The information revealed by Edward Snowden made us aware of the extent of the surveillance carried out by the NSA. Companies based in the United States are more likely to be targeted by the NSA, meaning that the government agency can get data from cloud service providers like Dropbox and OneDrive. This has caused concern among privacy conscious users who want to ensure that their data remains protected. As a result, many people have looked for alternatives that are away from the influence of the NSA. One of the options available in Europe is hubiC, a French provider that offers a generous free plan and a convenient solution to store your data safely. Since France has strong laws regarding data privacy, hubiC can be a good choice for those who are worried about the NSA’s spying programs.
Apart from being a good solution for users who prefer a cloud service located outside the US, hubiC stands out for offering up to 25GB of free storage. This is considerably more than what most providers give you when you opt for the free plan. You will also notice that hubiC offers a simple interface that covers essential tasks like uploading, downloading, moving files, creating folders and sharing links. Although advanced options like media streaming or photo slideshows are not supported, the web interface is easy t use and gives you fast access to the features that you need. The desktop software is compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux and when you install it, a file folder is set up on your computer and it will download and upload cloud files, and sync changes in that folder.
Through the initial configuration or the software settings, it is possible to select the folders in hubiC that you want to sync. The software also features a Create Backup option that allows you to backup any folder in your computer to your hubiC drive. You can backup to NAS devices and the backups can be configured to be completed automatically, not updated at any stage, or you can choose to keep multiple backup versions. The software is designed to give you more flexibility to manage the syncing capability and there is a wide variety of settings that can be adjusted. You can force a sync delay, add proxies, set bandwidth restrictions and more.
There are mobile apps available for popular platforms like Android and iOS, as well as Windows Phone and Blackberry. The apps created by hubiC offer solid design and all the features that you can find on the web version. It is possible to upload and download files, share files via links and see the list of data that you have. With hubiC, you can enable an option to automatically upload photos captured with your smartphone. This will ensure that your pictures are backed up and available when you need them. Android and iOS users also get the “Create a backup” feature that is available on the desktop software. When you use this option, you can easily back up not only your photos, but also your contacts, calendars, videos and music.
Once you drag and drop data into the hubiC folder, you can get access to your files from your mobile devices, or using the web client. The changes that you make to a file on your computer will be reflected across all your devices, since the service updates them automatically. As previously mentioned, it is possible to create backups of data on your computer (or on your smartphone or tablet, using the mobile apps) and you don’t need to synchronize them.
There are no limits in terms of the file types or the size of the files that can be uploaded. With hubiC, you can backup your videos, photos, music, spreadsheets and other data. Creating, moving or deleting folders is simple and you can easily manage your cloud storage platform. Files can be shared through links that can be shared via Facebook, Twitter, email and other options. Once you click on Get the link, you will be able to generate links to share data with friends and family. Recipients can open the link using any web browser and it is possible to set an expiry date for these links.
In terms of performance, since all the data centers are located in France, users who are far way from this country, may experience some delays, specially when it comes to downloading data. In general, uploads work well and customers who are located in France or other European countries are not likely to experience slow speed when uploading or downloading files.
Although hubiC doesn’t provide specific details about the encryption used to protect data, they state that only customers can get access to their files, using their password and login details. SSL encryption is used during transfer of data, but there is no information available regarding the security applied on the server side. Data is stored redundantly in three highly secured data centers that are fenced and monitored 24/7.
As previously mentioned, the free plan gives you up to 25GB of storage. You can upload any type of files and share them with friends and family through links. If you need additional space, you can upgrade to get 100 GB for €1 per month (about $1.06 USD at the moment), or just €10 EUR ($10.62 at the time of writing) for a full year. You can also opt for the 10 TB plan, which costs €5 per month ($5.31 USD) or €50 per year, which is just above €53 USD at the moment. These prices make hubiC one of the most affordable options available on the market.
If you prefer not to rely on a US-based cloud storage service to protect your data, hubiC could be the answer. Although it doesn’t offer advanced collaboration features and it is fairly simple, it is very affordable and easy to use. The performance may not be exactly fast, specially if you are located outside of Europe, but the low price and simplicity of hubiC may be just what many users are looking for.