My experiences with the HubiC backup service

1. juli 2015

This review sums up my two first months of using the cloud service HubiC, which is a very reasonable priced backup and file sharing service backed by the French company OVH. I started using this instead of the Norwegian JottaCloud backup service as they never managed to create a linux client, and I was tired of waiting.

TL;DR for those who cannot wait, here are my main points:

  • Great pricing
  • Data is hosted in France.
  • A nice web page in many languages, along with a nice localized web app for your account.
  • Good Linux client, if you manage to set it up
  • Poor documentation
  • Poor support.
  • Payment is problematic.
  • All info by email is in French.
  • Not so great uptime/stability of the web servers

Pricing

5€/month for 10TB. This is great, and compares favorably with most other services.

Technical quality

The web site is nice, although I had a really hard time getting my phone number to validate and ended up having to examine the javascript code to find out what was wrong … Still unsure whether they actually did anything about this … But once you have managed to sign up everything is good. The client programs for Mac and Linux are also good, but you will struggle to set up the linux client as there is NO documentation (per May 2015).

Hosting

Data is hosted in France, not the US. So goodbye NSA, and hello BRGE. This is great. The uptime has not been so great. My logs from May and June contains lots of server errors. At one time nothing was uploaded for a couple of days. But this is for the private market, so this is tolerable. Especially at that price 😀

Poor documentation

Customers have implicitly documented stuff on the forums, but that does not count. You need to read the man page after installing the linux client, google for tips on setup (possibly using my init script), and basically wander around in the dark until you get it working. And it’s very hard to debug the init scripts on Ubuntu as it is, so some help pages would have been sorely needed, as hubic does not report to the system logs.

Poor support

No phone, no email, no case tracking. You need to post messages in the forum page, and request personal help by sending private messages to the team there. Support takes forever to answer you.

HubiC is French, so of course they have some problems communicating with the outside world due to severe problems understanding Anglo-Saxon humor, and this really shows in the forums and in the support replies 🙂 But they are generally nice people it seems. Due to the slow response and awkward communication, I have a feeling that the programmers themselves are involved in the support requests … At least that could explain some things, as I am sure they have tons of bugs and features to implement and these annoying customers are keeping them from doing so 😉

No feature request or open issue tracker

I have so far found several bugs, documented and reported them. What happens later on I don’t know. An issue tracker would be nice.

Lots of unlocalized bits

Most emails are in French, which is especially problematic if you have payment problems, as you will only find out once stuff stops working.

Conclusion

I really like hubiC, actually. They seem to build a very solid platform at a very competitive price, and although there are some kinks here and there, it generally works very well. They do have problems communicating this to the outside world, but the French have never been known to take a lot of room on the global entrepreneurial field, so I guess this just comes down to lack of experience. Still, human communication is where they need to improve the most! At the moment, hubiC reminds me of communicating with a government bureau by mail. No personality is shown anywhere. What about having a little blog, like labs.hubic.com? Just a sneak peek into the everyday life, and what is going on? This is great for building a community. Hoping for the best, hubiC!

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