Lima: The personal Cloud Storage system that is so easy a Cave-man could use it.
It never fails, I am constantly juggling space on my iPhone. I moved from the 32 Gb iPhone 5 to the 64 Gb iPhone 6S Plus, thinking that this would be adequate storage space. I bet you saw that coming, 64Gb is still not enough storage space. I believe when the iPhone 7 releases, I will purchase the 128 Gb model. Walking around CES 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada, I had the pleasure to meet the team from Lima Technology Inc. I had no idea what this company was about and I had never heard of this technology. Lima is the first technology to unify all your content across devices. I had been using Dropbox to dump data to, and then offloading the data to a personal 1Tb drive when Dropbox was full. This was time consuming, it was “me time” intensive and I forgot to do this regularly. The end result was a full Dropbox and a full phone and the dread of needing to find something that I could delete.
The team at Lima has developed an amazing technology. They had the device to display at their booth at Tech West in the Sands Expo, Level 2 of the Venetian Hotel/Casino. CES was amazing and I truly am looking forward to 2017. This device is a hardware adaptor, a very tiny device by the way, that connects the Internet (through your router) to an external hard drive. The beauty of the device is the link to the Internet and their app, which allows you to have exactly the same files on your smartphone and your computer or tablet. This works cross platform, regardless of the OS/capacity.
The Lima arrives in a 5.5″ X 5.5″ X 2 1/8″ box. The outer box is a slip cover white with lime green ends. The cover is sleek, clean and displays the Lima Unit (not in actual size). I am a big fan of the knot/infinity symbol that they have chosen as it is very eye catching. Examining the back of the box, the product provides a thought provoking question: “What if all your devices had the same files?” That question really summarizes this device very well. It shows a single picture with a computer, phone, tablet on that picture. “Each of your devices has different content. Install Lima at home, and they will all contain exactly the same thing.” The packaging clearly tells you what to expect from the device, which is appreciated. You now never have to move files between devices again. It is important to note here that the Lima has no internal storage capabilities. This is not a hard drive. It is a hardware adaptor that turns your hard drive into a personal cloud storage.
Slide the slip cover off of the internal box and open the front cover like a book. The internal box does not have a picture of the Lima but does have the same infinity sign with the logo on a white background. All sides of this box are lime green except for the white top. Opening the lid of the box your eyes are immediately drawn to the included earphones. These are included by the company as a visual analogy, a gift to show the strength/benefit of the technology. The idea, no matter where you are, no matter what device you are using, you can enjoy your entire music library with the included headphones. There is a pull strap that will lift the headphone flap away and you are now introduced to the Lima. The device is small 2 13/16″ long 1 1/2 inch wide and 1 1/16 inch thick. It is safely nestled in formed plastic. Lifting this away, there is another compartment below that houses the power brick for the LIMa and an Ethernet cable.
This may be one of the easiest installs that I have ever been involved with. There is no included instruction manual. You do not need one. If you look on the backside of the headphone flap, you have a 3 step process. Step 1, plug the Ethernet cable into your router and plug the other end of the Ethernet cable into the Lima unit. Step 2, plug the power from the Lima into the wall outlet. Step 3 Go to http://install.meetlima.com on your computer and follow the online steps. Step 4 plug the Lima into an external hard drive via USB to USB cable. It is seriously that simple and it is ready to go. They use some fun colorful graphics during the waiting periods.
The computer setup is just as easy as the hardware installation. You can choose your language, choose where you want Lima to store the database. Review and accept the terms and then create the account. You can now move files from your computer to the hard-drive (iTunes library) and videos/movies etc. You are now ready to download the app on your iPhone, iPad, Windows phone, Android phone and share all of the files on the hard drive across all platforms.
I paired my Lima with a Toshiba 1 TB external hard drive. This was a pairing that worked flawlessly. It is important to note that there are a few requirements for the attached hard drive. First, it must be a USB 2.0 or 3.0 connection. You need to have at least as much room as you have on your computer with a maximum size capability of 7 Tb. The hard drive must be “EMPTY” when installing LIma. It does not work on already full drives, at least not yet according to their site. Eventually, you may be able to add multiple hard drives to the Lima through a powered HUB. This feature is currently not available per the website. I would love this feature.
LIma is designed to be a personal cloud and really is not meant for access by multiple people. Having said that, my wife has installed the app on her Galaxy S5 and I have it on my iPhone. This way, as we take photos and videos, they are stored in an additional place. You can choose to have this occur over cellular data or not. For data purposes, we only have the app share the photos while on WiFi. I have recently installed a Synology Diskstation DS416j to provide some RAID protection of my data. The Lima installation was immensely easier than installation of the DS416j. Both systems back-up my photos/files etc. The cost is significantly less for the Lima, the ease of install was significantly less for the Lima and the needed tech knowledge is significantly less for the Lima.
I personally feel that the reach of the Lima is going to be huge. This device can be used by everyone, from every ability level to serve as a personal cloud storage. My wife is more likely to lose her phone than the hard drive in my home is to fail. Here is where Dropbox or online storage could potentially be more safe for storage. If there is a fire in my home, I may lose the phone, the DS416J and the Lima in one fell swoop. Unfortunately, there is no complete safety. What I really like about the Lima is the installation and the ease of use. It really was the easiest tech install that I have been involved with so far. The storage machine above was very complicated and daunting for someone new to the home server/storage world.
You can learn more about the device from meetlima.com. Here you can buy the device, read reviews/blogs about the device and you can review How-To’s, FAQ, Troubleshooting. You can choose from multiple colors to include the green (my favorite), blue, yellow, purple, pink. At a sub $100 dollar price point and a $20 reduction for additional devices, everyone should pick one of these as a means of data access/storage. The only real issue/complaint that I have is regarding the “Movies” aspect of the device. I moved one of my iTunes videos from iTunes onto the Toshiba hard drive. I have been unable to get this to play on my iPhone or iPad Air 2 (M4V file type). I suspect that this is likely due to the Apple DRM of the file and not due to any limitation of Lima. The unfortunate part is, I have bought these movies in Blu-Ray, DVD and digital format and now I don’t have the access to the digital wherever I want it. I have searched the website and I have seen that you can put movies onto the hard drive and access them through the Lima software/app. So, I may look into trying Handbrake or trying PavTube M4V to remove the DRM. I have a DRM free copy of Guardians of the Galaxy and guess what, this worked amazingly well. There was some mild lag initially but then it played without any skips. I was able to stream the movie from both my iPad and iPhone. With a little work you are able to use this device as a storage point for your movies. This does work well, but they cannot be from iTunes. I also added a few songs from my iTunes library to the LIma. These worked just fine, and played well without any issues. All you have to do is copy the folder in your iTunes library (under music) and paste it or drag it into the music folder of Lima.
Videos recorded with on my phone are safely stored and easily playable on my phone and my wife’s phone. This is quite amazing. I wish that there was a larger capacity than 7 TB and I wish it would work with RAID/home NAS storage systems. This would be a great add on to a multiple bay hard drive system, or as stated above a multiple USB powered hub.
This device is rated at 5/5 stars. I would rate it higher if I could. Just so you are aware, the more files you have on your smart device, the longer this transfer process will take. I had a substantial amount of photos/videos on my phone and it took about 45 minutes to completely transfer.
Bonus: Included Ear bud Headphones.
These are a set of single flange ear buds. There is no listed left and right. This does not matter much but is uncommon to not have an L/R listed. These are stereo style earbuds, meaning there is the possibility of different sound output to each earbud. It is appreciated that they included the set of single flange ear buds, however I never can get them to fit my ears. I prefer tree style or triple flange as they tend to fit my ear canal much better. I like the lime color of the ear buds and the flat cable is unique as well. I was actually impressed with the sound output of these earbuds. Incredibly surprised actually. For a set of free/included earbuds they are far superior to the sound I expected to get from them. I listed to my usual repertoire for testing headphones “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Queen, Eagles “Hotel Calfornia,” Far and Away soundtrack and to “Why so Serious” Dark Knight Rises Joker Theme.” These speakers alone seem to be on par with the $20 dollar headsets that you can get at local retailers. The base was immensely better than I expected. I had to turn down the sound on my iPad as the sound was too loud. I have not had to do that in a while. I am not certain how they will hold up with time. However for a set of included free headsets the company has provided a quality product. I really am impressed with Lima and with their product. This could have detracted from their product overall. Yet they included a rather good set of earbuds.
BUY FROM AMAZON