Hotfile Closes : Users Locked Out

We normally cover online privacy issues on the blog.  This is more an issue of access to cloud hosting companies.  What happens to those who stored their family pictures or business documents on the Hotfile servers?  Members weren’t all aware that Hotfile was in a legal battle with the MPAA.  They settled the lawsuit which appears to have forced their closure.  This makes the second cloud host to close unexpectedly.

HotFile closed

The message on the site reads as follows:

As a result of a United States federal court having found to be in violation of copyright law, the site has been permanently shut down.  If you are looking for your favorite movies or TV shows online, there are more ways than ever today to get high quality access to them on legal platforms.

It seems clear that the MPAA scored a victory in more ways than one.  Whether or not they enforce the $80 million settlement, the message is loud and clear to other cloud hosting services.  Fall in line or suffer the same consequences.  All of that aside, our immediate concern is for the users of Hotfile.  Those who stored their personal and professional files for safe keeping.  Only to have their access removed in an instant.  The Hotfile site doesn’t include any option to contact them.  It appears they shut down without any notice to members.

Is the answer to go away from cloud storage services all together?  One of our editors recommends Google, Microsoft and Amazon as high profile alternatives.  I’ve personally used Google Drive from time to time for non essential files.  It works well but I’d want to review their privacy policy closer before storing critical files.  I suggest you keep multiple copies of important files.  The cloud is one source but keep copies on local media as well.

Visit for online privacy tips and VPN reviews.  Follow us @VPNSP for the latest news and updates.