Unless you were born yesterday, you might remember the good old days of cloud sharing. Let me jog your memory… you see back in the day, whether you wanted to share your own file or someone else’s copyright property, let say a song or a movie, you could easily do that without worrying about legalities or copyright infringement and other such infuriating stuff.
However, ever since the take down of MegaUpload, a major player in the Cyberlocker industry, many other file hosting providers got major heat from the authorities. Nowadays Cyberlockers are considered rat holes for digital piracy, which is why; copyright holders are trying anything they can to take down such services.
In this blog, I am going to answer your questions of what is a Cyberlocker and why is it so controversial and hopefully remove any misconceptions you might have about it.
What Is a Cyberlocker
Cyberlockers are nothing more than a file hosting service. Think of it as a password-protected cloud based hard drive, which anyone can access via a URL link. Even if you never actually signed up for the service, I am willing to bet you must have downloaded at least one song using a Cyberlocker service.
Any ways… Cyberlockers like DropBox, HotFile, RapidShare, MediaFire, and other such popular hosting services generally offer free accounts with limited storage space and bandwidths, typically ranging around 500mbs at max. However, it can be easily bumped up to a couple of GBs by purchasing their subscription plans.
Cyberlocker for Work and Personal use
Cyberlocker are although considered controversial, however they are much more convenient for work and personal use than you might think. For instance, Cyberlockers like Dropbox is hugely popular among independent collaborators who simply want to get work done on time.
Although emails are still preferred for professional collaborations, however, we all know how annoying and frustrating it is to send large files through emails. Think of it this way, you have a deadline and you need to create a group presentation for your upcoming office meeting. Instead of forwarding emails back and forth between each member, why not upload files to a cloud storage and simply share one link. That way everyone adds his or her part and uploads it for everyone else to use.
Besides work use, Cyberlockers simply offer a way to store and share perhaps your most valuable and cherished files with your friends and family without worrying about the next time your computer decides to bail out on you.
Cyberlockers and Music Piracy
Although I am not saying Cyberlockers are solely used for downloading music illegally, however typically you will find many people online sharing links to such files. In fact if you Google a song and add .mp3 at the end of it, most probably you will get a link to download the file from one of many popular Cyberlockers.
Even though, I personally do not condone piracy, however if you are into such activities, I would definitely suggest you use Cyberlockers instead of torrents, simply because it is much safer. Why? Well for one, you are only downloading from one source as opposed to multiple peers. In addition to that, torrent clients do not conceal your identity in fact it does the complete opposite of it.
List of Cyberlocker
First up on my list is Dropbox. This Cyberlocker service provider is probably the most renowned one out in the industry today. In fact, you might have used this one already in your school or at work. Dropbox is super convenient and seamlessly integrates in to your computer. It automatically synchronizes all your files on to the cloud and appears just like any other folder on your computer.
Adding files to your Dropbox folder is extremely simple and does not require you to upload it on their site but instead dragging and dropping like regular files and folders on your computer. When you sing up for Dropbox, you get free 2GB of storage space, which is more than enough for casually sharing work files or even uploading your photos for safe keeping.
On a lighter side, we have Mediafire. Although not as fancy or advanced as Dropbox, this Cyberlocker provider offers just the right amount of freedom to get the job done. Unlike Dropbox, which offers limited 2GB of free storage space, Mediafire does not restrict users to a certain storage limit. However, even though there is no overall storage caps, Individual file sizes must not exceed 200MB, which can be a bit annoying if you want to upload a movie file or a music album.
Lastly, we have Depositfiles. This Cyberlocker service is not very renowned; however, I included it in this list just because of the sheer amount of storage space and flexibility it offers. To begin with, Depositfiles offers limitless bandwidth and storage space for quick uploads and downloads. There is also no limit on individual file size and you can upload a file up to 10GB in size, which is simply amazing.
Depositfiles is super easy to use and manage and the link password protection makes accessing files extremely safe no matter where you try to access it from. This provider uses HTTP and FTP servers to upload your files securely to the cloud and even offers cross platform applications.
Cyberlocker piracy problem?
Although Cyberlockers legitimately do have legal benefits; however, we must ask ourselves why any service would provide cloud storage space free of charge, unless it provides some sort of value to them. If you explore the business model of such websites, you will realize nothing they offer is truly free.
Essentially Cyberlockers like the now obsolete Megaupload ran a hierarchical affiliate marketing racket, where they encouraged users to contribute digital content in return of small monetary benefits. Since people naturally prefer copyrighted content like hit music and movies, individual contributor provided exactly that. Even though minor contributors did all the hard work, the site proprietor made ridiculous amount of money.
Even though many people still correlate piracy with torrents and to some extent, it is true, however you must realize that searching for torrents, downloading and seeding them is quite cumbersome, in fact I bet you don’t prefer doing that yourself. Most people are all about convenience and what better way to download files than to click a single link and enjoy.
Even though Cyberlockers in general are stigmatized as the new face of digital piracy, there are still plenty of legitimate legal benefits associated with it. Whether you prefer downloading or sharing copyright files or not, it totally depends upon you. However, one thing is for sure, Cyberlockers are by far the most convenient way of online collaboration and file sharing to ever exist.