After seeing this question exposing a particulary bad choice for a file hoster to place a PCAP dump on, I wondered what the current options are. As I see it, the hosting service needs to be

  • easily accessible for the readers (i.e. at most 2-3 simple clicks to download)
  • have a long storage time so it keeps the question or answer referring to it in context

and preferably should be

  • without advertising
  • without asking the uploader to create an account

I remember having seen a feature request to provide a uniform way to do binary uploads/downloads somewhere on meta.SO, but as the mills are grinding slowly I would like to know what others are doing in this situation (apart from restraining from linking to binaries at all).

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    I think the only REAL way to have longevity of uploaded files would be for StackExchange to host a file server for this purpose. The problem with Host Your Own is that the user might take it down and the SE links will 404. This includes Dropbox, Amazon S3, Skydrive, and any other service that is maintained by a user subscription. Commented Mar 7, 2013 at 17:33

8 Answers 8


I tend to just upload it to one of my Amazon S3 buckets..

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    Would seem to me to be about as permanent as any other option here...
    – tomfanning
    Commented Jul 30, 2012 at 7:53
  • 1
    until he closes his S3 account. There needs to be something a little more permanent. Commented Mar 7, 2013 at 17:30

I may be wrong but I'd have thought that as IT professionals we should all have access to a system where we can make such files available.

  • 9
    I don't see any difficulty in making files available. But I do see some in making them last. I always deemed the "own server" solution particularly bad as there is absolutely no consistency in how long the links will remain valid.
    – the-wabbit
    Commented Jul 27, 2012 at 18:45
  • @syneticon-dj, unfortunately the same problem exists with nearly all public file servers. This is especially true at the moment with many of them either shutting down or no longer allowing public downloads. Commented Jul 28, 2012 at 0:32
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    -1 Because not every IT person can or wants to put stuff like this on their website. And what if they don't have a website (IE consulting stuff)
    – TheLQ
    Commented Aug 3, 2012 at 22:06
  • 1
    @TheLQ, I find it hard to believe there's an IT professional that doesn't have a web site. That's like an electrician not having a screwdriver. Commented Aug 4, 2012 at 1:44
  • You can put me in the "or wants to" category, theLQ.
    – Sirex
    Commented Aug 6, 2012 at 1:42
  • At last, if rapidshare and others public services not acceptable, you can arrange hosting at home.
    – mmv-ru
    Commented Aug 6, 2012 at 20:53

I generally use my own server, but have used box.com in the past (still some old stuff laying around)


To mention an option specifically suited for PCAP dump files, Cloudshark seems to be a sensible choice. It has been around for some time now (started in 2010), is constantly extending the services, does not require to sign up to upload dumps, has reasonable size limits (10 MB currently) and not only hosts dumps but also allows for viewing and analysis via an AJAX interface:

Cloudshark interface


As has been mentioned before, using your own server is a good choice if you can handle the bandwidth. If that's not possible, I've had great relability and service with Ge.tt

Quote from the FAQ:

No plug-ins

Ge.tt is 100% web-based and works directly in your browser. No flash required. No applet needed. No installation before you're ready to go. Just go to your browser and start sharing.

The free account will delete files after 30 days, however if YOU sign-up for an account then the files last until you remove them. (or Ge.tt gets sued into oblivion) Users who get the ge.tt link won't need to sign-up to download.

ToS quote:

In order to clean its file storage, Ge.tt is entitled to delete files which have not been accessed for a longer period of time. However, this deletion shall only take place after minimum 30 days have passed since the file was uploaded, and if the user does not have an account.

Users of the Ge.tt services shall have the option of registering free-of-charge. Through this registration, they can expand the features and functions of the Ge.tt services and view and manage all files, which have been uploaded using this account.


Stack Exchange themselves use ClearBits (LegalTorrents) for their data dumps. But I think they charge for uploads. And they require stuff to be under a free* license.

* Free in the Free Software sense, or one of the non-Free Creative Commons licenses, such as ND or NC. I'm not sure exactly what their requirements are, but it has to allow unpaid redistribution, anyway.

The above is no longer true. ClearBits have closed down, and the SE data dumps are now hosted on Archive.org.


The problem here is going to be that since the debacle of Megaupload there will be few upload services that allow uploading without an account attached to the uploaded file.

I think rapidshare is still one of the better ones at the moment, they don't have waiting periods (unless they are over capacity) and making an account when uploading is dead easy.

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    RapidShare has become quite unreliable lately, at least as far as downloads goes. Constant timeouts and failures to resume. That might not be a problem with files of only few KB or MB but does need to be considered for large files. Commented Jul 27, 2012 at 4:59

For the files to last reliably long enough, let's use decentralized p2p storage solutions, say, like BitTorrents, or GNUnet, etc. (Perhaps a namecoin-based solution can be worked out.)

And they should be content-addressable (i.e., by the hash), so that future modifications of the storage organization wouldn't affect our ability to find the linked content.

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    About the bittorrent option: Having enough seeders to ensure long-term availability would be tricky. Commented Jul 30, 2012 at 6:41
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    Who would keep seeding somebody else's files if they themselves can get absolutely no benefit from them? Commented Aug 4, 2012 at 1:46

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