Anybody who has been downloading files for a while, particularly those who use filehosting sites liberally or exclusively, know that lifetime premium accounts exist. Lifetime premium accounts are supposed to allow you to download files from filehosting sites either:

  1. As long as you live or continue to download files
  2. Until the filehoster closes or is shut down

In too many cases, ‘lifetime’ premium accounts from direct download filehosting sites aren’t all that they’re hyped up to be. Here are the pros and cons of choosing a lifetime premium account for direct download, file hosting and sharing sites and even multihoster services that bundle multiple premium download accounts into one.

Pros – lifetime premium accounts

If you’re a regular file downloader who enjoys direct downloads, like you download files month after month with some regularity, a lifetime premium account can save you money over buying monthly premium account packages. Honestly, the money saved can be substantial.

As a real comparative example, I’m a long-time user of Zevera’s multihost service. I use it regularly, but I don’t maintain an active membership every day of the year, but it is fair to say I have premium Zevera access every month of the year. I started using Zevera in about October of 2011. With it now being March of 2014, that’s about 30 months of Zevera’s service that I’ve held. Considering the couple of times I’ve purchased their 300GB data packages versus opting for monthly, let’s average that to say I’ve paid for about 22 months worth of Zevera’s service at €9.99 per month (about $13.90 USD). In the past 2+ years, then, I’ve paid about €220 EUR for high-speed downloads via Zevera, or about $305 USD. The cost of a lifetime account with Zevera is €199 EUR, so even though I’m a seasonal downloader who doesn’t download heavily all the time, I could have spent less on multihoster services by now if I’d purchased a lifetime premium account.

If you look at the cost of purchasing lifetime premium on a per-month basis, the savings are even greater, or for those who buy bandwidth block accounts and use a lot of bandwidth.

Unfortunately, the pros of buying lifetime premium are pretty much limited to saving money.  There are quite a few negatives.

Cons – lifetime premium accounts

The biggest negative, or potential risk, in regards to buying lifetime premium account access via a multihoster is that the multihoster could shut down. Now, multihosters stay around much, much longer than filehoster sites like Filesonic, Hotfile, Rapidshare, etc, which is because multihosters aren’t actually filehosters… they resell premium account access to filehosters, but don’t usually host files themselves. That said, there’ve been at least a couple of multihost services that have shut down in the past year or so. So, if you buy a lifetime premium account from a multihoster in January and they get taken offline, shut down or ban members from your country from using their service in June… you’re out of luck with little to no remedy to recoup your loss.

Tied to the above point, multihosters are basically filehosting site leechers that resell access to premium accounts that the multihoster maintains. If a multihoster doesn’t actively update their download scripts and add new download sites to their database for members over time, the multihoster will pretty much become worthless. While it may remain online, it might not actually be useful for downloading any files.

Another negative about lifetime premium accounts is that they *may* contain a historical record of all of your downloads since you created the account. With Zevera, they keep a list of the files you’ve downloaded (until you delete them) so that you can re-download those files in the future if you wish, and I’m sure other multihoster services also provide this functionality: it saves them bandwidth. However, there are some pretty-serious privacy implications here in the right scenarios. Even though Zevera doesn’t tie your payment information to your account, and other multihoster services do this as well, there’s an increased chance of “getting caught” if there’s one place where all your download activity is stored. Personally, this is the biggest reason why I buy small download accounts from multihosters on a regular basis rather than buying a lifetime premium account: I use different payment methods, different email addresses and different IP addresses for each multihoster account I use. This gives me a much greater amount of privacy.

Lifetime premium with Multihoster services

I’m of the opinion that lifetime accounts with download services is a bad idea. At least direct-download filehosting sites. I know that services like Zevera and Putdrive (another multihoster I’m using right now) are pretty good in terms of user privacy and protecting that privacy, and allow members to both download and purchase accounts anonymously, plus they’re based outside of the USA, which is a huge bonus, but things can easily change. There’s no guarantee of service in the future, and servers have been known to be hacked or even outright stolen… For those reasons, I think buying a monthly, quarterly or even a semi-annual multihoster account give you good value (or great value) while allowing you to minimize the most prominent risks of these types of file download services.

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