I have written often about the need for genealogists and most everyone else to make frequent backup copies of files that are important to them. You never know when a hardware failure, a hurricane, a fire, a burst water pipe, or other disaster will destroy what might be your only copies of genealogy records, old family photographs, and much more. Actually, I believe the most common cause of destroyed data is simple human error. “Oooops! I didn’t mean to click on that icon!”
Making frequent backups can be a simple process and doing so provides cheap insurance. Of course, you always want to keep at least one copy of your backed-up files “off site.” That means most anyplace other than the place where your computer is located. If your computer is at home, keep backup copies at the office or in a cloud-based file storage service or at a relatives’s house (located some distance away) or in a safe deposit box or most any other place where one disaster will not destroy both the computer(s) and the backed up copies.
Of course, everyone likes the idea of free services. Indeed, a number of companies even offer FREE storage of backed up files. A Swedish company with the unusual name of Degoo offers the most free storage space of all: 100 gigabytes. I am not aware of any other company that offers 100 gigabytes of FREE storage space.
I started reading reviews of a number of cloud-based file storage services to find one more such service to store my files. I especially was interested in services that offer a lot of FREE storage space. I soon found the strangely-named Degoo service that is based in Sweden. However, I immediately found that many of the reviews contradicted other reviews. Some reviews faulted the online service for not having certain capabilities while other reviews praised the same free service because it had excellent implementations of the same capabilities!
After a bit of study, the reason for the contradictions became apparent. It seems that Degoo launched a while ago with the creators’ ideas about what would make a good product. Would-be customers apparently disagreed. The original version of Degoo wasn’t very successful in the marketplace so the company’s managers started listening to feedback from the folks who did not sign up for the service. Soon, new features started appearing and old software was totally re-written. Within a few months, Degoo had morphed into a totally different product. The various reviews published online varied widely because the reviewers were looking at the product on different dates with different versions of the software in use.
In order to clear up the confusion, I decided to write this review of Degoo as I experienced the service on November 26, 2018. I will suggest you disregard any reviews written before that date. I suspect there will be even more changes, however. If you read this article at a later date, you might want to look for even more reviews written about Degoo well after December 26, 2018.
In short, I like Degoo and I signed up for the service. However, there are some drawbacks to Degoo that you should consider before using it as a backup service or file storage service.
Yes, Degoo offers 100 gigabytes of FREE storage space available to anyone and everyone immediately upon signing up for the service. You can also obtain even more storage space by inviting friends to also sign up for the service. Every friend who does accept your offer and signs up for Degoo’s free service will result in an additional 3 gigabytes of storage service being added to your account, up to a maximum of 500 gigabytes.
OPTIONAL: If you would like to obtain an additional 3 gigabytes of file storage space (for a total of 103 gigabytes) and also add 3 gigabytes to my Degoo account, click on this link and sign up for the free service: https://cloud.degoo.com/drive-q_lzgop7-jjt.
Use of the bonus sign-up link is optional; there is no requirement to sign up at https://cloud.degoo.com/drive-q_lzgop7-jjt. You may prefer to go to the normal sign-up procedure at https://cloud.degoo.com/ and sign up there. In that case, you do not get the extra 3 gigabytes of free storage space and I do not obtain a bonus of an extra 3 gigabytes of space on my account. I certainly can live without the additional space. Whether you use the bonus sign-up link or not, your cost remains the same: FREE. Your choice.
I started using Degoo as one of my backup services and it worked well. The service really is free and it does not seem to display advertising, does not inundate you with email messages suggesting you purchase extra-cost services, and generally operates like a respectable citizen of the online community.
NOTE: I would never trust only ONE backup service to always be available. Instead, I back up my important files to several cloud-based file storage services. Degoo is now one of them. I back up multiple copies of my important files to several different services because I am confident that the online services won’t ALL disappear simultaneously at the moment I need to restore some files. I prefer to keep my eggs in multiple baskets and my backed-up files in multiple services and locations.
Degoo is based in Sweden, an excellent choice for anyone interested in privacy. It seems that Sweden has very strong privacy laws that prohibit collecting personal information and using it for any purpose other than what is specified in the user agreement. I wish Facebook was based in Sweden! Then again, Facebook wouldn’t last long when constrained by Swedish privacy laws!
As if the privacy laws were not enough, files copied to Degoo’s servers also are end-to-end encrypted for your security. Even better is the “top secret” option intended for files that you might wish to use even more security. According to the Degoo web site at https://degoo.com/features, “Our top secret feature encrypts your files with a passphrase known only by you, not stored in Degoo, encoded into chunks and spread out to data centers in different countries.” If the passphrase is known only by you, not stored in Degoo, you will be the only person who can ever decode your files.
Of course, this is a two-edge sword. If Degoo’s top secret feature encrypts your files with a passphrase known only by you amd not stored in Degoo, that means that not only can no one else ever see your files but also that no one else can ever help you retrieve your files should you ever forget the passphrase. If you forget the passphrase, your files will be lost forever. Don’t call Degoo customer service to ask for help in recovering the passphrase you created as the Degoo employees cannot see it! (Remember that the statement is, “…not stored in Degoo…”)
The secret passphrase will only be stored in your (human) memory or in any place where you write it down! I’d suggest you write it down and save it in a secure place.
If a corporate spy, government spy, or a credit card hacker does manage to obtain a copy of one of your encrypted file chunks (which is highly unlikely), he or she will be unable to read anything within the file. First of all, he or she will only have part of the file, not the entire thing. Next, the contents of the encrypted file chunk will look something like this:
Yes, it will be total gibberish until your computer decodes it when you retrieve the file(s).
Thanks to the the file encryption and “chunking” of each file into smaller pieces and saving each piece in different locations, Degoo is one of the few online file storage services that I trust to store my passwords, income tax records, Social Security Number, and other sensitive information.
Degoo also has an option to keep copies of all files even after you have deleted them from your computer. Deleting a file from your computer does not automatically delete the copy of the same file from Degoo’s servers although you can enable an option to do that, should you wish to do so.
The Degoo software is available for Windows, Macintosh, Android, and Apple iOS (iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch) devices. On the smartphones, there is an option to enable auto upload of your photo folders to ensure the pictures from your latest adventures are always securely stored in Degoo.
There is no Degoo software for a Chromebook, however. Then again, Chromebooks already store all their files in a different encrypted cloud-based file storage service so the Chromebook owner probably has little need for Degoo’s services.
One thing to keep in mind is that copying many gigabytes of files over the typical in-home broadband Internet connection will require a long time. The exact amount of time required depends upon both the upload speed of your Internet connection (not the download speed!) and the amount of data to be uploaded. Backing up 100 gigabytes on most in-home Internet connections will require many hours, possibly days. That is not the only problem, however.
Should you ever lose all your files in your computer, downloading 100 gigabytes of files also will require a lot of time. Many Internet services provide faster download speeds than upload speeds but, even so, hours and possibly days may be required to download everything. Again, this is a limitation of all file storage and file backup services, not just Degoo.
Some online backup services will optionally copy all your files to a flash drive or to a portable hard drive and then send them to you via overnight air freight. For once, a FedEx truck can be faster than the Internet! However, the sending of files to you in a flash drive or a hard drive service usually isn’t cheap and not many consumer file storage services offer such a service. Degoo does not offer any such restores via flash drives or hard drives.
NOTE: BackBlaze is one of the few file storage services that DOES offer restores via flashdrives and hard drives. Details may be found at: https://www.backblaze.com/.
Degoo does not copy files between computers in the same manner as Dropbox and some other file storage products. That is, if you own two or more computers (perhaps a desktop and a laptop system), Degoo does not automatically copy files between the computers.
Degoo is available in two versions: FREE and PAID.
Drawbacks of the FREE Degoo Service
First of all, with Degoo’s free file storage service will only copy files from one computer and only once every two days. For many computer owners, that’s often enough. Should you wish to store files from multiple computers or to make more frequent backup copies, you need to upgrade to the paid service.
Next, Degoo’s free users need to log in to the file storage service at least once every 75 days or risk losing their account. The folks at Degoo apparently don’t want to waste file space by storing files for people who have lost interest in the service or possibly may have become disabled or even deceased. As a means of making sure the customer is still alive, active, and interested in keeping backed up files available online, Degoo requires each free customer to log in manually at least once every 75 days.
Simply logging in and then logging out will keep your account active for another 75 days.
Another drawback of Degoo’s free service is that the entire product is still new and is being updated and improved frequently. After signing up for the service, you should keep an eye on Degoo’s latest announcements to make sure you have always selected the best options for your use.
Advantages of the PAID Degoo Service
While Degoo does offer the most file storage space of all of today’s cloud-based free file storage services, the free offering appears to simply be a “free trial” of the company’s paid service. Indeed, that strikes me as a very effective form of advertising. There is no requirement to ever upgrade. Each customer is able to use the free service forever, assuming he or she logs in at least once every 75 days. I suspect that many free customers will never see any need to upgrade. However, for those who have an interest, the Degoo paid service is also very attractive.
The paid service costs $9.99 US per month. By paying for one year, 5 years, or even 100 years (!) in advance, significant discounts are available. I am not sure how many people will pay $1,199 for a 100-year subscription. Still, that’s roughly $1 per month, an attractive price if you plan to live for many more years. Even if you plan to live for less than 100 more years, divide $1,199 by your expected lifespan to determine what the Degoo service will cost for your expected lifetime if you select the 100-year option.
Each paid customer obtains:
2 terabytes (2,000 gigabytes) of cloud storage space – That’s 20 times the storage space of the free version. 2 terabytes is undoubtedly more than enough storage space for most individuals to back up not only their desktop computer but also a laptop, multiple Android or Apple iOS tablets and smartphones, and more.
Paid users may refer other users to obtain an additional terabyte (1,000 gigabytes) for each referral that results in another person signing up for the paid service.
An unlimited number of computers may store files on Degoo’s paid service – The limitation is on the total size of all the files stored, not on the number of computers. For instance, if the user owns ten or more computers, he or she can back up all of them to Degoo’s paid service as long as the total size of all files does not exceed 2 terabytes or the maximum file storage space earned by referring friends to the service.
The 75-day sign-in restriction is removed. Files stored in Degoo’s paid service will remain available for as long as payments are kept current.
Also, the first two weeks of Degoo’s paid service are offered free of change. If you change your mind and decide you do not want to use Degoo’s paid service, simply cancel within the first two weeks and you will not be charged anything.
Is Degoo the best cloud-based file storage service? A slightly different question asks if Degoo is the best FREE cloud-based file storage service. I cannot find a simple yes or no answer to either question. Instead, it all depends upon your needs and preferences. However, for many computer users who need to back up 100 gigabytes or less of data, Degoo’s FREE service perhaps is the best choice. Your needs and preferences might dictate a different answer, however.
For more information or to sign up for Degoo’s free or paid services, go to https://degoo.com.
If you would like to take advantage of my referral to obtain a total of 103 gigabytes of file storage space while simultaneously crediting me with an extra 3 gigabytes of storage space in my account, go to https://cloud.degoo.com/drive-q_lzgop7-jjt and sign up there. Again, obtaining the extra file storage space for both you and me is entirely optional. Please select the option you prefer.