I have met Lima, and so far our interactions have been mixed. This little device aims to replace the cloud–taking the place of services like Dropbox and Onedrive. It’s a good attempt, but it’s not quite there yet.
We will first start with its negatives.
For starters, there’s no sharing. With OneDrive and DropBox you can easily share files by creating a link and then sending that link to someone. Not with Lima. With Lima, you and only you have access to your files. You can email your files but if you have large files most email servers reject those.
Another downfall is if the hard drive crashes or if your house burns down, all of your files are gone. Lima suggests owning a second Lima and second hard drive and hosting in another location. But my response to that is the average person doesn’t own a second house to host one at, and most businesses are not just going let their employees plug in a device to their network.
So I stored my files on Lima but any super important files I put on Lima as well as a copy on Dropbox and/or OneDrive. As you can see, I won’t be getting rid of those cloud services anytime soon.
Another issue is when you load up the app and go to videos they’re supposed to have media art for your movies. I have around 30 movies uploaded but only see the media art for about 8. So no clue why other 22 are missing.
Now lets move onto things I love.
First is the files are not automatically stored on your hard drive. For example, with Dropbox I have a PC with a 3TB Hard Drive and I have a lot of files on Dropbox and they of course sync to my laptop which only has a 750GB hard drive. Because of this my laptop hard drive is 95-plus percent full and I get an alert every time I turn it on that my hard drive is almost full. I have to periodically go in and turn on selective sync on folders I don’t need on my laptop, but then the files do not appear on my laptop at all so if I need to use them I’ve got to then go back in and turn off selective sync on that folder then wait for it to sync and download.
OneDrive works same way as Dropbox. Files stored in the designated folder are automatically synced to the cloud and other devices set to sync that data.
I like Lima because the files are not stored on your computer’s hard drive. Unless you specifically right-click a file and choose to keep a local copy. But even though the data is not stored on your computer you can still see the files and access them anytime without having to jump through any hoops. Now Dropbox just announced this ability too, but requires a DropBox Business Account which is I believe $100/yr per user with a minimum of 5 users–so for this ability you’re spending over $500 per year.
I like the ability to upload videos/movies and easily stream them to any of your devices. And the streaming works very well. Of course, your mileage may vary and will depend on your network speeds at home, or your cellular carrier or the Wi-Fi network you’re connected to. For example, at home I am with Cox on the Ultimate Package so 300Mbps download speed with 50Mbps uploads. Sometimes I will be at my kids’ school waiting on them in the carpool lane and I will load up a movie via my TMobile connection, which in this particular area I have only 2 signal bars. But I have never had any issue with buffering or anything. It seems like the data is pretty well managed.
I have configured my device to automatically upload all my photos to Lima. I have had some issues with this as I can keep app open and watch the files upload and after 30 seconds the app will crash. So this is a problem right now, but I’m sure will get fixed in a future version of the app.
The cost for the Lima device is $99 US Dollars plus the cost of your hard drive. The media unit they sent me came with a 1TB external drive. I’m not sure if the standard retail package does or not. They claim it supports up to a 15TB hard drive, but the only one I could find that size is made by Samsung and is the size of a tower pc and costs thousands of dollars. If you want that and the ability to have a separate backup you’d need two of them–so all can say about that is it must be nice to be rich. But for those of us on a normal income $99 (again we have a normal income so we don’t own a second home and wont need a second Lima) plus $150 for a nice 6TB external drive from Amazon–so looking at $250 to start.
Now–to compare that–I have a free Dropbox account, and because of referrals I have 16GB of storage. But for unlimited storage I’d be looking at $500/yr with Dropbox, so Lima is a viable option.
I can see owning a Lima and having a free Dropbox account for backing up important files. I cannot see owning 2 of these devices.
I would like to see a sharing capability added, and since it’s supposed to be your own personal cloud I’d like to see them add an ability to use your own domain name. I’d also like to see an Apple TV app so can view your saved pictures and stream your videos from the Apple device.