Obsidian pricing / support options are a bit confusing

Obsidian pricing is confusing.

I was waiting for the mobile version to buy Sync. I’m very happy it’s out.

Here’s the thing

  1. None of Commercial, Catalyst, or Personal actually itemizes what comes with this support in terms of Publish or Sync. Nothing? Everything?

  2. I’m interested in Sync and here there is reference to lifetime earlybird pricing. What does this mean? The suggestion is that I could pay a larger amount upfront for lifetime use ??

The options presented are to buy a monthly or annual sub.

  1. Clicking on Sync brings me to a page which re-presents all of the options (including Commercial, Catalyst, Personal, and Publish) again but, again, with no details as to what’s included in other forms of support apart from Sync and Publish.

At its most extreme If I spent 1,000,000 supporting the Catalyst would Sync be included in this (!?)

When I click on Sync (again) I get the option to pay monthly or annually.

I know you guys are (brilliant) developers but now that mobile is launched you need to - er - clarify the retail offer…!

Catalyst doesn’t come with sync or publish, they’re separate.

Lifetime early bird pricing means a lock-in at that price, but doesn’t mean getting a lifetime account. It will just renew at that price.

Thank you!

With Obsidian Mobile being released to everybody, pricing questions are bound to come up and some additional clarity is warranted. Obsidian Desktop and Obsidian Mobile are FREE. The Catalyst license and Obsidian Unlimited are donation tiers to support the development of this FREE technology. You don’t get any extra features. The Catalyst license holder uses the same Obsidian those that contribute nothing have, except for receiving early insider builds of the app before they’re released to everyone else. And if you like, you may also claim snazzy forum and Discord badges identifying you as a sponsor of the technology, plus gain access to developer channels to stay in the know.

Obsidian Sync is a paid service enabling you to sync the desktop application with your mobile devices, all with end-to-end encryption. Unlike other services, Obsidian doesn’t monetize your data. It doesn’t even keep your data on its servers. All it does is look for file changes between your devices, ensuring that the file on your desktop is the same file on your phones and/or tablets and vice versa. You get up to five remote vaults and each of those may contain up to 4GB of data. That means you get a total of 20GB of data being synced between your desktop and mobile devices 24/7/365.

Obsidian Publish is also a paid service for those of you wishing to have your notes, or a portion of them, hosted in the cloud. Like Sync, your privacy is assured. You decide which notes are published, all from within the Obsidian app itself. If you want a custom domain, or SSH, set it up. Custom JavaScript, do it. Want to tell search engines like Google to stay out of your business, or password protect access to your website entirely, no problem. And with Cloudflare CDN built in, you can be sure whatever you share is delivered all around the world, reliably, securely, and with blazing fast speed.

Make no mistake though, I left out a bunch of other features built into Sync and Publish. There’s just too many to list here, and more are being developed. Still, you don’t need to use either of them. If you prefer another service, such as iCloud, use it. You’ll even find extensive details about how to set other services up in the Obsidian help files, forum or Discord. Obsidian will never lock you in to its paid services because it wants to earn your business by providing exceptional value and versatility with tools purposely built and optimized for Obsidian.

If you don’t need any of Obsidian’s add-on services, or can’t afford to sponsor development of the technology, that’s fine too. Personally, I purchased a Catalyst license at the Supporter tier for $50 because I couldn’t afford $100 at the VIP tier. Yet, I derive far greater value from Obsidian than what I’ve paid. But there are all sorts of ways to contribute to its development, like helping people on the forum or Discord, or simply by passing along word of Obsidian to a friend. Hopefully, I’ve been able to clarify some things while conveying my excitement and appreciation for these amazing products.


Obsidian sync does keep the data on their server, it’s not like syncthing.


Thank you, @koala. It was a poor choice of words, considering Sync’s version history feature. The phrase from Obsidian Sync “Even when using Obsidian Sync, your data is still primarily on your own hard disk” was in mind. I appreciate you providing this clarification to prevent confusion.

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Very clear. thanks.

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