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Interview with Fran Villalba Segarra, CEO of Internxt, the Cloud Storage Company That Takes Privacy Seriously

InternxtToday we’re excited to share an interview with Fran Villalba Segarra, founder and CEO of Internxt.  We recently shared their one month free trial with you.  If you’re looking for cloud storage from a company that is obsessed with your privacy, read on and give them a try!

Where in the world are you located?
Internxt is based in Valencia, Spain, but we have a bunch of great remote employees spread out all over Europe.

When did Internxt start?
Internxt officially got its start in 2020 though I had been working on the project for a few years before that.
It’s a crowded market, and you’re competing with some of the largest companies on Earth. What is the core reason why consumers should choose your service?

The reason users should choose our service is privacy. Internxt was built to respect users’ fundamental right to privacy. We do things a little different on the tech side, but ultimately implementing end-to-end encryption and other zero-knowledge technologies is a way to protect users’ data. You are the only one with access to your files stored with Internxt. Even we don’t have access to them.

So you say it’s “the most secure cloud,” can you defend that statement?
There are some big differences between us and other cloud alternatives. We encrypt client-side, but unlike some other encrypted services, we don’t store your decryption key. We’ve also aligned our mission, vision, and business model to disincentivize benefiting from user data. We succeed and make money only by creating a more private, secure, and efficient service and gaining more satisfied users.

When I look at your comparison chart, you show that the “big boys” do not encrypt storage at rest. Why don’t they do that?
The “big boys” don’t encrypt all user information because that would conflict with many of their business models. Big Tech needs access to data to gather more information about you, which they sell.

Internxt Fran

Fran Villalba Segarra Founder and CEO, Internxt

How easy is it for me to mount my Internxt Drive on, say, a Linux VPS and use it for backups?
No, you can’t currently mount Internxt. Unfortunately, we can’t yet be run via CLI. Our service only runs via our official web, desktop, and mobile apps. But now that you brought it up, that’s definitely something we’re now going to look into.

How many passwords have you harvested on your online password checker? Just kidding! But seriously, it’s 2022, and people are still using “password1.” Twenty years ago, people said that biometrics would take over and passwords would be gone. This hasn’t happened. What’s your perspective?
I think biometrics hasn’t taken over for the same reason users are flocking to our service. People don’t want their information scattered across the internet. Facial recognition and fingerprints feel very personal, and I don’t think many people want to fork over that information, even if it can be more secure or convenient.

We had a comment on the blog that your service is similar to STORJ. How would you compare yourself to that project?
STORJ is a very cool service with a lot of the same values as Internxt. The main difference is that STORJ is built for developers and, as such, is a bit more technical to use. Internxt is trying to break decentralized storage into the mainstream. We want all users to be comfortable and proficient with our cloud services. You shouldn’t have to have a degree in computer science or know how to code to enjoy decentralized storage’s security benefits.

That same comment mentioned node operators – was Internxt originally a decentralized project?
Internxt still uses the same technologies that made it decentralized in the beginning. But unlike in the very early days when we allowed anyone to become a node operator, we now only distribute encrypted data shards across professionally run node operators on actual data centers.

You recently announced a partnership with crypto.com. Can you tell us about that?
We’re working hard at Internxt to make Web3 a reality, and to do that, we need a token economy up and running to support future projects. We created our very own Internxt token (INXT), and we’re trying to bring more life and utility to it by partnering with crypto.com. We just wanted to boost our token’s exposure and put ourselves out there.

Do you see a lot of abuse on your one-month free trial?
Not a lot. But we’re not super worried about people finding loopholes. We want as many people to use our platform as possible, and we believe that the more you use our cloud storage, the more value you’ll find in the service. Yes, we’re a company that wants to make money to boost our growth, pay our bills, and support our employees, but we also really want people’s data to be safe and secure online. We’re happy if we can help people, even if they’re only using our full-featured free service.

So, where do you go from here? What’s your strategy? Do you feel a constant pressure to innovate, or is it more about ultra-reliability? You’re going to say “both” aren’t you? I knew you would…
More the second one: ultra-reliability. Right now, we’re focused on making our service the best it can be. Also, the original idea was innovative, but now we’re just trying to expand that idea into a larger ecosystem. We just released Photos, next is Send, and we’re hoping to add even more services that offer all the features as more extensive Big Tech services with all the privacy and security advantages Internxt is known for.

What’s it like to work for Internxt? What kind of people do you look for?
I think it’s great, but this would be a better question for our team members. We have a small but fantastic group of people working here at Internxt. We value proven experience and quality personalities. We have to decide to grow slowly, making sure we find exactly the right person for the job before hiring. Everyone at Internxt brings a lot to the table, and I’m incredibly grateful for the people that make Internxt go.

Anything else you’d like to share with the LowEnd community?
I just want to invite the members of the LowEnd community to try out our service and give us any feedback they have. We want to build a strong, robust, and well-vetted service. The more users with technical interest and expertise we get helping us to improve, the better service will become. We’re not afraid of criticism; we actually encourage it. It will take a lot of work to make Web3 and decentralized services the new normal, and we welcome everyone who wants to be part of the solution!

Be sure to check out Internxt’s one month free trial!


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