Hive: Free Unlimited Cloud Storage?

Category: Cloud

I get suspicious when a website offers me “free unlimited” anything. So when I saw Hive's offer for free and unlimited cloud storage, I was both hopeful and skeptical. Read on to learn what I discovered about Hive...

Hive: What's All the Buzz About?

When I first encountered Hive Cloud Unlimited, it wasn't just the too-good-to-be-true offer, or the repeated urging to "Open the Web app" made me reach for the tin-foil hat. That “hive.im” domain seemed sketchy, too; who registers a website on the Isle of Man? Instead of swallowing the bait right away, I satisfied my curiosity with some Google Fu.

Hive seems to be legitimate, surprisingly. At least, it’s not a front for malware exploit kits. I have to thank the Bittorrent users’ news site, TorrentFreak, for its elucidation of Hive’s provenance and business model. Hive is a product of QVIVO, a Hong Kong-based firm backed financially by the SingTel Group, the largest Asian telecommunications corporation. QVIVO was founded in 2010 by former executives of game developer Electronic Arts. Its mission has always been to deliver music and video faster, across all devices, and for free.

Hive - Free Cloud Storage

“Hive” seems to be a brand name for QVIVO’s service that alludes to Bittorrent “swarms,” groups of peer-to-peer networking users who are sharing the same file. Bittorrent is used by Hive to add a social aspect to the QVIVO cloud storage service.

The Web app so insistently pushed by Hive allows a user to drag-and-drop media files that are uploaded to QVIVO’s servers, which are located in the privacy-protective nations of Germany and Switzerland. The Bittorrent protocol lets you invite people to share files with you in groups known as “hives.” All traffic is encrypted.

The Web app also facilitates organization of one’s files and any files shared by your “hive” into libraries, and streaming of music and video in the Web app’s player. You can start a video on a desktop PC, pause it, and pick up where you left off on a tablet or smartphone. At least you'll be able to do so when the Hive apps for iOS and Android mobile devices are ready. The Hive website doesn't give a timeline for those apps.

Hive specializes in music and video files, which allows optimization of files for fastest uploading, compact storage, rapid retrieval, and smooth playing. But you can also use it for documents, spreadsheets, photos, and other file types. You can upload to your Hive with drag & drop from your hard drive, import from Dropbox, or give it a web link and Hive will grab the file for you.

Explore other cloud storage options and learn about online backup in my related article Ten Free Cloud Backup Services

Limiting the Unlimited

You can invite friends (up to 300) to connect with you on Hive and share files. Note that friends can see ALL your files, except for those in the Transfer or Trash folders. But you can also click a folder and lock it, which makes it private. Hive does limit your uploads to 50GB per week, and has a maximum file size of 20GB.

QVIVO stores users’ files on cloud service providers Amazon S3 and Cloudfront. But all data that links a user to a cloud-stored file is kept on QVIVO’s servers in nations that are not NSA-friendly, to say the least. (Limiting the government's access to your files is a good thing, if you care about privacy.)

The “free unlimited cloud storage” bit is true; of course, some users want more than just a hard drive in the sky. Hive makes money by charging $9.99/month for their Premium service, which eliminates the ads, gives you faster download speeds, and lets you do HD streaming of your music and videos. Hive is currently in Beta mode, during which time the Premium features will be free. When the Beta period ends, you can work your way back to “really free” by recruiting 10 or more acquaintances to Hive.

QVIVO offers an API to Web developers who want to offer Hive-like customized services to their users. Hive is a demonstration of how that works, apparently. We’ll see if it really works or if Hive goes away as swiftly as a Bittorrent swarm.

Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...

 
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Most recent comments on "Hive: Free Unlimited Cloud Storage?"

Posted by:

Rhonda Lea Kirk Fries
23 Oct 2014

I'm not a fan of free, actually. For some apps and programs, it's unavoidable, but I'd rather spend money than deal with ads and tricks and privacy issues and limitations. So I pay for Dropbox (and I have additional storage with Skydrive because I pay for Office 365). I also have a bunch of free cloud accounts from when I was trying to decide which one to purchase, but I'll be closing them when I get a chance. Finally, I have an Amazon S3 account, and I can't figure out why I would need Hive to act as what seems to be an insecure front (all those friends with access, y'know--I'd be sorting files or locking folders forever) for an account I already have.

So no. Just no.


Posted by:

olamoree
23 Oct 2014

Amazon S3? Didn't NSA just sign a $600 million contract with Amazon? Will Isle of Man protect me from Bezos being in NSA's pocket? And like you showed us, it is worthwhile to look into the source before jumping in. The alure of "Free" makes the NSA job easier, I guess... now much?


Posted by:

MmeMoxie
23 Oct 2014

I worry that, Hive could possibly become the Napster of yesterday!

I think that, is a fair assessment. Somehow, someway ... The money greedy record companies, will find out about Hive, investigate it and go to court to "halt all activities", until royalties are paid. Right now, Hive seem to be safe and probably, a very welcoming Cloud, with free space that is unbelieveable!!! I just don't want to be the "one", who is taken to court, to prove their point and "lose" all of my media files, including photos.

Actually, I know that, I wouldn't "lose" all of my media files, including my photos ... I am simply, afraid of possibly having to go through all the trouble, like many did with Napster.

I will admit, Hive does have a LOT more space, for you and it is all FREE!!! While, my Dropbox is limited, even though it is FREE, for now, because I have an active, paid account with Avast!. I don't think, when Avast! comes due, and I decide not to renew, that Dropbox will be FREE. I don't have to worry about that, since my Avast! is good until Aug 2016.

Right now, I am not using Dropbox, either. I have a Seagate 3TB External Hard Drive, for my back up and I only have a Western Digital 1TB Hard Drive, in my computer. I think, I have enough space, for now.


Posted by:

RandiO
23 Oct 2014

This is most interesting! Thank you!
"bittorrent swarm may have gone away swiftly" but
BitTorrent sync is available as beta and free for the downloading.
Sync anything. No cloud. No limits.
Sync uses BitTorrent technology to sync files directly between devices. This means there are no accounts, no file size limits, and transfer speeds are never throttled. Sync anything and everything you have. Pasted from >> http://www.bittorrent.com/sync
Further details can be viewed here >> http://www.pcworld.com/article/2837178/bittorrent-sync-file-transfer-speeds-blow-away-dropbox-google-and-onedrive-bt-says.html


Posted by:

Jacqueline
13 Apr 2016

http://blog.hive.im/post/129120990154/hive-shutdown-notice


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