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File hosting services, cloud storage services, online file storage providers, and cyberlockers are references to Internet hosting services designed to host user files.

Although they may use varying technologies, these services allow users to upload files to a remote server after a username and password, or another form of authentication, is provided, Typically, the user is allowed HTTP or FTP access, although cloud-based services may allow automated access through permission settings.

Personal file storage services are popular with individuals, as they serve as a form of network storage for personal backup of important files, allowing access from any computer system. Users can upload their files to a personal file storage service for safekeeping or to share them publicly. File sharing services allow users to collaborate on documents or other digital projects, such as PDFs, word processor documents, and spreadsheets. They may also allow users to share and synchronize all types of files across all of the devices they use.

File synchronization and sharing services allow users to create special folders on each of their computers or mobile devices, which are then synchronized by the service so that it appears to be the same folder, regardless of which computer is accessing it. Other users may be invited to have access to this folder, or to subfolders within this folder, for the purpose of collaboration. Dropbox is an example of this type of service.

Individuals with limited storage space on their computer might make use of a personal file storage service to store large files, such as photos or other documents.

Online file storage services sometimes offer the service for free, sometimes with charges for additional storage space, or they may rely on advertising revenue. Others offer the service at a flat rate, with or without limits on the amount of storage available to clients, while others charge on a per-gigabyte basis, sometimes including a bandwidth fee component, as well.

Some services require users to install client software on their computer, making the files available only through computers thave have the software installed, while others allow access through a web browser.

Cyberlocker services, sometimes known as one-click hosting, is a reference to web services that permit Internet users to upload one or more files from their hard drive onto the cyberlocker's server free of charge. Such services typically generate a URL that can be used to provide access to the file. The business model for these sites typically is through advertising or charging for premium services, which might include unlimited downloading, higher download speeds, or an increased amount of time in which the file remains on the server. Sometimes a CAPTCHA is used to discourage automated access.

Cloud storage is a service through which digital data is stored in logical pools, which includes multiple servers, sometimes in multiple locations. These services are often owned and managed by a hosting company. Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) is an example of a cloud storage service.

Whatever the business model or technologies involved, file hosting services are the focus of topics in this category.



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