Free File Hosting
What Is File Hosting?
File hosting is an online service that allows you to store files offsite, backing up the files on your computer at a remote location for safekeeping. Should your computer fail, or a computer virus or natural disaster destroy your computer and backup drive, files that are stored elsewhere will still be retrievable. File hosts may accept certain defined types of files or may specialize in a particular type of files, say vector images, photos, videos, or audio files.
What Is Free File Hosting?
While some file hosting services have a service charge, other file hosts offer some type of file hosting program for free. Free file hosting is online file hosting that is offered without charge. This may be done for several legitimate reasons. First, the company may offer free introductory service in order to encourage users who may become customers for either upgrades (typical is an upgrade that increases disk space and/or bandwidth) or other services. Second, the free file host may offer a promotion so that you get more space for introducing others to the service. If the terms are good, it may be to your advantages, as well as to the company's, for you to introduce friends. If your files are publicly available, as on Flickr and Photobucket, the fact of your using the service may bring in other people with whom you were not even acquainted, due to the quality of your files. This is another model for increasing use.
Vetting Free File Hosting
Given the sensitive nature of files, you want to be absolutely sure that the free file web hosting service is legitimate before putting your files on their servers. First of all, you should check their terms of service. If there aren't any, walk away. A site that isn't enough of a business to post terms of service is not a place you want to store your files. Many sites have terms of service that say they can discontinue your account without warning or cause. If you place your files with a service that has such a contract, do not consider it a safe backup, because it isn't—you need redundancy to insure that you can access your files.
Check the capacity, not only of the disk space you're allowed, but also of the files you can upload. If you need to upload video files, and the limitations on uploads won't work, then it's not the free file host is not for you. Also, if you might want to put more on, make sure that there are available upgrades to paid service with larger amounts of diskspace and bandwidth. This will save you from having to start from scratch hunting for a paid service when your file collection grows.
Check for functionality features. DropBox, for example, lets you invite friends to share folders, and syncs folders when items are added to them. Flickr offers five different upload methods. Different features fit different users, so look around to see what's available before making your decision.Related article: Free Photo Hosting