Mon, 25 Feb 2013 ZipCloud review
Back-up and share your files and folders with ZipCloud online storage.
- Manufacturer: ZipCloud
- Manufacturer: ZipCloud
- Pros: Amazon S3 storage integration; ability to restore files from the cloud; unlimited data back-up promised; flexible pricing and data plans; 256 bit secured socket layer encryption; dedicated ZipCloud iOS app; ability to share files; free 14-day trial.
- Cons: Bugs during trial period; Documents Folder back-up by default is not ideal; concerns over dubious terms and conditions.
- Min specs: Compatible with OS X 10.5 +, Windows 7, 2000, XP & Vista (32 & 64 bit), Linux, iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry. (Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 4.3 or later. Optimised for iPhone 5.)
- Price: zipPersonal - £4.95 (75GB)/£5.95 (250GB) /£6.95 (Unlimited) per month - zipBusiness - £19.95 (100GB, 5 Computer Licences)/£49.95 (500GB, 20 Computer Licences) per month.
- Star rating:
Aimed at both individuals and business users, ZipCloud is an online solution for backing up, syncing and sharing all your important data. Part desktop app, part browser based dashboard, you can set ZipCloud to back up files automatically or drag and drop those files to be backed up. Mac and PC compatible, it’s also conveniently works with many smartphones and tablets. A dedicated ZipCloud iOS app for instance, lets users back up your camera roll, browse and open backed up files, stream video, music and more. As well as access on the move, users can share files with colleagues, friends and family, and crucially, restore to any computer files backed up. This is an essential option if you have ever suffered with a faulty Mac that simply won't start up.
Security wise, ZipCloud insists data is "constantly encrypted," using a 256 bit secured socket layer system, promising what's often called military grade or bank grade encryption. The company utilises Amazon Simple Storage Service, also known as Amazon S3, for storing data, noting if users were to upload 10,000 files only one file would be lost every 10 million years. Files benefit from "no single point of failure" data centre storage, which are constantly monitored.
During an extended trial period ZipCloud was found to be buggy, issues which we believe were all resolved before this review went to press. Frustratingly, we initially couldn't simply drag and drop files saved to external hard drives without first dragging them back to our desktop. The Manual Selection (Advanced Users) setting also didn't work, which would allow users to cherry pick which files to back up rather than simply back up the Documents Folder by default. Backing up the Documents Folder by default isn't ideal as ours is mostly empty, with important files in specific folders or on external hard drives. Backing up a complete external hard drive currently costs an additional £80 or so per year, although ZipCloud inform us they hope to be flexible on features and pricing in the future.
ZipCloud's terms and conditions note: "ZipCloud strictly forbids the backing up, storing, and sharing of any prohibited content," which is likely standard practice. However: "ZipCloud enforces content recognition and filtering and a manual review of files backed up and stored," which is worrying, especially if you have sensitive data, business files for instance, backed up. The wording may be generic to cover themselves from accusations of abuse, but ZipCloud would do well not to treat customers as potential illegal file sharers.
ZipCloud is offered at various price points from £4.95 per month for zipPersonal, rising to £6.95 per month, which offers 'unlimited' online storage for individuals. That's an appealing proposition for those who have plenty of files taking up room on computers and external hard drives. zipBusiness starts at £19.95 per month for 100GB and five computer licenses, rising to £49.95 per month for 500GB and twenty computer licences.