Ever wanted your own “personal cloud” computing storage space? Want to access all of your main computers files, not just a selected few that you remembered to upload ahead of time, remotely? With no sync restrictions and no space limitations, Bdrive is your personal cloud, available for use with Windows, iOS devices (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch) and Mac.
Most cloud storage apps allow you to upload files from your computer or iOS, and then access them from other devices by downloading them from a central server hosted by some company online. Bdrive takes a different approach and cuts out the middle man. Instead of having to upload and download from someone else’s online server, your main computer acts as the server. You can thus access virtually any file on it, from any other device, including Apple iPhones, iPod Touch and iPads, whenever you have a network connection. Instead of having to constantly connect to your computer with your iPhone cable, Bdrive allows you to stream and download files over a network connection, from wherever you are located.
Want to watch a video on your iPhone, but the actual video file is only on your main computer? No worries! Bdrive will auto convert the video file to a format compatible with your iOS system, and stream it to your device. That’s a pretty swell feature and one that sets Bdrive apart from many other storage apps. You can also stream music files from your main server computer directly to you device, allowing you to listen to your music collection on the go. Once the files have been downloaded to your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad, you can access them whenever you want, even without a network connection. Facebook and Twitter and email photo sharing options are also available, making it very useful for social networking.
Graphics and Controls:
Graphically the Bdrive iPhone app offers a pleasing layout with nicely designed icons. From a controls aspect, you will need to setup and configure your own server beforehand. Bdrive provides easy instructions for this (it’s really straightforward) and you’ll need a custom BID# that allows your device to access the server in question. The Bdrive developers have a super user-friendly website with plenty of assistance available for making your own personal cloud space with Bdrive. The app itself is fairly easy to navigate, files download rather seamlessly, and overall it feels very polished.
Ease of Use:
One downside is that you must have an active Bdrive Server to actually be able to access whatever files you want. Unlike an online cloud storage, where files are uploaded and then downloaded from the server, Bdrive users connect directly to their main computer, where the Bdrive server is installed. To do so, the computer must be obviously turned on, with an active network connection. This may be a downside for people who prefer not to have their computer constantly running, who are out of town for long periods of time, and so on. However, the benefit of this is that you can access all of your computers files on the go, not just a limited selection of things you thought to upload and back up ahead of time.
Bdrive offers a different approach to cloud computer, as it allows you more privacy and security than many traditional storage and backup services (where another company has access to your files through their servers). Security may be a concern with Bdrive, especially if your iOS device falls into the wrong hands. You do have several password options to help protect your files, but it’s still something that makes me hesitant to completely use Bdrive.
For free, Bdrive is a great deal. A premium service is also expected in the future with more options for users. Bdrive has a lot of uses, and it seems to be great alternative to traditional cloud computing. Bdrive also allows you to setup a “family folder” and upload things to share with your family to it, such as memorable photos and home videos. That’s a great way for your whole family (and others you give access) to enjoy your photography and other creations. I can see that as being a wonderful tool right there for families, especially those separated by long distances. Business users should also find Bdrive very beneficial, as they can access business computers for important documents while on the go. Overall, Bdrive is a very useful app, its free and has great customer support.
Bdrive iPhone app [ iTunes Link ] requires iOS 3.1.2 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.
The iPhone app review rating:
Bdrive iPhone App Video Demo