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File Sharing Sites vs. Cloud Storage

File Sharing After Megaupload: 8 Alternatives
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While file sharing sites such as Megaupload and RapidShare are technically cloud storage solutions, we’re making a distinction between them and true cloud storage services. Simply taking an uploaded file and spitting out a download link does not a cloud service make. A true cloud service gives you much more freedom when it comes to managing your files. Not to mention, most cloud services don’t try to swindle you. Besides, you should know by now that cloud storage services are, quite simply, the wave of the future.

File sharing sites are nothing but rip-offs. How else might you explain the $175 million revenue stream Megaupload had at its disposal? Those sites are often also cesspools for piracy and threaten the existence of cloud storage in its entirety, either by setting dangerous legal precedents or by scaring off potential investors for reputable companies.

Yes, sites like MediaFire allow you to upload anonymously, and your files get indexed so that they'll show up in a Google search. Cloud services don't give you that sort of anonymity, and none really give you the option to index your files publicly. But is that such a big deal? Anonymity is for illegal uploads. And don't be confused, not being able to upload anonymously doesn't mean your name or e-mail address get attached to the file for the public to see. All it means is that law enforcement can potentially get a subpoena and figure out who you are. And as far as public indexing is concerned, any time you post a link to one of your files on a blog or forum, it gets indexed for public searches."

For the sake of the internet, we ask you to stop using those mangy file sharing sites and give the true cloud services a chance. There are many free and affordable cloud solutions out there, and they’re just as free as – and often even more affordable than – the Megauploads of the net.

Of course not all cloud services are meant for file sharing. There are a handful that allow only personal access. Since this article is all about trying to fill the void left by Megaupload, we’re not going to focus on those. Instead, we’re focusing the cream of the crop that give you the best bang for your buck and do an exemplary job of it.

Dropbox is one of the great options you’ve likely already heard of. Box.com is quickly growing into an effective file sharing and cloud document service. And of course the big names are joining in, like Microsoft with SkyDrive, and Amazon with its Cloud Drive. Even Google Docs can be used to share files now.

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  • 0 Hide
    azathoth , February 8, 2012 12:28 AM
    I love mediafire especially with ad-block enabled, just goes straight to the click to download, no popups or ads.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 8, 2012 1:58 AM
    "Besides, illegal file sharing is the only reason anonymity is such a big deal."

    Well, of course. There's absolutely no other reason for anonymity.

    Wait, whistleblowers? What are those?
  • 2 Hide
    quantumrand , February 8, 2012 2:27 AM
    Paul Granis"Besides, illegal file sharing is the only reason anonymity is such a big deal."Well, of course. There's absolutely no other reason for anonymity.Wait, whistleblowers? What are those?


    Whistleblowers don't have much need for anonymous filesharing services. Whistle blowing generally involves an anonymous phone call or e-mail. Very rarely does it involve the need to share large files. And even if it did, it's not hard to sign up for something like DropBox with a fake name and dummy e-mail address at some internet cafe and upload your files there.
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , February 8, 2012 3:09 AM
    Although the author is correct on Megaupload using pop-up ads, I disagree on the "misleading download buttons". How is 2 big buttons, one for premium, one for non-premium after 25-45 second wait misleading? Or did he just confuse one of the most simple to use file sharing sites (also had some of the fewest limits) in the past decade? RIP Megaupload.
  • -1 Hide
    gwolfman , February 8, 2012 3:33 AM
    Just use JDownloader and stop worrying about the waiting. Tired of captchas? Try captcha trader.
  • 4 Hide
    NuclearShadow , February 8, 2012 4:10 AM
    Quote:
    Besides, illegal file sharing is the only reason anonymity is such a big deal.


    I disagree with this totally. Privacy issues remain and with ties with accounts and how companies love to track consumers in every way possible now. If I were to upload something that isn't infringing on copyright laws but simply do not want that upload to be associated with me personally I can no longer do such. Privacy does not mean you are doing something illegal behind the curtains.

    If anything I think anonymity needs to once again return to the norm on the internet. The reason for this is because the internet is the best way for the common man to find a way to express themselves and have other hear. If I lived in a nation that had a government that just isn't really that into human rights, I could use a anonymous service that is hosted outside of my country to get my voice our or perhaps a video of what they are doing to
    people to help global attention to the issue. If you tie me into a account this becomes more risky. Even worse with how corporations today have happily shown they are willing to cave into the demands of these governments. I'll side with law breaking websites that at-least believe in the freedom of speech before a corporation that would point at me and send me to the gallows any-day.
  • 1 Hide
    quantumrand , February 8, 2012 4:42 AM
    noisoundAlthough the author is correct on Megaupload using pop-up ads, I disagree on the "misleading download buttons". How is 2 big buttons, one for premium, one for non-premium after 25-45 second wait misleading? Or did he just confuse one of the most simple to use file sharing sites (also had some of the fewest limits) in the past decade? RIP Megaupload.


    It's not necessarily the upload sites themselves, but the advertisers they deal with that create ads that have big buttons that say "Download" and lead to adware programs and the like.

    NuclearShadowI disagree with this totally. Privacy issues remain and with ties with accounts and how companies love to track consumers in every way possible now. If I were to upload something that isn't infringing on copyright laws but simply do not want that upload to be associated with me personally I can no longer do such. Privacy does not mean you are doing something illegal behind the curtains. If anything I think anonymity needs to once again return to the norm on the internet. The reason for this is because the internet is the best way for the common man to find a way to express themselves and have other hear. If I lived in a nation that had a government that just isn't really that into human rights, I could use a anonymous service that is hosted outside of my country to get my voice our or perhaps a video of what they are doing to people to help global attention to the issue. If you tie me into a account this becomes more risky. Even worse with how corporations today have happily shown they are willing to cave into the demands of these governments. I'll side with law breaking websites that at-least believe in the freedom of speech before a corporation that would point at me and send me to the gallows any-day.


    There are different levels of anonymity on the internet. Some upload sites don't even log your IP when you upload a file, and that's about as anonymous as you can get.

    Most upload sites do track your IP though, and that's pretty close to the same level of anonymity you'd get from a lot of the cloud storage sites. The majority of the cloud sites don't make any of your information available to the public. It's the authorities that have potential access to that kind of info.
  • 0 Hide
    lacisnesnon , February 8, 2012 5:03 AM
    put.io became my new favourite download site after filesonic closed down.
  • 0 Hide
    lost_in , February 8, 2012 11:25 AM
    Quote:
    We won’t shed many tears for the loss of a site that preyed on its users with pop-up ads and misleading “download” buttons;


    thei's a thing called adblock and am I the only one who has heard of thing called jDownloader or Mipony? I think not. just copy link and poof...
    also "entertainment industry" says it costed like 500 mil. in lost revenues..MU had like 150 mil. users. lets for the sake of argument say 10 mil. users had monthly subscription of 15$/month. that's 150 mil./month and 150 mil. * 12 is lot of money...maybe "entertainment industry" should have bought MU..taken control over it...but why would they? they are just stubborn......and its gonna cost them
  • 0 Hide
    lost_in , February 8, 2012 11:30 AM
    sorry for double post but here's a screenshot of MF on chrome with adblock installed....
  • 0 Hide
    hoofhearted , February 8, 2012 4:31 PM
    I hope they bust all the ones that decide to block countries.
  • 3 Hide
    Northwestern , February 8, 2012 4:39 PM
    Dropbox and Mediafire are my immediate recommendations.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 8, 2012 5:52 PM
    It was mentioned that MediaFire pages are indexed by Google. I read somewhere that the only way it gets indexed by Google is when someone places a link to a file on another website. It sounds like MediaFire is not to blame for that. They get a HUGE thumbs up in my book!
  • 3 Hide
    majorlag , February 8, 2012 6:05 PM
    The Author of this article needs less condescending, arrogate, biased words and this would be a descent article.

    First lets discus the popup ad riddle file sharing sties shall we(one should learn to download correctly). I start off with TomsHardware site, I click on an article to open in a new tab, so I can get back to the main news post quickly. I click on the tab and move my mouse down to scroll through the page, and BAM I am hit with a banner that opens up and fills the screen, @#$%, then I move my mouse away so it might close, then BAM I am hit with several ad word links in the article and those open up more pop-up ads by just moving my mouse over the ad sense words. Eventually those go away too. Soo, don't sound all high and mighty about pop-up ads Mr. Escallier, oh I tried to scroll up to the top and copy past your name, and of course ran over another one of those ad word pop-ups @#$@#$%. Work computer does not have admin rights to install ad killing software.

    Second grip I have is the whole article sounds like a car salesman trying to belittle the file sharing sites and you must move on to the all mighty Cloud Storage for security and peace of mind. I should remind you how users of Sidekick were without their data for an extended time, Cloud Storage is no replacement for hard backups stored in your control. 4.7gb on one DVD-r sitting offsite somewhere is easy and cost 10 cents at most.

    Last point that made this article look childish is your article tries to say anonymity is illegal file sharing. I believe you have missed the whole point of anonymity. Yes illegal anything relies on part anonymity, just as a car needs propulsion to move(obvious is obvious), anonymity has many many legal reasons, whistleblowers, informants, such as the Megaupload fiasco require anonymity to stay safe.

    All free services have ways to generate revenue, or curb costs. Ads, time waits, file size limitations, download speeds. They are all necessary evils, and one is no worse then the other. Some have found ways to avoid ads, but not avoid time waits(for those that haven't learned about downloading tools to make downloading less painfull).
    ~Majorlag
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 8, 2012 6:54 PM
    Watch this and then decide:

    http://films.nfb.ca/rip-a-remix-manifesto/
  • 0 Hide
    quantumrand , February 8, 2012 10:27 PM
    majorlagThe Author of this article needs less condescending, arrogate, biased words and this would be a descent article.First lets discus the popup ad riddle file sharing sties shall we(one should learn to download correctly). I start off with TomsHardware site, I click on an article to open in a new tab, so I can get back to the main news post quickly. I click on the tab and move my mouse down to scroll through the page, and BAM I am hit with a banner that opens up and fills the screen, @#$%, then I move my mouse away so it might close, then BAM I am hit with several ad word links in the article and those open up more pop-up ads by just moving my mouse over the ad sense words. Eventually those go away too. Soo, don't sound all high and mighty about pop-up ads Mr. Escallier, oh I tried to scroll up to the top and copy past your name, and of course ran over another one of those ad word pop-ups @#$@#$%. Work computer does not have admin rights to install ad killing software.Second grip I have is the whole article sounds like a car salesman trying to belittle the file sharing sites and you must move on to the all mighty Cloud Storage for security and peace of mind. I should remind you how users of Sidekick were without their data for an extended time, Cloud Storage is no replacement for hard backups stored in your control. 4.7gb on one DVD-r sitting offsite somewhere is easy and cost 10 cents at most.Last point that made this article look childish is your article tries to say anonymity is illegal file sharing. I believe you have missed the whole point of anonymity. Yes illegal anything relies on part anonymity, just as a car needs propulsion to move(obvious is obvious), anonymity has many many legal reasons, whistleblowers, informants, such as the Megaupload fiasco require anonymity to stay safe.All free services have ways to generate revenue, or curb costs. Ads, time waits, file size limitations, download speeds. They are all necessary evils, and one is no worse then the other. Some have found ways to avoid ads, but not avoid time waits(for those that haven't learned about downloading tools to make downloading less painfull).~Majorlag


    Haha, this is my favorite comment.
  • 0 Hide
    Youngmind , February 8, 2012 11:54 PM
    I thought that you were supposed to learn that you should not have a condescending tone or make hasty generalizations when writing articles. The bias in this article simply infuriated me when he associated anonymity with piracy and when he bashed the upload sites for having ads when this site is filled with them. If this article was a little bit more neutral and simply presented the upload options, rather than try to cram down the author's opinion down my throat, I'd be more inclined to listen to his advice.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 9, 2012 3:24 AM
    I agree with the above comments: this article sounds like it was written by a Cloud developer trying to pick up more customers, rather than an overall runthrough of different options we have now that Megaupload is more or less gone. The internet is a crazy place--yet its many faults are some of its best features. Yes, file sharing opens the door to online piracy--but that's just one door in a BIG house full of different ways people can and WILL make profits off of others. Megaupload was one of the first but it won't be the last as the residual PIPA/SOPA defenders pave the way to shut down file sharing sites--and once Rapidbox and Letitbit and 4shared and Mediafire and Box are all gone, who will be left? Where will the online piraters go next? Even--what will THEY create? It's just going to keep on going--I'd gather that even the most-high Cloud will be forced to take cover eventually.
  • -1 Hide
    viciouz2000 , February 9, 2012 5:07 PM
    Yeah, whoever wrote this arctile is an idiot. If you cant tell a fake download button from a real one, then you should not be using the internet at all. These are the people who click on stupid links that install infect malware. Also, rapidshare recently took out the time limit to download a file and there is no wait to download another once it finish. Occasionally there might be a wait timer for some downloads, but most of my downloads at the most have 10-30 sec wait time before the link is up. compare to others mediafire and rapidshare are the best as they dont require you to type the caption before the link is ready.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 11, 2012 3:09 PM
    Thanks for the information in your article. I appreciated the pros and cons, and since it was written as a "review," I expected the author's opinion. I've been using technology since before the advent of the IBM PC, and on my first attempt to retrieve a file from a file sharing web site, accidentally clicked on a GIANT download button near the top of the page, assuming it was THE download button for accessing the file. Of course, the button was NOT the file download button, but adware that launched a series of aggravating ads. So, I take issue with the comment, "If you cant tell a fake download button from a real one, then you should not be using the internet at all." I'm pretty careful about where and what I click on the web, but as a novice with file sharing sites, I got hoodwinked.

    I work from home and often need to be able to share large files and to collaborate in the development of files with others. I want to use a sharing site with non-tech-savvy customers, friends, and family without worrying about sending them into adware hell with misleading buttons.

    I'm grateful for your review and comparison! Thanks for your help!
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