Review: Optus Smart Safe Eliminates Download Quotas From The Cloud

Written by Matthew Lentini     29/08/2011 | 22:35 | Category name i.e.CONTENT & DOWNLOADS

The issue that plagues IPTV and cloud services in Australia is that most broadband connections come with a download quota - especially limited on mobile device connections. Optus has used its position as a telecom provider to sidestep the issue and offer cloud storage, minus the download cap.

Optus' Smart Safe is a free mobile-centric cloud service for Optus customers with the hope of enticing customers to pay for larger subscriptions. Optus mobile customers automatically get 500MB of free storage, but can upgrade to 10GB for $5.99 per month, or 300GB for $14.99. The service allows entire backups and restorations of mobile device data on up to five linked devices.

The Smart Safe app, downloadable for a range of mobile device operating systems, is a simple utility with four main buttons - but it's a little too simple. There are backup and restore buttons as well as one to manage your subscription and one to display quick, handy tips on using the Smart Safe. The app is not compatible with iPhones though, but works on Android, Windows Phone 6, BlackBerry and Symbian.

It being a little too simple means that you can't pick and choose what files you want to upload or download from the mobile app, though there is a settings section for choosing what type of media and content (whether it be music, photos, SMS, contacts, etc) you want to back up. Managing specific files will always lead you back into the less-than-perfect web app rather than using the Android app. Otherwise, you can also customise automatic back up scheduling and caps on backups.

The web app for browsers on PCs, Macs and mobiles offers a similar feature set, but more in-depth. Files on a computer or saved into the Safe from a linked device can be explored under subheadings like Videos, Contacts, Documents, etc. From here, they can be played, downloaded, edited or shared over social networks.

If you were to lose your mobile phone, all of your data could be replaced onto a new phone by signing the device up to your account, though there's a cap of five linked devices. If you were to cancel your Optus mobile account, you're given a 60 day leeway to re-subscribe to Smart Safe and access stored files again.

The big perk of the unlimited download/upload quota is also only applicable to Optus mobiles rather than desktop broadband connections. There are also charges involved in mobile roaming, though this is switched off by default.

It's a good start from a telco jumping into mass consumer cloud offerings, but the process could be a lot more refined with a few app redesigns and tweaks. It's simple, functional and very useful. Whether you're paranoid about losing data or want to access all your phone data across devices and computers like Google's cloud, this service is worth adopting if you're already with Optus (unless you're an iPhone user, in which case you'll be looking out for iCloud).

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Pros & Cons

Pros:

Uploads/downloads do not count toward mobile data cap; functions on browser web app, PC program and on mobile devices

Cons:

Lacking mobile app interface with no specific file functions; limit to five linked devices; No iPhone support