RapidShare shutdown: Cloud storage firm to close 31 March

Closed sign

Cloud storage and file-sharing site RapidShare is shutting down at the end of March, and users now face a race against time to secure their data before it is deleted.

Visitors to the RapidShare website are greeted by a message announcing the news, which confirms the service will close on 31 March 2015.

“We strongly recommend all customers to secure their data. After March 31st, 2015 all accounts will no longer be accessible and will be deleted automatically,” the message states.

RapidShare users have a choice of two storage plans, a 300 GB plan for €49.99 a month, geared towards people who want to share documents, music files and hi-res images, and a premium account that offers 700 GB of storage for €99.99 a month.

Subscribers whose monthly renewal dates are approaching can bag a contract extension until 28 February that will last until the service’s eventual switch-off date, the website post confirms.

Speculation about why the Switzerland-based firm has decided to shut up shop has already begun to circulate, with some industry watchers blaming a recent clampdown on piracy.

Ernesto van der Sar, editor of TorrentFreak, told the BBC: “It’s clear that Rapidshare lost the vast majority of its users in recent years, after it implemented a series of anti-piracy measures.

“This visitor exodus has led to a sharp decline in revenues.”

Cloud Pro contacted RapidShare to find out why it was shutting down, and to see if there are any provisions in place to help users with large amounts of data migrate from the service.

At the time of writing, no response had been forthcoming.

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.