SIA REVIEW: Secrets out (price & alternatives)
My question is…how are people going to switch to decentralized cloud storage if there are companies like Sia that make this transition really difficult? If it is already difficult for some people to understand what the Blockchain is despite all its great advantages, why put more obstacles in their way?
Anyways, I’ll try my best to explain to you (in this kind of review) what my opinion of Sia is and why I wouldn’t use it.
Sia was created by David Vorick and Luke Champine and its version 0.3.3.x, which was released in 2015, marks the launch of the company’s current Blockchain system (although there have obviously been subsequent updates).
Sia is a decentralized cloud storage that uses Blockchain technology. This means that files uploaded to Sia are encrypted and fragmented. These fragments are then sent to nodes in different parts of the world. All this makes Sia a very secure and private platform since only the person who has uploaded the files has access to them, not even the company itself has access to everything that is uploaded to the cloud.
So far, so good. But what happens when you really want to use the platform? The story is different. Sia is really difficult to use.
To begin with, what anyone usually wants to know is the price. In other words, what are they going to charge you and what services are they going to offer you for that price. Well, with Sia I still don’t know.
I found this on a not official Sia’s page (because the official one didn’t provide numerical data)
As you can see it is quite complex, does this mean that there is a base price and from there on I will be charged a bonus for uploading or downloading? If so, let me tell you that it is not worth it. Why? Because there are already great alternatives in the market.
I tried to find a free plan on their website but it was (again) a bit difficult so I decided to investigate through Reddit using the subreddit that Sia has on that social network. I asked the question directly and after 5 minutes there was already an answer. An answer from what is supposed to be an anonymous user but is actually a user linked to Sia, because if you investigate the profile all its comments are about Sia, answering doubts from other users or criticizing and discrediting the company’s competitors. Even so, I must admit that this user was very useful because it helped me understand a little bit more the complex system of Sia.
The company is supposed to have a free plan if you download Skynet (which is a kind of application or platform of Sia) in which they offer you 1 GB free for only 3 months. What is the problem? Files uploaded to Skynet are not permanent but temporary. Therefore, if you want your files to be permanent, you have to download other platforms called Filebase, Arzen or Storewise, which you can find on the Sia website, too.
Here your files will be permanently stored and those platforms are supposed to offer free 5GB plans. So… why does Skynet exist? Why would I download an application that only gives me 1GB free and temporary storage if then I would have to relocate all my files to other platforms that give me more gigabytes for free and where the files are permanently stored?
I’m sorry but I don’t understand it. I think it is a waste of time and too many steps to upload a file safely. I personally think that its website has too much information but it is not direct and it does not answer the customer’s questions. I’m sure the information is on the website but…where? If I have to waste so much time finding out the most basic things I’m sorry but I’m not interested.
With the mobile app happens the same, although they already warn that in the coming months there will be improvements.
All this makes Sia hard to use. Maybe this is due to the service being aimed at people with much more knowledge in this area, but if so, I’d like the company to point it out before making people waste time learning how to use it.
In fact, they have their own Youtube channel where they teach you how to use Sia but I don’t think this is the appropriate approach. I have never seen a tutorial on how to use Google Drive! I think what the user needs is not a tutorial but a platform that is simple and easy to use.
That’s why I recommend you to try other options that are much simpler but at the same time effective, such as Storj, which I talked about in depth two posts ago and where the information you will find on its website is much better (but it doesn’t offer a free plan) or Internxt Drive, which doesn’t need a tutorial since it is very simple and intuitive to use and it does offer a free plan. Besides, if you need more gigabytes or even terabytes you won’t have to spend hours looking for the different plans because you will find them in a very simple and explicit way on their website.
Conclusion: You will never see me using Sia. I am very sorry for those Sia lovers who read me. But I feel that if a user who wants to start protecting his/her privacy through decentralized cloud storage for the first time finds a platform as messy as Sia, they are going to think that decentralized storage is something very complex and they’re going to put it aside forever. This user will continue to use conventional platforms that are much more insecure just because they are much easier to use when in fact decentralised storage is super secure and private and doesn’t have to be difficult at all.
So tell me, are you already using decentralized cloud storage? Have you tried Sia? Do you like it? I read you!