Imageshack is widely known as a media hosting website offering free and subscription based accounts to upload and share images, videos and other files. In a somewhat surprising move they announced that they will be providing registered users with the option to download torrents from the Internet. Torrents can either be uploaded from the computer or downloaded directly from an url that is pasted into the upload form.
The files of the torrent will then be downloaded to your Imageshack account and can be downloaded from there to a local computer. Free registered users have a monthly download and storage limit of 15 Gigabytes which should be sufficient for many users. Imageshack plans to provide premium accounts that allow users to download and store additional Gigabytes.
The service is - not surprisingly - experiencing some heavy usage which caught Imageshack by surprise. As a side note, are not those companies learning from the failures of other companies who got surprised in the past ? It's happening all the time and one would think that once a company would be prepared if they announce a service that has everything it needs to become popular in no time.
Downloads seem to have been stopped at this point for new users until server capacities have been added. Now basically Imageshack provides users with a great way of downloading torrents. The service is especially useful for users with ISPs that use traffic shaping or other means of interfering with P2P downloads. It could also be a viable alternative for inexperienced users who just want to download this one file from Bittorrent without having to configure a software and probably their router.
Torrents stop seeding once they have been downloaded which is surely enough reason for some Bittorrent trackers to ban Imageshack completely. It would be great if they would offer some kind of virus scanner for finished torrents, maybe in cooperation with Virustotal to add safety to the download experience.
I personally think that this could be a great service for many users. Probably not for the hardcore Bittorrent users but for those with a few downloads each month and those that have troubles with their ISPs, countries or computers.
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.