SafeCopy Backup is a pretty nifty and useful service with a few things that it could improve on and a lot of things that make it perfect for a person who deals with multiple files across multiple computers. When we look at online file storage services, we look at three key things, really.
The first one, of course, is the space allocation. Are you getting the most effective basic cost versus service ratio? In this age of multiple gigabyte files, high definition videos and data heavy software files, a gigabyte today is comparable to a megabyte 10, 15 years ago. That means we deal with a lot bigger data files. The second one to look at is the ease with which we transfer files to and fro the service. We want to be able to handle multiple files and also automate syncing processes so that we do not have to manually update files in our online storage accounts. The third one is the ability to share the files that we have. This feature is fast becoming the most important thing we consider because of the onset of cloud computing, a system that advocates having files and programs stored on an online database for users, making it possible to work with minimal computing power systems like netbooks and smart phones, increasing productivity.
With all these in mind, let’s take a look at what SafeCopy Backup’s service provides. We signed up for the free trial to give things a whirl, and here’ what we found.
The first thing that you need to know about Safe Copy Backup is that they provide a program that you need to install on your computer(s) to make the service work at its optimum fluidity. It’s a pretty small program and doesn’t impede your computer’s performance. Here’s what it looks like.
A few things to note first, the program backs up folders that you choose. You can back up you’re My Documents folder, a specific folder or choose from your systems folder through the Custom option.
This make’s uploading files a cinch. You can create a single folder for upload or create multiple folders, all within your system which will then be translated by Safe Copy Backup’s website. You can access your files without the program, of course, through the website.
The image above is the main interface of their web access. As you can see at the upper left side of the image, you can have multiple computers and SafeCopy Backup arranges your data according to the computer you uploaded it from or you can search for a specific file or file type. You can type an extension (.jpg, .bmp, .mp3, .avi, etc) to find all the files that have that extension.
Back to the image of the main browse page. As you can see, you can only upload a file up to 50MB on their website. This limitation only applies to the website as we have tried to upload a file more than a gigabyte in size without any hitches. The second circle on the upper part of the image is the dropdown menu that will let you make changes to your file. You can Share, Delete or Download your file or view other versions of it that has been saved.
Let’s first talk about the sharing capabilities of the service. When you click on Share either from the website or the program, what it does is opens up a new tab that lets you email the link.
Now, as you can see you can email people you want to share the file with and are also given options to password protect it or set a validity time. When you send the file, they provide you with the direct link for whatever use you may see fit.
As we have said before, the ability to share a file or files across multiple users is one of the key features of cloud computing. This is where SafeCopy Backup goes lacking. Sure, you can email files and folders, but you cannot add users to access your SafeCopy Backup account. This makes it a service that is more oriented to people, not work groups. The company may have geared it that way though since the functions of the program that you download are many, even letting you ignore files bigger than a predetermined size. You can install the software in as many computers as you need as well as they require you to login with your username and password in the software before you can access your account.
Back to sharing, though you can only upload folders, there is a button for you to share a single file.
Clicking the share button on the program will open a window where you can choose a specific file you want to share. After choosing the file, the program opens up the share page discussed earlier. Now, it is important to note that even though the email was sent, you will still need to wait for the backup program to finish uploading that file to your account before the people you shared them with can access the file.
Another key feature that we would like to point out is the file versioning service. Because their desktop program regularly checks the folders you backup, any changes to files within those folders will initiate the program to backup the file again and save the older version of the file. You can access this via the Browse tab and is really nifty option, making your backed up file the most recent while keeping older versions, just in case.
They also offer a 4th generation Ipod Touch or iPhone program.
This allows you to access your files from your iPod, iPad or iPhone. But to be honest, it’s pretty useless as you can’t backup files from your iPhone or iPod nor do you have any search or list display of the files. All you have is what you see at the preview on the image above, a list of the most recent uploads and the ability to search for a document.
As for the paid accounts, checking their website, there are various options for you to choose from. They have a 200GB plan available for one, two, three or four years. At the time of the review, no prices were quoted for the one and two year increments as they were “sold out”, but the three year plan was offered at 15% off the original $150 price, going for $127.50 while the four year plan was at 20% off and was offered for only $160.
They also have a 300GB plan and the one year plans were also “sold out” so the only prices you could see were for the two year ($126), three year ($178.50) and four year ($224) plans.
But if you click on the “Buy More Space” link at the My Account page, you will be offered 100GB for $70 while telling you that there are upgrades for up to 500MB.
In this section, we’d like to talk about one vital flaw in the Safe Copy Backup system first. There is a disconnect from when you login to you account, the website itself without logging in and the program itself. Where is the disconnect? As previously said, the prices and plans that you are offered are different when you try to find it on their website without logging in and when you log in to your account. Same goes with the support. You will not be able to find any link to go to their support page either on your website account interface or on the desktop program . You will only find it on the website BEFORE signing in. And after accessing the support website, you will notice that you have an option to login.
Common sense would tell you to login with your SafeCopy Backup account, right? Wrong. Because when you try to, you get redirected to a website to say that there is no account registered with your SafeCopy Backup email address.
You either sign in with Twitter, OpenID or register as a new user. A total disconnect with your SafeCopy Backup account, not to mention a complete waste of time. This may be because they use a different platform for their support forum, but this was ridiculous.
Another thing, there was no info other than size upgrades and price when you look to get more space. They simply do not tell you if you will get anything more when you upgrade, like added functions or what not. This may be because they really don’t have any other features to offer.
All in all, Safe Copy Backup is a good service for someone who has multiple work stations and large files that he needs to backup. Sharing is not really the focus here, but the upload program is great as it works directly with your folders. As for the price, to be honest, you can get more space and better features for much lower prices. SafeCopy Backup’s service is great for a specific type of person because of the ease of backup, connectivity, desktop software and file versioning capabilities. But it is not for everyone and definitely not for a cloud-computing relevant project.
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