MASV accelerated file transfer service review

Colossal sharing at a massive price

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Image Credit: MASV

Our Verdict

A cloud storage system for large temporary files that charges by the download volume. The sender and receiver only need a browser to use, but the party who pays the bill might need deep pockets.

For

  • No monthly fee
  • Browser-based
  • Branded portals

Against

  • High cost per GB
  • No upload resume

MASV is a completely different type of cloud storage from those we normally cover here.

Instead of the usual all-you-can-eat data buffet, MASV provides a controlled mechanism to distribute large files where all you can guarantee is that the recipients have is a browser.

Not just a cloud storage provider, but more akin to an "accelerated file transfer service". Focused primarily on the media industry, could MASV be useful for your sector? 

Pricing

MASV has a remarkably simple pricing model, $0.25 per GB download, which equates to $250 if you have a 1TB file to distribute to one other party. There is no monthly fee as this is exclusively a pay-as-you-go solution.

Depending on how the customer uses MASV it could be reasonably cost-effective, or the most expensive cloud storage facility imaginable.

MASV have a 3-day 100GB download trial version that you can find here.

MASV's user interface is clean, simple and easy to understand (Image Credit: MASV)

MASV's user interface is clean, simple and easy to understand (Image Credit: MASV)

(Image: © Image Credit: MASV)

Features

Cloud storage businesses are often built around the concept of charging their customers purely for the amount of space available, with a few also charging for traffic to and from the facility.

MASV turns that notion on its head, by there being no limits to how much space you can use, and no monthly fee to use it.

No software tools are provided to download and use MASV on a computer or mobile device, as it is a web-based solution that requires only a browser to operate.

But where this also diverges from the common tropes of cloud storage is that you can customise the sharing interface that your customers will encounter when you send them a link, giving the impression that they’re using a branded facility, and not any old cloud storage system.

Keeping track of which files were sent where (and when) is one of MASV's biggest strengths (Image Credit: MASV)

Keeping track of which files were sent where (and when) is one of MASV's biggest strengths (Image Credit: MASV)

(Image: © Image Credit: MASV)

These branded portals can each have their own branding if required, and you can monitor access to them easily using the administrative web interface.

Given that you are charged based on downloads, being able to see this activity is critical.

The other function of portals is where you provide a portal as a service to a customer who sends you files, allowing them to upload at no cost. Putting the expense of downloading on the bill payer, and not the uploaded.

For those that are running a business where they’ll be billing their customers for all the business related data traffic, it could work well, assuming they don’t think they’re being billed excessively.

In whatever way you choose to use it, a file can be downloaded by a maximum of 30 invited recipients at a time, and the contents of a portal can be password protected and time-limited.

All files sent to a portal expire automatically after ten days; the MASV method of enforced housekeeping.

Links to packages are secured with password protection (Image Credit: MASV)

Links to packages are secured with password protection (Image Credit: MASV)

(Image: © Image Credit: MASV)

Security

We’ve already mentioned that files can be password protected, but files transferred to the system are encrypted both in the transfer and at rest.

If you want to understand how secure they are in the service, then research Amazon Web Services, as that’s the back-end technology that MASV runs.

How secure it is on the server, this is could all be undermined if you fail to password control contents. Because without this control an email with the link to download the file could easily be forwarded to many other people, and you’d be billed for each one that then decided to download the file subsequently.

We’re all for personal responsibility here, but it is easy that without some understanding and oversight, a very large bill on the MASV account could be accrued by one or more errant individuals not following the rules.

Recipients can easily receive a link to any packages shared with them via email (Image Credit: MASV)

Recipients can easily receive a link to any packages shared with them via email (Image Credit: MASV)

(Image: © Image Credit: MASV)

Performance

How fast this works in both sending and receiving is entirely dependent on the broadband connection used in each respect.

Therefore, MASV could be the quickest cloud storage in the world, but you wouldn’t experience that connecting with a mobile phone over an intermittent 2G data service.

MASV does have 166 servers in 65 cities worldwide, covering 29 countries.

Those locations are mostly in the US and Europe, a small cluster in South America, Australia and South Africa. At the time of writing, they don’t have facilities in Russia, and only limited Asian countries.

There is one performance aspect that we need to mention, and it is to do with the resume functionality that all downloads have. For whatever reason MASV doesn’t support resume on the upload side of the process.

Should the uploading computer go to sleep or be reset for some reason the upload will fail, and you’ll be forced to start over.

Just drag and drop your files into MASV to share them with others (Image Credit: MASV)

Just drag and drop your files into MASV to share them with others (Image Credit: MASV)

(Image: © Image Credit: MASV)

Final verdict

There’s more than a degree of head-scratching about this service amongst our reviewers because most businesses and even individuals these days have one or more cloud storage facilities that they can call on to move a large file to a customer or partner.

Which begs the obvious question, what does this one offer that others don’t?

Putting aside the branding aspect, the answer is very little unless you have huge files to distribute and that will cost plenty with MASV. In its defense, the ability to resume downloads elegantly is important for large files and could make the sending of them more practical.

However, given the relatively low cost of portable storage, and the time it would take most broadband users to transfer a TB or more of data up and down, it could easily be faster and cheaper to put the data on a drive and send it using a global parcel delivery service. If the files are smaller than 50GB, they could be burned to a Blu-ray and inexpensively mailed on a next day service.

Or, you could buy a NAS box and create you’re own connected storage where they can download every day, week or month at no extra cost beyond the investment in hardware that they might already own. You can get 1TB of cloud storage for very little each month from many providers who don’t put restrictions on file size.

There are numerous ways that this problem can be solved, and MASV represents a slightly unimaginative one where you merely throw money at it.