Let’s face it.
Most of us live our lives in the digital space. Everything from work to relaxing, and even relationships are done digitally. And because of that, we leave many cyber footprints all over the internet.
With the advent of cloud storage solutions, many users store their digital assets in the cloud. And oftentimes, there is one favorite cloud service provider they stick to. That is until another one comes up that tickles their fancy (or until they reach max out their storage limits.
Whatever the case, it’s sometimes inevitable to end up with files scattered across a number of “clouds”. And more often than not, you may have a need to use to access some of those files at the same time. That’s a process that can be a bit of a pain as hopping from one cloud storage to another can be time-consuming.
What is Odrive?
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Before you dismiss odrive as another cloud storage solution out for a piece of the pie, hold on a moment.
Odrive is not a cloud storage service provider.
Yes, so keep on reading and find out what it is and how it can help you live a better, more organized digital life.
Odrive is actually a cloud storage aggregator designed and offered by Oxygen Cloud. What that simply means is that it is a software and service that allows you to connect and put all your “clouds” in one place for easy access. In simple terms, it helps you manage all your digital assets spread across the different cloud services you use.
This ultimately translates to the elimination of hopping from cloud service to cloud service in order to get different files and put them in one place. That, in my books, is very useful.
So the bottom line is that odrive is not a cloud storage service provider, rather, it is a service that allows you to pool all your cloud storage services in one convenient and easily accessible place. But it gets better (and at other times a bit stickier) than that.
Let’s go further into our Odrive review and see what exactly this cloud service aggregator offers and if it’s worthy of your consideration.
Odrive – Features and Functions
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As a cloud storage aggregator, odrive has done quite a very good job of partnering with most of the big names (and a few obscure ones like Yandex Disk and HiDrive) in the cloud storage space. You will find it compatible with services such as Amazon Cloud Drive, Google Drive, Box.com, OneDrive, Dropbox, Copy, Oxygen Cloud, amongst the many. Odrive also works with your social media accounts such as Facebook, Picasa, Instagram, Flickr, Gmail backup, and even Slack just to name a few.
So if you have a number of cloud storage service providers hosting your files for you, odrive is a great way of bringing sanity and order in this part of your life.
Getting Started with Odrive
Although it may sound like a daunting task connecting all your cloud storage services and bringing them all under one roof, the opposite is actually quite true.
Setting up your odrive cloud storage aggregator is quite easy, although it will have to be done in 2 stages – online and on your desktop.
The first step, the online setup, begins with you registering for an odrive account. Simply head over to the odrive website and sign up with an account you already have with have with either Google, Dropbox, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, or Oxygen Cloud. If you sign up with a cloud service provider, say Dropbox, for example, all accounts associated and linked to that account will be added to odrive.
Once your account is active, you can then link the cloud storage and social media accounts you want to pool together by clicking the “Link Storage” tab. If you can’t find an account you want to link, simply click on the “storage catalog” link and it will give you a whole host of options to pick from.
Once you’ve signed up for odrive online, you can then move on to step 2, which is setting up the odrive on your desktop. Simply download the odrive app from the website and log in. If you want to use odrive on multiple computers, you’ll be glad to know that you won’t have to authorize every cloud storage service on every computer.
What a relief, right?
Once you have odrive installed, you can then log in (from the local app) using the same account you registered with by clicking the “Get Started” button from the app. Once in, you odrive folder is created. This is where all your other storage accounts will be stored as subfolders.
Ease of Use
Despite odrive having all the cloud storage accounts that it has in its main folder, it is quite easy to find your way around as the user interface is clean, crisp, and clear. In other words, you’ll easily be able to locate any storage drive that’s hosting your files. A simple click will open the drive to reveal all the files you have saved there.
Because the odrive interface supports drag and drop functions, it’s very easy to manipulate your files. Right from within odrive you can delete, rename, edit, and share files with great ease. Odrive also has an image preview function that allows you to see your images without opening them. Unfortunately, this function doesn’t extend, unfortunately, to pdf’s files and other files that can be easily identifiable through a preview. As for file sharing, you can generate a link that you can password protect and even set an expiry date.
Odrive – Notable Features
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Odrive has a few nifty features that make it a multi-cloud management system of note.
This is probably one of the best features of odrive as it offers exceptional syncing features that simplify data management across your multiple cloud platforms. Within odrive, you’ll find a folder labeled Universal Sync. This is where all the files you have synced from the various cloud platforms will be kept. This makes it easy to locate a file (an important aspect as there is no search function within odrive).
And if there are some files that you don’t use regularly, there’s an option in odrive to automatically unsync them, ensuring that your valuable local storage space is not cluttered with unnecessary files. The unsync function can also unsync cloud services that you don’t want to use anymore.
Progressive Sync/Files on Demand
The first one is the fact that it allows you to only download files on demand. This means only the files you want to work with are downloaded onto your local storage when you sync them. The rest are in placeholder folders. This feature is important because it saves you a lot of memory on your local drive, the reason for cloud storage in the first place. To access the files in the placeholder files, you just have to click on it to sync it.
Another feature that makes Odrive a great cloud storage aggregator is the Fact that it enables you to connect cloud storage services not on the list due it supporting WebDAV (as long as they support WebDAV themselves). If you have personal cloud storage servers, odrive will allow you to connect them since it also supports FTP and SFTP protocols. This makes odrive a very versatile cloud aggregator.
If you want to collaborate with your team, odrive has a feature called spaces that allows you to easily do this. With spaces, you can create a shared work environment that integrates content from different cloud storage services. This makes it easy to collaborate on a project that involves using files that are stored on multiple cloud storage platforms.
The drawback with Spaces is that, unlike Google’s productivity suite, there is no communication channel integrated into it. This means collaborators can’t chat or comment within spaces. This, for a collaboration tool, is a big downer.
When it comes to cloud storage, one of the most important aspects to consider is security. Fortunately, odrive takes good care of that by providing exceptional security features that keep prying eyes from your personal data.
Many cloud storage service products are yet to adopt zero-knowledge encryption. That means, in its simplest sense, that your data is vulnerable to being breached by the company for its own purposes or under pressure from the government.
Odrive affords you an additional layer of security in that it allows you to create encrypted folders that protect your files and data with zero-knowledge encryption. This makes it impossible for anyone but you to have access to your files. Be sure to keep your encryption codes very safe though. If you lose them there is absolutely no way of gaining access to your encrypted files.
Odrive – Pricing
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Odrive has 2 tiers in its cloud aggregation service – the free plan and the premium plan.
The free plan is actually enough for most casual users as it allows you to use most of the features that come with odrive. Two of the features that you’ll miss, however, from the free version are the automatic unsync feature and encryption. If you deal with sensitive files or you just want to make sure your privacy remains private, these are 2 good reasons to go for the paid plan.
Speaking of paid plans…
Odrive also comes with a paid option called the Premium plan that will set you back a very affordable $8.25 per month. You get a 7 day free taste of the Premium Plan when you sign up for odrive for the first time. After that, if you don’t enter your payment details, you are automatically downgraded to the free plan.
The Premium Plan comes with a 30-day money back guarantee, so test driving it within those 30-days is pretty much not a loss at all if you don’t find it satisfactory.
Odrive – Bound to Get Better with Age
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All in all, if you are looking for a cloud storage aggregator to help you put your digital assets in order, odrive is definitely worth the consideration. And if you decide to go with the Premium Plan, it too is definitely worth the added security and other features that you get.
One thing you will have to note is that this kind of service is still in its infancy, making the strides that odrive has made to be something to actually write home about. Especially since odrive is still adding other partners to grow its network and offer more versatility, this is one service to get. And as you try it out, expect it to only get better.
So go ahead, take odrive for a spin, you’ll definitely not regret it.