Copy: Tons of Awesome Free Cloud Storage

I need more cloud storage, but I have commitment issues. I always want to try something new, and I’m always looking for more gigabytes. New service Copy has my storage woes covered. Free users are sitting pretty and will do even better with a generous referral program.

We’ll take a look at the Copy app and see if it has the features to match up to all that space they’re tossing around.

Make It Rain Gigabytes

Copy is the new kid on the cloud storage and sharing block. You start off with 5 GB of free space, and while I think five free anything is pretty good, 5 GB might not sound like much. Still, it’s at least as much as I got free with either Dropbox or Google Drive and almost as much as SkyDrive gave me.

Here’s the kicker, though: with every friend you sign up, you get another 5 GB. The referral scheme is only good for a limited time, but while it’s going on, you can rack up some serious space. If you do decide to go pro, you can get 250 GB of cloud storage for just under a hundred bucks a year.

Everything is done in the Copy menu bar app, including moving the Copy folder.

Everything is done in the Copy menu bar app, including moving the Copy folder.

Now that you’ve got just an embarrassing amount of storage with Copy, you need to put it to use. Install the Copy application, and you’ll need to create an account on your first launch if you haven’t already. You’ll choose where you place your Copy folder; the default location is your user folder, which may not the most convenient, so choose wisely, because if you change your mind, you have to move the folder from within the app.

Once you’re set up, all files you stick in your Copy folder will be mirrored on the Copy website or accessible on other devices running Copy and logged into your account. If you don’t want everything synced, though, click Manage My Files in the application preferences, and deselect anything you don’t want Copy to mirror anymore.

Only sync the files you want in Copy.

There are two great sharing features in Copy. The first is the ability to invite other Copy users to shared folders. The folder is added to their accounts and mirrored on their machines, and they can edit the folder’s contents, making it a great way to accomplish group collaboration.

The second–and equally cool–way to share files with Copy is right in the Finder right-click menu. Select any file or folder in your Copy folder, and then right-click on it and choose Copy Actions. Not only can you see the history of the file, handy if it’s ever been shared with other users, but you can send a public link through the Copy app or copy the public link to your clipboard. Unlike folder sharing above, which requires sendees be signed up with Copy, public links make it really easy to share files with anybody.

Share files from Finder.

Share files from Finder.

The Need for Speed

I’ve read some user reviews complaining about Copy’s upload speed. I didn’t have a problem there, but I also didn’t try to upload a ton of stuff at one time, either. I noticed even after my files were all synced, they didn’t necessarily show up in my Recently Changed menu for a while, though. But just for sharing a few files, the speed was good. Still, if you can get three friends to sign-up and install the Copy app, you’ll have a full 20 GB, so maybe you will want to move a ton of stuff over, after all.

Manage your bandwidth in Copy.

Manage your bandwidth in Copy.

Copy makes it really easy to manage your bandwidth, so if you’re trying to get other stuff done while syncing files, you can tell Copy to cool it for a while. Check the upload and download rate boxes and set your speed. Uncheck them when things open up and you want to let Copy do it’s thing unhindered. If everything just becomes too much for Copy, though, you can pause syncing from the menu bar.

Final Thoughts

Copy’s first job is syncing, which works perfectly. It’s the easy sharing that makes the app so great, though. I like being able to share files with collaborators; that function has a ton of uses, not just for coworkers but among family and friends, too. If I want to share a recipe with my mom, I can stick it in our shared folder, and I can keep a household folder with my husband for all the boring but important stuff we both need a copy of. Equally useful is the ability to share public links, via email, messaging, or social media. It would be nice to share right from the menu bar icon, but I guess you can’t have everything.

Shared folders can make group projects a lot simpler.

Shared folders can make group projects a lot simpler.

The amount of space you get for free can’t be overlooked. 5 GB is definitely respectable and an additional 5 GB for every person referred is amazing in itself. You can rack up some serious space doing that. It’s only for a limited time, though, so you should probably jump on that deal if you’re interested. The app works great and the service is solid, not giving me any problems while I was syncing and sharing. With all that space, Copy’s hard to say no to.


Summary

Nice sharing and sync features with lots of free storage.

9
  • http://getaportrait.org/ The Portrait Artist

    Awesome new app!

    I was checking the market for a nice Dropbox alternative and this looks promising. I’ll stay with Dropbox for a while but I’ll keep an eye on how this will progress.

  • http://trlstudios.com Evan Terrell

    Great article. At this point, though, I think I’ll stick with Dropbox. I’ve had it for so long, am so used to using it, and am paying for it anyway… so why not, lol.

    It sure does seem like there a lot of new cloud sync / share services coming out lately. I signed up for the discounted 1st Year of Bitcasa when that first came out, and am having a hard time figuring out what to use it for. I was hoping it would replace Dropbox; but, fat chance of that. :(

    I do, however, wish that Adobe would get their s&*t together, so that I could add more storage to my Creative Cloud. I’d LOVE to use that instead of Dropbox. *sigh*

    • http://pauladupont.com Paula DuPont

      I can definitely understand not wanting to switch, especially if you’ve already made your home at Dropbox and are paying for the service.

      I think Copy will be good for people who haven’t settled all of their files in one place and are making use of a patchwork of free services.

      • Ansatz

        ok

  • Luis Gomes

    I have Dropbox and some other free services like Skydrive and a recent and popular cloud service in Portugal (cloudpt.pt) wich gives you a free 16GB for start. Like Paula mentions, I deal with some patchwork around all the free services. Copy.com haves an invitation system like no other (while it lasts) offering 5GB per referral and I’m trying among my friends and relatives to add to my account as much as I can so i can finally stick with one cloud service for good.
    It isn’t packed with features like Events or file history like Dropbox but I hope it will. At least it’s a product from a well stablished company (barracuda.com) wich gives sense of security meaning that it will not disappear or fail in a near future.
    If you’re interest in trying, signing through invitation will give you a generous extra 5GB and for me as well. ;o) -> https://copy.com?r=xdsJMn
    Regards!

    • Luis Gomes

      Sorry for the mistake. It does haves file history.

    • Shane

      I used your referral link. Thanks.

      • Luís Gomes

        Thanks a lot Shane!

  • Karin

    Looks nice but as they put the requirement to OS X 10.7, I do not think they vill be a Dropbox challenger. Sure, many of us have 10.7+ but the advantage of Dropbox, which requires 10.4, is that almost everyone who owns a Mac can use it. This means that we can share folders with all Mac users. At least many of my less computer interested friends do still use both 10.5 and 10.6.

  • Dan

    I wouldn’t recommend this service to anybody concerned about privacy!

    This company offers so much free space only because they seem to be using the same technique like bitcasa.com and similar services.

    Any file you upload is not encrypted and gets processed and compared to files of other users, as they keep only one copy of a file if multiple people upload the same file. (assuming that most data uploaded to servers would be musik and video libraries)

    In addition, any data you provide (including the information about your files?) is used for marketing/promotion/contest purpose and by third parties!

    And, of course, all those non encrypted files can be accessed by U.S. authorities thanks to the patriot act. (but that’s another topic)

    However, just keep that in mind when uploading your non encrypted private stuff. (to any “free” or “unlimited storage” cloud service, actually)

    P.S.: There are some great (paid) services (mostly based in Europe) offering encryption and total privacy, tho. Wuala (a swiss based company), for example, can’t acces your files, even if forced by the governments or authorities. (no, I’m not affiliated in any way)

    • Luis Gomes

      I took this from a forum:

      “Aaron Kluck
      I’m one of developers of Copy. We’re glad so many of you have given us a try!

      A few people have already commented about how we do auto-sync and how there are indeed ways to tell when your files are done syncing (though I agree we can do better – and will!). We also wanted to clarify for everyone that, contrary to the comparison chart above, we take privacy and security very seriously.

      All communication with the cloud is SSL-encrypted, and the data we store is further encrypted with AES 256. In fact, every 1MB portion of a file we store is encrypted with its own key.”

      • Dan

        Thanks for your reply Luis. That’s interesting.

        But however, even if the files are encrypted in any way (even in 1MB portions), the company itself still has full acces to your files. (otherwise they could not delete duplicate files)
        And all the data you provide is still used by the company and third parties.

        Don’t get me wrong Luis, this might be a nice service if you share photos of cats and dogs like Paula did in the demo, but I wouldn’t recommend this service for backups of private data or for sharing confidential files/data with your colleagues or clients.

        Here’s an excerpt from their website (Privacy Policy):

        “We may associate all or part of any file you use with Copy with part or all of other files used with Copy by you or others for the purpose of eliminating unnecessary duplicate storage.

        We access your uploaded file information (file extensions, sizes, thumbnails, modified dates, etc.) for the purpose of providing system maintenance,
        management, and technical support.

        We may process any information we collect in the country where it was collected as well as other countries.”

        However, could you please post a link to the forum/post you mentioned?
        I’d love to read the posts Mr. Kluck replied to. Maybe there’s some more information about how the technique used by copy.com differs from the one used by bitcasa.com.

        Thanks, D

        • Luis Gomes

          Hi Dan, I really don’t have much issues about their Privacy Policy. It is more or less like all others. I agree that sometimes that “more or less” can hide real privacy issues but I don’t think it is the case. These companies need to protect themselves as well. They’re dealing with private data but at the same time they have to move it around, make backups, copy it, erase it, analise non personal information etc… Anyway I don’t have “sensible” or “confidencial” data to worrie about, so I’m ok with it.

          Here is the link you asked for and for what I read they take privacy seriously: http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2013/04/cloud-storage-service-copy-for-linux

          Regards!

        • Dan

          Thanks for the info and the link, Luis!

  • http://www.albertkinng.com Albert Kinng

    Privacy. I will tell you something very seriously. Take it as if it’s a million dollars. (I’m a IT, Dev and Coder) If you want privacy the only thing that works is this one:

    1) DO NOT USE THE INTERNET

    If you are developer, like me, work offline. If you are a designer work offline.

    Even if you use your server or your strict FTP secure url to share a document you will never be invisible to anyone. If you can live with that and deal with the small risks and cons then keep using the net as part of your workflow, but if you are a privacy freak… Stay away from the net. EVERYTHING WILL BE EXPOSED. That’s a fact.

  • http://www.tempbox.it/ Kyle Decot

    If you need short-term anonymous file sharing you should check out http://www.tempbox.it/ It’s a small project that I am actively developing in RoR

  • Piotr

    Hello, I dont seem to have the submenu in finder contextual menu for sharing and etc. Like You have in one of the pictures here. Do we have to check sth in prefs? Im on 10.7

    • Piotr

      OK, you have to let the app repair permissions when installing to get the copy contextual menu

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  • Zhen

    This is really a good stuff, at least has 5 GB referral program, currently. You will need to install the desktop or mobile client in order to claim the 5 GB, both you and your friends. You will also be able to get 2 GB by tweet the message upon first login to the dashboard. The first thing I like about the service is the UI, it is well designed, and the logo is elegant. If you are new and don’t mind, you can use my invitation code: https://copy.com?r=GzoYtj

  • mirabe

    Use my referral link for 10GB of free storage:

    https://copy.com?r=9Rk2tw

  • mirabe

    Right now they have a special promotion where new members get free extra storage if they are referred by an existing member!

    Use my referral link to get 10GB free storage:

    https://copy.com?r=9Rk2tw

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