When you want to share files with friends, family, or collaborators around the world, sending files via the internet is often the easiest way to do it.
With a file hosting service, you don’t have to worry about email attachment size limits or trying to mail a physical hard drive (I know a person who did just that)
When it comes to finding the best free file hosting, you have a huge variety of choices. Free file hosts differ in the hosting services they provide, their level of file security, ease of use, speed, and more.
Without further ado, let's highlight the best free file hosting services:
- ZippyShare - No download limits
- 4Shared - Offers a vast library of shareable content
- Files.fm - Files are stored for up to 60 days
- Filehosting.org - No limit for individual file upload size
- Mediafire - Ability to organize all uploaded files
- Sabercat Host - File organizer and download statistics
- MEGA - Secure end-to-end file encryption
- DepositFiles - Files never expire
I’ll also explain the differences between free file hosting and free cloud storage options since you can ultimately use either to transfer files over the web.
Max uploaded file size - 500MB
ZippyShare is about as simple as it gets when it comes to free file hosting options, which makes them a great option for one-off file transfers.
There is no account required to host files online with ZippyShare, although you can create a free account to be able to see everything you’ve uploaded.
The site features a simple uploader that requires you to browse through your computer’s folders as there is no drag-and-drop functionality. You can upload an unlimited number of files, although each file is limited to a maximum size of 500 MB. ZippyShare also features a ‘Set as Private Upload’ option, although the service does not specify what type of security it adds to files when this is enabled.
Once files are uploaded, ZippyShare will give you a link to download your files. Be careful with this as the link is the only way to access your files if you don’t have an account. ZippyShare will hold files on their servers for 30 days after the most recent download.
Max uploaded file size - 2GB
4Shared is another simple file hosting service that allows you to upload files from your computer using an online file browser.
Alternatively, 4Shared allows you to search its library of images, video clips, songs, and other files and share whatever you find there.
The site even has a social aspect, with a ‘Discover What’s Trending’ section where you can see what files are being most frequently uploaded and downloaded through 4Shared.
You have to create an account to upload files with 4Shared, although there is a free account option. Free accounts offer 15 GB of file space and allow individual file uploads up to 2 GB in size. However, download speeds are throttled with a free account and your account will be deleted if you don’t log into 4Shared for 180 days.
Max uploaded file size - 2GB
Files.fm is an extremely easy to use service that allows you to either drag-and-drop files onto the uploader or search through your file system.
There’s no account needed, and you have the option of sending the download link to an email account and setting the storage duration for files after upload (up to 60 days).
With a free plan, individual files are limited to 2 GB in size. If you do set up an account to keep track of your files, you get up to 15 GB of storage with the free file host.
There are no limits on upload or download speeds, but beware that Files.fm does not provide any security for your files stored on their servers.
Max uploaded file size - unlimited
Filehosting.org is one of the best free file hosting solutions for massive files simply because it doesn’t have any limits on individual file upload sizes.
That’s without even setting up a free account and without any banner ads on the page, which is pretty unusual. The only catch is that all files are only held on the server for 20 days, so you can’t use it as a permanent cloud storage solution.
The interface of Filehosting.org is simple to use. After selecting your file, you enter your email as the destination for the download link. Note that there is no limit on the number of times the file can be downloaded and no encryption, so be careful sending sensitive information via this free file host.
10GB of free disk space
Mediafire is set up for account holders, with an interface that resembles a cloud storage provider.
If you sign up for a free account, you get 10 GB of free space to host files online and there are multiple ways to get bonus free file space.
However, you can upload files with Mediafire without setting up a free or paid account. The catch is that files will only be stored on the company’s servers for 14 days and you only get 1 GB of storage.
The advantage of using Mediafire to host files is that you can immediately see everything you have shared when you log into the platform. You can organize your files into folders, search them by name, and deposit files in the trash. Note that while Mediafire offers the option to password-protect files, this is only available with a paid ‘Pro’ account.
Max uploaded file size - 50MB
Sabercat Host is a fast and easy free file hosting service, although it does require you to setup an account.
This service makes it easy to upload multiple files at once as you can drag and drop multiple files for upload with either Firefox or Chrome browsers, and free users can upload up to 50 MB worth of files at once.
Like Mediafire, Sabercat Host allows you to organize your hosted files into folders. You also have the option to check download statistics for your files and to get embed codes for many different social media platforms. Free users get 5 GB of total file storage, unlimited bandwidth for downloads, and your files never expire.
Bandwidth limited to 10GB per 30 minutes
MEGA allows you to share one-off files without creating an account, which is a major plus for this platform.
Alternatively, you can create an account to get access to 50 GB of file space and upload unlimited file sizes. You can get additional storage space for your free MEGA account by referring to friends (extra 10 GB per invite), installing the mobile app on your phone (extra 15 GB), or installing the MEGAsync program on your computer (extra 20 GB).
The one thing to watch out for with a free account on MEGA is that your upload and download bandwidth is limited to 10 GB per 30-minute period. This isn’t a problem if you’re hosting small files, but for files larger than several gigabytes in size it can make MEGA nearly unusable.
One of the major benefits of MEGA is that it is one of the few free file hosting services to offer end-to-end file encryption. However, this complicates sending large files because of the 10 GB bandwidth limit.
Max uploaded file size - 10GB
DepositFiles gives you a lot of file hosting options, although you do have to create an account to get access to the service.
You get an unlimited amount of file storage and your files never expire, which is hard to beat for a free file host. Plus, individual file uploads are capped at a massive 10 GB size limit.
More advanced capabilities within DepositFiles include the ability to upload files to the service remotely using an HTTP or FTP client. You can also password protect download links, which adds a small measure of security to your files.
File Hosting vs Cloud Storage
When looking to host your files, usually you get to choose between the two options - file hosting and cloud storage? Is there even any difference between them? Well, let's have a look:
Both file hosting and cloud storage services will allow you to place your files online and share download links with friends, family, and collaborators. So why use a free file hosting service over a free cloud storage solution?
The main reason to opt for file hosting is that it makes one-off file transfers simple. Many file hosting services allow you to upload files quickly without creating an account, whereas cloud storage solutions require an account so you can access your files later.
That said, if you need security for your files or for your files to remain online for more than a limited time, you’re likely better off using cloud storage than file hosting. File hosting services typically don’t provide any file encryption or are unclear about the security measures they do take.
Plus, while some services will hold your files indefinitely, most put expiration dates on your download links so they can’t be used as long-term cloud storage hosts.
Best Free File Hosting - Final Thoughts
Free file hosting services offer a fast and simple way to transmit files over the Internet, often without even needing to create an account.
When choosing a free file host, be sure to consider how big your largest files are, how much data you’ll be transferring overall, and how long you need your files to stay online.
Did this guide help you choose a free file hosting service? Let me know in the comments below!