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Overview of Hive

There’s nothing new about a cloud storage service. They seem to be popping up all the time, all keen to gain their section of this growing market. There are the giants like Dropbox, Google Drive and Microsoft’s OneDrive all competing against each other for your attention, but there are also smaller companies cropping up who are trying to stand out from the crowd.

One such company is Hive. According to their front page, this is “the place to mix, share and play without limits”. There are two main intriguing aspects about Hive: the fact that it is a social cloud service and that it offers unlimited storage space.

Let’s tackle that last point first – the unlimited claim. There have been cloud services in the past that dish out endless capacity, only to realise as they grow that the offer isn’t sustainable. This is because storing data isn’t cheap. Not only do these services need to have the physical space and facilities to store this data, but it also costs them every time something is uploaded or downloaded to their services.

There’s a notice in Hive’s terms of service that if you use a “disproportionately high amount” of their resources then they can terminate your account. Of course, what is considered a high amount is entirely left up to their discretion.

That’s not to say that Hive is definitely going to go the same way, but it’s something to think about. Additionally, do you truly need unlimited storage? You might find that you’re better off with a different service that offers a smaller amount of capacity, but a better service for your needs.

Nevertheless, with those preliminary warnings out the way, let’s take a look at Hive itself. It wants to encourage social file sharing, even going as far as requiring that you upload a profile picture so that your friends can identify you. The focus is on uploading files that can then be shared with your family and friends.

There’s even a front page stream that will show the latest files uploaded by those you have connected with, allowing you to download the files too. Of course, you can mark your files as private and you have to actually invite people into your Hive before they can view your data.

You can provide a URL from online to upload that file to your Hive, or instead go the standard route of choosing something from your computer’s drive. You can upload multiple files at once, but not multiple folders – which means you’ll need to recreate folder paths from your computer if that’s your aim.

Hive is free, but you can pay to remove advertisements, stream in high quality and have uncapped download and streaming speeds. The cost of premium reduces depending on the amount of friends you have in you Hive, even going down to $0 if you have over 100 friends.

Unlike services like Dropbox, your files aren’t synced between devices. At the moment the service only exists in a web application, with support for Android and iOS coming in the future. Therefore, as it stands, Hive is a unique way to share your data with others, but if you’re looking for a more privacy-focussed, feature-rich service then you’re probably going to better served elsewhere.

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