What is File Hosting and Where Can I Get it From?

file hostingInternet users do not realize that they have been dealing with file hosting providers for quite sometime now. Some have been accessing these file hosting sites to download trial software that will help them go about their work, with the use of a computer on a daily basis. Others access this type of site to check on a document uploaded and shared by his or her employer through a folder in that specific site. These little things that come unnoticed are actually the utilization of a Web service known as file hosting.

File hosting in general is an online service that allows a user to upload and download files via the Internet, so that the user who uploaded the file or anyone else can access it anytime and anywhere. Because of the continuously increasing demand for files to be hosted online, there have been a lot of file hosting providers that emerged. Although some of these have been shut down because of legal issues, there are still a lot of them that comply with existing laws, making them a reliable provider of such type of service.

There are also several reasons as to why Internet users, should a need be present, seek the help of file hosting service providers. First, the service offered is most of the time free and can provide unlimited storage. Second, this can be an alternative to sharing large files to individuals that an ordinary email service could not accommodate. Third, it gives users an additional back up of their important files and last but certainly not the least, it can provide a convenient way of sharing files without having to physically be there with the other user. It should be noted that although most of these file hosts provide a free service, there are also some limitations, such as a limited download and upload size. Another limitation that would require a subscriber’s attention is that in a free file hosting service account, files may automatically be deleted after a certain period of time. This happens usually after 30 consecutive days from the time that it was uploaded into the host’s site.

What has so far been presented may also be referred to as a cyber locker or one- click hosting. A lot of these types of file hosts make money through advertising or a premium service that gives the paying subscriber an increased download capacity and the removal of restrictions, the example of which is the wait time and the amount of time a certain file would be available on the site.

File Hosting definitely is a varied and dynamic online service. One thing that has not been mentioned so far would be the numerous ways one can choose a provider depending on their intended usage. If a user only intends to store and share documents like a spreadsheet or a PowerPoint presentation, then they can easily sign up for an account with document –sharing and hosting service providers like Google Docs or wePapers. Many sites host software files coming from probably Freeware or Shareware to market their products through a trial download. However:

Such an endeavor requires a lot of bandwidth and in turn costs a lot of money. That is why a lot of these sites, again, can slow down the speed of the download and even delay the download time to force the user to somehow sign up for a premium service.

Other providers, specifically some new ones, may offer users a guarantee of earning money. Some are said to pay by number of downloads on a given period by users of a file that was uploaded by another user. In this case, it is the user who uploaded the file benefiting from the activity. Understandably, this is done by the said provider to market their service, increase their online visibility and conversions.

With all of these things to consider, it becomes quite difficult to actually get on with having a user’s files hosted but, things might just get easier if prospect users of the service pay attention to the following features usually integrated into file hosts:

1. File Size and File Volume Limit – A user can only upload up to a certain size of a file or group of files, depending on the plan they are subscribed to. In a paid service however, the standard nowadays for providers is to at least have 1G maximum upload size limit for their customers.

2. Download and Upload Speed – While this is somehow relative to how fast the user’s Internet service is, one can determine the average speed a certain amount of file can be uploaded or downloaded to and from the host’s site. It is suggested however, to locate a file host service provider nearest to your area or country.

3. Privacy and Security Guarantees – It is also suggested for users to get a file host provider with a secure URL (Uniform Resource Locator) that can’t be accessed without the correct credentials, since many hackers target these file hosts. This is for user privacy and data security. Check and insist on getting a service that allows you to set up a password to protect a file from unauthorized access.

4. Ease of Use – A user must be aware that some websites offering this service may intentionally place the file download link in difficult to find sections of the site. This is done to make them stay on the site longer. Be sure to check the website’s interface before having an account opened.

5. Download Waiting Time – Some providers, especially ones that come for free, may enforce a wait time, sometimes for its subscribers with a certain IP address or based in a certain country, to start the uploading or downloading process. It is for a user’s convenience and time that such a feature must be given attention to.

6. Customer and Technical Support – This is certainly not the least among the ones listed above. All must still be taken into consideration to make sure that you are getting your time and money’s worth. A good provider allows a subscriber to communicate with them, whether by chat, email or by phone just in case the user encounters issues or problems beyond their control.

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