A Finnish company is challenging online giants with its cloud storage service.

DROPBOX, Google Drive, OneDrive, Amazon Cloud Drive... there’s no shortage of options for anyone looking to put their files in the cloud. But while the biggest cloud storage services are created by US tech titans, there is now also a Finnish-made alternative.

Created by the computer security company F-secure, younited offers the same basic functions as its international counterparts: it gives you a cloud storage (5 GB for free, and paid options exist for those who require more) that allows you to back up files in the cloud as well as to synchronise them between several computers. It also has applications for smartphones and tablets, making it possible to access your files on the go.

However, younited goes beyond the standard features, having a graphical interface that makes managing photos, videos and other media a more visual experience. In addition, it can be connected to other cloud services, and thus also be used to access files on Dropbox, Facebook, Picasa, and others.

F-Secure is not a newcomer when it comes to data security – indeed, the company has an over 25-year history in computer security. With this in mind, younited is promoted as a secure location for personal data: “We say NO to the prying eyes of governments and we don’t sell your information to advertisers,” is how younited’s About page puts it.

For many users, the biggest benefit to younited is undoubtedly its Finnishness.

“Finnish legislation and protection of privacy make it possible to offer very secure services,” says Jyrki Tulokas, VP of Product Management at F-Secure. “In addition, Finland has plenty of knowhow in the field of data security.” Tulokas also reminds that the data of younited’s European clients is stored in data centres in Finland.

Opened to the public in February – younited arrived with conspicuous timing given the revelations concerning the NSA’s data collection. However, Tulokas notes that F-Secure has been offering different cloud storage services as far back as 2008. Also younited is a product of several years of development, and its launch is thus not linked to the recent news about threats to Internet users’ privacy.

For the future, F-Secure plans to keep developing younited and expand the range of its features. A key goal is making sharing files and collaboration with other users easier and more social, says Tulokas. “When it comes to ease of use, the cloud storage services currently available are still clearly behind services such as WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram.”

Teemu Henriksson
Image: Screenshot