CX is a fairly new player in a market that’s almost saturated with cloud-based backup, syncing, and storage services. It offers features which are similar to those of SugarSync and Dropbox while having a number of unique yet excellent aspects that users can really appreciate, one of which is 10GB worth of free storage for a “limited time”.
If you’ve been using cloud storage for a number of years like I have, you have probably developed some kind of radar as to the good and bad ones. Let’s take a look at CX and see if it holds any promise.
Interesting Features of CX Cloud Storage
CX.com does not seem to offer any remarkable feature or benefit to users at first glance especially since one can simply mistake it for just another cloud storage provider, albeit with more free storage. Let’s face it, Dropbox has been quite the darling of numerous users for some time now and you’ll probably agree with me when I say that it’s one service that is tough to beat at the moment even though it has its share of flaws. Anyway, there are five main features of CX, two of which are pretty much unheard of in the cloud storage market if you discount Google. These are collaboration and discovery via a social platform.
Let’s start with the basic features before we get to the fun part, shall we? For starters, CX offers online storage services – both free and paid – to users who want to get more than what other providers usually give out. When one signs up, he or she automatically gets 10GB of free storage which can be used to store or back up music, videos, documents, and other important files. This is double the amount that SugarSync has for its free account, and five times more than what Dropbox offers. Aside from the initial free space, users also have the chance to earn up to 6GB of extra storage by referring friends and sharing the CX service, increasing the total to as much as 16GB worth of storage without paying a dime for any of it.
For the paid plans, CX.com offers 25, 50, and 175GB worth of storage depending on your needs. Plus, one can also request a custom account be made in case the 175GB is not enough to store various files and data in, like say for example small businesses that need the added security of having files in their servers backed up. In terms of redundancy and security, the service offers multiple file backups and redundancies across a number of servers while providing firewalls and 256bit SSL encryption for every account and file uploaded onto the cloud.
The sync feature of CX on the other hand offers users the ability to access files and sync everything of importance across multiple devices – as many as you want in fact. These include Mac and Windows PCs and laptops, iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad, and Android devices as well. Corresponding apps for these are free to download and easy to install, and as stated on CX.com, there will be no need to email yourself just to be able to access your files from the office in your home and vice versa. Quite convenient if you ask me especially because we now live in an era where access to just about anything can be done with a few clicks of a mouse button or a few taps and swipes on a mobile device.
It is easy to overlook the advantage of file syncing when you’re an average cloud storage user because you don’t often need to have your files and documents at a moment’s notice. If you work in an office or say own a business for example, file syncing is quite an important tool that you can take advantage of to reduce the hassle of copying files onto a flash drive or carrying around an external HDD wherever you go just to be able to have the files you need in an instant. Way before email was invented or the internet was even conceptualized, I’m pretty sure almost everyone has had the misfortune to forget an important presentation or office file at home, and chances are you had to drive back home and get it just so you won’t be empty-handed during a meeting or a business presentation. With file syncing, you simply save the file on your CX folder and allow it to sync with your office PC or any of your mobile devices for easy retrieval – simple yet effective.
File sharing is the third feature that CX users can take advantage of when they sign up for a paid or free account. In my opinion, this will appeal more to basic users of cloud storage who want to share with friends and family various photos, music, and videos they may be interested in or want to be in the loop with what’s happening with their loved ones. File sharing is quite common among friends, and what you can’t share in a social networking site you can as easily share using a cloud-storage service. Say for instance you have a large collection of music files and friends constantly turn to you for copies or just simply to listen to them. By using public and private sharing settings in your CX account you can easily give them access to what they need without compromising the security of your other folders and files. Plus the fact that you get additional storage space just by sharing your files and folders is a excellent bonus in itself.
Now for the interesting part of CX services which brings us to the subject of collaboration. Google is perhaps the most popular service when it comes to document and file collaboration among peers and employees, and CX takes a page from the same book by introducing collaboration features along with its file sharing capabilities.
When you share a file or a folder, those whom you share it with can actually leave comments or notes for you to browse real time. This is especially useful if you manage a team of employees who needs to be updated and kept in the loop at all times for any changes in policy and the like. It is also a great way to delegate tasks and keep tabs on the progress of each member of the team since you can easily include notes on the files you are sharing. Each member of the group will also be easily recognizable because there is an option to provide a profile photo of each user when they sign up for the service so everything is really quite systematic.
File sharing and collaboration can also be quite an asset to a home-based business with employees from different parts of the country who also work together through the internet. It makes it convenient for you when hiring home-based workers from different locations who are better qualified than the ones in your area and allows you to keep track of things even if they are miles away. Share a file, make notes, delegate tasks, and keep in touch for any updates while you wait for the results.
Lastly, CX.com offers what I like to call a social network within a cloud-based storage system. Its discover feature provides you with access to other CX users around the globe as long as they have shared the public profile links within the network of CX. Although this is currently in the works, I’m pretty sure the guys over at CX will have this up and running in no time, and when that happens users will have a new way to interact with each other aside from their regular social sites. With this feature, one will be able to find other users who have similar interests with whom he or she can share his or her public files and build a whole new set of friends and associates.
If you look at the last two features closely, you’ll understand why CX may be the next big thing when it comes to online storage services especially since it offers or will be able to offer more than what the leaders in the industry are providing to their users at present.
How CX Works
The signup process is easy enough with one only needing to provide a username, password, and an email address which will be linked to the CX storage account. Upon completion, users will be taken to the MyCX dashboard where everything can be accessed without difficulty. The interface itself is uncluttered and it’s just a matter of traditionally uploading the files you wish to store or just dragging and dropping the files onto the space provided in the upload screen.
I decided to upload two mp3 files to check how long the upload would complete and was finished in about a minute. There was also a progress bar just above the files being uploaded and users will immediately notice this every time they decide to upload files. All in all, uploading and storing files was worry-free and the speed was quite satisfactory although of course it would really depend on your internet connection.
Syncing and sharing also worked without a hitch and downloads for the corresponding apps for PC and mobile devices went quite smoothly. All in all, CX is quite easy to use and both veterans and newbies to the cloud storage concept can appreciate its simplicity.
Advantages vs. Downsides
With the features described in detail in this review, there’s no doubt that one can really be able to maximize cloud storage and backup and file sharing and syncing with CX. It also has a file versioning feature which can come really handy if you need to have access to an older version of the files you uploaded on your account. Further, because it is a fairly new service which offers a generous amount of free storage space, users can really take advantage of the full potential of CX especially if its developers are able to bring the social networking aspect into fruition.
On the other hand, those who have been loyal customers of other services will find it quite difficult to trust a provider as new as CX.com. If you look at it from these customers’ points of view, why would someone trust a service that hasn’t been proven as reliable as the ones they’re currently subscribed to especially if the difference in price is just a few dollars?
Plans and Pricing
There are currently 3 paid plans being offered by CX. The most basic plan Simply Storage costs $4.99 a month and includes 25GB of storage, ability to create 2 groups with 2 members each and with a 1GB group size limit for file sharing and collaboration. The Pro plan costs $9.99 a month and includes access to 50GB of storage, the ability to create up to 10 groups with 15 users for each group, and a 5GB group size limit for sharing and collaboration. The Guru plan on the other hand will set you back $24.99 per month but will give you 175GB of storage, unlimited number of groups with up to 50 members per group, and unlimited file sizes for sharing and collaboration. You can also get in touch with them if you need more storage space or access to more features.
Although CX is comparably at a disadvantage when compared to other popular cloud storage services in the market, it is just a matter of time when it becomes one of the most preferred providers. That is in my opinion of course. There is a lot of potential with this service, and as long as its developers constantly work on it to offer better services there’s no reason why it should not be as successful or as popular as Dropbox or SugarSync. If you are on the lookout for a cloud storage provider, I suggest that you check CX.com and try the free service. After all, you have nothing to lose by signing up for a free account. Plus, you will be able to personally compare how it fares with the other before making a decision.