My wish list of features would be the following:
- Personal account on the host to have control over files;
- "No delete" after certain period, my files should be stored forever unless I delete them myself;
- Storage capacity should be more than 1 GB;
- Public sharing should be available - many hosts limit their file storage to personal use only;
- Files should be accessible via direct link - that would give a possibility to embed the files into a web page;
- All those for free of charge would be nice too.
- ADrive - with the free basic subscription stored files are kept forever but public sharing (links to the files) expires in one month. This limitation was not very clear from their description of service, only when I made a file shared it showed such a notification. Also a share link from public domain leads to a page with "Download" button but not to the file itself, so embedding is not possible.
- MediaFire is pretty similar to ADrive besides there is no limitation in time for sharing link. A sharing link leads to a "Download" page - same as ADrive, their "Download" page shots out a pop-up every time you're there.
- FileFront is another one of the same kind, but its target group is gaming audience.
- HotlinkFiles was recommended by some people and as the site name suggests it supports direct links. The site has been giving out "too many connections" error for pretty long time, now its response is more informative: they claim been "under attack from malicious hackers that have managed to destroy a large portion of user database". That sounds sad and reveals the danger of storing your info in one place - let's wish them good luck to recover quickly from the disaster.
- It seems that a real solution for file-hosting comes from web-hosting services, so I ended up with Google Sites. It's appeared to be a well working variant and I don't see any drawbacks so far. 10 GB of storage per account, direct sharing links, etc. - you can check the list of features.
To get direct link to a file just copy the address from Properties of the Download link from the Google site page, then paste it into a web browser address field and press Enter - it will show the file and its address will change, this changed address I use as a direct link to the file. As an example below is an embedded PDF - a copy of the Google Sites Overview page:
As a quick update I'd like to add some more sites (I have not tested them yet, I hope I'll do it in the next round of search for file hosting services):