Thursday, May 21, 2015

Torrent Cloud Services (UploadHero Requiem)

In a previous article entitled, "Torrents: The Smart Way to NOT Get Caught. Or, Why You Shouldn't Use a VPN Anymore.", I explained what would be a great way to not only have unlimited storage but download torrents without having to use your IP address. Unfortunately, the service in question has since disappeared. I apologize to those who did use it beforehand, which I assume was not many if at all, but I do have several alternatives to choose from.



Update
I wanted to post a quick update to the former post that is a jumping point for this article. A couple weeks ago I noticed a maintenance sign popping up instead of UploadHero's normal self-promoting layout. It stated there was "maintenance" being done, and sorry for any inconvenience.

Thinking nothing of it, I checked again a few days later. I continued checking for about two weeks before a 502 error page began to show in place of the "maintenance" page. Using Google, nothing really came up in terms of the website or its services. That was to be expected since most of my results are filtered for English and the US region.

I decided to use Google France and give UploadHero a search. The first site was not so much about UploadHero but about a service that was hosting a forum through them. While explaining its own predicament it did give valuable information on UploadHero's status. 

Evidently, someone from UploadHero's staff mentioned they would be closing down a few weeks back. They then described the messages that I have been getting, and that it is now down for good. There was no mention of why they had to go, but it seems fairly obvious...

No email notification was ever sent regarding why UploadHero closed or why they pretended maintenance was being done.

Apologies
For those that did join UploadHero, I hope it was not for the lifetime membership like myself. I got my money's worth, so I'm not overly upset, but anyone else who purchased a lifetime membership after my article may not have.

Alternatives
I didn't want to leave any readers out of options if they were planning on using a service like UploadHero. The focal point of my previous article was to show you a better way to do torrents. UploadHero offered unlimited storage and had other capabilities, which I had thought would be the best service since you could get a lot more for less...

As such, I wanted to produce a quick list of some of the other torrent cloud services that are available and explain a bit about each.

Explanation
Torrent cloud services allow people to avoid the "hassle" of setting up a torrent client and downloading the files they find themselves. This seems like a great alternative, save the fact that most are not free. Most offer subscription-based payments.

One downside that should be mentioned is that they likely have no anonymity clauses in the sense that if the government wants to know who's downloading what, they are going to give it to them. Some preach anonymity, but don't make mention of any log files being kept or what they do if the government comes knocking. In the big picture against piracy this is probably a good thing, but sometimes it won't be. 

Boxopus
This is a torrent cloud service that seemed to have a big impact on the torrent community probably because you could attach your Dropbox account and have files downloaded to it. Unfortunately, Dropbox decided to disallow this feature and has revoked Boxopus' API.

Boxopus offers 30GB of storage space. You can pay $1.49 for 7 days, $14.49 for 3 months, and $49.99 for a year. They boast unlimited download speed and file amounts in addition to SSL encryption.

They do offer a traffic recharge feature which apparently increases your storage back to 30GB even if you have files downloaded. The file life before automatic deletion is 5 days.

Bitport.io
Is a little different in that it also allows you to stream media without having to download. Sounds a bit risky on their part, but a cool feature nonetheless.

Bitport.io offers a free "trial" (no mention of if there is an actual time limit) that comes with 2GB of cloud storage, no SSL or antivirus scans, only one download at-a-time at 100MB/hr., with their streaming feature for mobile devices and PC's. All the other paid offers have SSL and antivirus scans, unlimited download speeds, as well as the streaming feature. The tiers are $5/mo. for 30GB of storage with up to 5 downloads, $10/mo. for 100GB of storage with up to 10 downloads, and $15/mo. for 250GB of storage with up to 20 downloads.

They too have SSL encryption with the added bonus of anitvirus software that will check your torrents to ensure they are clean. This is likely a good idea for the company as it will probably claim illegal software has trojans since many of the hacks packaged are seen as such (despite not being so).

Hive
Another popular torrent cloud service is Hive. They seem to offer a bit more bang-for-your-buck! It is pitched as a way to share files with friends, not that it sounds believable.

Hive offers a completely free plan with unlimited storage, unlimited SD media streaming on all devices, but with limited download speeds, no ability to download media, and the inclusion of advertisements. The premium plan is $8/mo. for HD streaming, "fast" download speeds, offline media syncing, and no ads. The annual plan is $88/mo. which saves you a month off the regular price and gives you 3 one-year coupons to give to friends or family.

They have apps for both iOS and Android devices, and even have a Chrome browser extension available. There is no mention of any type of encryption used...

Put.io
I like the company's website as they try to modernize itself for a younger audience. They are also fairly direct about how Put.io can be used with their preview slide of some shows being downloaded. That alone gives them some credit in my book for honesty.

Put.io offers a 99¢ 1-day trial that includes their first tier of options available. Unlike most torrent cloud services, they offer four different options with no mention of download speeds. Option A is 100GB of storage with 10 slots of simultaneous downloads at $9.99/mo. ($99/yr.). Option B is 500GB of storage with 20 slots of downloads at $19.99/mo. ($199/yr.). Option C is 1TB of storage with 50 slots of downloads at $29.990/mo. ($299/yr.). And option D is 2TB of storage with 100 slots of downloads at $49.99/mo. ($499/yr.).

What's interesting is they mention their seed ratios, which goes from 2.0 for option A to 20.0 for all other options. The file life is also mentioned, which is 2 days for options A to 10 days for all other options. One other aspect I liked is that unlike any of the other sites, they immediately ask if you want automated renewal on or off.

Filestream.me
This site is used by many because of its free capabilities. It is limited in download speed, and promotes itself as though it is focused on uploading your own files as opposed to being used solely for torrents.

Filestream.me offers their free service with only 1 download at-a-time of up to 1GB in size, with advertisements. The bronze service is up to 5 downloads of up to 10GB in size for $5/mo. The silver service is up to 7 downloads of up to 25GB in size for $7/mo. The gold service is up to 10 downloads of up to 100GB in size for $10/mo. Each paid service has discounts for 3 months (10%), 6 months (15%), and 12 months (20%).

They have a lot of interesting features like the ability to download from certain cloud file hosting services (ranging from none for free accounts to several for the gold service). They offer SSL encryption and acknowledge hiding your IP address. 

Other Alternatives?
There are still a lot out there worth looking through to see what they offer. Here is a list from AlternativeTo and here is one from Quora.

Thoughts?
There are some really good deals here, and some worth looking into and trying. There's no best as far as I can see since it depends on what you need which can vary from person-to-person.

Will this protect you if you're infringing on copyrighted material? Doubtful. It seems like a lot of these are setup in first-world countries, where they can likely grab logs and IP addresses to target you specifically. You may have a better chance with a foreign company, it should be a bit harder for the long arms of the law to catch you, but not impossible.

I wanted to include FilesLoop.com in the list as they have a lot of popular cloud files services to download from as a great additional feature, but after trying their 1-download trial, my experience made me think twice. I found a file from RapidGator.net and had FilesLoop.com download it for me. It took a minute but a download then popped up for me through my download manager. It lasted all of 1% before losing connection and being unable to restart, wasting my trial.

DL Safely!
These are some of the most common torrent cloud services at the moment. I'm sure more will come soon and that should weed out the best from the wannabees. I think it's a very innovative idea and has great advantages, as long as you're using it properly.

4 comments:

  1. Hello,
    I have noticed that your filesloop.com experience wasn't very good. We are very sorry to hear that and we would like to make it up for you. We pride ourselves on perfect customer service and we assist all the customers that contact us with any problems. Could you please send us what files was the one that did not work correctly? We would also like to give you a premium account for a day so you will get the real Filesloop.com experience. If you are interested please contact us on http://www.filesloop.com/contact/
    Thanks, Filesloop.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Bitport.io seems buggy. Constantly complains about broken torrents.

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