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Back in February file storage service RapidShare angered a lot of users by introducing a severe speed cap for free account holders. Downloading a file became painfully slow as the transfer rate never went above 30kb/s. Even worse was the fact RapidShare was adding pauses to the download, which could easily be interpreted as the download failing.

The only fix for this problem was to upgrade to a premium RapidPro account, which cost $12.90 for 30 days, or the best deal was $130 for two years. Even so, that’s a lot to pay out for your file transfers.

RapidShare introduced the speed cap not long after the MegaUpload raid occurred, and has since admitted the cap was a reaction to that. Megaupload users were streaming on to RapidShare as an alternative and the company was worried about piracy. The speed cap was meant to act as a major deterrent to that.

Any RapidShare free account users who stuck with the service and endured the 30kb/s speeds will be glad to hear that the speed cap was a temporary measure and is being removed. In fact, your account may already be benefiting from much higher transfer rates.

RapidShare’s CEO Alexandra Zwingli has stated the speed cap removal isn’t because the threat of piracy has disappeared, but because the service now has a range of other measures in place to deal with it.

I’d be surprised if RapidShare hadn’t seen a lot of users go elsewhere for their file storage and sharing needs since the cap was introduced. 30kb/s is very low and would make downloading even relatively small files a painful process. With it removed the service is sure to gain in popularity again, but does need to keep a lid on piracy.

More at TorrentFreak

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