Big changes are coming to Rapidshare today. The file hosting company some time ago announced a drastic change in its business model that would turn it around almost completely. File that are hosted on Rapidshare from today on have a limited bandwidth quota that resets each day. The paying user bandwidth quote for instance has been set to 30 Gigabyte of traffic per day, while uploads by free users are limited to 1 Gigabyte of traffic per day. This means that no one, expect for the account owner and contacts of the account owner, can download the files if the quote limit is reached.
Rapidshare’s previous system did not limit the total download bandwidth of a file, a fact that made the service attractive for users who needed to distribute files to a large audience.
Rapidshare users who only download files from the service benefit from the change, as download speeds are no longer artificially limited by the file hoster.
Rapidshare today announced the availability of RapidDrive 1.0, a software for Windows that enables Rapidshare account owners to manage their files right from Windows Explorer. Files and folders can be accessed like any other hard drive that is currently connected to the PC. The software is launched on the same day that Rapidshare launches its new hosting model to the public.
The client displays the upload progress while files are being transferred. You can furthermore integrate the feature in the right-click
context menu and configure options to change the drive letter or label, disable auto boot with the PC or have the client remember the password automatically so that you do not have to enter it any time you connect to the service.
RapidDrive for Mac OSX is expected to be released in the first quarter of 2013.
Here is an overview of Rapidshare’s new hosting model for free account and RapidPro account owners:
|Free account||RapidPro account|
|Deletion due to inactivity||Account and files will be deleted if the account has not been used for at least 90 days.||None|
(download of your files by your contacts through FolderShare)
(download of your files without FolderShare e.g. through sending and publishing the download link)
|1 GB / day||30 GB / day|
(download of your own files)
It is not necessary to list non-account users here as all account related settings affect only the hosting side of things, not the downloading, and since guests can’t upload files to Rapidshare, it is not relevant for them.
The limitation of public traffic makes Rapidshare less attractive to users who want to spread files to a large audience in a short period of time. 30 Gigabytes per day may sound like a lot, but if you take a closer look, you will notice that it is not really that much.
Users who previously made money by uploading files to Rapidshare won’t be able to do that anymore, considering that free users can download all files at maximum speed and without wait time from today on. Uploaders will move to other services, and part of the people who downloaded from Rapidshare will eventually follow.