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We're running a website which enables users to download documents about our company, such as:
-wallpapers with the company logo.
-company logos in various flavours.
-media kits in pdf format.

Since these files are quite big in size (some reach 1MB), we no longer want them to be downloaded from our website directly as it's consuming our bandwidth. Accordingly we've been looking into document sharing services. For instance we found Scribd which could allow us to share pdf files, but not our wallpapers and logos which are in png format.

Is there a free service we can use for our users to reliably download any type of files we want to host? (ideally on a service which allows users to easily browse through our files).

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2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Use Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service)

That's basically what S3 is specialized for. You create a 'bucket' for your site that holds all of the the large, high-traffic files you want to share on your site. To give you an idea of the scale, S3 is the back-end that drives DropBox.

Also, be on the lookout for the supposed 'Google Drive' service

If the rumors are true, it's supposed to be released this month. If it works anything like Docs, sharing a file is as simple as changing the 'Share Settings' and copying the public link. Plus, it's supposed to include a dropbox-like desktop syncing solution.

You you don't want to wait on rumors, you can use Google Docs now for file hosting. What most people don't know is, you can upload any file-type to Google Docs for sharing.

The cost of hosting data on Google is cheaper than S3 weighing in at .25/GB. A free account provides 1GB of storage and the file size limit is 10GB.

Update: Edited the summary about Google hosting to clarify that the price/limitations apply to both Google Drive and docs.

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If this is a problem for you I would suggest you look for a new host, bandwidth is very cheap these days - you can get 75Tb a month for $80 - $100 per year.

If you can't change host then buy a cheap hosting account with lots of bandwidth and use a sub-domain like download.yourdomain.com or buy a related domain like download-companyname.com and host the files there instead.

This won't help your SEO though, so I really would suggest finding a host with cheaper bandwidth.

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it's not so much about bandwidth cost, but performance: if many users are downloading a 1MB file at the same time, this could affect other users browsing the website. –  user359650 Apr 12 '12 at 10:38
    
@user359650 for such a small file it's unlikely to affect performance unless you have literally thousands of people trying to get the files at the same time. If that's the case then you need to upgrade your webserver or implement a CDN. –  toomanyairmiles Apr 12 '12 at 11:07
    
75Gb/month is only about 9.3GB/month. Most shared hosting packages come with terabytes of monthly bandwidth (5TB+ for DreamHost, 3TB for HostGator). –  Lèse majesté Apr 14 '12 at 8:47
    
@Lèsemajesté I meant TB –  toomanyairmiles Apr 14 '12 at 9:17

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