How to make money using file-upload services such as Rapidshare, Hotfile and Megaupload

The cost for 128 kilobytes of memory will fall below U$100 in the near future.
Creative Computing magazine December 1981, page 6 [1]

Back in the day, 128 kilobytes was a lot of memory, now it sounds quite strange that someone would pay a hundred dollar for such an amount! The decrease in price of memory over the past decades and the increasingly rapid spread of internet accessible computers has lead to a point where you are no longer paying for space, but you are being paid to fill it!

That statement is a bit off, because you do not receive money per upload but per download. A lot of sites such as Rapidshare, Hotfile and Megaupload offer affiliate programmes that will either get you points to prolong your account subscription or actual money! Most of these services give you around a dollar per 1000 downloads, depending on how large the file is and where the person who downloads it is from. IP-addresses from the Western world will get you more bang per buck than third world countries. This has to do with the advertisements that are usually shown on the download page, advertisers are more willing to pay for an ad that is shown to an American than an African person. Usually these sites also offer points/cash for referrals, so if you have a lot of friends that are willing to sign up you can earn some extra Dollars! I have listed some of the sites that offer these kind of services:
Free: yes
Maximum file size: 200MB
Multi-language: yes
You will get money when someone downloads your file. For each unique download, you will get $0.001. Redeemed cash will be transferred via PayPal or Moneybookers once it reaches $10.
10000 Unique Downloads: $10
50000 Unique Downloads: $50
100000 Unique Downloads: $100 USD
500000 Unique Downloads: $500 USD
1000000 Unique Downloads: $1000 USD
Free: yes
Maximum file size: Files larger than 100 MB do not qualify for their Rewards Program.
Multi-language: yes
You earn 1 reward point per download.
10000 reward points:
One month premium membership
50000 reward points:
6 months premium membership
100000 reward points:
One year premium + $100 USD
500000 reward points:
Lifetime platinum + $500 USD
1000000 reward points:
$1500 USD
10000000 reward points:
$10000 USD
Free: yes
Maximum file size: 1000 MB
Multi-language: yes
Rates for 1000 downloads

Status 1-10 MB 10-50 MB 50-100MB 100-250MB 250+MB
Light $1 $2 $3 $4 $5
Base $2 $4 $6 $8 $10
Power $3 $8 $9 $12 $15
Ultra $4 $10 $12 $16 $20

Your status depends on the amount of downloads, although it isn’t very clear how exactly this is calculated. You can read more on the different statuses on the website.
Free: yes
Maximum file size: 2000 MB
Multi-language: yes

Group A B C D
5-75MB $7 $4 $2 $1
75-125MB $15 $6 $4 $2
125-300MB $19 $9 $5 $3
300+MB $25 $12 $7 $4

Recruit new uploaders and earn 20% of everything they earn. A/B/C/D factors are the country group that the downloader belongs to, you can find these on the site.
Free: no
Maximum file size: none
Multi-language: yes
You earn points per download, so-called ‘Rapids’, that you can use to prolong your Rapidshare premium account subscription.
Free: yes
Maximum file size: none
Multi-language: yes

Status 5-50 MB 50-100 MB 100-2000MB
Copper $2 $3 $4
Bronze $3 $5 $7
Silver $5 $7 $10
Gold $6 $9 $12
Platinium $7 $10 $15

Your status mainly depends on your conversion ratio which includes:
1. The ratio of the users that downloaded your files and the users that become premium based on your uploaded files.
2. The ratio of uploaded files to number of downloads.
Free: no / yes
Maximum file size: 2000MB
Multi-language: yes
You earn points per download, so-called ‘U-points’, that you can use to prolong your Depositfiles gold membership.
1 unique downloading of your file per DAY = 1 U-point.
5 U-points for 2 hours Gold-Key
15 U-points for 6 hours Gold-Key
200 U-points for 24 hours Gold-Key
1000 U-points for 2 weeks Gold-Key
5000 U-points for 1 month Gold-Key
You can also earn a gold membership by signing up for a free account and downloading files of the site, you get so-called ‘D-points’ for each download of a file large than 20 MB.
100 D-Points for 1 Week Gold-key
170 D-Points for 2 Weeks Gold-Key
300 D-Points for 1 Month Gold-Key

Most of the above text are citations made at the time of writing, for up-to-date information please look on the respective sites. Note that all sites require you to be logged in while uploaded and you need to honour their terms of service which usually means that you are not allowed to upload illegal and/or copyrighted files!

I hope this article has informed you about the possibilities around earning money on the internet by uploading files and the diverse website-services you can use. Note that I do not have experience with all of the sites listed above, if you do have experience please share so in the comment section below.

Remember that there is no such thing as ‘free money’, even the uploading of files takes some effort!

[1] If you are interested in the development of the costs of hard drive space over the years, you should check out this site. It shows how the price has evolved from the 1956 to the present.

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