Rapidshare switches to file owner paid hosting model

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 8, 2012
Updated • Dec 31, 2012

The popular file hosting provider Rapidshare announced today that it will switch its current business model to a new system starting November 27, 2012. The new system moves the file host closer to a classic hosting system where  file owners pay for storage space and traffic created by file downloads.

News that Rapidshare was about to change its business model came to light at the end of October 2012 when existing download limits were lifted by the hosting company. The announcement in October vaguely referred to an upcoming change that would change the company's business model to make it an effective instrument against online piracy and a shield against future disagreements with content creators.

Rapidshare notes in the announcement that the pricing won't change, and that paying users of the service get unlimited traffic for their own files and downloads of their contacts. In addition, they get 30 Gigabyte of public traffic per day which other users of Rapidshare can make use of to download files hosted by a RapidPro user. Files uploaded by free Rapidshare account owners are limited to 1 Gigabyte of traffic per day, again with the exception that traffic by the user or contacts of the user does not fall under that limit.

Free users benefit from the change as there won't be any download limitations at all for their Rapidshare downloads. The company notes that downloads are unrestricted for all users of the service, regardless whether they are free users, free account owners or paying RapidPro members.

In the future RapidShare will use a classic hosting model which means that not only the storage space but also the traffic created will be paid solely by the owner of the file. The prices will not change. With RapidPro you automatically have unlimited traffic for your own downloads of your files and the downloads by your contacts. Additionally you have 30 GB public traffic per day. The recipients of your files have no download limitations whatsoever regardless of if they have RapidPro, a free account or no account at all!

The core idea behind the change is to prevent massive scale copyright infringements by limiting the outgoing public bandwidth for each user of the service to 30 Gigabyte per day. While that may still sound like much, it is not really a lot if you consider that his equals less than 400 mp3 album downloads, 100 TV episodes, 40 movies or 8 DVDs releases per day.

The hosting model change will have significant effect on users who earned money from Rapidshare in the past. Users who wanted to download files previously either had to do so slowly and over a long period of time, or fast and directly by buying RapidPro points which enabled the faster downloads for them. The incentive to upgrade to a premium account is not there anymore, as downloads are no longer limited by the hosting company.


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  1. Richard Steven Hack said on November 9, 2012 at 2:37 am

    This will kill the download of copyrighted files for free from RS.

    Scenario: TV show is recorded and uploaded to RS by file sharer. The TV show is 350MB in size (although lately many downloads are under 300MB).

    If the file sharer is a free user, only two or three other people will be able to download that show (unless the file sharer uploads it multiple times which is unlikely as he has a dozen other shows to upload to RS AND other file sharing sites.) This means only the FIRST 2 or 3 people to download will get the file. Bummer. Totally useless.

    If the file sharer is a paid user, as many people as can fit in his 30GB/day limit can download the show. This won’t be too bad – except that it makes it REALLY EASY for RS to spot the file sharer and cancel his account! Also a bummer and totally useless.

    So this will be bad news for file sharers on RS.

    However, most file sharers these days aren’t even using RS because of the previous download limits. Most are using various rinky-dink crappy sites and a few good sites like Zippyshare and MediaFire. So it’s possible that the new rules really won’t affect file sharing in general too much. It will help RS get rid of illegal file sharers though.

    And despite the ISPs clamping down on Bittorrent, that is still an option. So it’s all a massive waste of time on the content provider’s part.

    1. shabs said on November 10, 2012 at 3:58 pm

      Thanks Richard for your easy explanation and jargon free post. I understand now.

    2. Teiji said on November 9, 2012 at 6:53 pm

      I read the author’s whole post but still got confused. Thanks for the clarification.

  2. Xe Tal said on November 8, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    … i’m not the oracle but obviously this is the end of Rapdishare:/ in past, there are few examples of such “model changes” (right now i don’t remember the hosts names even). honestly, why to choose directly paid service, as there are plenty of decent free alternatives? i used rapidshare free account for some occasional backup and file share duties (fe lecture recordings) but in the light of current news will search an alternative on next occasion to share large files.

  3. Gabe said on November 8, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    Bummer, i have the luxury to download my tv series legally in switzerland and always liked RS as a backup solution, but with this model noone will provide mirrors anymore. RIP, my Rapidpro account

  4. ilev said on November 8, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    With this change they will lose all traffic Rapidshare has today.
    I am a RapidPro user and I won’t renew.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on November 8, 2012 at 6:07 pm

      They will certainly experience a drop in traffic and visitors in the first few weeks after the change is going life.

  5. imu said on November 8, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    Off topic but I felt I had to share it.
    How to disable Lock Screen in W8 that some may find annoying:
    Open up the Group Policy Editor via gpedit.msc then go to
    Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Control Panel\Personalization.
    Look for “Do not display the lock screen” and enable the policy.
    The lock screen disappears so you are one step closer to perfection.


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