Cloud storage has been the buzz word for over the past year. Google, Apple, Microsoft and others are all looking to grab your business and provide you with cloud storage. Online cloud services have their place, iCloud is great for making iOS backups. Google Drive is a great way to store your documents and other files you want to share with others. One Drive integrates well with Microsoft services if you tend to use those a lot. While all of these cloud services have their place, having your own personal cloud storage solution can come in handy as well. The Apollo Cloud brings you an affordable way to store your most cherished moments and share them across devices. Read on for our full Apollo Cloud review and see why it gets a Top Pick 2016 award.
Apollo Cloud Specifications
- HDD 4TB 3.5” SATA6G
- Connectivity USB 3.0 , Gigabit Ethernet
- Dimensions 143x190x61 mm / 5.6×7.5×2.4 inches
- Weight 1.2 kg / 2.64 lbs (including HDD)
- 2 Year Limited Warranty (90 day web/phone support)
What’s In The Box
- Apollo Cloud Unit
- 16W AC Power adapter
- Ethernet cable
- Quick Start Guide
- Serial Number Card
The Apollo Cloud is a small white enclosure with not much more to it. On the front is the Apollo branding and two LED indicators that are under the plastic, kind of a neat design cue. Around the back is the Ethernet port, power port, reset button, fan and one USB 3.0 port. There isn’t much to the design, it’s fairly simple and plain. I do wish the design was a bit more aesthetically pleasing to look at.
Ease Of Use
Ease of use is one of the things Promise Technology (makers of the Apollo Cloud) are hyping, and it’s really dead simple to setup. First, you’ll need to plug the Apollo Cloud into your router and power source. Then, simply use the iOS, Android, Mac or Windows app to locate the Apollo on your network and follow the link to claim your device. You’ll have to create an account with Promise Technology in the process. Once you’ve claimed the device, you’re hooked in and ready to start using it.
If you set the Apollo Cloud up then you’re now the owner of the device and can manage it from your device. You’re able to invite up to nine other users to share your Apollo for a total of ten users to one device. You can create member and owner profiles so you can control what is being shared and to whom it is being shared with. You also have the option to share a file or multiple files with anyone using the public link option which will give users access to that portion of your cloud. You also have the ability to see who has access to what files and revoke that access as well. You’re also protected through AES256 encryption, so your files aren’t going to fall into unauthorized hands.
Getting setup with any of the apps on Windows, Mac, iOS and Android is a breeze and managing and organizing the device is simple with the Apollo software. The interface could use an aesthetic face lift, but it’s functional and easy to use. Making it pretty will hopefully come down the road.
When connected to the same network performance in terms of upload and download is killer. Things take a bit more time when you’re offsite and away from the home network, but that is to be expected. The nice thing about the Apollo Cloud is, if you’re storing music, video or photo files on it, there is no need to download the files to enjoy elsewhere. Just open the Apollo app on your iPhone or Android and you can play files back within the app. Playback video resolution is adjusted based on connection speed and file size and transfers to/from iOS devices may be limited to 10 minutes by iOS. There are some limitations to what can be done with Apollo you should be aware of.
The max number of members is ten, including the owner of the device. The max number of concurrent file uploads is 4, so don’t expect all ten members to be able to upload at once. The max file size upload stands at 30GB, which is fairly large most shouldn’t need more than that. The public link file size limit is 1GB, so don’t expect to be able to share movie length videos, unless it’s compressed to 1GB or under. The client app automatically detects how the device is connected to the Apollo and will prioritize IO dynamically. User IO will always take priority and functions such as camera upload will be pushed to the background.
Currently Apollo does not support Apple’s Time Machine for backing up your Mac. We’re not sure if Apollo will get this feature but it would be a helpful feature to maintain Mac backups. There are other “cloud” drives on the market made by Seagate and Western Digital. Here’s a short chart to see how one of them stacks up against the Apollo Cloud.
Overall performance is solid and having the ability to share and use the device from just about anywhere is certainly a notch in its belt. Auto backups is the one thing missing that I wish was here. But the HDD drive speed and the uploads/download speeds are great as is the amount of storage (4TB) for the price paid here.
$299 seems like a lot of scratch but that is for 4TB of storage. If all you needed was 15GB then Google’s free option would be good enough. If you need more and opt to buy Google’s 1TB option at $9.99 a month, then you end up paying $120 a year. With Apollo Cloud you’re paying a one time cost of $299 for 4TB and you control your own files and do not rely on Google or any other corporation to keep your data safe. I think the Apollo is priced fairly and has great value for those seeking a solution such as it.
Apollo Cloud isn’t for everyone. There will be some of you who prefer to use cloud services to store your data. There will be some of you who prefer making your own RAID system and storing your data locally. But for those who are seeking a personal, shareable and secure cloud storage solution then Apollo Cloud is something to look into. Yes it has some things to work out but the core functionality is there and Promise Technology will hopefully expand on that. For these reasons it earns a Techaeris Top Pick 2016 award.