F-Secure takes on US-based cloud services with younited
By Digital News Asia November 5, 2013
- Turns personal cloud services into an engaging user experience, with no Big Brother access, says F-Secure
- Users can also connect their Facebook, Dropbox and Picasa accounts to younited; more to be added soon
INFO-SECURITY solutions provider F-Secure Corporation has launched 'younited,' a personal content cloud service that it says offers a fun, engaging experience with rock-solid privacy and security.
The service is now live and ready to change the way users manage their content, the company said in a statement.
Personal cloud services commonly refer to the capability to store and back up user files to an online service, share them with friends, family and business associates, and synchronise them between desktop computers, tablets, smartphones and laptops, giving users access to their files independent of time, device or location, F-Secure said.
The drivers for the huge demand – well over 500 million people are signed up on personal cloud services across the world – are explosive growth in mobility, multi-screening and volume of user generated content, it added.
Younited enters a market already dominated by a number of well-known American services, F-Secure acknowledged, but claimed the new service stands out from the rest by tackling crucial needs such as privacy and security that users can trust to safeguard their life's most precious pictures, documents, videos, books and music.
“We consider existing personal cloud services to be mostly boring, 1990s look-and-feel file utilities that are used only occasionally. We want to change that,” said Timo Laaksonen, F-Secure vice president.
“What you see in younited today is already compelling but it’s only the beginning. A number of new service capabilities are in the works that will add further excitement to the user experience.
“For instance, we will soon launch a completely new, dead-easy and fun way to share pictures and videos from events with friends and family," he added.
Built on trust
Looking for more privacy and security in the cloud, tens of thousands of consumers and small businesses have already signed up for younited before the official launch, F-Secure claimed.
This demonstrates a clear market demand for an alternative to US-based cloud services, the company added.
Personal cloud services are built on trust. However, that trust has eroded in the past year as a result of a multitude of alarming signals, such as reports of malware being spread using personal cloud services and questionable methods used by national intelligence agencies to eavesdrop and access the online data of law-abiding citizens, it said.
Younited is hosted in Finland, home to strict privacy laws and strongly held cultural values of privacy, and has been conceived and built for privacy from the ground up, F-Secure said.
What’s more, it is engineered by professionals who have built security into the architecture as well as into their ways of working on younited. Younited’s promise is that users will remain in control of their data, with security professionals defending their content every day against loss of data, malware, unauthorised access, and other threats, the company claimed.
“It's high time for a fresh European alternative to enter the market, taking the existing Internet behemoths head on,” said Mikko Hypponen (pic), chief research officer at F-Secure.
“What the world needs now is a cloud storage service that is not subject to uncontrolled access by intelligence agencies,” he added.
‘Flying above the clouds’
F-Secure said younited provides a fresh, highly visual user experience for accessing content while online or offline from any device, and for sharing and organising.
It comes with a native user application for Windows desktops, Apple Macs, Android devices, Apple iPhones and iPads, Windows Phone 8, in addition to a generic web user Interface.
Younited also collects the pictures, videos, documents and other content users have on their many devices into one safe place.
In addition to younited’s own secure and private storage space, users can also connect their Facebook, Dropbox and Picasa accounts to younited. This allows users to see all their content in one single service where they can find, organise and share it with friends, family and business associates.
Younited will continue to add more external clouds to the service, thus providing users with practically unlimited cloud storage space for their files, F-Secure claimed.
Younited is open to users through a queue for the first months of live operation. Users have gotten access to the service in controlled groups since Oct 24, F-Secure said.
It is being launched in three alternative packages: Free, Medium and Premium. The free version will offer all younited’s functionality along with 10GB of safe cloud storage, but only for a limited time (starting next year, the free version will offer 5GB).
Medium expands safe cloud storage to 200GB and retails at €74.99 (US$101.27) a year. Premium provides users with 500GB of safe cloud storage, retailing at €120 (US$162.06) a year.
For more information about younited’s features and functionalities, and to sign up, go to http://www.younited.com/.
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