Younity is an interesting service. They bill themselves as a cloudless solution to accomplish what you have using a cloud based service. This is appealing as you do not need to worry about storage space. From a bandwidth perspective it would take no more than placing the files on the cloud but in the case of Younity you would not have to concern yourself with did you upload all your files to the cloud. If you have two or more computers, all the files from your various computers can comingle for access.
Of the three services I’ve looked at that provide remote access to the computer, those being Logmein, Parallels Access and now Younity, theoretically Younity is very interesting and has a ton of potential but in practice it doesn’t work very well at all.
When Younity came out in the early days it just didn’t work. It wasn’t that it was unstable and sometimes didn’t work. It definitely was unstable however it just didn’t work.
Younity now works but the results are confusing. Younity is intended to provide you with remote access to your files, photos and images, music and videos. Remotely and running off the hosting computer you’re supposed to able to open and run or work with any of your files. Under this scenario there is no need for a cloud service. You can share your files from Younity or view your photos and on it goes.
The problem is, I don’t find anything works properly. Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t. In this scenario also you always have to have your hosting computers on. In a cloud based scenario this certainly isn’t the case. So if your computer were to go to sleep while you’re away from it, there is no way to wake it up.
However, although this is a major practical problem, I find the uncertainty of whether Younity will run more problematic. Secondly, even if you have it running you’ve got to go through a lot of screens to ensure you’ve got the right thing. In a nutshell, it’s confusing.
If you are able to pull up a photo that you wanted to share you could do that. You can also do that for a file.
The Idea Behind Younity is Great but you will Always need the Cloud
Putting aside the practical problems with respect to Younity, the idea behind the product is great. Direct access to your computer has it’s advantages say that you haven’t stored something in a cloud service you need. When the product is stable, I could see Younity running alongside one of my cloud services. However, Younity cannot replace my cloud based service.
Cloud based services are not doing one thing. They’re doing many things. Younity is intended for one thing and that one thing is important. However, even in that you need your computer running 24/7 and that there is no remote way of starting the computer is represents a complete non-starter for me. There simply are times when my computer or anyone’s computer will be either asleep or completely shut down. If I were to require a file from the computer and it’s not running and there is no way of accessing the computer this is simply not fail safe.
With a cloud based system, the only thing that’s not fail safe is the operator. The cloud based system is going to be there unless something of catastrophic proportion happens. As long as you put your digital work in the cloud and you know how to operate your service you will get access to the file.
There are certain functions too that a cloud based service might be performing for you that cannot be done by Younity. If you need what is referred to as a direct link to a file you need a file server for that direct link and you need provide a server capable of delivering direct link. This type of URL access is becoming more common and more required say to host images on a server in an article such as this.
A Younity by any Other Name
Younity has interest around it. Once the service is working as it should I believe it could fill a useful role. I do not, at least for myself, see it replacing cloud services but certainly acting as an adjunct to them. For some, it could potentially provide enough capability to meet current user needs.
However, the service would have to be fully reliable. This service is prone to human error. A person could easily leave the house and forget to turn off the sleep controls allowing the computer to go to sleep. Younity has no mechanism for waking the computer up. Or if you were to go away on holidays you’d likely turn off your computer thus absolutely ensuring no access.
Cloud services are always available. Plus, as I mentioned some cloud services such as direct link are required. At most this could be an adjunct to a cloud based services potentially reducing the amount of cloud storage you need.
However, cloud storage is getting cheaper all the time as servers are becoming more powerful yet costing less. I do think remote access to your computer is a good thing. Younity though is not really providing remote access to your computer but is providing circumscribed access to services.
Of the three services then that I’ve looked at providing remote access to your computer, only Logmein is providing true remote access to your computer. You are actually sitting at the desktop of your remote computer when you look at it through the Logmein software.
I wrote this article on Younity as I wanted to give you a feeling for the remote access options available to you. These three are probably the most interesting of the offerings available. Although I believe remote access to your computer is valuable it cannot and should not attempt to replace cloud based services. Secondly, it really should be full, remote access. And finally, it must work and work well as your time is too valuable and trying to make something work that just doesn’t is only going to be an exercise in something very frustrating. Do use remote access software if you feel you need to but chose the best. You’ll save yourself a lot of aggravation but likely have something that could prove very valuable.