PROS / The upload speed received an above-average grade in our tests.
CONS / It received a D+ for ease of use.
VERDICT / Bitcasa Drive provides above-average value with a great web portal, but the desktop app has a significant learning curve.
Founded in 2011, Bitcasa Drive is relatively new to the cloud-storage service industry, but you wouldn't know it. This service provides secure cloud storage with zero-knowledge encryption and above-average value. You also get file-sharing, file-syncing and file-backup features rolled into your cloud-storage subscription. The most significant downside is the learning curve with the desktop app.
For our review of the best online storage services, we closely evaluated the relative value that the service provides for a large family, small family and an individual by scrutinizing the annual cost per computer. We also tested the upload and download speed, and evaluated the desktop app's ease of use. The best cloud storage services should provide great value and excellent performance within a desktop app that anyone can use.
For value, Bitcasa Drive's personal subscription costs $99.00 each year for 1TB of storage for five devices. You can opt for the month-to-month payments, but the cost per year increases to $120. For a large family, the service received a B+ for value because the cost per computer is less than $20 a year. It received a B- for our small family evaluation and a B for our individual evaluation. In each case, the cloud service provides above average value.
In our performance tests, Bitcasa Drive scored a B for upload speed and a C+ for download speed. After many tests, the average upload speed was about 65.5 MB per minute, which roughly equates to 10.5 days if you were uploading 1TB of data. This was exceptionally fast, especially compared to the 23 online storage services we tested. On the other hand, the download speed was just barely above average. Our tests showed an average speed of about 41 MB per minute, which equates to about 17 days if you were downloading 1TB of data from your account.
The biggest downside to Bitcasa Drive is the learning curve of its desktop app, which received a D+ for Ease of Use. When you install the app, you install something that resembles a virtual drive, which can be confusing and unfamiliar to a novice user. This makes uploading files very easy because all you have to do is copy and paste files to the drive. But this isn't evident at any point in the process. It's difficult to access settings and additional features from the app. You can't download files from the app either. However, the web portal is excellent. In comparison, the web portal is the easier option for a novice user. If the desktop app resembled the web portal, the Ease of Use grade would have been much higher.
Bitcasa Drive's security features are excellent. The service boasts zero-knowledge 256-bit encrypted storage. Zero-knowledge storage is an industry term that refers to a policy that promises your data cannot be viewed by anyone but you. Services without this security feature often have privacy policies in place that allow them to view your files without your knowledge. With a private encryption key, however, you ensure that no one can view your files except for you.
The only security feature missing from Bitcasa Drive is two-step verification, which is sometimes called two-factor authentication. This is a security feature that requires your presence for the login process so that a hacker can't access your account even if they have your password.
Bitcasa Drive provides a personal cloud storage subscription plan with excellent value, whether you're purchasing it for yourself or for a large family. The upload and download speeds are above average, but the ease of use has a significant learning curve. If you're concerned about file security, Bitcasa is one of the most secure cloud storage services available because it provides high-end encryption with zero-knowledge storage via a private encryption key.