Of all the online payment options available today, PayPal is the most popular of the small but growing bunch. I’ve had my PayPal account for over 11 years now, and rather like the convenience it affords me. Others do, too. PayPal was a generational staple that has since become a household name that can be used to purchase anything online or offline wherever MasterCard is accepted. Back in the day, people even used to purchase premium accounts from filehosting sites using PayPal. Or, premium multihoster services even. That changed a couple of years ago.
PayPal and filehosters: a bit of history
A few months after Megaupload.com, a formerly popular filehosting and sharing site, was taken down by the US Government (January 19, 2012), PayPal took an official stance against filehosting sites and newsgroups: any site that used PayPal to process member payments and also allowed users to download files on a mass scale was on their cut off list. Prior to the Megaupload takedown, many filehosting sites relied on PayPal to process premium account member payments. On some hoster sites, it is reported that as many as 90% of members’ payments were handled by PayPal.
This filehosting site ban by PayPal not only financially crippled some filehosters, but really screwed up premium members’ ability to pay for the download services they wanted, too.
PayPal did offer a way for some filehosting services to continue to use PayPal to process, payments… but it meant filehosters being required to sell out member’s info for money, basically. You can read more about PayPal’s compromise for filehosters over on Torrentfreak. Bottom line, though, most people wouldn’t want their filehosting site or multihoster to log all their activity, at least I sure wouldn’t.
Around that time – June or July of 2012, PayPal was officially no longer a choice for users to pay for premium accounts or multihoster services.
2014 – How to pay for multihosters using PayPal
To this day, it’s rare to find a filehosting site or multihoster that offers direct PayPal payments for premium download services. However, indirectly there are a couple of options.
First, some third-party payment processors like Regnow and 2Checkout give vendors (which are the multihoster sites and filehosting sites accepting payments) the option of receiving PayPal payments through their service. For example, Zevera accepts PayPal payments using Regnow. This is a way filehosters or multihoster services skirt PayPal’s limitations: by using a third-party service to accept PayPal payments on their behalf.
A second option is to use the PayPal MasterCard debit card. It works just like a bank-issued debit card with the MasterCard logo on it, except it’s tied to your PayPal account. Even if a multihoster service doesn’t accept indirect PayPal payments, most accept credit cards, and you can use your PayPal debit card to purchase multihoster services from these providers. As an added bonus, you get 1% cash back when making online purchases or “signature” purchases at local stores with the PayPal debit card. Some people get 1.5% cash back (I do), but I think you’re limited to 1% now, but still: it’s free money, essentially.
Choosing a multihoster service
Personally, I’d avoid buying premium accounts or multihoster accounts from a provider that accepts direct PayPal payments. In order for the service to comply with PayPal’s terms, they have to track a lot of your activity. Putdrive goes into some detail on their payments page (it’s a popup: can’t link to it directly) about why multihosters or filehosters that accept PayPal [directly] shouldn’t be trusted to keep your download and upload activities private.
I love PayPal and love the convenience, but PayPal wants way too much information from filehosting sites and multihosters to entrust download service providers that are willing to work with PayPal just to accept payments through them.
My best advice when using a premium multihoster service is this: every time you want to renew your multihoster package, just sign up for a new account instead. Use a new email address, new password and if possible, a different form of payment each time. While the multihosters I recommend are privacy focused, I don’t think you could ever be too cautious when trying to obscure your online activities.