Comparison Between Secure Online File Storage & Typical Sharing Websites
Most of the sharing, file hosting services or secure online file storage service providers are designed to hold, store and make static content available as downloads online. The downloads and uploads are generally provided through http or FTP access. These services are generally optimized for hosting and serving large files. The services are either free or paid based on the features, space and bandwidth they offer.
These services fall into various categories that are discussed below:
Software File Hosting
Software authors generally use this service to distribute their software. These services are generally paid to cover the massive bandwidth expenses and may involve intentional delay of downloads to persuade users to move to a paid premium package.
Personal File Storage
This service is aimed at individuals and is generally free. The main uses are to provide personal data backup and file distribution. One can upload files, distribute them and use a password to protect these files too.
Although most companies offer a free version of their product based on the advertising revenue they are generating, extensive applications and services require an upgradation to premium service packages. This is because online storage is expensive and is available on a per-gigabyte basis and the amount of bandwidth consumed.
Many users have also started using their web mail accounts as backup sources due to the increasing amount of space being available.
Examples of paid services can include rapidshare and mediafire. Both of these options have a free as well as a paid component.
Free service examples include Windows Sky Drive.