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Copy review

Michael Passingham
30 Jun 2014
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
6
per month for 250GB

A well-designed Cloud sync package with generous free and good-value paid options

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Specifications

Operating system support: Windows Vista/7/8, Mac OS X 10.7+, Linux, Storage space: 250GB, Mobile device support: Android, iOS, Windows Phone 8, Sync support?: Yes

Copy is a Cloud storage firm which emphasises free storage, file sharing and mobile access. Like many other Cloud providers it gives users the ability to upload and synchronise files across an unlimited number of devices, and its service could also be particularly useful for small businesses and teams.

PRICING

Having arrived on the Cloud scene a few years after the rest of the market, IT firm Barracuda Networks, Copy's parent company, is looking to entice customers with large amounts of free and generous paid storage allowances. At first glance, it appears to have succeeded. Copy's free and paid plans are extremely good value; you get 15GB free storage just by signing up, which is comparable to Google Drive and far more than Dropbox's 2GB. If you do choose to pay, $10 a month (around £6) will net you a huge 250GB of storage, putting Copy on a par with Microsoft OneDrive and Google Drive in terms of pounds to gigabytes.

There's an additional element to Copy's pricing model which sets it apart from other services; something the company calls "fair storage". On Dropbox, for example, if a folder containing 20GB of files is shared among four users, it will take up 20GB of each user's individual storage limit. On Copy, the size of the folder will be shared equally between the users, meaning that in this example the 20GB folder will only take up 5GB of each user's storage limit.

Copy also offers free business accounts for up to five team members. These accounts allow administrators to create a named company, create teams and give those teams access to specific folders. While this sort of action is possible in some of the other Cloud services we've looked at, none of them do it in such an easy way for free.

After you've signed up, Copy immediately asserts its authority by prompting you to move all your data from other Cloud services over to Copy, using third-party tool Move.io to access Dropbox, Box and Google Drive, should you give it permission.

DESKTOP APPLICATION

Copy's desktop software is strikingly similar to Dropbox's. It has all the same features, such as proxy settings, download and upload speed caps and LAN synchronisation, but also has a dedicated interface showing the files and folders currently shared with other users, with the option to unshare folders or get sharing links. With other Cloud services, this sort of action is only possible through a web interface.

If you simply want to use Copy to back up files and for remote access, dragging and dropping files and folders into the Copy folder created on your hard disk will synchronise your files with the Cloud automatically. Sharing files from the desktop is easy, too; you just need to right-click on a file and Copy will give you the option to send a link via email or copy a link to your clipboard.

WEB INTERFACE

Copy's website is similar to Apple's OS X desktop interface. The site is divided into four columns, and you can see the accounts and groups you're signed up to, the shared folders within each, a list of files and on the far right a file preview pane in which documents, images and other media files all viewable without you needing to download them.

Although the interface appears very simple, all the features you would expect from a Cloud sharing service are just below the surface. Right-clicking on files reveals context menus that let you view file details, history and sharing options, and if you're an administrator you can add users to your company and manage groups. These administrative tasks can only be performed via the web interface and can't be accessed either through the desktop software or the mobile applications. The strangest omission from Copy's online interface is a search function, which users with many files and folders may find frustrating.

Copy web interface

Unlike Microsoft SkyDrive and Google Drive, Copy doesn't have any built-in editing software, which means you won't be able to do without Microsoft Office or LibreOffice. It also doesn't point users towards third-party alternatives and doesn't have a library of third-party add-ons for users to access, which is something both Box and Dropbox offer. This could be because the service is so new and is still looking to attract developers; there is an application programming interface (API) but it doesn't appear many developers are using it yet.

MOBILE APPS

Copy has an excellent array of mobile apps, with software for Android, iOS and Windows Phone all available. These apps are fairly basic feature-wise, but do all the things you'd expect. All files can be starred as favourites for offline access and can be moved, shared and renamed, and there's a preview pane for documents and media files, much as in the web interface.

Copy iPad

Copy may have arrived late to the Cloud storage scene, but it's picked up the key strengths of its rivals and combined them into one very cost-effective service. Our only reservation is that it doesn't offer anything particularly outstanding that could entice users away from OneDrive, Dropbox or Google Drive.

For users who simply want a way to back up and share folders and files across, multiple computers, though, it's a great-value choice.

Account specifications
Operating system supportWindows Vista/7/8, Mac OS X 10.7+, Linux
Storage space250GB
Number of computersUnlimited
Folder and file restrictionsCopy folder only
Backup
Redundancy/data centresMultiple data centres
Encryption256-bit AES
Logging/email reportsLogging
Schedule optionsNone
Pause/throttlePause, throttle
Back up open filesYes
Back up entire disk partitionsNo
Back up external disks/NAS devicesNo
Save backups to local mediaNo
Send backups by postNo
Restore
Recover previous versions of filesUnlimited
Recover deleted filesUnlimited (requires desktop application)
Restore from DVD/USB drive sent in the postNo
Web access to backupsYes
Share selected backup contentsYes
Media browserPhotos, videos, audio, documents
Mobile device supportAndroid, iOS, Windows Phone 8
Sync
Sync support?Yes
Sync priceIncluded
Sync foldersDedicated
System filesNo
Max devicesUnlimited
Buying information
Free version15GB free storage
Price per month$10 (around £6)
Price per year$100 (around £60)
Detailswww.copy.com

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