Rapidshare, one of the oldest files hosting services on the internet, will be shutting down next month. All files and user accounts will be deleted after 31 March, bringing years of attempted rebranding to an end.
The service had managed to remain on the right side of the law after many similar file hosting services, like Megaupload, we raided for piracy. Rapidshare wasn’t exactly free from illegal downloads, but it did try to do enough to keep authorities off its back and things operating smoothly.
After Megaupload was raided and shut down, Rapidshare attempted to distance itself from simply hosting files and become a cloud storage service. The attempt did not go well and the company was forced to downsize 75-percent of its workforce while also cancelling its free service. A move that only made things worse.
The few people who still use Rapidshare are being asked to download and secure their data stored on the servers, and interestingly enough it is allowing subscription renewals up to the end of February. Possibly to allow those who have expiring subscriptions to get the extra time to retrieve their store data.
Rapidshare hasn’t been relevant in a long time, but it is sad to see another long time internet service die.