Choosing a hosting provider for storing your files online really depends on what files you intend to store through web hosting and the needs or purpose of this storage. As one might expect, file storage is an important part of web hosting. A website has many reasons host files on the internet, such as video streaming, podcasting, hosting a game, pictures, images, among others. For this reason the need to safely store files through web hosting is often a common need for website owners.
The first option that a website owner may want to explore is to use the web space that is allocated for each web hosting plan. This is the simplest and easiest method as you will be storing the files directly in your website’s domain itself and on your web host’s servers. Of course, the drawback to this method is that if people hotlink directly to your files, your bandwidth will be eaten up pretty quickly. Also, most web hosts usually only give an allocated amount of space which may run out if you use it extensively.
Another option would be to host it on a remote website such as Box.Net or any other remote file storage websites. These websites allow you to upload your files to their server and hotlink the files from there. Not only does this save you some bandwidth as you are not hosting your own files, but it also allows you to keep a large number of files on the web host. This is one method to safely store files through web hosting. However, the fact that the files are hosted on a remote server also means that they can go down anytime, and they can also be deleted anytime. It would be prudent to keep a backup of your files either on your own server or on your computer just in case.
For image files you may want to explore using other types of image hosting websites to safely store your files. Online image directories such as Flickr, Imageshack and other such image hosting directories may be a good solution for you to remotely host your pictures. The drawback however, is that with high resolution pictures you may tend to hit the bandwidth cap of the host very quickly. Of course it is always better than using up your own bandwidth. For the larger image directories such as Flickr, they have little downtime and would be a good alternative to storing your image files through web hosting.
In any case, as you can see, selecting which method to safely store files through web hosting is really dependent on the purpose for file storage and the type of files involved. With the many alternatives and choices available, you can always take your time to select the perfect method to store your files safely through web hosting.