Files inside the folder can be shared by right-clicking on the file that you want to share. Just select copy actions from the context menu and then the send or copy public link option from the menu. Instead of sharing files by creating public links to them, which means that anyone with that link can access them, it is also possible to share links only with other members of the service so that only they can access the files that you want to share.
That's not all though. You can also share folders with other users of the service. As far as sharing options go, you can select to make shares view-only so that invited users cannot change, sync or edit files, or let people sync and edit files as well.
Copy supports fast local network synchronization which is not really explained anywhere on the site or in the settings. It is very likely that contents are directly synced between devices connected to the same local network. What does not seem possible right now is to select specific files or folders for LAN syncing only. All files seem to be stored in the cloud regardless of the feature. Still, it is good to be there as you will save bandwidth if you use it on multiple devices connected to the same local area network. The preferences hold another interesting option. You can limit the upload or download bandwidth of the service.
Files are transferred using SSL and according to Copy's support staff encrypted on their servers as well. Copy furthermore supports data deduplication and a file history.
Copy looks good on first glance. If there is one thing to criticize it is the lack of information the service makes available. How are files encrypted on the server, is there a limit to the file history feature and how is the local network synchronization feature working in detail. A better help file that explains those and other features in detail would be useful to many users, or even tooltips in the client itself.
True Crypt users may find the service less attractive than Dropbox as it will always transfer the full encrypted container file when it changes. A 100 Megabyte container will be uploaded every time you add, remove or edit files in it. Dropbox handles this better as it will only transfer the changes made to the file and not the whole 100 Megabyte.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.