We’ve covered many file-transfer services previously, but we recently stumbled upon Black Hole, a relatively new service uses the blockchain-based Blockstack network for user logins, file storage, and delivery. (Best of all: It’s free.)
All files uploaded to Black Hole are encrypted first, and the data is then split and shared among other Blockstack users. This means your files and personal data are kept entirely private, even from Black Hole. Only your public username is accessible to other users.
Just as with pretty much any other file transfer service, Black Hole still has size limitation for uploads. The current free version limits your uploads to 512MB, but an upcoming Plus version will increase that limit to 8GB.
Those are on the slightly lower end compared to other services — for instance, Dropbox Transfer starts at 2GB file for free accounts, and many other services allow up to 10GB files or larger.
That said, Black Hole’s reliance on blockchain means all users have unlimited total storage; download links never expire; and uploaded files can be downloaded by anyone with the link to the file, from any browser, even if they don’t have a Black Hole or Blockstack account. (You’ll still need to sign up if you wish to upload or send files, though). You’d be hard-pressed to find another service that offers all of those features (or any of them) for free.
Black Hole has both a web client and windows app. Both versions have all of the above features, but the Windows app has a few unique benefits like transfer history, the ability to delete and disable links, and password-protected files.
If you’re interested in giving Black Hole a try, here’s how to sign up and upload files.
Go to Blackhole.run
Sign in/create a Blockstack account.
Select either web or windows client.
Click to upload a file, then select the file you wish to transfer from the browser. You can also drag and drop a file from your desktop to the upload window, while those using the Windows app can also click to highlight a file and press “CTRL + B” to upload it.
Wait for the upload to complete. (This can take a while depending on the size of your file and the strength of your internet connection.)
Once complete, you’re given a private download link. Only people with the link can download the file but the link doesn’t expire so there are no restrictions on the number of times it can be downloaded. Don’t forget that you can remove a previously uploaded file from the Black Hole Windows app.