Traditionally, BitTorrent and cyberlockers are generally seen as two entirely different file-sharing platforms, but the newly launched Netkups shows that this doesn’t have to be the case. In fact, supporting both direct downloads and torrents can have benefits for both site operators and users, the founders claim.
BitTorrent sites and cyberlockers have a few things in common.
Both have dozens of millions of users every day, and they also share the wrath of the entertainment industries. But, that’s generally where comparisons stop.
The founders of the new startup Netkups thought this was odd. Why not incorporate the two technologies and make a new hybrid file-sharing service? Why not allow people to upload files and share them through direct links and torrents?
There is indeed nothing that prevents both platforms from being combined and so Netkups was born.
“The hybrid model is a win-win situation,” Netkups founder Adrian told TorrentFreak.
“In our case, we can save on bandwidth charges and enable a faster growth, while we guarantee that the file is seeded by us as long as it is downloadable. At the same time, users can enjoy the benefits of torrent files and download as many files as they want, using part of our bandwidth and bandwidth from other users.”
In common with most cyberlockers, Netkups has no built-in search engine. Users can upload files up to 1 gigabyte for free, and share them with friends or co-workers, or keep them private. If users choose to share the files, these can be downloaded for free from Netkups’ servers with a speed limit of 300 kBs.
And there’s more. Since Netkups also creates a torrent file, people can also use that to download without speed restrictions. All free of charge. For the uploader there’s an added advantage that Netkups will always seed the torrent file in question, so they don’t have to.
BitTorrent of direct download?
Adding a torrent also means that the files will remain available even if the Netkups site ceases to exist. The torrent files created by Netkups use public trackers so they can be easily uploaded to external torrent sites as well.
Sites that operate file-sharing services need to be cautious of copyright infringement issues, and Netkups are no exception. After the Megaupload shutdown in particular, the site’s operators are smart enough to make sure that they’re not breaking any laws.
“We’d be fools not to worry about that. That’s why we have a serious DMCA policy, as well as a serious legal agreement. That said, we watch out for censorship and abuses of any kind. ”
Netkups’ founder told TorrentFreak that copyright holders have to file proper DMCA requests to take content down, and that they are wary of automated censorship requests with huge lists of allegedly infringing links.
“People might not like seeing some things published, but that doesn’t mean all files should be removed. We care about everyone’s rights – not just users, not just creators.”
The Netkups service has been running stable for a few weeks and the site’s founder welcomes people to check it out. While there’s a premium package available with added benefits, the site can be used for free with limited restrictions.
Update: As pointed out in the comments, Netkups is not the only cyberlocker that has BitTorrent support.
4shared also allows users to download files through torrents. However, 4shared appears to log the IP-addresses of downloaders to prevent sharing on external sites.