4Shared is an online cloud storage company that has been around since 2005. Mainly focusing on file to file transfers online, their simple and basic service has become a trusted name that even the greenest users can quickly pick up and use. They place their focus on simplicity, coupled with easy drag and drop uploads for basic and easy to use file sharing and backup capabilities. Their primary focus may not be backups, but it offers all the rudimentary features to use it as so.

Simplicity is a recurring theme when it comes to 4Shared’s paid plans. You can use their free plan which is a good idea if you want to try out their service and see if it suits your requirements. While it does not offer password protection and premium features, 15GB of free space is offered. It should be noted that free accounts will automatically delete all your files after 180 days of inactivity. Free users are limited to 2GB file size limits, and would need to be split before uploading.

Paid Premium plan users benefit from 100GB of space, SSL encryption, direct download links with password protection, backup and restore deleted files, and an ad free experience. File size limit is also increased to 5GB. Discounts are offered on the monthly rate when opting for 3, 6 or 12 month plans, bringing the cost as low as $6.50 USD per month.

Being an early cloud storage provider, they have always been appreciated for the simple drag and drop upload interface. Software is available for all mobile platforms including Apple, Android, Windows and older Nokia and BlackBerry devices. Desktop support is available for Apple, Windows and Linux. Another benefit is 4Shared’s simple web interface; regardless of whether you have an account or not, you can quickly upload files such as videos and photos or music. Its overriding feature is simplicity in pretty much every aspect you can imagine; from signup to easy sharing of links with friends.

Premium plan users can zip files directly on the cloud. They also provide FTP access for the techies, but in all seriousness, I highly suggest that all users get a feel for FTP (File Transfer Protocol) software, as it can be extremely useful and time saving for queuing backups, downloads and transfers in a much more efficient way than using software provided by the cloud hosting service.