Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How much bandwidth will my MonsterDrive use?
    That depends on how many changes or additions you make to your files between snapshots and the type of data files you store.
    MonsterDrive works hard to help by compressing your data on the fly so you can save on bandwidth and remote storage space. Some file types compress better than others eg. most popular photo, music and video file formats compress very little but compressing documents, source code, Photoshop files etc. will result in better compression ratios.
  2. Can anyone else access the data in my MonsterDrive?
    No. MonsterDrive utilises banking and industry standard AES 256 bit encryption keyed by a passphrase of your choice and SSL to protect your data. In addition, your passphrase is never stored.
    This means that before your data even hits the network or the local and remote stores, it is safe from prying eyes.
    In fact, it's so safe that if you happen to lose your passphrase, you can safely assume that your data is unrecoverable.
    No-one - not even iostack - can reasonably expect to brute-force your passphrase and decrypt your data in a useful timeframe.
  3. How will I be charged for the use of MonsterDrive?
    MonsterDrive uses Amazon Payments to charge you monthly for storage and other charges associated with transporting your data to and from Amazon's S3 storage centers.
    Full details of pricing can be found on our Pricing page.
  4. Where is the data in my MonsterDrive stored?
    MonsterDrive utilises Amazon's S3 storage service (S3) as a backend cloud store.
    Amazon S3 stores redundant copies of your data in multiple separate locations in such a way that if one or more copies of your data are lost, it can still retrieve and repair a full copy of your data.
    In practice, this means that data stored in your MonsterDrive is many times safer compared with data stored on the hard drive in your computer.
  5. Does MonsterDrive work on Mac's?
    Not yet! We intend to support Mac as well as Linux, Android and iPhone platforms soon.
  6. Can I share the files in my MonsterDrive?
    Yes. Although file sharing is not a primary feature, you can easily and securely invite others to view your MonsterDrive and its historical snapshots without disclosing your MonsterDrive credentials.
  7. Can I still access the contents of my MonsterDrive if I no longer have the PC I originally created my MonsterDrive on?
    Yes. Reinstall MonsterDrive on another PC, enter your credentials and your data is there waiting for you.
    With one simple step, you can 'promote' your observer view back to the publisher role and you're back in business - the whole process only takes a few minutes.
  8. Will I experience slow access times to my data if it's all located in the cloud?
    In the normal course of events, no.
    MonsterDrive accelerates access to your most frequently and recently accessed data by maintaining an intelligent local data store called a 'cache'.
    The cache keeps a copy of the data you access most often and most recently in your local store so that it does not have to be retrieved from the remote store. In this way, your MonsterDrive gives you fast access to the data you are most likely to use.
  9. How big can my MonsterDrive be?
    The maximum MonsterDrive size is determined by the largest volume size that Windows NTFS filesystem supports: just under 256 Tb - a quarter of a Petabyte.
    By default, the Configuration Wizard will create a 64 Tb MonsterDrive volume for you but you can use the Advanced option in the Configuration Wizard to override this and create larger or smaller MonsterDrive's.
  10. Doesn't a drive that big use a huge amount of bandwidth and remote storage space?
    No. MonsterDrive works hard to minimize the overhead associated with storing your data.
    As a result, an empty 256 Tb MonsterDrive uses approximately 150 Kb of bandwidth and storage space. Furthermore, each snapshot incurs approximately 30 Kb of bandwidth and storage on top of the actual data changes detected in that snapshot.
  11. I only have 1Gb (or 500 Mb/20Gb) of free space on my PC - will this restrict the size of my MonsterDrive?
    No. You can create very large MonsterDrive volumes even if you only have small amounts of free local disk space. This is useful for allowing you access to much more data than you could otherwise store on storage constrained devices like tablets, aging laptops etc.
  12. I am frequently disconnected from the internet - can I still use my MonsterDrive?
    Yes - you can configure your MonsterDrive to keep a full copy of all data in the local store. When you want to access your data, your MonsterDrive will first look for it in the local store and will be able retrieve it from there with no network access required.
  13. Can I control how much data my MonsterDrive will keep in the local cache?
    Yes - you can configure your MonsterDrive to a) use a specific cache capacity or b) to not discard any data at all. The latter option is useful if you anticipate being disconnected from the internet yet still require access to the data in your MonsterDrive.
  14. I want to store 150 Gb (or 5/10/20 Tb) of files in my MonsterDrive but my monthly bandwidth cap is only 10 Gb. How do I prevent MonsterDrive from exceeding my bandwidth cap?
    You can set a daily upload limit that reflects your monthly bandwidth cap. When that daily limit is reached, Monsterdrive will pause uploading until the next day. Using this mechanism, you can add large amounts of data to your MonsterDrive and it will meter data uploading according to the limit you set.
  15. I have a broadband plan that gives me cheap/free bandwidth transfer windows in the middle of the night - can I configure MonsterDrive to make use of them?
    Yes - you can configure your MonsterDrive to only upload data to the Amazon S3 servers within a certain daily time window. You can also use it in conjunction with the daily upload limit (see above).
  16. I live in San Francisco (or Tokyo, London etc). Can I choose which Amazon S3 data center to store my data?
    Yes - to improve data transfer speeds and latency, you can configure MonsterDrive to use the closest of any of the current S3 data centers when you create your MonsterDrive by using the Advanced option in the Configuration Wizard.
  17. Can I use NTFS encryption on my files as well as relying on the built in encryption in MonsterDrive?
    Yes - although if you do wish to 'double' encrypt a significant amount of data, you should consider compressing your files into a zip file or similar first. Otherwise MonsterDrive will be left with the invariably hopeless task of attempting to compress encrypted data.
  18. There's been a lot of talk about cloud file sharing services and questionable data privacy lately - will MonsterDrive be able to keep my files private?
    MonsterDrive uses proven industry and banking strength AES 256 bit encryption to protect your data at rest. It encrypts your data again using SSL to ensure it is kept private in transit. Your passphrase is never stored - so unlike some cloud file sharing services, this means that no-one except you has access to the contents of your MonsterDrive.
    In addition, the privacy flaw in cloud file sharing services does not exist in MonsterDrive because it is not primarily a file sharing service ie. it does not need to decrypt your data to make it available for others to view.
    Similarly, because MonsterDrive does not perform deduplication on your data it does not need to decrypt the contents of your files to know if they have already been stored by someone else.
  19. Can I have more than one MonsterDrive?
    Although you can only have one MonsterDrive open on a PC at any one time, you are free to create as many different MonsterDrive's as you require.
    To use other MonsterDrive's, close the current MonsterDrive then open another using the Configuration Wizard.