File Hosting - Which One Should You Pick?
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RapidShare is probably the most popular; in fact, chances are if you aren't a newbie you have already heard of it on the net. You can upload files in 100MB segments. If you need to upload a larger file, you are encouraged to split it into 100MB archives (300 MB for the German version). There is no download limit. The connectivity is an impressive 230Gbit/s. Mass uploading is supported, but the sum of all files uploaded at the same time must not exceed 100MB. That's quite restrictive, to be honest...
The free upload supports only a single file selection at once. After finishing the upload you will finally get the download link and a delete link. For 90 days your data will be kept. And as long as you don't switch to the premium package (and pay for it) this is all you get.
However, if you are downloading files you will face the previously mentioned painful CAPTCHAS, and after every downloaded MB you will have to wait another minute for the second one. This way, after you have downloaded a 100MB file you must wait 100 minutes for the next package to be available for download. This can be extremely frustrating if you want to download many packages; therefore, I cannot recommend this service.
You probably are already sick of sites that demand a lot of information to allow you to use their services, and compound the pain by providing you with a mediocre service. The people that created Mediafire probably had the same experience, so this site is all about simplicity and stability -- and best of all, it's free.
You may register, but isn't required. If you do choose to register, it takes less than 10 seconds. The site stores a cookie on your computer to maintain your history; if you delete it, all of your history will be gone. It's a good idea to register. The file limit is good for a free service: 100MB. You may immediately upload up to ten files, which must be selected individually.
The interface turns into a progress bar while you upload; it shows what percentage of the file is uploaded, the time remaining, and the speed at which it completes this process. There are no restrictions on the bandwidth you can use, the number of files you can upload, or the number or size of files you can download. You can sort your files within your own folders.
Mediafire offers some nice extras. You can make your files public or private, share them with friends, tag items, and organize your files online. All this is accomplished quickly with the help of AJAX. If you want to do image hosting, you will appreciate Mediafire's photo gallery.
In the end the pros for this service boil down to clean and well-thought-out interface and the possibility of hosting your files for free. The share option is implemented for e-mail and IM; you can also embed files into a website. The service acts as it should, it's free, and the question only remains of how long it can continue as it stands. As long as it stays this way it is definitely worth a try.
You may already like the possibilities offered by Web 2.0 technology; if so, Blazeload promises to be the perfect file hosting site for you. "We offer free file hosting, Blazing speeds, truly precise progress bar, file and folder management, Ajax slide show, tags and lots more! Take it for a spin - it's free and it really is THE ultimate file hosting service on the net!" -- This it what it says on the front page anyway, but let us see what we actually have.
The upload limit is the usual 100MB we've found at most of the free sites. As at the previous site, here too we can upload 10 files at a time, and we have to choose; The download bar is also similar, but updates itself much more frequently.
Items can be sent by mail; there is del.ico.us, Digg, and Facebook tagging support and generated links. What sets this site apart from Mediafire is the slide show option. Watching uploaded pictures is handled quickly and easily in this way.
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