Recently surfaced reports about NSA snooping on users data rankled not only common people, but also big corporations. which heavily rely on widely-celebrated cloud services like Dropbox, Google Drive etc. The US-984XN, codenamed PRISM, program certainly puts a big warning sign on almost all HTTPS-marked cloud services, as it now seems that they only trick users into believing that the uploaded data is “secured” with AES-256 Military Grade Encryption System.
Most heavy cloud-based storage users have already started finding workarounds to add multiple security layers to their cloud services’ accounts, but if you’re among those folks who are looking for a non-U.S cloud storage service that can protect your data from NSA-ridden surveillance programs, JottaCloud will wholly satisfy your needs. It’s a Norway-based cloud storage service, which is completely independent of U.S Patriot Act, and guess what (nope, Edward Snowden doesn’t recommend it), you’ve the liberty to access, upload, share and sync data between both desktop and mobile OS platforms including Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, iOS and Android. Encrypting the data before you upload it to cloud is recommended, but even if you don’t, fret not! Your data will be in safe hands with HTTPS-enabled JottaCloud cloud server. In what follows, we walk you through the process of installing and configuring this rather secured cloud service on supported OS platforms.
You get 5GB free instantly when you sign up for the service, but if you’re planning to upload some hefty multimedia files, it offers a wide range of paid data storage plans to let you easily pick the one that best suits your needs. Installing and configuring this cloud service is a cinch, and takes not more than a minute. All you need is to download your OS compatible version and run the setup. It may ask you to enter your login information including user id and password. Even if you haven’t created the account yet, you may choose to do so by selecting the I don’t have the Jottacloud account option.
After verifying the login information, it lets you configure your PC name, default sync location, and select Windows Special folder to automatically create backup on your JottaCloud account. These preliminary configurations can be changed anytime from the Settings window. Once configured, it opens the main dashboard, where you can upload, sync and manage your cloud data. Apart from offering the conventional cloud data storage tools, it has the ability to automatically detect the changes made to uploaded files and update them across all the configured devices. This feature saves the time you would have spent syncing the data manually on each configured device.
First off, make sure that you have active internet connection before launching the app. Akin to Dropbox and SkyDrive, it creates a dynamic folder in User Profiles location to let you easily upload the files and reflect the changes you make to synced files in real time. Although, you can directly open the JottaCloud folder from Explorer sidebar, it also provides you with file drag & drop facility to instantly start uploading the files and folders; just open the main interface from system tray and drag the folder/file over the main window to start the uploading process. By default, it only shows the folder upload process, however, you can choose to reveal the transfer details including the upload progress of each file by clicking the progress bar at the bottom.
The file upload confirmation notification pops up as soon as it finishes uploading the selected files/folders to the cloud.
You can check the uploads from the Backup section, scan the uploaded files, exclude subdirectories of selected folder and send folder to trash. Under Restore section, you will find a slew of data restore-related options. It lists down all the folders that you’ve uploaded in the past including those which you removed or sent to trash. Not only does it allow restoring your deleted data, but it also keeps different file versions in chronological order, letting you recover the exact version of file that you need. It’s worth noting here that it can keep only five latest file versions. Therefore, you couldn’t always rely on this restore feature if you were to recover all versions of files. However, the Start Download button always restores the latest version of the file.
The Transfers section lists down all the files that are being transferred to the cloud. It shows complete details of the progress including the total size of each file that is being processed, network speed, total size etc. JottaCloud relies upon sequential uploading, and therefore doesn’t offer an option to prioritize the transfers. At the bottom of the window, you get to see overall progress along with a progress bar, and total number of files that have been uploaded to the server.
As mentioned earlier, it creates a synced folder in User Profiler folder to let you easily manage and sync the files. Clicking JottaCloud link from Favorites section in Windows Explorer takes you to aforementioned folder. It automatically puts a tick badge on the files that have been processed or synced. However, you will see a small sync sign on files that are being uploaded to your account.
The system tray offers a nifty menu to quickly manage and organize your account. It includes options to quickly jump to JottaCloud settings, open application interface and JottaCloud folder, share a folder from any local or network location, and open the Settings console. Hovering the mouse over this icon reveals the current account usage and connection status.
The web interface includes almost all the options that you have with its desktop counterpart. The main dashboard allows you to view the recent changes, shared folders and configured devices, while you can also download selected files on your devices and share files with others by clicking their respective links.
One of the glitches I found while testing was connection issue; sometimes it gets disconnected from the server, leaving user with no option than to re-launch the application. Besides that, it works flawlessly and uploads files to your account without any noticeable problems. However, it’s worth mentioning here that it may affect your downloading and uploading speed during synchronization process. So, you better keep other applications from using internet before initiating the sync process.
All in all, JottaCloud would suit your fancy if you were looking for both best performance and usage experience in cloud storage service. It’s compatible with Windows 7 and Windows 8. Testing was carried out on Windows 7 and Windows 8 x-86 systems.