Penetration of Broadband internet is increasing with time and sharing of large-sized files isn’t much of a task now-a-days.
E-mail services can be exploited for sending files up to 20 MBs but for sharing of large files, such as one of 500 MBs, web file hosting services can be better options.
Besides file sharing, these services can also be helpful if someone want to backup/upload important data to a remote server as data will be easily accessible on the go.
A famous example of file hosting service is RapidShare; however, it keeps the reins tight on free users – leaving them with no other choice than to buy a premium account. The purpose of this article is to provide a brief overview of some of the file hosting services which are arguably the best in business and paid subscription is not necessary for frequent use.
It offers unlimited storage space, direct access to uploaded files (no countdown & CAPTCHA) and resuming of interrupted downloads. There’s no traffic limit for parallel file downloading from this site. I’ve tested this service with 30+ concurrent connections without any issue.
However, if you don’t access your account for 2 months then it’ll be expired with possible deletion of all the uploaded files. Similarly, if any of your uploaded files isn’t downloaded for a month it’ll be deleted. For free users, per file size limit is 200MBs but file splitting is allowed i.e. multiple parts of a single file can be uploaded separately.
iFile a.k.a mihd.net also provides unlimited storage with no traffic/bandwidth limitation. Interestingly, all accounts are free and no paid subscription is supported at this site, at least for the time being. Files of size up to 300MBs can be uploaded in one go while file splitting is allowed here as well. Guest file uploading is also supported and per file size limit is same as for free users i.e. 300MBs per file.
A download ticket is generated (valid for 24 hours) for each requested download; meaning that downloads can be resumed in that interval. Interrupted downloads can be resumed even after the expiration of download ticket. A general method will be elaborated later in the article which holds true for most of the file hosting services. Files are downloaded with direct access; however, only 4 parallel connections are supported.
Unlike, iFile & MediaFire, it provides 500GBs of storage to free users and doesn’t offer something exciting like direct access to files or parallel downloading but it does offer per file size limit of 1GB. Multiple files can also be uploaded in batch operation.
This service uses CAPTCHA method for verification purposes and takes about 15 seconds (previously 35 sec) to generate download link of the requested file. Download restriction of 1 file per 10 minutes (previously 12 minutes) is also applied i.e. once you’ve started downloading a file, next request should be sent after 10 minutes at least. If your previous file takes more than 10 minutes for completion then next one can be requested without any delay.
It offers 200GBs of storage and free users get to wait 25 seconds (45 seconds for non-registered users) for download link of the requested file. Downloads are resumable for free accounts but no parallel downloading is supported. However, there’s no time restriction between downloading two files separately. Batch uploading of multiple files is also supported and this service offers upload limit of 1GB per file.
HotFile provides unlimited storage space and upload limit of 400MBs per file but it’s on par compared to rest of the services discussed above. It imposes traffic limit of 1 file per 30 minutes with no support for parallel downloading or resuming of interrupted downloads. Download link is generated after CAPTCHA verification and a delay of 15 seconds (previously 60 seconds). Similar to FileServe, 1 file per 30 minutes limit indicates that next file should be requested, at least, after 30 minutes of previous request.
All services offer adequate amount of storage space and don’t even require free account for uploading files, however, file management won’t be possible without free subscription. Some of the services like FileServe, HotFile & iFile have support for free remote uploading. Remote uploading is the method of transferring files from one hosting service to other. However, remote uploading requires actual link of the file to be transferred (not the webpage link of uploaded file) while some services also require premium accounts for remote fetching of files (e.g. MegaUpload).
Some services offer reward schemes e.g. MegaUpload awards points when someone downloads your uploaded files (depends upon region). Likewise, FileServe & HotFile have affiliate program through which users can earn money.
Some hosting services have their own application programs for uploading/downloading of files e.g. Mega Manager by MegaUpload. These file managers are primarily meant for paid users but free users can also be benefited through them with limited functionality, of course.
How to Resume Downloads:
Resuming of interrupted/broken downloads depends on the hosting service. MediaFire & iFile provide this support to free/non-registered users while MegaUpload also offers this functionality to free users only. FileServe doesn’t support this functionality for free users, however, free users of HotFile can only start interrupted downloads from the beginning by using previously generated link (link is valid for limited amount of time). Below mentioned steps can be helpful for resuming interrupted downloads (requires download accelerator/manager).
- Always try to resume downloads from your download manager/accelerator at first place and check the response.
- In case of failure, open the webpage of shared file and wait for generation of direct link by the hosting service.
- Copy generated link of the file.
- Go to properties of file in your download manager/accelerator and replace old link with new one.
- Close properties dialog and restart the download.
Above mentioned procedure will work only with MediaFire, iFile & MegaUpload or any other similar hosting service with support for direct downloads. An alternative to conventional download accelerators/managers and designed specifically to download files from hosting services is JDownloader. It’s a free, open source and platform independent java application which can be useful for both premium and non-paid users.
How to Split Files:
File splitting has been mentioned several times above but one thing is to be noted; users are required to split files themselves. None of the hosting services offer splitting at server side. Unlike file compression, file splitting is a quick process and can easily be done by free utility named HJ-Split.
It performs file splitting and joining functions, can compare length of any two files and can also generate checksum of any given data file.
Aforementioned sharing services are certainly not the only ones available in the realm of file sharing. There’re several alternatives available; MultiUpload, for instance, is kind of a service which doesn’t host files on its own server rather it distributes files to 6 different file hosting services in one go.
These services include RapidShare, MegaUpload, DepositFiles, HotFile, zShare and Uploading. It only maintains information regarding uploaded files and users don’t have to register at included hosting services. Similarly, FileSonic, Kiwi6 and TooFiles also offer unlimited storage space and TooFiles even offers direct access with no download limit. It’s just the matter of personal requirements to determine what and what-not to select.