If you’re looking for ways to download files from RapidShare, you’ve come to the right place. I’m going to cover some of the legal hurdles you’ll run into with this service and offer up some potential alternatives.
If you want to keep downloading files like music or movies without having to pay, your options are getting less and less numerous as legal action is taken against more and more file sharing sites. In fact, the popular service RapidShare has been shut down as of April 2013 as a direct result of these constant actions from copyright owners.
RapidShare was one of the most popular file hosting services on the web, with an Alexa ranking that was well into the top 100. It allowed users to upload and share files of any size, with no limit on the number of downloads. This made it an incredibly popular destination for pirates looking to download copyrighted material without paying.
Copyright holders have been trying to shut down RapidShare for years, but it was only recently that they were successful. The site’s owner, Christian Schmid, claims that RapidShare was one of the most DMCA-compliant sites on the Internet; they were responding to 92% of all takedown notices, and shut down 1.8 million infringing accounts in 2011 alone.
The reason for this shutdown: RapidShare is moving away from a ‘freemium’ business model where free users are served ads by the company, and towards a ‘premium’ model where users pay for an ad-free experience.
In order to make this transition work, they had to come into compliance with the DMCA in not harboring copyrighted material on their servers. They now only allow files that are explicitly uploaded by their owners, rather than shared among RapidShare’s users. This was not enough to satisfy the copyright holders, who went to court and had the site shut down.
There are a few alternatives to RapidShare that you can still use for file sharing:
1) MediaFire is very similar to RapidShare, with a user-friendly interface and no limit on file size. They also offer a convenient application for uploading files right to your computer.
2) HighTail, formally known as YouSendIt, is another similar option, with a 30-day free trial and the ability to send links in place of large attachments. They have not been shut down by copyright holders, so they are still in operation at time of writing.
3) FileDropper provides 1GB of free storage space, making it a good option for smaller files. They also have an app for uploading and sharing files on the go.
4) 4shared is another large file sharing site that has not been shut down, with a wide variety of file types available for download.
5) Finally, Zippyshare is a great alternative to RapidShare for music lovers, with a music-focused interface and a very easy way to find exactly the type of files you’re looking for.
Rapidshare has been shut down, but hopefully these alternatives can help ease your transition into another file sharing service without too much trouble. If you have any other questions or would like more information on any of these services, please let me know in the comments below. Thanks for reading!