“File sharing is our radio; that’s the way people hear our stuff.”

Guy Picciotto, Musician

Pros and Cons of File Sharing

advantages and disadvantages of file sharing

File sharing has become increasingly popular over the past decades. Thanks to the internet, it has become quite easy to share pictures, videos and music with your friends.

However, apart from the advantages of file sharing, there are also some problems with this concept. In this article, the pros and cons of file sharing are discussed in detail.

Audio Lesson

Advantages of File Sharing

  1. Improved access to all types of media
  2. Easy to share media with your family and friends
  3. Using file-sharing platforms can save you money
  4. Can give you access to unpublished materials
  5. You can share your own work on file sharing platforms
  6. File sharing community is huge
  7. May help to increase popularity of artists
  8. File sharing is quite popular
  9. You don’t have to go to your local store
  10. File sharing is convenient
  11. Can give you a certain level of thrill

Improved access to all types of media

One important advantage of file sharing is that it gives us access to all types of different media. If you search for a specific title, chances are that you will find it on those platforms. Since millions of people use those file sharing platforms, chances are that you will also be able to find rather exotic content which is not easy to find in the local stores or even on the rest of the internet.

Hence, especially if you search for rare material that you will not be able to find in other stores, file sharing can greatly help you out in this regard.

Easy to share media with your family and friends

Through file sharing, it is also quite simple to share content with your family and friends. This can be personal content, for example your pictures and videos from your latest vacation. It can also be movies or other content that you feel is valuable enough to share it with your peers.

Thanks to those file-sharing platforms, it only takes minutes until you can make your files accessible for people throughout the world. Imagine you have friends from all over the world. If you want to share content with them, you can just upload this content on file sharing sites and your friends can download it almost in real-time.

Without those file sharing platforms, you would have to ship this content in a physical manner, which would be quite cost-intensive and time-consuming. Consequently, file sharing makes it much easier to share all sorts of content with your family as well as with people from all over the world.

Using file sharing platforms can save you money

File sharing also allows you to save plenty of money on media content. In fact, you can find almost every movie or song on file sharing platforms and can often download them for free instead of having to spend money on those things by going to the cinema or buying a DVD.

Hence, especially if you are currently on a budget, file sharing may be a great way to save you some money that you can use for other things instead.

Can give you access to unpublished materials

The number of media files on file sharing platforms is enormous. In fact, you will find almost everything you are looking for on those platforms. In some cases, you may also find outtakes or other unpublished materials that are not available on the official market.

Therefore, if you search for those rare materials which are hard to find otherwise, file sharing can often also help you out in this regard.

You can share your own work on file sharing platforms

You can not only download movies or other media from file sharing platforms, you can also share your own work on those sites. In fact, you may be a talented musician who wants to share his or her work for free with other people from around the world.

You may also have a broadcast that you want to share with others. For all those things, file sharing can be a great way to reach as many people as possible.

File sharing community is huge

If you engage in file sharing, you can be sure that you are not alone. In fact, numerous people from all over the world use file sharing services in order to get access to billions of media files. Therefore, you can not only download plenty of materials through file sharing, you can also make new friends over time.

In fact, there are some file sharing forums and groups out there where you can share your latest findings regarding the development of file sharing, which may give you a feeling of community that you may miss in real life.

May help to increase popularity of artists

File sharing is not only relevant for private use, it also provides many artists with an important platform to distribute their materials for free and to increase their popularity. In fact, many artists are quite happy to share their best work for free since they know that this can greatly pay off later on in their lives. Hence, file sharing platforms may also provide great career opportunities for many people from all over the world.

File sharing is quite popular

In general, file sharing is quite popular. Millions of people from all over the world use those file sharing platforms in order to share their work. In fact, many people even fear that they are missing out on something if they don’t use those platforms. This is especially true for our younger generation who uses those platforms quite frequently.

You don’t have to go to your local store

File sharing also enables you to download all things you want while you just lie on the couch. You don’t even have to attend your local store anymore, you can just get your files online. Hence, file sharing can also be a great alternative for rather lazy people who don’t want to waste any energy.

File sharing is convenient

File sharing can also be quite convenient. It doesn’t matter where you are right now in the world. You just need an internet connection and you are ready to go for file sharing. In fact, sharing files on the internet has become quite convenient and with only a few clicks, you can get basically everything you want.

Can give you a certain level of thrill

Since file sharing is not legal in many countries, it can also give you a certain level of thrill. In fact, the lives of many people are quite boring and those people often search for some excitement. Hence, if you are one of those people who needs the thrill, file sharing may also be the way to go for you.

Disadvantages of Filesharing

  1. File sharing can be illegal
  2. Copyright infringements can be quite costly
  3. Sentences for copyright infringements often also include jail
  4. May harm many artists
  5. Many file sharing platforms have been closed down
  6. Files may contain malware
  7. Privacy concerns regarding file sharing platforms
  8. File sharing can get out of control
  9. Juice may not be worth the squeeze
  10. Not sustainable in the long run
  11. Children may get access to adult content

File sharing can be illegal

Although file sharing has some important benefits, it also implies serious problems. For instance, file sharing is in fact illegal in many countries. Many people might not know it but they can get into serious problems once they get caught. Hence, in order to protect yourself from a legal perspective, you may want to refrain from file sharing.

Copyright infringements can be quite costly

In fact, using file sharing platforms can become quite costly. The fines for copyright infringements can be huge and in extreme cases, people had been sued to pay enormous amounts of money due to those infringements.

Hence, if you don’t want to put yourself at risk for financial ruin, refusing from using those file sharing platforms may be the way to go for you.

Sentences for copyright infringements often also include jail

In some countries, you may not only be at risk for high monetary sentences. You may even have to go to jail. Although those cases are rather rare, they happen and especially if you share large amounts of data that are copyright-protected, you may end up in jail sooner or later.

May harm many artists

Even though artists may gain in popularity through file sharing, they can also lose plenty of money due to the free sharing of their work. This is especially true for artists who are already established. In fact, if artists are already publicly known, they get enough attention to sell their work and do no longer need attention through file sharing platforms.

Thus, especially for popular artists, file sharing can greatly reduce their overall profits since it leads to a significant drop in the number of units that will actually be sold in an official manner.

Many file sharing platforms have been closed down

Since file sharing is on the edge of legality and is also illegal in some countries, many file sharing platforms have been closed down in the past. Consequently, it may also not be a good idea to rely on those platforms since you never know when your favorite file sharing platform may be closed in the future.

Files may contain malware

If you download media from file sharing platforms, you may also download plenty of malware to your computer. In fact, nobody will guarantee that the files you download are actually clean and you may mess up your computer through the use of those platforms.

Privacy concerns regarding file sharing platforms

Opponents of file sharing also often claim that there will be serious privacy issues related to this concept. For instance, if you upload media to these platforms, you will not know what people will do with this media. Moreover, you will also not know for what purposes the providers of those platforms will use your media.

File sharing can get out of control

In general, once you uploaded content to file sharing platforms, you will basically lose all control over your files. Everyone can access those files and share them. Hence, make sure that you are really ready to share those files since there will be no going back after you uploaded your content.

Juice may not be worth the squeeze

Another problem with file sharing is that the juice may simply not be worth the squeeze in many cases. Quite often, downloading files can take quite a lot of time. This is especially true for videos since they often have pretty big sizes. Those waiting times may be quite annoying and you may want to go for alternatives like streaming services instead.

Not sustainable in the long run

An additional disadvantage of file sharing is that it will not be a sustainable solution in the long run. Especially file sharing platforms that provide copyright-protected media will be shut down sooner or later and you should therefore not rely on those platforms too much.

Children may get access to adult content

File sharing can also be problematic in the sense that those files will be available to all age groups. Hence, nobody can make sure that adult content is only watched by adults. In fact, many children will get access to this adult content, which may not be mentally healthy for them. Hence, in order to protect our younger generation, we may also not want to allow file sharing platforms continue to exist.

Top 10 File Sharing Pros & Cons – Summary List

File Sharing ProsFile Sharing Cons
File sharing can be convenientFile sharing may be illegal
File sharing can save you moneyYou may have to pay fines
Easy access to all sorts of mediaYou may even end up in jail
Especially helpful for rare filesFile sharing may hurt the income of artists
You can share your files as wellFile sharing may be time-consuming
May help artists to popCopyright infringements are a problem
Can help you make new friendsMay not be sustainable in the long run
You don’t have to buy from a storeJuice may not be worth the squeeze
Can give you a certain thrillPrivacy issues related to file sharing
Access to unpublished materialAdult content is a problem

Should You Share Files?

As we have seen before, file sharing is a rather controversial topic. While there are some advantages to filesharing, it also implies serious downsides.

In the end, you have to decide for yourself whether the pros of file sharing outweigh the cons in your case and whether you want to use those file-sharing platforms or not.

Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File_sharing

https://www.techopedia.com/definition/16256/file-sharing

https://www.lifewire.com/file-sharing-on-computer-networks-817371

About the author

My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people of all ages about our environmental problems and how everyone can make a contribution to mitigate these issues.

As I went to university and got my Master’s degree in Economics, I did plenty of research in the field of Development Economics.

After finishing university, I traveled around the world. From this time on, I wanted to make a contribution to ensure a livable future for the next generations in every part of our beautiful planet.

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