Degoo review

A cloud backup for the feature adverse

Degoo
Image Credit: Degoo

Our Verdict

The poor quality of the desktop application, the high price and the 2TB space limit all undermine what could be a good system with some changes. The lack of two-factor authentication is also a security concern.

For

  • Good mobile apps

Against

  • Poor desktop utility
  • 2TB capacity limit
  • Expensive
  • No two-factor authentication

Cloud storage has entered a much more competitive phase in the past few years, with the domination of the larger providers being challenged by smaller and more agile competitors.

One of these is Degoo, a Swedish business that only began in 2012 but has already attracted 15 million users.

What makes another 20,000 people a day join those who already use this innovative solution?

Degoo allows users to transfer files with no size limit (Image Credit: Degoo)

Degoo allows users to transfer files with no size limit (Image Credit: Degoo)

(Image: © Image Credit: Degoo)

Pricing

If you want to experience a taster of what Degoo cloud storage offers, you can get 100GB of free space just for signing up.

Refer a friend snags you another 3GB each time up to a maximum of 500GB, should you have that many friends.

There is only one paid tier; Degoo Ultimate. And that costs $9.99 per month or $95.88 per year. You can reduce the cost further with a 5-year plan for $239.40.

Or, for the highly optimistic a 100-year plan for $1119, equivalent to paying $0.93 per month for 2TB of storage.

While it is hard to argue with the economics of scale, 100 years from now the 2TB capacity will be equivalent to those tiny sized SD cards that hold practically nothing by today's standards or a 1.44MB floppy disk.

Even five years from now capacities greater than 2TB will be cheaper than these prices, we predict.

And, the history of tech companies also doesn’t yet have enough longevity to guarantee that any will still be in business so far into the future.

With Degoo you can choose which of your folders to backup to the cloud (Image Credit: Degoo)

With Degoo you can choose which of your folders to backup to the cloud (Image Credit: Degoo)

Features

Some cloud storage is focused on file sharing, and others on securing data to storage, and Degoo cloud storage is the latter.

Therefore, it wasn’t built for distributing contents around a business, but for securing a computer or mobile device to the cloud for safe keeping. However, you can file share using the Degoo mobile apps, curiously.

Whatever you decide to do with it assumes that you don’t have more than 2TB of data on the systems that you want to share or backup. Because that’s what space you can have on Degoo, and at this time you can’t get more.

Where this service is weak when compared to the likes of CloudBerry or Backblaze is that the backup mode desktop utility for Windows PC and Apple Mac is remarkably primitive.

There is no ‘live’ backup mode, and it can’t image a system to the cloud or restore without a running operating system.

Not all solutions have those facilities, but this one doesn’t even have a user-controllable scheduler to define hourly or daily backup routines at specific times.

You can initiate a manual backup, or you can wait 24 hours, and it will sync again if the computer is on, but that’s not a very friendly means to secure important data.

You also can’t get back that data without installing the desktop app, as there is no web interface to the files you have secured online.

One of the few positive things we can say about this application is that you can target any folder to be secured, even network connected ones with the paid service. And, the default mode will not delete files from the backup that you’ve removed locally.

Degoo has apps for both Android and iOS (Image Credit: Degoo)

Degoo has apps for both Android and iOS (Image Credit: Degoo)

Compared to the desktop experience, the mobile applications (iOS, Android and Kindle) are a dramatic improvement, and provide the level of functionality most customers would reasonably expect, and maybe more.

Phones and tablets will generally secure to the cloud standard files by default, but the Degoo mobile applications allow any folder to be targeted.

Being able to backup apps and their data is very useful for those that change devices regularly or need to remove a lost device quickly.

And, the killer feature of the mobile apps is the ability to access files backed up from a computer on the cloud, and then send URL of the location/file to others for sharing purposes.

Why you can’t do the same thing with the desktop app or through a web interface is beyond this reviewer’s comprehension.

Security

Degoo protects your files on the cloud with 256-bit AES encryption (Image Credit: Degoo)

Security

It’s tempting to classify Degoo merely as another cloud storage business that doesn’t offer two-factor authentication.

What it does have is decent 256-bit AES encryption that is applied to data in-transit and at rest in the storage facility. That would be good if the encryption keys weren’t held exclusively by Degoo, and not held by the client in what is referred to as zero-knowledge encryption.

We understand why many cloud storage businesses shy away from zero-knowledge keys, as they can’t help the client should they forget their password, but it is proper security and not something that could be circumvented by the provider being hacked.

Degoo has made strenuous efforts to harden its facilities against physical incursions, but their digital security needs an overhaul by current standards.

You need to be very careful when it comes to which files you choose to delete with Degoo (Image Credit: Degoo)

You need to be very careful when it comes to which files you choose to delete with Degoo (Image Credit: Degoo)

Performance

As these systems go, Degoo can be rapid. In our testing, it utilised a sizeable chunk of available bandwidth for uploading and the same for downloading.

But getting that performance is dependent on activating ‘Turbo’ mode, which we estimate can easily be 30 times quicker than the Normal mode in some circumstances.

Therefore, Turbo Mode is the way to go, if you don’t have other users and services to consider, and you are using the paid tier.

The downside of this option is that it is much more memory and processor intensive, and this could impact on the usability of the computer while a backup is running.

Perhaps a sliding scale from Normal to Turbo might have been better for those with lower performance computers.

The other performance-related factor is that we believe this service doesn’t use block level transfers. That would be important if you have a large 5GB file, for example, and you change a single byte, it will send the whole file to the internet on the next sync.

It will at least only copies to the cloud those files that have changed, but it could easily be more efficient.

Final verdict

Most potential customers might sign up for the free 100GB but be less inclined to pay the full cost of this service. Because $9.99 for 2TB isn’t the most competitive cloud storage option available, as it can be had for half as much.

How many of the 15 million users are just using the 100GB of free space, we wonder?

When you add to that the inability to have more space, the feature-free desktop app and a few other idiosyncrasies, as an offering Degoo needs a rethink.

The desktop application needs a major revamp, transfers should be block-level, and security should include two-factor authentication and zero-knowledge keys.

As a mobile backup solution, it is a better choice, introduces the possibility of file sharing, although the security side is the same

Overall, all these parts don’t construct a holistic cloud storage story for the customer, in the light of what others are doing and the prices they’re charging.

We can see the potential, but what features Degoo cloud storage offers now is a small slice of what it must provide in an increasingly competitive sector.