We’re as easily enticed by free storage as the next person, here at Cloudwards.net, so we decided to put Degoo through our usual review process: to see if it stacks up to the competition.
Degoo bills itself as a cloud backup, not cloud storage, service. If you’re unclear on the difference, here’s a primer on the subject. But, in a nutshell, it means Degoo isn’t geared towards work productivity like Dropbox or Sync.com are.
So there are no integrated apps or file syncing, and file sharing options are limited, too. The problem with Degoo operating in the cloud backup space is that for those purposes, 100GB doesn’t get you far.
Most users need more than that, to adequately protect their hard-drive’s content, so chances are you’ll end up paying Degoo for a subscription. And that’s where things start to fall apart with this service. Degoo charges $9.99 per month for 2TB of cloud space.
But you can get unlimited storage from services like CrashPlan and Backblaze, for half that amount. The other problem with Degoo is that it’s basically as bare-bones as a backup service can be.
It doesn’t have any scheduling options and doesn’t support continuous backup. On top of that, it doesn’t process files efficiently, compared to more advanced services. Plus, security is okay but not great, and customer service is as thin as it gets.
If you’re serious about protecting a hard drive and don’t mind spending $5 a month, you can do much better, start off by seeing our 2017 Best Cloud Backup roundup, for some ideas. All that said, we pride ourselves on finding the utility out of any tool, and we’re happy to report, Degoo does have a bright side.
It’s one of the few multi-platform cloud backup tools with mobile backup available. If you’re looking for a cheap way to backup mobile multimedia content, 100GB should do the trick just fine. Plus, the service’s mobile app sports their best interface, by far.
Read on for the dirty details.
Strengths & Weaknesses
- 100GB free backup
- Android & iOS backup
- Swedish-based privacy
- Good referral program
- Connects multiple devices
- A bit expensive
- No backup scheduler
- No block-level transfers
- Unresponsive support
Alternatives for Degoo
Degoo comes with just enough features to backup people’s devices.
|1. Backs up any folder||Select any folder on a computer to backup
|2. Desktop apps||Clients available for Windows and Mac OS
|3. Mobile apps||Clients available for Android, iOS and Amazon Kindle
|4. Automatic backup||Backups run automatically every 24 hours
|5. Incremental backups||Only files that have changed get reprocessed for backup
|6. Turbo Mode||Speeds up backup at the expense of system resources
|7. Encryption security ||256-bit server-side encryption
|8. Transport-Layer Security (TLS)||Files traveling to and from the cloud are protected with secure TLS tunnels|
Beyond the above stated perks, we found quite a bit missing in our analysis. For example, Degoo doesn’t let users schedule backups or switch-on continuous backup, like other services.
While you can initiate a backup at anytime, Degoo runs backups automatically every 24-hours. We prefer more control over what days and what time our backups run.
Also, while Degoo uses incremental file transfers, it doesn’t use a block-level system. With block-level architecture, only the parts of files that have changed get backed up. Everything else stays the same.
This system helps speed up the backup process and keeps it from sapping a system’s resources. The other main issue with Degoo is that users can’t initiate file uploads, or access their content directly via a browser.
Which raises some flexibility and security concerns for us, since it means you’ll need to install the desktop app to retrieve content, if you’re on someone else’s computer.
Most of Degoo’s users probably signed up for the free 100GB of backup space, on top of that, users can get additional storage by referring a friend. You get 3GB per friend, capped at the 500GB limit.
There’s also an option to “loan” Degoo unused processor resources, for an additional 10GB of free space. Degoo uses this extra CPU power to:
- Mine digital currencies
- Predict weather patterns
- Aid in scientific computations
It’s how they make money off of free users. Once those free users eventually start running out of space, Degoo Premium will bump them up to 2TB of backup space.
You can sign up monthly for $9.99 or get a 20% discount by paying a year in advance. Or, you can sign up for five years in advance for a 60% discount. Or, if you want to get crazy, get a 90% discount by signing up for a mere 100 years!
We’d recommend sticking with the monthly or annual options, given the rate at which technology changes and companies disappear.
- : Backs up two devices.
- : 100 GB
- : No savings.
- : 2000 GB
- : 20% savings.
- : 2000 GB
- : 60% savings.
- : 2000 GB
- : 90% savings.
- : 2000 GB
Honestly though, once you’ve started thinking about paying for online backup, you’re better off looking beyond Degoo. Other companies offer more cost value and better services. One advantage Degoo does have over virtually any other backup service (other than IDrive and SpiderOak) is the ability to backup multiple devices with a single subscription.
So if you’ve less than 2TB to backup, and 3-4 computers, Degoo might make more sense than other options. However, before making that decision, we highly recommend you understand the significant limitations of this service, when it comes to features and user experience.
Most basic backup operations on Degoo will be run from its desktop app. After installation, the wizard will walk you through the early steps, starting with a selection of folders to store online.
You can add multiple folders to the backup process by control-clicking on them. A check box beside filenames would have made the process easier, but it’s not a big deal
Once files have gotten selected, Degoo will run an initial backup. The program keeps you informed of how far along things are, with a status bar and countdown clock.
If you find Degoo is running too slowly, clicking “help” near the bottom of the interface will provide some extra options.
These include the “turbo ” and “power-saving” modes. The placement and toggling of these options are a bit confusing. We’d have preferred to see them located in a “settings” menu, which would be more intuitive. To turn turbo on, then off again, you have to open, close and reopen the “help” pane — convenient, right?
There’s no simple way to toggle it on/off. This shortsightedness is especially concerning since, with turbo mode off (which it is by default), Degoo runs far too slowly to be a viable backup tool.
Be sure to read the “Performance” section for more details on this issue. The clumsy design also plagues Degoo in other areas, for example, the service doesn’t have a backup scheduler, unlike most other online backup tools.
With Degoo, backups simply run every 24 hours.
If you don’t want to wait, click the arrow at the bottom to run a backup immediately. We sometimes had to click on it two or three times to get it working, which is confusing, because it’s not made clear that clicking the arrow initiates an immediate backup in the first place.
To recover files, click on the interface’s middle tab, called, “download your files.” Then, click the “start new recovery” button.
A browser window will open that lets you look through stored folders on Degoo. Find what you want (based on your file structure) and before hitting “start recovery,” check the download location listed at the bottom of the window.
Click “change” if you want to designate a different location.
The final tab in Degoo’s desktop app is “Preferences.”
Where, you’ll find an indicator showing how much storage got used, plus options to:
- Get more space by sharing unused processor power
- Keep files in Degoo after you’ve deleted them from a hard drive
There’s also an option to unlink computers from Degoo, which will delete all the content you’ve backed up on the now unlinked PC(s).
The Degoo browser experience doesn’t measure up to other backup services because there’s no way to access stored content. With services like IDrive and CrashPlan, if a computer’s hard drive fails and you need a file fast, just go online on another computer and get it.
With Degoo, you have to download the desktop client first. An act that presents a security risk, if you’re using somebody else’s device to get at your content, plus, it takes time.
Degoo’s online abilities are limited to activities like checking how much storage you’ve used, inviting friends to sign up, changing a password and upgrading accounts. There is also an option to send files to others, who aren’t directly tied to backed up files. It works more like a file-transfer service, similar to WeTransfer.
Degoo has mobile apps for:
- Amazon Kindle
Here’s one thing that was clear, as soon as we started testing the mobile experience on our (non-combustible) Samsung Galaxy Note 5: the mobile experience is by far the most compelling reason to use Degoo.
Most major backup solutions provide access to stored content from a mobile app, but not many let users backup mobile data itself. With Degoo, you can automatically backup photos, documents, videos, and music, plus choose any other file to backup.
There’s also a photo “optimizer” option, in which all of your pictures are automatically uploaded to Degoo, and shrunk to fit a phone screen.
You can still access the full-size photos on Degoo, as images stored on the phone are just smaller versions. Thumbing the “menu” button on the top-left side of the app will let you check your backup status, access files, make backup changes and perform other tasks
There’s also a button at the app’s top, designated “send files.”
As with the browser app’s “send files” capability, you can send any file via your phone. You’re not limited to what’s stored in a backup. You can also access and send files backed up on a computer.
When selecting a file to send, Degoo creates a URL link and copies it to your clipboard. You can copy that link into a text or add it via social media. Degoo will let the user pick which apps to send files with automatically, which can pretty much be anything: WhatsApp, Gmail, Slack, etc. Still, the mobile app doesn’t justify $9.99 for 2TB of space, but overall, the experience is pretty fluid.
The 100GB of free space (plus bonus space options) you get, makes Degoo a nice, cheap way to backup and share mobile content, if the free space that comes with Google Drive or iCloud is no longer enough.
Speed Performance (Turbo Mode: ON)
Like most people, we get impatient when waiting for computer tasks to complete. So, whenever Cloudwards.net tests a cloud storage or backup solution, we perform a few speed tests.
In this case, we transferred a 250MB compressed test folder, comprised of multiple different file types. This folder is the same one we’ve used for similar experiments with other cloud services.
We performed the test over a Wi-Fi connection in a location just outside of Boston, MA. Download and upload speeds at the time of the test were 40Mbps and 12Mbps, respectively.
If you do decide to try Degoo, make a mental note of this next bit.
By default, Degoo has “turbo” mode turned off. If kept off, files will upload at a snail’s pace of 300 Kbit/s. Under that speed, it took 1.5 hours to upload our test folder! Turn on “turbo” mode, and it takes four minutes to upload a 250MB file or folder.
The difference in speed is so staggering that it doesn’t make sense to even have turbo as a feature that can be switched off in the first place! Degoo claims keeping turbo off helps free up system resources, but we didn’t notice any issues with it turned on either.
The only reason we can think turbo is off by default is the fact that Degoo would rather minimize the resources a CPU devotes to backups, so that they can use your processor for mining digital currency, instead (assuming you’ve opted into that option for another ten free gigabytes of storage).
With turbo on, Degoo outperforms most cloud backup services we’ve looked at, at least when it comes to initial upload speeds.
However, when it comes to updating files you’ve already uploaded, those same services blow past Degoo, regarding speed. Why? Well, it’s because Degoo doesn’t use block-level data processing in their architecture. Block-level processing means only the parts of a file that have changed get backed up again, rather than recopying the entire file.
So, it’s much faster. We tried to confirm the absence of block-level transfers with Degoo but couldn’t get a response (more on that issue further below).
That’s too bad because adding block-level processing would save system resources, while keep data transfers moving along — which Degoo could then turn towards their mining activities (if that’s something you’re amenable to).
Many people overlook security when choosing a cloud backup service. However, at Cloudwards.net, we stick privacy at the top of our checklist. Degoo is headquartered in privacy-friendly Sweden, putting your data outside the U.S. government’s official reach.
Note: Of course, if you’re in the U.S., your data activities could still be monitored, including now by ISPs. Now’s the time to consider VPN services seriously.Tweet This
Degoo incorporates multiple data centers to ensure content is always available. These data centers are “hardened,” meaning they’re secured against
- Hard-drive failure
- Natural disasters
- Burglary attempts
- Digital data thieves
The service encrypts data while in-transit between device and data center, with SSL/TLS tunnels. Once information arrives at the data center, it’s encrypted server-side with 256-bit AES encryption.
This level of encryption is the most standard for cloud services and has never been broken (yet). Degoo also secures passwords in their system with PBKDF2, a key-stretching algorithm, and HMAC512, a keyed-hash message authentication code.
That’s all well and good, but we wish Degoo also offered private end-to-end encryption, too. Also known as zero-knowledge encryption, this approach to security means that a service doesn’t store your password and encryption key at all.
Granted, zero-knowledge also means that forgetting the key password is the same as kissing your data goodbye forever. But, that’s nothing a good password manager can’t solve. For users who prefer a higher level of encryption, IDrive, CrashPlan, and Backblaze all offer zero-knowledge encryption.
On a final security-related note, Degoo doesn’t offer two-factor authentication; a means of protecting an account with an additional verification requirement when inputting user credentials (usually in the form of a text message or email code).
This oversight makes Degoo more susceptible to brute-force attacks.
Good support is critical when storing time-sensitive content and it’s also the one place where many cloud tools fall short, well, Degoo falls right into the abyss with that trend. Their support portal offers a handful of helpful articles that are searchable, though most of the content is pretty thin on details, we’ve certainly seen worse.
Here’s the main problem: If you can’t find what you’re looking for, Degoo only has one contact option: email. No telephone support or live chat options are available.
To make matters much worse, Degoo doesn’t answer emails. We posed a few test questions, to test their response time and information accuracy. We then waited patiently, then less patiently.
We’ve waited for a week already, and there’s still no reply!
At the time of this publication we still haven’t received any answers to our initial and follow-up emails, but if that ever changes, we’ll let you know.
Granted, you might be hearing from our great grandchildren on this matter (maybe that 100-year plan makes sense after all).
It’s fine to give Degoo a fair shake on a smartphone, because not only is a 100GB (or more) of free backup space very welcome on the phone, Degoo’s mobile experience seems to be the only worthwhile thing they offer. Since its browser, and desktop experiences are less than stellar.
Also, Degoo isn’t as cost effective as more modern cloud backup options. On top of that, its sparse desktop app, complex design, nearly non-existent browser experience and unresponsive support left us shaking our heads. It’s hard not to wonder if Degoo is so keen on using your unused processor power to make money, that they’ve taken their eye off of developing a good backup product.
That said, a few of our favorite backup services don’t offer any mobile data backups. So if you’re a customer of those services and need smartphone backup that won’t break the bank, Degoo is worth a look.
100GB will be plenty for most and not cost you a dime. So, that’s our take on Degoo. We’d love to hear yours in the comments section below and thanks for reading!