WARNING: BeeCloud going out of business, download your data now or lose it forever

A few months back BeeCloud gave away free 512 GB of cloud storage to all new users of its service. Being a LiveDrive reseller, at the time I stated:

[...]LiveDrive is a large and popular cloud storage service, so it probably won’t go out business out of the blue. Longevity? Check, assuming LiveDrive doesn’t discontinue BeeCloud’s reseller account.[...]

As it turns out, I might have jinxed it. BeeCloud recently announced they are no longer a LiveDrive seller and all BeeCloud users have until March 13, 2012 to download the data they stored on BeeCloud. After that time any and all data will be erased from all BeeCloud accounts. (Technically they aren’t “going out of business” — they are going out of the cloud storage business.) Hear it from the hive yourself:

Dear customer,

It is with regret that we need to inform you that we have ended our relationship with Livedrive. We are no longer a Livedrive reseller and cannot support you further with your backup account.

What does this mean for you?

Your account will continue to work until March 13th 2012, giving you the opportunity to restore files to your pc if needed. As of March 13th 2012 you will no longer be able to backup or restore data and all the files that are backed up will be removed online.

You are advised to search for another backup solution if you still need one.

Regards,
BeeCloud.eu

Well then. So much for all that free GB. May I suggest Dropbox as your next choice of cloud storage? I use ‘em and love ‘em — just be sure to encrypt any sensitive data prior to uploading.

[Thanks Jon and Rachana!]

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24 comments

  1. John

    This is just another reason why people should not use a reseller to backup their data. To many chances that their data will either be compromised or one or more of the companies involved will go out of business.

  2. Anon

    LiveDrive changed their reseller policy to disallow giving away free accounts, which is why Beecloud is closing.

    LiveDrive had an unrealistic reseller plan and were probably losing tons of money on Beecloud, they finally had to come to their senses…

  3. RandomIguana

    I’m one of those that had been using BeeCloud, and I blogged about it going off….
    http://randomiguana.wordpress.com/2012/03/01/beecloud-buzzing-off-15/

    Basically if you’ve been using it for backup then this is an annoyance rather than a tragedy – if you’ve been using it for archiving, then it’s a potential disaster. I wouldn’t necessarily trust any cloud service for Archiving – you’re completely at the mercy of whichever company you go with, and unless they’re a seriously big player (which usually also means more costly) then you simply can’t guarantee things. Personally I’m considering going the external drive route, but then I know that I have a secure place where I work that I will be able to store it in to provide offsite backup. Even then it’s being disciplined enough to do the backup regularly. Where the various cloud services often score is by automating this process – most users don’t want to think “I need to do the monthly backup”, they want something they set and forget – and as BeeCloud, Backify and before long probably a few others show, offering hundreds of gig for nothing is not a sustainable model. Problem is, the same people that don’t want to do a regular backup are probably the same ones that won’t pay for the service….

  4. Brandon

    @ebony: Most quality backup providers use some form of data encryption, CrashPlan will allow you to choose your own encryption key, and they use 448 bit encryption, which is why I’ve chosen them, Steve Gibson did a pod cast (Security Now) about Jungle Disk, and gave it a glowing recommendation, I just can’t use them due their cost. With good encryption, it is mathematically infeasable for any one to read the data with out knowing the key. Itis also important to keep the key somewhere safe, because if you loose it, it is virtually impossible to recover your data. I like to keep my key secure in my lastpass account. Check out http://www.grc.com/securitynow.htm episodes #123 and #256, both give great explanations of encryption, and why it’s safe.

  5. rachana

    Dear Ashraf Sir
    As many of us 56% don’t no about cloud and the way it works.

    Pl.enlighten us all regarding cloud of course there are other sites with explanation,but we like to have one from you sir.

    Pl.take some time.

    rachana

  6. ebony

    @Brandon: You have a good point, however based on the some of the cloud services mentioned above, I do not see that cloud services is the answer.

    In my opinion, it is not worth it to pay money for something you do not get AND, my main question is, what happens to your data after they go out of business. Does someone else have access to it? Is it shredded?

    I still remain skeptical.

  7. Brandon

    @ebony: A good backup strategy involves both onsite and offsite backups. I use a raid 6 array for my data, Volume Shadow Copy on my Windows server, Mirror to a backup server with DFS, and an online backup provider. DFS is overkill for most people but you can easily setup a robocopy script to make regular backups to an external drive. It doesn’t matter how many copies of the data you have if they are all in the same place. A fire could wipe out all of your data in one go.

    This sucks because I paid for BeeCloud’s unlimited backup service, and now I have to eat the cost and get a new backup service. After Backify, and BeeCloud both got booted off of LiveDrive, I’m beginning to think that LD may be to blame. I’ve switched to CrashPlan, but now I have to wait another 3 months for everything to upload.

  8. Zapped Sparky

    I do the same as ebony, backed up on an external drive and mirrored on another. After all drives were cheap enough not too long ago, and the 2Gig with dropbox (for me) is plenty of space. The “cloud” can go where the sun doesn’t shine :)

  9. utea

    i use a-drive 50 gig free for pc no problems, also bought 4 2tb phantom drives from amazon for 99.00 each when on sale the black good ones still backuping to the first one no problems knock on wood

  10. Jim Van Damme

    My attitude is “tsy mela!” which is a Malagasy expression of scorn for stuff you “don’t need”. I don’t save movies I’ll never watch again, don’t buy music (radio stations play it for me), don’t have pr0n, don’t buy apps so I can just download the latest if need be. Clouds are nice except when the ‘net is down. Hard drives fail. I scan in anything flat and save it to a disk and give it to my daughter who runs a museum in Boston. If the house burns down or someone steals the computer I’m covered. For swapping things around temporarily, I use Dropbox or UbuntuOne (both are cross-platform) and for those photos and short videos there’s plenty of sharing sites. You’re not taking it with you when you die; do you need it now?

  11. ebony

    I have been trying to wrap my head around this “cloud” thing. I just don’t get it.

    Rather than relying on a possible unreliable service/server located who know where to hold your files, wouldn’t it be more expedient to just invest in a ?TB external.

    I have 2 externals and I periodically alternate my backups so that if one fails, I have the other. What are the odds that they both will fail at the same time?

    I have to admit, I have not truly mastered the “art” of backing up, but I was told that redundancy is for critical data. So the only critical files to me are photos that will serve as memories/history in the future.

  12. Frank

    …time to edit comment is gone :( Sorry, folks, for the 3rd post…

    “My” backup solution needs to backup and syncronize Win7, Win2k3 and Android.
    All that with encryption on my side!
    Crashplan promises to do so, I’ll have to check them out.
    Any other providers you know of?

    Thank you, Frank

  13. Frank

    @Leslie, TPU

    what I do with new providers (THANK YOU, TPU! I was looking TWO days for a secure, good cloud backup that gets encrypted on MY side!) I want to check out:
    Sign up, wait a week and then contact their support that you “lost your password”. You won’t notice when a company is lying and not serious. But if they have ‘official’ access to your files you will know, because they give you access to your files…

    BTW: one.com has a similar solution, they’re just scumbags in that they FORCE you to buy a domain (money thrown out for nothing!). But their cloud drive could be a good solution too…

    Frank

  14. Frank

    @Leslie:
    SO true!
    But since WinMo is gone your chances to protect your data are less and less.
    I put sincere effort in securing my Android from Google. It’s impossible w/o sacrifying comfort.

    On the other hand: What’s the use if every of your scumbag “friends” uploads /your/ complete address data (including any personal notes) to [whomever]?

    Frank

  15. Leslie

    Pun intended – People need to get their head out of the cloud. I am NOT a supporter of this type of service purely because you lose control of your data. Not only do I not trust providers like BeeCloud and yes CrashPlan, but I also do not trust Google and Microsoft.

    If you cannot store data for lets say 5 years with a guarantee of always being able to retrieve that data across that length of time, then that is not good enough. Just recently I had to retrieve data archived nine years ago – so far I have seen cloud storage providers come and go on an almost annual basis. So IMO cloud storage (which you do not host yourself) is only good for short term availability and so in that case 512Gb is overkill – 0.5 Gb is moer than sufficient.