Insync, known as the Google alternative to Dropbox, has been completely revamped. It has now re-opened for registration as a free storage facility.
The relatively new storage service hails from the Philippines, and uses your Google account as a storage locker. What it does a little differently, however, is come equipped with a desktop application so you can access your files in the same manner as a local computer folder.
Insync has been quietly working on a complete overhaul of its services, including a clean and fresh new interface, adding certain 'Facebook-styled' elements in to the mix. Tag-based searching and a 'Facebook feed for files' is planned for a release early next year.
There are no more registration limits, and now it is ready to go public again, Insync's homepage displays amusing slogans to entice users to defect from Dropbox. These include: 'It's OK to break up with Dropbox', 'It's OK to cheat on Dropbox', '10x 8x cheaper than Dropbox', and 'resistance is futile'.
You simply sign in with your Google account to use the service and download the application to your computer. In the updated Insync 2.0 version, synchronisation limits have been completely removed.
As Insync 2.0 is now a free service, users who have already paid for storage will receive an email soon giving them the option of either a refund or credit with the company.
The question is, which option is better for students? Insync offers synchronisation across Google accounts that are currently very popular with the Generation Y. Dropbox offers sheer online storage size in contrast.
It is a good option if you rely heavily on Google Docs, and need a storage option that has good functionality and is able to synchronise multiple accounts with your computer.
If there is more than one machine you would like to add to your account, this is possible.
Insync offers 1 GB of space, so if you are using it mainly for document storage it is a free and rapid install option. You can purchase additional space if required.
Be aware that each file can be no more than 1 GB in size, no matter how much extra space you purchase with Google.
All in all, Insync allows you to automatically synchronise, share and manage a number of files files stored on Google Docs through your desktop. However, there is a limit on storage size, which relies on Google for additional purchase prices. These are currently:
20 GB ($5.00 USD per year)
80 GB ($20.00 USD per year)
200 GB ($50.00 USD per year)
400 GB ($100.00 USD per year)
1 TB ($256.00 USD per year)
Dropbox currently offers 2GB of space to free users, or you can upgrade to a ‘Pro’ account with up to 100GB of space.
There is no file size limit.
Bulk uploads and a favourites feature are available.
Dropbox already includes mobile releases -- including Android Ice cream sandwich support.
If you are a student, then you can enjoy up to 500MB of extra space for each person you invite to Dropbox.
Some fans of Insync have expressed concern that due to the shift to a completely free service, there may be no future development from the founders, as there will be no profit to entice them. According to Terence Pua, one of the developing founders, this is not something to worry about.
'We believe that competing on innovation and charging premium features is the best in the long run,' He said.
Insync is planning to extend its features in 2012, with an iPhone app in development. Rumors suggest it will be available within the next few months.
Perhaps Google could be considering a buy-out of the service -- Gdrive anyone?