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Amazon Cloud Drive Unlimited First Impressions

Amazon Cloud Drive

Amazon Cloud Drive is now offering unlimited plans for photos and for everything and many people are probably taking advantage of this great offer from Amazon but there as a few issues I have already run into in my trial that I wanted to share.

 

First off the unlimited plans appear to be US only. I am in Canada and have an Amazon.com account and had no problem signing up for the trial. I am not sure why I had no problems but as John pointed out the new unlimited offer is US only. Amazon does actually say this in the terms of service for the new Cloud Drive in section 3.2

3.2 Usage Restrictions and Limits. The Service is offered in the United States.

Why I had no problems signing up and using it so far from Canada is still a mystery, but perhaps it is because Canada and the US are so close in many ways but I suppose my account could be deleted at some point. Time will tell.

Second, the new Cloud Drive Desktop application. The only way to describe it really, it sucks. It is not a sync application, it is merely a desktop uploader. It makes it easier to upload multiple files and folders to cloud drive. Downloading from the application merely sent me to the web portal to select the files and folders to download though my browser. This could be perhaps one of the best reasons NOT to use Amazon Cloud Drive.

The new Amazon Cloud Drive Desktop app on Windows. Yes it really does SUCK!

The new Amazon Cloud Drive Desktop app on Windows. Yes it really does SUCK!

Third, because the new desktop cloud drive application sucks, you might want to use the older Cloud Drive Sync application that Amazon had. Unfortunately if you are looking on the Amazon website you have probably seen the message below:

About the Cloud Drive Sync Application

The Cloud Drive Sync application lets you manage your Cloud Drive files from a folder stored locally on your PC or Mac computer.

Note: The Cloud Drive Sync application (formerly, the “Cloud Drive desktop application”) is no longer available for download. If you already have the application installed on your computer, you can continue to use it. However, if you uninstall the application, you won’t be able to reinstall it from the website.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=201376690

Doing a quick Google search for “amazon cloud drive sync download” will give you a few options. Here are the two I found most helpful. This thread on Reddit that ultimately has you going to the Wayback Machine where you can try to download the desktop sync applications for Windows and Mac.

The other search result that was helpful was the one to Softonic download page of a version from 2012. Unlike the Wayback Machine link and download this one appeared to be complete not just a downloader for the complete application.

On my test machine I installed the download from Softonic and had no problems logging in with my Amazon Cloud Drive account and having it sync the files, but I did not do a great deal of testing on it. Use it at your own risk.

Fourth, mounting the Amazon Cloud Drive as a drive no longer seems possible. There are numerous guides out there talking about using Amazon Cloud Drive as a network drive, like this one from Lifehacker. All the guides that I read point to software from Gladinet. While the guides are all similar and say it is possible, Gladinet does not make it easy to download their software plus from what I can tell you need the Pro version to make it work with Cloud Drive, which is not free. In short, this looks like more of a pain in the butt to work with Gladinet software. Perhaps something like Expandrive will look at adding Cloud Drive support and make it easier to mount it as a network drive. In short, don’t bother with Gladinet.

Update: Expandrive has added Cloud Drive support that lets you use Amazon Cloud Drive.

Fifth, finally some good news. My experience of the Android app has actually been really good so far. It had no problem connecting, uploading my photos and videos to cloud drive. The not so great part is it is still just the photo app so I cannot see other file types that are uploaded to my cloud drive. Hopefully this is something that will be fixed and improved.

Sixth, the web portal is decent. This is perhaps the best part of the new cloud drive since I started the unlimited trial. The web app works well and I have not had any problems uploading, downloading and managing the files in my cloud drive using the web portal. This is great, but if this is the best thing about the new Amazon Cloud Drive, Dropbox, Google and Microsoft will not have much to worry about until Amazon can get some decent desktop apps together.

Have you tried the new Amazon Cloud Drive Unlimited? What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.

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17 Responses to Amazon Cloud Drive Unlimited First Impressions

  1. Chris says:

    You can also use ODrive. https://www.odrive.com
    Instead of fussing with multiple cloud storage applications, link all your storage with odrive and access it all in one place. Dropbox google Drive Onedrive etc.

  2. J. J. says:

    Thanks for the Softonic link, have been looking for a full installer! In order to use the older version the current one must be uninstalled first.

  3. Rafal says:

    SyncBackPro also supports Amazon Cloud Drive. There’s a 30-day evaluation version available. Seems to be somewhat faster than Allway Sync when it comes to uploading small files and has info on the transfer speed as well.

  4. Rafal says:

    I just found a great sync app that supports, among many other services, Amazon Cloud Drive. It’s called Allway Sync. The interface isn’t too easy on the eyes so I’d recommend the app for slightly more advanced users. It’s free for personal use which is a plus.

    • shane says:

      Rafal,

      Sweet! I used this program probably 10 years ago, so I can give it a positive review.

      I think I will give it a shot tonight.

    • shane says:

      The fine print:

      Allway Sync is FREE for personal use (with limitations). Furthermore, it includes NO SPYWARE, ADWARE or MALWARE.

      However, you should pay for a Pro license if you use this software for a commercial purpose or to process more than 40,000 files in 30-day period.

      Looks like it will not be free for what we need to use it for.

    • BooBee says:

      Thanks for sharing! I’m going to try it today. I’m curious how it syncs with Amazon if there is no “local” folder linked to Amazon Cloud. But I’ll take a look tonight.

  5. John says:

    I just want to clarify, I am also a Canadian. I am on Shaw and like I said it did not work for me.

    The deal was posted on Red Flag Deals and other Canadians also had problems, some have resolved by adding US address, using a proxy/vpn and adding American prepaid credit cards. Link: http://forums.redflagdeals.com/amazon-com-hot-cloud-drive-unlimited-storage-60-year-us-only-1702619/

    I’m sure I could load an VPS instance, install squid proxy, create a new amazon.com account, use a US mailing address from some at the boarder service, use my TD Cross Border banking VISA, use my US VoIP # and get their offering. At this point I just refuse to do any of that to be allowed to pay them $59 USD/year.

    On a side note, I tried to price match OpenDrive and they refused saying Amazon’s service is not comparable.

    • Like I said not sure why it has worked for me. I am not using a VPN, but I have had that Amazon account for a long time. Before their was an Amazon.ca I think, so perhaps I am just lucky. I imagine they will open this up to Canada at some point. Will have to keep our eyes open. Perhaps there will be a decent desktop client by then.

  6. BK says:

    ACD seems slow — really slow. The first Gb was fast but now at 40 Gb loaded, it absolutely crawls along (at perhaps 1Mg/second). At this rate, it will take me weeks to upload my 2 Tb of photos. Could be my system, sure, but am wondering why the slow-down. Does ACD throttle?!

    • Thanks for your impressions. I did not read anything in the terms about a throttle or bandwidth limit, but that does not mean they don’t. I have not uploaded much to them so I have not hit a slowdown yet. It could always be your ISP as well. I remember a story from Backblaze at one time having problems with Comcast. Clients upload speeds were horrible because Comcast was throttling users connections. The ISP’s say they don’t do it but I would not be surprised if they see a large upload going on they automatically toss a throttle on the upload because the only people uploading large amounts of data to the Internet must be pirates according to the RIAA, MPAA folk.

    • Jamie says:

      Yes, it seems Amazon Cloud Drive throttles heavy users. I am using GoodSync to sync my family photos and videos. After the first 150 GB, the uploads have dropped from 1.2 MB/s to 100 KB/s. Also after every 5-10 files I receive an error:

      Server says: Too Many Requests (status code 429): Rate exceeded

      Even though my rate has dropped significantly over the last 48 hours, I’m still getting throttled and disconnected. According to Amazon’s developer forums and GoodSync customer service, they are throttling on a per user basis. This is clearly not ‘unlimited’ and the service is not ready for prime time. Good luck getting 1TB of data on your cloud drive, you’re better off with DropBox at this point.

  7. shane says:

    Great review. I read elsewhere that Amazon has an API for 3rd party apps. I too am looking for a “sync” more than just a “dump”.

  8. Brien says:

    I’m also from Canada and had no difficulty signing up for the trial but as stated, we’ll see if my account continues after the trial. So, until that is known, I won’t be uploading a lot of material.

    It certainly would be telling about Amazon if they allowed Canadians to upload during the trial and then “whoosh” have their data disappear or be cut. We’ll see… :-)

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