Almost since the beginning of the Internet, people begun seeing the potential in this vast and growing network for file sharing purposes.
Whether it’s for public domain software, video clips, text and photos, or more.. controversial data, such as pirated porn, software, films, music and games, the network proved to be the wastelands no one intended it to become, but also a place where the sharing of information and ideas flourished.
Over time, the governments and corporations which felt that their grasp and control over this network was slipping fast, tried to stop the process through legislation, and enforcement via both country-wide organizations such as the FBI, and world-wide commercially-oriented groups like the MPAA and others.
As those threats to the free nature of the internet grew and compounded, especially against centralized services, such as Napster, and eMule, using tactics such as multi-national task forces to shut down servers and arrest service and site owners, as well as sneakier tactics such as planting trojans and viruses into circulating files on these networks to drive people away from them.
As for Bittorrent, I already published a post regarding torrents and how they work.
So on to File Storage Websites.
These are kind of self explanatory, but I’ll put them in perspective:
There two main types of file storage websites. One is the standard one, which lets you upload files via a web interface (through a web browser), or an FTP connection. These usually have a straightforward interface with “browse” and “upload” buttons, and a limit for file size, total storage capacity, and upload/download speed – unless you pay of course.
Anywhere means: web browser, network drive letter, smart phones, tablets, laptops, and anything with internet connection capabilities. Even some new cameras offer built-in upload services to the main cloud services via Wi-Fi.
I have included some of the biggest free storage offers below. Clicking on the logo will take you to their website, where you can register and start uploading files. Some of them allow anonymous uploading, but with more limitations. Only 4Shared is actually a cloud service, and it didn’t start that way, but previously was a standard file storage website.
One last thing before I wrap this up: In the past, one of the biggest wins of the law enforcement over the file storage scene was when they managed to shut down the biggest of them all: Megaupload. It was a great boon for the American corporations but it didn’t last long. Recently the owner of Megaupload, Kim Dotcom, managed to fend off the threat of extradition to the United states, but failed to dismiss the case all together on the ground of lack of U.S. based address. It does appear however, that the entire american case against him relies on the claim that he encouraged the service users to upload pirated content in order for him to earn large advertising fees as a result. And that’s not a strong base for any lawsuit (quite difficult to prove).