After six days without service and counting, users of the popular cloud storage site Firedrive are starting to ask the dreaded question -- is the service (and the widely-linked files stored on it) coming back?
A visit to the site reveals the problem that started around 30 September. The main page no longer allows users to log in, upload files or access those already stored on a service that was attractive because free access offered a generous 20GB allowance.
Even the 'about us' and 'contact us' buttons lead back to the apparently dead home page. The Android and iOS mobile synchronisation apps promised only days ago by CEO Joseph Turner have not appeared.
Exactly what has gone wrong is still a mystery although the site has some form here. In February it changed its name without warning to Firedrive from Putlocker. And despite having a healthy 178,000 Twitter followers, the company hasn't exactly been talkative, posting just one message since 31 July.
One problem with Firedrive is that its store is used to host and link to movies files that might or might not have been legally acquired. The firm always denied copyright infringement when asked about it although the fact that an unhealthy portion of its Twitter follower base appear to be accounts created purely to link to files hosted there doesn't exactly boost its image.
According to TorrentFreak, in February the MPAA still viewed it as one of a clutch of sites hosting pirated content.
That still leaves the effect on ordinary users, with a series of plaintive queries about the site's unexpected downtime appearing on Twitter in and Facebook recent days.
"Thousands of PAYING customers have lost TBs of files, to say nothing of those using the service for free," one user told Techworld by email.
"But the scandal is that the owners of Firedrive have not communicated anything to users via Facebook (where adverse comments have been removed), via email (all emails are ignored), there is not even an explanatory landing page."
This particular user had backup for the 1GB of files uploaded to the service. "Is the Cloud - like optical or magnetic media - too risky and fragile for archival use?"
Techworld was unable to contact Firedrive. Cloud storage was always predicted to be chaotic, just not this chaotic.
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