It has certainly not been easy for file hosting providers ever since Megaupload was taken down. Rapidshare back then decided to change its plans completely to something that looked and felt more like classic hosting plans. The idea behind the change was the following: instead of limiting file downloads by bandwidth, they were now limited by bandwidth limits linked to the account of the uploader of the file. Files that free users uploaded were limited to 1 Gigabyte of traffic per day for instance, while the limit for paying customers was set to 30 Gigabytes per day instead.
The amount of files were not limited at all and quite a few users seem to have made use of that to archive large quantities of data on Rapidshare.
Rapidshare announced a major change to its hosting plan last Tuesday on the official company blog. The available storage for RapidPro customers will be limited to 250 or 500 Gigabyte from March 20, 2013 onwards. This change affects all paying customers of the service, even those who have paid for a plan in advanced and beyond March 20, 2013.
Existing users have two options if their storage exceeds the new limit. They can either delete data, or have Rapidshare delete the data automatically if not done in time by the user, or increase their payments to the file hoster if they want to keep the storage that they are currently making use of.
Rapidshare only mentions two plans and their prices in the announcement, but there are more than that. The prices that have been publicly announced are the following:
RapidPro users are notified about the change and the emails seem to include offers that match their current data storage. A user on Reddit reported that 4 Terabyte of storage are available for roughly 300 € per month or 3000 € per year while 8 Terabyte of storage would cost 700 € per month or 7000 € per year.
The accounts of free users will be set to a 5 Gigabyte data limit, and all files exceeding this amount will be deleted by Rapidshare unless done so by users first. The only option to retain access to those files is to sign up for a paid account on the site.
Before the change, all customers will have the chance to choose an account type and potentially decrease the needed storage space by deleting files. If a RapidPro customer hasn't selected an account type by the time the change comes into effect, he will get 250 GB of storage space automatically for the remaining run-time. The storage space can be upgraded to 500 GB or more at any time. In this case the remaining run-time is cut in half. Before the deletion of the files which exceed the storage space limit, you will receive an email.
What's interesting in this regard is that Rapidshare plans to make the change for existing users even though those have paid for a specific product, in this case unlimited storage among other things. It is also not clear how files will be deleted. Will the company delete the oldest or newest files first, or use another method of deciding which files to delete and which to keep.
I can't really say anything about the legality of the change, but it is certain that many users of Rapidshare who are affected by it won't be happy at all.
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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.