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Monday, May 18, 2009

Searching For Files

... on File Hosting Sites with Google

File hosting services like Rapidshare, Megaupload or SendIt allow anyone to post up files for others to find and use. While this is useful for sending files too large for e-mail attachments, the sites usually offer an anonymous uploading system which prevents users from searching through the file hosting host’s databases to find files directly.
The logic behind this is obvious: File Hosting sites are not intended as a full-on hosting service, and were it to provide it’s files in a searchable manner, bandwidth costs would skyrocket. Additionally, software pirates and other persons wishing to covertly acquire digital content they have no right to would be able to quickly and easily find such data which has been uploaded by equally unscrupulous persons.
But what if you are just looking for a free game, a movie preview, or a file you downloaded a month ago and accidentally deleted? Luckily, using the power of Google, you can root through file hosting services to find files. All you have to do is tell Google to look through the site for you. To do this all you need to do is type the following into Google’s search bar:
site:url “[Term]“

If you replace [term] with whatever you are looking for, Google will root through the url that you specified in search of files that either have the term in their filename or their description. This will permit you to easily and quickly root through file hosting sites in search of specific files when you know exactly what you are looking for, such as the preview to an upcoming movie or the demo version of a specific game.

If you’ve got a more general idea of what you want, it may be a good idea to have Google search the sites for specific filetypes. To do this for music files, enter the following into the Google search bar:
+inurl:wma|mp3|ogg site:url
This will tell Google to search the site for the most popular sort of music files.

If you want to search for videos, enter:
+inurl:avi|mpg|wmv site:url

And if you want to search for just archives in general, enter:
+inurl:exe|rar|zip site:url

Each of these methods isn’t foolproof. You will invariably end up with a large number of files you do not want, and it will take awhile to root through the results to find what you are interested in. Also it is important to be aware that since file hosting sites are quick and anonymous that not all files will be properly labeled or even safe.

1 comment:

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