Koofr Cloud Storage
Koofr, a relative newcomer in the cloud storage world are making a big splash with an easy to use product which is packed full of useful features and generous premium account storage tiers!
Amongst the main features on offer are a desktop synchronisation client, integration with other cloud drives (including OneDrive and Dropbox), web browser plugins and built-in file versioning which provides users with up to 30 days of file version recovery for any modified or deleted files.
With all this said, one of the biggest attractions of Koofr is how well designed the interface is and how easy the tools are to pickup and use, for example, you can easily add various other cloud drives (such as Dropbox) to your account and use the Koofr unified search to simultaneously search all of your connected accounts for files at the same time, excellent!
So, since Koofr really does look very promising, let’s take a look!
- Well designed and easy to use interface
- Free account providing 2GB of free storage
- Great value for larger plans (100GB is only €2/m)
- Many great features included (including useful desktop sync software)
- Integration with Google Docs, Google Drive and Dropbox
- 30 days of file version history (7 days on free accounts)
- Unlimited file sizes and file sharing quotas
- Smartphone apps for iOS and Android
- Supports 2FA (SMS or Google Authenticator)
- No zero knowledge encryption built-in
Signing up to Koofr
Getting started with Koofr is really quick and easy and takes only a couple of minutes before you have a free account with 2GB of storage space included (which can be extended up to 8GB via referrals).
Simply head over to Koofr and enter your email address to begin, this will need to be a working email address as a conformation email will then be sent over.
Once the confirmation email is received simply click the link within and then enter your name and password on the next webpage and you will instantly be logged in to the new account, a really quick and easy sign-up process with the minimal need for personal data, well done Koofr!
Installing and Using the Koofr Windows Client
Once you have signed up and are logged into your Koofr account the desktop software can easily be downloaded using the “Connect your computer” link from the left side of the online console. This will take you to the main desktop client download page where the software can be downloaded for Windows, MacOS or Linux.
At 98.5MB the download is a little on the large side but still not too bad considering the quality of the software and the number of features on offer. Once downloaded and running the installer will ask for some basic details, including the language to use and the whether to add desktop shortcuts or not before finalising the install and being ready to use.
Once the install is complete the Koofr desktop will require us to login upon its fist use, this is simply just a case of entering the account username and password we created earlier and then the desktop client will be ready to go!
Once the application is running, adding files and folders to the Koofr account is as simple as copying them over to the Koofr sync folder or alternatively dragging and dropping over the synchronisation client whilst it is open. Any changes made to files within the synchronisation folder will, of course, be replicated across all user devices with the synchronisation software installed and will additionally take advantage of the versioning history available from Koofr (7 days for free accounts and 30 days for paid subscribers).
Staying with synchronisation for a minute, a really nice feature of Koofr which isn’t really seen much else ware is the ability to create multiple synchronisation folders for a single PC.
An initial synchronisation folder is created automatically upon installing the software but you can, optionally, create as many additional sync folders as you wish. During this process you can not only specify a new location on the local device for synchronisation but also a new location within your Koofr account for the files to be stored.
Another useful tool built into the desktop client is the “Local Folders” tool, this essentially allows you to securely access any files and folders stored on your computer via the internet without first transferring them to the Koofr storage servers first. This is essentially a direct connection to the PC and (of course) requires the PC to be turned on to use this feature.
Finally, before moving on to some of the other features of Koofr (and there are plenty of them) it is worth having a quick look at the settings screen for the desktop client app.
One of the most notable and potentially useful features in this settings section is the section allowing users the option to create a virtual network drive using the Koofr application. This essentially means you can create a network drive with a Windows drive letter pre-assigned which will then (for most purposes) act like a locally attached disk in the Windows system. This could potentially be very useful for certain applications including backup software which otherwise wouldn’t support cloud storage.
Other settings include the ability to turn on or off the sync icons (which show the synchronisation status of a file), the ability to turn off HTTPS transfers (for quicker transfer of less secure files) and the option to have the software start in the background when Windows itself starts up.
Using the Koofr Web-Interface
The desktop client is a very nice addition to the Koofr cloud storage service and throughout my testing time has worked well and is very easy to use. With the desktop client aside the web based file explorer will, for many, be the default workspace for any cloud storage and as such it is important this works well also.
At first sight the Koofr web based interface is clean, simple and laid out in a very neat and tidy way with the main features of the service grouped in a menu on the left and an account menu (for re-setting password etc.) located top right.
The file interface itself supports dragging and dropping of files and folders from the host PC with all transfers taking place over HTTPS, this is therefore a quick and easy way to get files and folders into and out of the cloud drive. Another built-in feature which is very useful is the “download folder” feature found by right clicking any folder within the account, once clicked this will automatically compress and create a zip archive of the folder and prompt the user to download it straight away.
I will be looking at the Koofr sharing system a little later on but one of the other big features of the service (via the web interface) is the integration offered with mainstream cloud providers such as Google Cloud, Microsoft OneDrive and Dropbox. Integration is as simple as choosing which provider to integrate and then authenticating with said provider, Koofr will take care of everything else itself in the background.
Once other cloud storage is integrated any files can then be easily accessed and moved between Koofr and the third party storage, it can also be searched from within the Koofr web-interface alongside any content stored directly on Koofr itself, a potentially very useful feature.
Looking to the account itself (found at the top right of the web-interface) we can edit account features such as user details, passwords and languages as well as setting up multi-factor authentication (which I will cover a little later on in this review).
Finally, Koofr also offer web-browser extensions for both Chrome and Firefox which make the saving of screenshots of websites (or the main images within said pages) to Koofr quick and easy.
Once installed this browser plugin can be right-clicked (as shown above) and then then a screenshot of the current page (or the largest image) will then automatically be saved in Koofr.
Using the Koofr Smartphone Apps
Koofr provide users with smartphone apps for iOS and Android, for this review I will be taking a look at the Android offering which can, of course, be downloaded from the Google Play store.
Once installed, which was very was quick and easy, we can log in and begin using the app. As you sign in for the first time Koofr will prompt for users to automatically upload any newly discovered media file on the device (including any photos and videos taken) in addition to any existing media on the device. This is very handy to have this prompt as many will want to take advantage of such a feature and this saves time having to dig around in the settings page to turn this on at a later date.
As can be seen above we can also specify the app only uploads this media over Wi-Fi using the “only upload over Wi-Fi” switch which is also conveniently included on this screen.
Once this initial media setup screen has been closed we can start using the app itself, as would be expected all of the fie related features are included in the app and this also includes access to the third party services such as Google Drive, OneDrive and Dropbox.
Finally, we do have some settings for the app, however, a noticeable issue (from my point of view) is that the app currently doesn’t seem to have any lock functions (other than logging out which would serve the same purpose but with much less convenience). There is also no option to setup a pin code or fingerprint for logging into the app which, sadly, puts it behind many of its competitors, many of which now include at lease a pin code lock on their apps as standard!
With this small omission aside, the app is nicely laid out and generally very easy to use and seems to work well when working with files and media from the mobile device.
Sharing files within Koofr
Koofr have a very easy to use and powerful link sharing system built into their cloud drive and smartphone apps. Not only can a file be shared by email or a public URL but the shared file can easily be protected with a password, an expiry date and a notification sent when files are shared with other users.
Whilst this might be fairly standard so far, what is good to see is that the full file sharing functionality is available on both free and paid Koofr accounts. Many other cloud storage providers often only deliver a simplified file sharing service to their free account customers leaving the full service for premium account holders only, so well done here Koofr!
Koofr Free vs Premium
Koofr offer all users a free 2GB account in addition to premium, paid accounts ranging from an initial 10GB all the way up to 10TB of cloud storage. Additional storage (up to 8GB in total) can be added to the free accounts by means of inviting friends to sign up to the platform via a special “refer a friend” link.
What is nice to see with Koofr is that most of the available features are available to both free and premium users including the full range of link sharing functions and synchronisation tools. The main exception here is the “Local Folders” tool which allows files to be shared directly between computers (without being stored by Koofr first as an intermediately) which is reserved for premium (paid) subscribers only.
It is great to see that Koofr have a very professional approach to file security and user privacy, for starters they themselves and all of their servers are based in the EU which has very strict data privacy and data security laws in place to protect both consumers and businesses.
Other security features include the implementation of multi-factor authentication (2FA) and the default use of SSL / TLS for the secure end-to-end transfer of all data between any user devices and the Koofr servers themselves.
Despite a very good approach to user privacy and SSL / TLS encryption for data in transit, Koofr, do not offer their users any kind of built in zero-knowledge encryption technology, very disappointing when other new providers such as IceDrive and pCloud are now building this directly into their cloud storage offerings!
On top of everything else (as was mentioned a little earlier on) Koofr also have, by default, 30 days of file versioning enabled on all premium (paid) accounts which means even in the worst case scenario users have the option to go back 30 days and attempt a file recovery if it is compromised in any way!
Koofr have a very useful support section featuring a detailed knowledge base and the ability to contact the support team via an online ticketing system if required. All-in-all a very clear, easy to use and well laid out support system!
Koofr offer a free account (with 2GB of storage) alongside multiple Premium accounts providing up to a massive 10TB of cloud storage for as little as €60/m.
The Koofr pricing (at time of writing) is:
10GB: €0.5 / month (€6 / year)
25GB: €1 / month (€12 / year)
100GB: €2 / month (€24 / year)
1TB: €10 / month (€120 / year)
2.5TB: €20 / month (€240 / year)
10TB: €60 / month (€720 / year)
During my time testing Koofr I was very impressed with how nice and easy to use the service is alongside the very generous allocation of features afforded to the free accounts (given that most providers heavily limit features for free accounts, particularly around the sharing of files via public links).
The desktop client works very well and synchronisation seems to be very quick and work in a very reliable manor. It is also nice to be able to integrate storage from other providers including Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive into the service and then to be able to search all third party storage providers (alongside Koofr itself) using a single search box which is very useful indeed!
The smartphone app works well and is nice to use but I would urge Koofr to set-up some kind of easy to use pin code / fingerprint lock as logging out completely might mean (for many) the use of a password manager to log back in again, inconvenient and time consuming versus a simple pin code to say the least!
Security wise it is clear that Koofr take user privacy and data security very seriously and this extends even to them themselves and all user data being based inside the privacy friendly EU. One thing which is missing is any form of built in zero knowledge encryption tool allowing users to encrypt and control the keys to their own files. Perhaps not a big deal for many but with competitors such as pCloud and IceDrive taking this very seriously this is something I hope Koofr also gets on board with soon!
Overall a very good service, with some very useful features which is very nice and easy to use, a great effort Koofr!