2011 was a great year to get your feedback. Every week we put out the call for applications, gadgets, products, or services in a given category, and every week we challenge you to vote for the best in each category. Here are the most popular Hive Fives of 2011.
In case you've forgotten, the Hive Five is based on reader nominations and votes. Every week we put out the "call for contenders", where we ask you what you think is best in a category. Then over the weekend, we look at the top five, and then crown the winner shortly after. Sometimes the winner is just the most popular and not the best, and other times the dark horse comes through. In every case, taking the pulse of the community has yielded great results.
If you have a need to encrypt and secure your internet connection -- whether you're using an unsecured public Wi-Fi connection or are worried about an authoritarian government snooping your data -- a VPN service is just what the doctor ordered. More »
Whether you're headed back to school or you just want a better way to keep your notes, memos and other tidbits of information organised, you have a number of applications to choose from. More »
Your desktop is your virtual home, and much like you're real home, customising it to fit your needs and style can make the difference between between a drab and depressing workspace and one you're excited to work on. More »
PDF is the de facto standard for electronic document sharing or distribution. There are many PDF utilities to choose from when you want to create, edit and view PDF documents, but here's a look at five of the best tools for working with PDFs. More »
You share and access some of your most sensitive data through your web browser, so it doesn't hurt to add a little extra security to your browsing session. More »
We're big fans of BitTorrent. It's the fastest way to download files quickly without lining up for an HTTP download or opening an FTP client and it's a great way to host large files without having to provide all of the bandwidth on your own. More »
There are plenty of apps and services that just let you add your favourite blogs and keep up with their feeds, but what about apps that help you discover new and interesting news, things you wouldn't have found on your own? More »
Working with the same files in multiple places used to be a hassle. You'd have to make sure to bring the file with you, email it to yourself, or save it in a place you could get to it later. More »
There are a number of applications that will make sure you're on time for your appointments and never forget your best friend's birthday, but they're not all created equal. More »
The dreaded moment has come and you can't download a movie you want to watch, or install some games you want to play because your hard drive is full. More »
A portable and internet-connected device with a touch screen, especially a sizable one like the iPad, makes for a pretty slick platform for reading news. More »
Whether you're using them for business or pleasure, school or vacation, a good ereader can help you take your favourite books, classic lit, or new releases anywhere you go. More »
Thanks to video chat, staying in touch with friends, loved ones and colleagues anywhere in the world has never been easier. Here's a look at five of the most popular applications that allow you to get a little face-time with your boss while you work from home. More »
Love it or hate it, Facebook has been rolling out a number of new features and changes that have some excited and others irritated enough to complain, loudly. More »
Whether you're editing home movies to send to family and friends, or you're planning your web video takeover Of YouTube, it's important to have the right tools to edit your videos before you put them where the world can see. More »
There you have it -- 2011 has been a great year for the Hive, and a great year to get your feedback on just about everything, from iOS newsreaders to personal finance tools to note taking apps and everything in-between. With luck, 2012 will be an even better year for the Hive Five, so whether there are topics you'd like in a Hive Five or your favourite Hive Five of the year didn't make the list, let's hear it in the comments below.