ZipShare Cloud Service Review

by Reads (3,161)
  • Editor's Rating

    Ratings Breakdown (1-10)

      • Design
      • 4
      • Functionality
      • 7
      • Ease of Installation/Ease of Use
      • 5
      • Performance
      • 7
      • Cost Benefits
      • 4
      • Total Score:
      • 5.40
      • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10
  • Pros

    • Could be valuable in mass content distribution
    • Holds potential for broader use in storage service aggregation
  • Cons

    • Few advantages for most users
    • The most useful services require a paid account
    • Adds a layer of complexity to cloud storage

One of the latest new cloud services is ZipShare, created by Corel’s WinZip, the makers of the famed compression software. Currently in open beta testing, ZipShare offers users a cloud-based system to help create, distribute, and organize ZIP archive files. Is it worth using? We take a look in this review.

ZipShare_4Overview

Although ZipShare hits all of the the major buzzwords surrounding cloud storage options, you have to dig pretty deep into the information on the site before it’s clear that this is really not a cloud storage service itself, or at least not much of one. The free tier is limited to a mere 50MB worth of files.

Instead, ZipShare is selling itself as an aggregator of cloud storage. You give it access to your other cloud storage accounts — Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, etc. — and it lets you do things like move files around, zip them up, and share them by email and social media.

With the premium services offered, you can also password protect your ZIP files, check that they’ve been downloaded, and encrypt them. Free users get 50MB storage, and basic options for managing where and how they store your ZIP files — i.e. on which cloud services — and how the files are shared, whether through email or social networking.

Users who pay for the $40 a year ($3.33 a month) — at the “ZipShare Pro” tier — also get encryption and password protection, zipping and unzipping files stored in cloud services, and the ability to track email file deliveries and move files between storage services. Those who spring for “ZipShare Ultimate,” at $10 per month, get all of the above plus a 1GB limit on ZIP file size and ZipShare storage.

ZipShare_2Performance

While there is some merit to the idea of an overall management system for cloud storage, my ultimate impression is that most people wouldn’t want to bother with ZipShare. It doesn’t really manage your cloud storage in an easy-to-use way. It simply puts another level of complexity between you and your other accounts.

You can upload or manage files through it, but you can do that from every cloud storage website. It doesn’t offer anything even as remotely convenient as Dropbox’s PC sync app. You have to do everything through the ZipShare website. You might as well just visit the websites of your cloud storage providers — assuming of course, that you use more than one, which ZipShare seems to take for granted.

My Dropbox account already lets me share files with ease, and Windows lets me archive files quickly and easily – in ZIP format, no less – and apply passwords to them.

Granted, ZipShare does have some potential if it broadens out in the area of becoming a cloud storage aggregator, for example. I have a 50GB Box.com account that I don’t use simply because it doesn’t have a convenient desktop sync app the way my Dropbox account does. As ZipShare points out, if you put together the free accounts from the major providers, you’d have 40+ gigs of storage.

At this point, however, ZipShare is pretty much single-mindedly focused on making and moving ZIP files. You can relocate files between shared accounts, but the service is really designed to ZIP up files and share them via email or social media. That’s a pretty limited application that most cloud services already perform.

On top of that, the “shared file” addresses sent out in emails are ludicrously long. When I tested sharing a file to my own email address (a simple image which started out life with a five-letter filename), the link that I received by email was 154 characters long.

There are some people who might benefit from ZipShare’s service, though, and they are content creators. Distributing exclusive (usually, paid) digital content outside of the main Google Play/Amazon Kindle/Apple App Store ecosystems is still a pretty hefty chore in this day and age.

Many distributors, such as Kickstarter projects, are forced to simply house a file on a paid webhosting site like Amazon Web Services and hope that the people they send the links to don’t decide to share those links. ZipShare, on the other hand, securely hosts files as well as giving you the ability to see when each individual email address has been shared. That sort of service could be invaluable for anyone trying to make content available (but not TOO available) to the public.

ZipShare_1Conclusion

ZipShare should have been better thought out before being taken to the beta test stage. It does have some attractive features for mass file distribution and cloud storage aggregation. Other than that, though, it doesn’t do much that you couldn’t already accomplish with a free Dropbox or Google Drive account.

Significant features like encryption or cloud account management are locked away behind the $40 per year price tier… and even that doesn’t offer anything really special. In the end, ZipShare has some merit, but only for a limited group of users.

Pros:

  • Could be valuable in mass content distribution
  • Holds potential for broader use in storage service aggregation

Cons:

  • Few advantages for most users
  • The most useful services require a paid account
  • Adds a layer of complexity to cloud storage


LEAVE A COMMENT

0 Comments

|
All content posted on TechnologyGuide is granted to TechnologyGuide with electronic publishing rights in perpetuity, as all content posted on this site becomes a part of the community.