Sunday, October 25, 2009

Free Web Storage for Files

Sometimes it's necessary to add a download link to a file related to a post or embed a doc in. The simplest way would be to store files in a place like web-site directory which usually comes with Internet connection from ISPs (Internet Service Provider), but my ISP gives out only 10 MB for that purpose what is not too much. I checked out some of web file storage hosts and found that most of them have serious limitations.

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.
It is not easy to find a web-hosting which would meet all of the wishes, but there are some pretty close I've managed to find:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. FileFront is another one of the same kind, but its target group is gaming audience.
Those sites represent the same approach for free file storage. As declared these services really work for those who wants just to transfer files to others or to store personal files, but unfortunately it is not possible to get direct link to stored files.

  1. 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.

  2. 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):
  1. Thanks to the visitor suggested - with free account you can get there 2.5GB of storage space with 7GB bandwidth.

  2. MyDataNest seems to be an interesting file hosting site. Basic free account gets 2GB of storage and 20 GB of monthly transfer.
I'll keep updating the post with fresh info - it would be interesting to hear suggestions regarding the topic - please, share your experience.


Anonymous said...

Another site that I have run acrossed for file hosting is

They provide hotlinking similar to hotlinkfiles, but they seem to be reliable, and files load quickly.

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