Strato

Strato’s Hi-Drive: 5GB of free high security cloud storage

For storing files, the world is taking inspiration from England’s summer: it’s all about the Cloud. And while Yahoo!, Gmail and Hotmail rule cloud-based e-mail, YouTube is the King of cloud video, Flickr and Facebook champion cloud pictures, Dropbox is the only big name in cloud-based file storage. That’s something German-based Strato plan to change.

Strato

If you haven’t heard of Strato, it’s because they’ve mainly been focussed on the business market. Now, however, they’re turning that experience to the consumer side.

To get people interested in their new service, the company is offering 5GB of free storage via www.free-hidrive.com – over double that of Dropbox or Wuala.

The main selling point of Strato, however, is not the extra storage space – it’s the way the company stores your data. Everything is saved at two ISO2709-rated data centres – the same protection banks use to keep your money in their vaults.

The CO2-free server farm is based in Germany, which means that access to the data is protect via Germany’s strong data privacy laws – tougher than those found in the US.

In terms of usability, files can be added to Strato in four ways – web browser, e-mail, a mounted local drive and the Windows Phone 7 and Androids apps. An iPhone app has been created, although it’s currently stuck in the limbo that is Apple’s approval process.

One reason for this hold-up may be down to the Android app’s ability to open, send, share and even stream music and video files – if this was on iPhone, it might be a potential rival for Apple’s own cloudy plans.

Meanwhile on Windows Phone 7, the app is actually the first third-party application on the OS to allow cloud storage.

Like Dropbox, the service also comes with Backup Control, so you’ll be able to access different versions of saved files.

If you love the service, you can soon buy 100GB for €9.90/month, or 500GB for €29.90/month with multiple user accounts.