This page is going to stay a work on progress; please verify all facts for yourself, as companies are always pivoting to try to understand the markets.

The ‘Cloud Storage’ state of affairs

Many companies are dipping their toes in to what they feel is large storage requirements and they don’t know what they are getting in to. Bitcasa was the biggest example of this, as they came in, “Changed the game” with the promise of unlimited storage for a reasonable fee, and quickly realized that they could not keep up.

The truth of the matter is that users of large amounts of storage are the minority, and we’ve been investing in hardware, waiting for the time when we can offload it all in a secure way that lets us access it from whatever device, server, or service that we use.

We have the money, but find it ridiculous and unsafe to pay $100+ per month for multiple TB of storage.

For example: what happens when we change billing information and a payment is missed?

Since it’s difficult these days to justify a media server with less than 1TB of storage, I’m going to only focus on ways to get at least 1TB of storage, with special consideration for services that let us add extra storage easily.

 

Bitcasa

Bitcasa came on the scene promising unlimited storage for $10USD per month. They also hinted at access from Linux servers, and even eventually released a fairly buggy alpha client.

After some time, the unlimited storage went all the way up to $99USD per month, they trashed the Linux client, created an API that could only be used by users at the new price, and then reintroduced a new Linux client which used the API.

It’s also worth noting that since the client encrypts everything locally before uploading, it’s impractical to have a single-CPU cloud server running the Plex server and Bitcasa client. Even reasonably-sized dual CPU instances are not ideal.

It’s also worth noting that the encryption they use makes it easy for a rights-holder to see if any users on the Bitcasa system have files that they claim rights to.

 

Dropbox

Of course, we’re now very familiar with Dropbox’s offering, and they do offer a business tier which they say offers “As much space as needed” starting at $75USD/month.

However, Dropbox works by synchronizing what’s on the local drive with their servers, meaning that in order to have 1TB of storage, you need both a Dropbox Business account, as well as 1TB of storage that’s local on your server.

 

Google Drive

Google recently announced that they were starting to get in to the ‘Large storage’ game, and now offer 1TB for $9.99USD/month

There is currently only an unofficial Linux daemon (Grive), and it has the same limitation as Dropbox (requiring that all storage be copied to the local drive)

 

Mediafire

Mediafire has landed on the large storage scene with an obvious understanding of how people want to use file storage.

They now offer 1TB for 2.50USD/month, or $24.99USD/year.
Even 100TB is $24.99USD/month.

Their background is also promising; they’re no strangers to DMCA requests and user privacy. They have chosen to keep everything physically in-house, which means that any access to user records would have to go through legal channels.
Obviously, our goals for a Plex server are to have access to files for our own personal use, so it’s nice to know that they are not proactively mining the system looking for files to be reported.

They currently Mainly have browser access, with an official GUI upload client, but when announcing the $2.50 price, they also talked about working on an API, and seem to have used the API to create an iOS app that’s available.

To recap: an API means not only the option for a Linux server client, but it also means Plex could plug in to a service directly for Cloud Sync.

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