Cloud storage has been on a rise in the last few years. Not far ago, it was considered a beautiful concept, nowadays, we have Google Drive, Dropbox or SkyDrive and many other services that offer users their own space in “the cloud”. But how much space? Here’s the problem: while there are lots of services, all of them offer limited storage.
Of course, one could upgrade their cloud storage account and have a few more GB of space, but they have to suffer some pretty steep charges. Space Monkey is a Kickstarter project that offers a solution to this problem, and while not entirely free, it is only a fraction of the cost.
What is Space Monkey?
As we’ve mentioned before, Space Monkey is a Kickstarter project that promises the world a cheap alternative when it comes to cloud storage. This is possible by changing the way cloud storage is designed from the ground up. Today’s cloud storage systems rely on massive data centers that keep your information, and while this solution is good, those data centers require a lot of maintenance, and therefore, a lot of money to keep them running.
This is why current services provide their services at such high rates. Space Monkey has come up with a different solution to this problem, and what it consists of, is to use P2P (peer to peer) networking between thousands of small hard drives that the users have and ditch the data centers required to keep such a service active.
The developers are creating devices that will connect to the Internet and their entire network will be the cloud where you keep your files. The device itself will be a 1 TB drive (1024 GB), housed in a stylish body that will be in each user’s home. This approach drastically lowers the price of running a cloud service, and at the same time, has a few more advantages:
- Faster – Because the device itself is in your local network, you will have higher speeds when transferring. Even if your data is broken down and spread to all the connected devices, it still rapidly accessible.
- Safer – A large data center is stored in a highly secured building, but even so, it can fall prey to natural disasters and this might put the service offline for a while, or even worse, permanently lose data. Thanks to the fact that all the information on Space Monkey is stored on multiple devices spread all over the world, even if some of them break down, data will not be lost (think of it as with a RAID array).
- Cheaper – The cost can also be cut down to only a fraction of what other services cost. Because there is no power-hungry data center that needs complex maintenance every passing hour, Space Monkey will be able to provide users with a very cheap alternative.
- More Space – Almost all traditional cloud storage services offer free space for their users, but when you want more space and you want to upgrade, the cost will be huge. Space Monkey offers users from the start 1 TB of cloud storage space, which is much more than most users need.
For now, there are a few well known cloud storage service that most of us use. Services like Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft’s SkyDrive, Apple’s iCloud and Box.com are the most used, but each of them offers users limited free space, starting from 2-3 GB to about 15 GB, and when this runs out, you need to buy more space. Of course, these services have their reputation that helps a lot.
Most of us use them and pretty much everyone has heard of them by now, but a start-up company like Space Monkey will have some trouble gaining the user’s trust. Also, some might not want to use it due to the fact that they simply don’t need that much space, and therefore, they can get by with the free services. While those offer limited free space, if you have an account on each of them, the cloud storage you will have available will be more than enough for most.
Those of us who need more storage space and don’t want to have multiple accounts on different cloud storage services will see a definite advantage by using Space Monkey. The 1 TB of space will only cost $10/month, which compared to the $66.5 that Dropbox offers or $49.99 that Google Drive charges for the same space, is a great deal.
While Space Monkey seems to be a awesome deal for people in need of more space to store their backups or other files, many will not want to pay the $10/month fee, as they can get by with the free accounts that other services offer. In this case, it would be a good idea for the developers of Space Monkey to provide similar free accounts for their users. Nevertheless, we applaud their idea and the way in which they have re-imagined cloud storage. However, some users might be annoyed by that fact that another device is sitting on their working desk.
If you think Space Monkey is something that you might like, you can visit their Kickstarter page and pledge some money towards the completion of their project.