Bitcasa Online Backup Service Review

A Full Review of Bitcasa, an Online Backup Service

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© Bitcasa

Update: According to the Bitcasa Blog, the Bitcasa service is no longer being supported. See these other online backup services for some alternatives to Bitcasa.

Bitcasa is a combination of your standard online backup service and a cloud storage service, letting you keep your commonly-accessed files backed up online but also providing you with an extra hard drive in the cloud so you can extend the storage capacity of your computer.

While an unlimited backup plan isn't offered by Bitcasa, it does manage to make a huge amount of space available to you without breaking the bank. Plus, the software is very simple to use and isn't crowded with confusing settings.

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Continue reading for more details on the plans you can purchase, the features you'll get, and some of the things, good and bad, I came across while using Bitcasa.

Bitcasa Plans & Costs

With the exception of the free one, there are two cloud backup plans offered by Bitcasa that differ only in their storage capacity:

Bitcasa Premium

The Bitcasa Premium plan offers 1 TB of backup space that you can use back up as many as 5 devices.

You can pay for Bitcasa Premium by month or by year: month-to-month runs $10.00 /month and the 1 year prepaid version is $99.00 ($8.25 /month).

If you expect to use Bitcasa Premium for at least a year, you'll save $20 over those 12 months if you pay for the year in advance.

Something to keep in mind.

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Bitcasa Pro

Bitcasa Pro has all the same features as the Premium plan, with support for up to 5 devices, but offers 10 TB of storage instead.

The Pro plan comes in at $99.00 /month when you do month-to-month or $999.00 per year if you prepay - about $83.25 /month.

You can save around $190 doing the prepayment with this plan.

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Bitcasa also has a free plan but at only 5 GB of space it offers only a fraction of the backup capacity as the paid plans. The free plan works with up to 3 devices, it has less support options, and doesn't give you some features, like HD streaming and secure sharing.

No matter which of the non-free plans you create an account under, you'll be given the free 5 GB plan to start with, and then you can upgrade your account to either the 1 TB or 10 TB plan once you've logged in. There isn't a trial option for the non-free plans.

See my list of Free Online Backup Plans for even more completely free options you have for backing up your files. There are several, believe it or not.

Bitcasa Features

Bitcasa does just what you'd want it to do for a backup solution by keeping your files backed up immediately after you've updated them. It works like a sync program, where every change you make on your computer is reflected in your account.

You're also able to manually copy or move data directly into your account through the virtual "external" hard drive it attaches to your computer.

The following are more features you'll find in Bitcasa:

File Size LimitsNo, but mobile and web are limited to 2 GB
File Type RestrictionsNo
Fair Use LimitsNo, details in Bitcasa TOS
Bandwidth ThrottlingNo
Operating System SupportWindows 10, 8, and 7; Mac OS X; Linux
Native 64-bit SoftwareYes
Mobile AppsAndroid and iOS
File AccessWeb app, desktop software, mobile app
Transfer Encryption256-bit AES
Storage Encryption256-bit AES
Private Encryption KeyNo
File VersioningNo
Mirror Image BackupNo
Backup LevelsDrive and folder
Backup From Mapped DrivesNo
Backup From Attached DrivesYes
Backup FrequencyContinuously
Idle Backup OptionNo
Bandwidth ControlYes
Offline Backup Option(s)No
Offline Restore Option(s)No
Local Backup Option(s)No
Locked/Open File SupportNo
Backup Set Option(s)No
Integrated Player/ViewerYes, web app and mobile app
File SharingYes
Multi-Device SyncingYes
Backup Status AlertsNo
Data Center LocationsUS, Ireland, Germany, Japan
Support OptionsChat, email, forum, and self support

My Experience With Bitcasa

Bitcasa has made backing up your files so easy that it feels like you're not even using 3rd party software to do it. It's simple and quick to do basically everything in this program, and that's the main reason I like it so much.

What I Like:

As I just mentioned, above all, I like how simple it is to use Bitcasa's program. Selecting the folders you want to back up is as easy as right-clicking them. You don't need advanced knowledge about anything tech to maneuver around in the program... and that's how it should be.

Once Bitcasa has been installed, you can see what has been backed up and what files are being synced across your devices by just opening the Bitcasa Drive folder. I like this because it makes looking through your account as easy as opening a folder on your computer, something you're probably familiar with.

Even stopping a folder from backing up anymore doesn't require you to open the Bitcasa software. Just like with backing it up, you can right-click it and choose to stop mirroring it to immediately stop backing it up.

As you can tell, I'm stressing how easy this program is to use because I think that's very important. You're backing up all your important files so you want it to go as smoothly as possible. Just know that you can't go wrong with Bitcasa in terms of ease of use.

I didn't run across any issues while uploading files to my account. I backed up just under 1 GB of data both with and without a bandwidth restriction in place, and the program obeyed it both times, letting me upload at the speed I designated but also at the highest speed my network allowed.

It's unlikely that backup speeds will be the same for everyone who uses Bitcasa because the speed mainly depends on the speed of your own network and computer. See How Long Will the Initial Backup Take? for more information on this.

What I Don't Like:

Although Bitcasa is super easy to use, which is great, I think it fails to perform as well as similar backup services in terms of features.

The major concern I have with it is file versioning. I've been told from Bitcasa's support team that they may make it available in the future but there isn't an estimated time of release.

Other popular backup services at least support limited versioning, like for 30 days, if not unlimited versioning. But Bitcasa doesn't even support it for a limited number of days or versions, which really is too bad.

This means if you stop mirroring a folder, it will immediately no longer be in your account. It doesn't go anywhere to be accessed again, nor can you ever retrieve it. Let me repeat this: If you stop mirroring a folder, all the files that were backed up under that folder will no longer be accessible from your Bitcasa account. The files will remain on your computer, sure, but they won't be backed up any longer and can't be accessed through your account.

This also means that when you edit a file, the new version will be backed up like you'd expect, but the old version will be immediately destroyed from your account and no longer accessible.

On this note, however, after you've deleted a file from your computer, because Bitcasa mirrors the file in your account, it will be moved from your account and placed in the "Trash" folder, which is accessible if you log in to your account through a web browser.

Files are left there for 30 days. This means you have 30 days from the time you delete a backed up file before it's gone from your account forever. The same rule applies to files you have copied to your Bitcasa account and are syncing with your other devices.

Bitcasa doesn't let you mirror files you're actively using, which means some entire folders are completely disabled from being backed up. This means the root of the "C" drive, the root of your "Users" folder, everything in the "Program Files" directory, and other similar locations can not be backed up.

This is probably just a minor inconvenience more than a true disadvantage because for most of these locations, you can choose one of the subfolders, like your "Downloads" or "Documents" folder, to backup - you just can't backup the root of those folders.

The same can be said for Mac users, as the root of the boot drive, user directory, "/Applications," "/System," and others directories are also disabled from being mirrored.

You also are unable to backup files from a drive attached over the network, which is a feature that is supported in some of the other backup services I recommend. Though this is obviously only a downfall if you're interested in backing up files from a mapped drive.

My Final Thoughts on Bitcasa

Bitcasa is easy, really easy. While that's a winning feature for... well, pretty much anything... that doesn't mean that it alone makes a winning cloud backup service. The lack of file versioning is a big deal and something I hope they reconsider.

I've been using Bitcasa since the day it was publicly available and I see a lot I like. As a backup/sync solution, it works well. However, I usually find Bitcasa too slow to use like a real hard drive.

That said, I see Bitcasa make small but important improvements all the time. At very least it's is a service to watch closely. It has the potential to do something much bigger than just backup and I hope to rank it better over time.

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If Bitcasa doesn't sound like the right fit, see my reviews of Backblaze and SOS Online Backup for more on these services which I personally prefer, and usually recommend, over Bitcasa.