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Bitcasa’s Blunder

New Bitcasa Plans

Bitcasa announced new pricing plans and an api yesterday and the reaction to the new plans you could say has been poor. Reading through the comments on the blog post and seeing the reaction Twitter gives you a good sense of what Bitcasa has done wrong with this announcement. Here are some common themes that I have seen.

Trust and Broken Promises

Bitcasa made many promises about being infinite storage with infinite file versions and infinite access. The new plans broke everyone of those promises. Bitcasa is now limited storage, with limited file versions and limited client access. It does not matter that the cheapest package is 1TB at $10.00/month and cheaper per GB than most, if not all of their competitors, Bitcasa has shown that the CEO and the company no longer hold the same vision as it once did.

Linux Client

Many people signed up with Bitcasa because of the promise of a Linux client. Bitcasa is still promising a Linux client BUT only for people on the new plans. This feels and looks like a bait and switch by many. Bitcasa had a Linux client and when they launched they removed it with many promises of it coming back. Now to get the Linux client people that signed up will need to switch to a new plan, despite Bitcasa statement that existing users on the Infinite plan will get all new features.

Pricing

Bitcasa, whether they like it or not, is a consumer based service. That means they are in competition with all of the other consumer based cloud backup and storage services. The new prices and limits simply make Bitcasa a bad consumer purchase when there are other services that do backup better and other services that do access better. Bitcasa destroyed both of their advantages in the consumer market with higher prices and limits on storage, devices and file versions.

Then there is the ridiculous price of $999.00/year for Infinite storage. Seriously, $999.00/year. What household has $999.00 to spend on cloud storage? People can literally purchase their own hardware and run their own “Infinite” cloud storage service.

Existing Users

Bitcasa has tried to make it clear that existing infinite users will keep their existing plan and price unless they want to cancel or change their plan from monthly to annual or want the Linux client. At first glance you would think this was a good decision to help encourage the people that helped spread the word about Bitcasa, and believed in their promise of infinite storage. Except it looks like it is backfiring.

Existing users even with keeping their pricing the same can no longer recommend Bitcasa to friends, family and clients because the pricing for infinite is just not affordable and well can the company be trusted any more? How long before existing users are told that they must pick a new plan? Many existing users appear to be ready to leave instead of waiting to see when they will be forced to pick a new plan.


Personally I am a Bitcasa user. I have been since they were in beta and I signed up as soon as they came out of beta. I liked the idea of having infinite storage and having it available on all of my devices. It has been useful to have my files available on any device, but I have also been waiting for the Linux client and my current number of devices is 4. At this point I don’t expect I will be keeping my account. I don’t think the new direction of the company is one that I want to support. I already have cloud backups taken care of by Backblaze and Zoolz and can easily replace my Bitcasa drive with an extra hard drive and BitTorrent Sync.

It is always disappointing when a company that had so much promise decides to abandon their core ideas. I am sure former CEO Tony Gauda found it hard to watch the reaction yesterday.

It was a little odd how Mr. Gauda left the company with little talk about why. Perhaps these new plans show more about the struggles inside Bitcasa and why he left.

Are you an existing Bitcasa user? Will you be staying with them? If you are looking for cloud storage will you consider Bitcasa now? If you have time take a look at the comments on the Bitcasa blog. They offer a great deal of insight into how people feel about this complete reversal by Bitcasa.

Want to know more about Bitcasa? Read our complete Bitcasa review for more information.

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10 Responses to Bitcasa’s Blunder

  1. willemijns says:

    hello,

    infinite on Amazon S3 (except glacier) was a stupid business plan. period.

    same comment on a lower level for Zoolz.

    • Lee says:

      Ya building on Amazon is good and bad. Dropbox does it and seems pretty successful but then companies like Backblaze build their own storage and can keep costs low.

      If I recall Bitcasa was going to build their own as well at one time, but that never happened. Guess they had enough problems besides throwing a hardware problem in with the creation of the service.

      • Bitcasa did managed to use their deduplication engine to help save several GB. I uploaded my music and movie collection and most of them were deduplicated. That was what made them offer unlimited storage.

      • Dheeraj says:

        Yeah! They planned to use their own servers but that never happened.

      • Bill says:

        They have too much data in amazon to move it to their own hardware. The problem is the cost in moving it and the time it takes to move it, all while keeping the system up for users. Mostly I think the cost of moving petabytes of data is going to be very expensive at amazons transfer prices.

  2. Remus A says:

    Honestly I am a Bitcasa user (one of the oldest) from beta. When i received the new prices …. Yesterday I talked with the support team on chat for more than 2 hours … and even they assured me nothing will change for me but I already started to pull out my files. To be completely honest I was several times on the point of quitting because they have kept having problems … low speed (in eu) problems with uploaded files (even they seems ok after 2 or 3 days some appear to be corrupted) and so on … And in my opinion that was the trigger to quit using Bitcasa. For 99 usd / month I have 99 alternative servers with infinite storage. I ask myself who is so stupid to pay so much when Pogoplug for example offer infinite for 5 usd …
    YES Bitcasa broke its promise and in my opinion that hurt for users who make Bitcasa a power in cloud storage name !

    • willemijns says:

      pogoplug can do the same as Bitcasa… only breath is infinite and free (and less pure than before ^^)

      • Sandeep says:

        Re: PogoPlug

        As a Bitcasa user, I found their upload methods to be rather bizzare and limiting.

        I signed up for PogoPlug’s free account to see how it worked. I also installed their software.

        I need to upload files individually, because my ISP restricts upload speeds & sets bandwidth limits. So I have to prioritize what gets backed up.

        PogoPlug’s software only seems to allow mirroring. So it makes you select folders for mirroring, and monitors that 24/7. There’s the obvious problem of resource usage. But then it also creates a burden that if I modify file names or delete…will that mess with what I have backed up?

        PogoPlug’s web-based upload is also problematic. When I tried to upload batch files…I noticed that the uploads were all occuring *at the same time*. Typically, there should be a queue & each file is uploaded in sequence. This ensures that, in case of disconnect, at least some files make it to the cloud. Not so with PogoPlug.

        I’m still researching to find an alternative. I just can’t trust Bitcasa anymore. Not sure if PogoPlug – as is – is that alterntaitve.

      • Remus A says:

        Completly agree with you. But for the moment seems they are ok. I am not pogoplug employee or whatever (belive me) Me personal for the moment i am satisfied about they. I am one of the oldest users to Bitcasa and now i directed my files to pogoplug. There is many another websites who pretend infinite but in realyty …
        Best wishes

  3. Francisco says:

    Hi!

    I liked Bitcasa from the moment I knew it. The statement of “infinite storage at affordable price” was just perfect. Even I wrote two reviews of it in my blog…

    Now with the price changed it’s not the same anymore. So I wrote a third one wandering about the whole situation: http://bit.ly/IPHTZp (in Spanish)

    (You have translation on the blog at the top right)

    And I’m seriously considering switching to other cloud storage provider with infinite offer but I found PogoPlug not very clear… If you have any other suggestion you are welcome!

    Kind regards,
    Francisco

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