Bitcasa is a cloud storage service that launched back in 2011. Cloud storage services are aplenty nowadays, but Bitcasa’s unique selling point was that it offered unlimited storage. For a mere $10 a month, users could store as much data as they wanted in the cloud. The majority of other cloud providers tier their storage and put a cap on the data capacity, so it was a feature that made Bitcasa stand out from the crowd.
Things began looking a bit worrying when, last year, the company increased that $10 a month to a far more expensive $99. Current subscribers could stick it out at the cheaper rate, providing they continued to pay each month without cancelling, but all new users had to sign up on the costly plan.
Bitcasa originally felt confident offering unlimited storage because they believed that, on average, each user doesn’t have more than 25GB of unique data stored on their computers. For data that could be shared, like movies or music, Bitcasa only stored one copy of that throughout their server and just pointed each account to it.
However, Bitcasa have now announced that they are pulling the plug on unlimited storage. Starting November 15, users can pay $99/year for 1TB or $999/year for 10TB. Considering that original users could get unlimited storage for $120/year, those prices are hardly enticing. They are, however, in line with what competitors such as Google Drive offer.
In a blog post, the company claims that only 0.5 of their accounts require more than 1TB, and less than 0.1 require more than 10TB. They also believe that their unlimited storage offering was being abused by some users, possibly by enterprise accounts taking advantage of the fact that Bitcasa can’t see what data is being stored, just the amount.
The short amount of time given to users to pull their data off the service has caused outrage among their users. It signifies that Bitcasa may be in some financial trouble and have to cease unlimited storage as soon as possible in order to save costs – although that’s pure speculation.
“Please know that plan changes are difficult decisions we don’t take lightly. In our ongoing efforts to keep costs low and minimize rate increases, on occasion we must make adjustments to our business model. We apologize for any inconvenience,” said the cloud storage provider in the blog post.
Users not only have to download their data, but if they want to keep using the service then they’ll need to login to their account and update their information and download some new apps. Anyone who doesn’t make the move to the new infrastructure will find that all their data is deleted.
While it’s fair enough that Bitcasa can’t support their system being abused, it’s disheartening that the company are screwing over their wider user base – not only through jacking up the prices and lowering the storage, but also giving them such short notice to move their data off the service if they don’t want to transition to the new system.
Bitcasa End Unlimited Storage
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