Due to security reasons, the Indian government has ordered internet service providers to ban the computer file-sharing website WeTransfer. The ban was authorized via an order passed by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) on May 18, 2020.
As per the reports, DoT issued a notice to internet service providers across the country to ban three URLs. The first two notices asked to ban two specific URLs on the website whereas the third notice was to ban the entire WeTransfer website.
Meanwhile, several user reports on Twitter and other social media channels have confirmed that the blockage exists in various parts of the country.
“We have received reports that WeTransfer is being (partially) blocked in India. Our team is currently investigating the issue, we hope to have more details soon. In the meantime, the best workaround is to use a VPN service to access our site,” the WeTransfer team writes in response to user reports on Twitter.
What is WeTransfer?
WeTransfer is a file-sharing website that allows users to send files of up to 2GB size for free. One just attaches the file, enters their email address, types in the recipient’s email address with an optional message, and sends the file. The recipient, located anywhere in the world, gets an email with a link from which the file can be downloaded. It’s simple and efficient and that’s what made the service wildly popular.
History of Banning websites in India:
In 2014, more than 200 websites, including file-sharing sites like Google Docs, Rapidshare, and Sendspace, had been ordered banned by the Delhi High Court after a complaint by Sony, broadcaster of the FIFA World Cup that year.
In 2018, over 800 websites were banned because they hosted pornographic content. Apart from this, the government has also banned several websites regularly on the grounds of hosting pirated films.
Alternatives for WeTranfer:
There’s no question that Google Drive is one of the most versatile cloud storage services available today. Google Drive is a cloud storage service, and like any cloud storage service, its main purpose is to expand your ability to store files beyond the limits of your hard drive. Cloud storage is sometimes confused with online backup, which achieves a very different purpose using similar infrastructure. Google will give you 15GB of free cloud storage just for signing up. However, it’s important to realize that all of that free space is shared between Google Drive, Google Photos, and Gmail.
Dropbox is a cloud storage and sync service available for the Mac, PC, and most mobile devices. It makes sure that anything in its particular folder is kept safe online and mirrored on any other device you install it on. It is free to download and then has a free version and a paid version. The free version of Dropbox gives you up to 2GB of cloud storage, while the upgraded version known as Dropbox Plus, will give your 1TB of space.
Hightail is a collaboration service that allows teams to share images, PDFs, presentations, and other documents and then comment on them or annotate them. The service also supports video files. Annotating them is similar to how SoundCloud handles comments, in that annotations will appear on the timeline.
A service called Smash solves that problem by offering file transfers with no size limit for free. However, for files that are bigger than 2GB, processing at the server end is slow for the free tier. For faster processing speeds, you’d have to subscribe to the premium tier that also offers to keep your link for up to 365 days, and lets you see your transfer history and reports for $10 a month. It also offers a couple of additional benefits that you can only get with WeTransfer’s premium subscription, such as: protecting your file with a password, modifying link URL, and defining a link’s expiry date.
Terashare is a lightweight application to share files. Once you share a file, Terashare generates a unique, secret link. This secret link allows other people to download the file directly from your computer. Terashare combines the P2P BitTorrent protocol with cloud upload. This means that people can download huge files directly from your computer. Files smaller than 10 GB are also stored on our servers so that your receivers can still download the file even if you switch off your computer. It is faster than other services. Because the receivers download the file directly from your PC, they don’t have to wait until you have completed the upload to the cloud. The moment you share the file, your receiver can download it.