Paris-based home cloud hardware startup Lima announced on Monday the launch of their latest device, the Lima Ultra.
Having launched a Kickstarter campaign for their original device back in 2013 that raised a whopping $1,229,074 and sold 60,000 units, this new version promises faster speeds and power, as well as an LED that many users felt was missing from the last edition. With a Quad-Core CPU cadenced at 1.5GHz, Lima is claiming that the Ultra is “40x more powerful than Lima Original.”
“To give you an example, it takes 30 seconds to transfer a movie to Lima Ultra, instead of 8 full minutes to do the same thing with the Lima Original” says Penelope Liot, Lima’s VP of Marketing.
Founded in 2011 by Séverin Marcombes, the company has operations in the US and China.
What the Lima device allows users to do is essentially create their own low-cost independent cloud network. Based on a plug-n-play model, the device sits between the user’s router and an external hard drive, giving the user remote access to the files stored on the drive from any of their connected devices like their mobile or tablet.
With their stronger hardware, the company says that users will have an easier time streaming 4K videos and other heavy files. They also tell Geektime that the upgraded gear will allow them to send more patches for better long-term support.
Device and OS agnostic, Lima runs on Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android.
The Ultra comes with a fairly reasonable $129 price tag. The new Lima is expected to reach stores come Q1 of next year. For those interested in picking one up earlier, sales on their website open up [this week] at 12:00 p.m. EST.
One of their big selling points for this kind of device is the privacy that it provides users who want the advantage of access to their files from anywhere, but have concerns.
“We believe in building technologies without compromises,” Marcombes tells Geektime. “When you subscribe to a cloud service, you get the benefit of accessing part of your content from anywhere, but you have to give the control and ownership of your content in exchange. That’s a compromise. That doesn’t feel fair to users from our perspective.”
“At Lima, we work hard to bring you the benefits of these technologies without the compromises,” he continues. “You buy our device once. We don’t own your content (actually, we can’t even see it). You pay no monthly fees. That’s much more valuable to us than to lock you in a scheme where we would own your content. By doing so, we build value without taking some away.”
Lima provides a strong alternative to some of the other cloud options out there, both on the issue of privacy and in price. While cloud provider options like iCloud, Google Drive, and Dropbox are all very user friendly and for the most part free, there is the issue of giving your data over to an outside entity. Google Drive has some security risks, but is generally pretty safe, as is iCloud. Dropbox, on the other hand, faced a hack that exposed passwords of 68 million passwords. The other issue is that when you use a service for free, you often pay with your data. Options like iCloud start off free for the first 5GB, but then start to rise for 50GB at $0.99 and $2.99 for 200GB every month.
On the flip side, there are a variety of Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices from names like QNAP, Western Digital, and Netgear. These are a bit more complicated to use, and the most basic models start at $200 and start climbing from there. Chances are that if you are a home user, then this might not be what you are looking for.
It is worth noting here that when it comes to price, the Lima Ultra’s $129 does not take into account the external hard drive necessary for facilitating the storage. However this setup allows for more versatility with your hard drive, meaning that it does not always have to be dedicated to the server function. `
Lima’s pay once model and greater control over privacy could be attractive to many folks that do not feel like paying monthly fees. Not having to agree to a new Terms and Conditions every few months does sound pretty nice.
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