What will you do when you wish to share an extremely large file – so large that you can’t send it via email? Design drawings, custom software, technical proposals – sharing big files across the Internet can be quite a headache sometimes.
Introducing file hosting
The quick fix? Get a file hosting service.
A file hosting service is an Internet hosting service specifically designed to host static content, typically large files that are not web pages. Generally, users are allowed to access file hosting servers via web (HTTP) and FTP.
File Hosting Recommendation
Disk storage cost is cheap; bandwidth too. Believe or not – there are more companies I can count that’re willing to host your file for free. In fact, some file hosting companies are even paying their top users! FileFactory for example rewards $10 for every 10,000 downloads.
Well when supplies are plenty, we users tend to be picky. As many file hosting storage services are crappy, here are my list of good file hosting services.
Box.net was founded back in March 2005. At the time of writing, they own over 2,000,000 users with 1,000,000 files served everyday. Box.net offers
10MB1GB file size storage and 10GB bandwidth limit for free.
2. File Factory
FileFactory allows their users to upload and host files for as large as 300MB per file. Hosting files at FileFactory is totally free however file transfer bandwidth are limited. Also, note that files that are not download for 90 days will be deleted automatically.
FileFront is another reputable company that offers free file hosting for up to 1GB. There’s a long period of file expiration (up to 6 months) for FileFront however users should be aware that the service are mainly limited for video gaming files.
ShareSend provides file hosting services via a simple and direct interface. Users get to upload/host their large files online in just a few simple clicks. At the time of writing, ShareSend free services are limited to 100MB per file.
Megaupload is an international one-click hosting website driven by Megaupload Limited, Hong Kong, available in many languages. MegaUpload users are allowed to host up to 1GB file with 90 days of inactive period. It is, however, a strict usage limitation on MegaUpload where no parallel downloads are allowed for non-paying users.
You just can’t ignore Rapidshare when it comes to free file hosting services. As far as I know, RapidShare is the most visited website in its league and there are millions of files stored in their servers. For those who’re unfamiliar with RapidShare, the company offer 200MB file storage with 500kbit/s bandwidth for free. There’s also a 90 days of inactivity file expiration period on the free service.
YousendIt is not the typical file sharing services that I used to know. Well at least not the way it works – It works more like an alternative to sending large e-mail attachments, using FTP. Instead of allowing users to store files online, YourSendIt users get to send, receive and track files on-demand. You can share files with up to 100MB size at YouSendIt and the files can be downloaded for 100 times. At the time of writing, the company owns more than 5,000,000 registered users.
FileSavr is one of the file hosting services that offer extremely HUGE files hosting for free. At the time of writing, you can get up to 10 GB upload size limit at FileSavr! Nevertheless, users should be aware that the service requires you to sign up before using – it’s worth the time signing up though.
Sendspace works more like a file transfer network. It offers temporary file hosting to enable users to send and receive large files that are too big for email attachments. Users get to upload and download files up to 300MB each, along with the ability to manage and edit their uploads.
Steek was founded in 2001. Based in Bordeaux France, the company offers file hosting services in English, French, Germans, Italians, and Portuguese. Steek users are allowed to host up to 1GB files for free and there’s no expiration date for the file storage.
Wrapping things up: File Hosting vs Web Hosting
As this blog is mainly about website hosting, you should be aware that file hosting is NOTHING RELATED to a web host. Do not, I repeat, do not confuse file hosting with web hosting. File hosting on the other hand is web services that allow Internet users to easily upload and share files with the world; while on the other hand, web hosting is where you host your website and it allows you to do a lot more things than just storing static files.
In case you’re new with website hosting, there’s a series of post for the beginners. For details, you are recommended to visit Web Hosting 101 Guide. On the other hand, for those who’re looking for some honest web hosting review, you can check out my writings here on web hosting review.