Head to Head: Online file sharing services

Elena Santos

Table of Contents

Downloading directly from the web has become a great alternative to other more “traditional” downloading protocols such as P2P and BitTorrent. The increasing popularity of these direct downloads has contributed to the launch of software like Mipony and jDownloader, and to the spread of dozens of online services for storing and sharing files on the Web. The question then is, which one of these services should you be using?

Most online file hosting websites look almost identical. They seem to offer the same tools and options, but a deeper look soon reveals small differences in what you get when using one or another. After comparing the ten most popular file hosting services, we’ve come up with two tables that sum up the features included in their Free and Premium accounts, respectively. A quick glance at the data will surely help you decide which hosting service is best for you.

Before moving on to the tables, let’s explain the criteria we used to compare the services:

Storage Capacity: Maximum size allowed for each file you upload. If there are two figures, the second one refers to the amount of total space available for your account.

Transfer limit: Maximum amount of data you can transfer within a certain period of time.

Expiration date: This applies mainly to free accounts, and refers to the number of days the uploaded file will be available online. It’s usually calculated from the time it was last downloaded.

File management: Is there a special tool to manage your files, and organize them in groups or folders?

Simultaneous downloads: Does the file hosting service allow multiple file downloads at the same time?

Waiting time: The amount of time you usually have to wait in free accounts before you can actually download the file.

Price: The monthly fee you have to pay for a premium account in each of these services.

Free account

Storage capacity
Transfer limit
Expiration date
File management Simultaneous downloads
Waiting time
500 MB No 30d/90d Members only No Variable
500 MB/200 GB 1 GB/24h 21d/90d Members only No 45s/25s
200 MB No Upon warning Members only Yes No
2,000 MB 30 min. 90d Yes, FTP No 15s
* 200 MB/10GB No 30d Yes No Variable
300MB/2GB 10 files/8h 20d/45d Members only No 60s
2,000 MB/
500 GB
150 MB/h 90d Members only No +30s
1 GB No 60d Yes, and FTP too No 20s
2 GB No No No No 100s
* 2 to 8 GB No No Yes Yes No

*Requires registration

Premium account

Storage capacity Transfer limit Expiration date File management Simultaneous downloads Price
2GB 150GB/m No Yes Yes $9.95
unlimited No No Yes Yes $13.8
10GB/100GB 100GB/m No Yes Yes $9
100GB No No Yes, FTP Yes $9

5GB/100GB 100GB/m No Yes Yes $9.95
unlimited/1TB No No Yes Yes $8.49
2,000GB 24GB/d No Yes Yes $9.7
2GB No No Yes Yes $13.8
2GB No No Yes 250 files $11.95
unlimited/50GB No No Yes Yes $9.95

I hope this analysis helps you choose the perfect file hosting service for you. If you happen to know any other service that you think is even better, don’t hesitate to share it with us in comments!

[Via OnSoftware ES]

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