Bitcasa comes out of Beta with unlimited storage for $99 a year

And client-side encrypting should please IT pros

Bitcasa came out of Beta this week with a modest proposal for users: unlimited cloud storage for $99 a year.

But wait, don't answer yet. If you sign up for a year, throughout February, that price drops to $69 for this year. If you just want to try it without committing to the yearly contract, you can get a very generous 10 GB of storage for free. It's a compelling deal for individuals or business looking for a low-cost storage solution. 

Besides infinite storage, Bitcasa also offers client-side encryption. That means they have no way of knowing the contents of your files. As Bitcasa CEO Tony Gauda told TechCrunch TV, "You can say whatever you want inside Bitcasa and we can't access it for any reason at all. So regardless of how many subpoenas we get or whoever comes knocking on our door, there's no way we can get at any of that. It's completely secure and private," he told them.

And that addresses a major issue for those who have been reluctant to store their content in the cloud because of security and privacy concerns, especially in the United States under the USA Patriot Act, which has scared people away from cloud storage solutions, especially with servers in the U.S.

The other issue of course is access and the beauty of any cloud storage solution is the ability to get your files anywhere, from any device. So far, Bitcasa offers Mac and Windows clients, as well as iOS, Android, and Windows RT clients. There's also a web client.

But how can Bitcasa prevent abusive behavior on its service? It has a clear DMCA policy, which states that it will not tolerate violations of DMCA, but if it's truly encrypted, I wonder how it or the claimants will ever know. 

I tried the iOS and Mac desktop application. It says it will back up all your devices, but I couldn't figure out how to back up the contents of my iPhone for instance. It does give easy access to your files in a nicely designed app. The Mac app incorporates into your Finder window in the same fashion as Dropbox or Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) Drive. It will create a mirror of your drive in the cloud, so you always have a complete backup, which is pretty cool. It's worth noting that backup is painfully slow, but that's to be expected.

What's more, you can mark files for offline access if you are going to be on a plane or in an area without WiFi. 

It certainly appears to be a great solution for both individuals and businesses looking for a way to control storage costs, and store and access files in a secure fashion. But I have to wonder how long it can afford to offer this one size fits all price before it gets out of control for them and they go to a tiered pricing model. 

For more information,
- see Bitcasa's website

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