101 Fantastic Freebies

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File Sharing and Storage

4Shared (service)
This clever site combines personal, online storage with file sharing. You get 5GB of free space to store your files. You can either keep the files private or share them with other users, on a folder-by-folder basis. The service imposes just one limitation: No file can be larger than 100MB.

Torrent Swapper (download)
Though BitTorrent has become the de facto protocol for sharing files, the BitTorrent client leaves a lot to be desired. Get this far superior, and faster, open-source client instead. It's easy to use, and it lets you get recommendations from others about files to download; it also allows you to stop, pause, resume, and queue downloads.

Shareaza (download)
Want to share files, but don't want to be tied exclusively to the BitTorrent protocol? This simple-to-use free download allows you to share files on multiple networks and protocols, including BitTorrent, Gnutella, Gnutella2, and eDonkey. It offers fast search and chat capabilities, and you can skin it to your taste as well.

(Editors' note: After publishing this article, we heard from a member of the open-source team that originally developed Shareaza. The developers say that the version of Shareaza we pointed to is based on the open-source code they developed, but is not authorized by them. For more on the controversy, see this article. And to download the open-source version of Shareaza, go to shareaza.sourceforge.net.)

In Office Live Workspace, Microsoft has introduced some handy document-sharing and collaboration features for Office users.
Microsoft Office Live Workspace (service)
This is, by far, the most powerful free file-sharing site you can find. It's closer to a full-blown collaboration tool, and it links directly to Microsoft Office so that you can edit your online files using Office applications. The service is ideal for small businesses looking for a way to collaborate on common documents.

Dropboks (service)
Don't expect sophistication or any bells and whistles here. This service is a simple, straightforward way to store up to 1GB of files online for free.

Openomy (service)
This simple, no-frills storage site also lets you share files with other people. You get 1GB of free storage, and you can send colleagues links to your files so they can download them. It has as basic an interface as you will find. One important note: Make sure to create "tags" (the equivalents of folders) and then upload files to your tags; otherwise, you may never unearth the files again.

MP3 Rocket (download)
You can do more with this Gnutella client than just share and download files. You can also listen to Internet radio stations, watch online video channels, and burn your own CDs.

Bluestring (service)
If you want to share media and other kinds of files, the task doesn't get much easier than on this site. Upload your files to the service, and you'll have access to them online whenever you want. You can then share them with others in various ways, including sending an e-mail link to the storage site. It's also a good way to publish photos and media to a Web site or blog, since you can put a link in your page to the file being hosted on Bluestring.

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