Archive for the ‘Firedrive’ Category

Firedrive Mystery Deepens, iOS and Android Apps Disappear

Monday, October 6th, 2014

firedriveBugs, glitches and technical issues are real-life problems for all web-based operations. As a result, most websites are vulnerable to downtime, whether that’s for a few minutes or a few hours.

In the file-sharing space the phenomenon is very common indeed as these entities, torrent and ‘cyberlockers’ in particular, often face unique challenges. These special issues can often lead to unexpected downtime, although with the advent of social media many sites have improved their communications with users.

That being said, tens of thousands of Firedrive users currently have no idea what has happened to their site.

Firedrive, which was previously known as Putlocker before a rebranding exercise earlier this year, started behaving strangely last week. User reports to TorrentFreak initially complained that the site was simply down, but a couple of days later, with no official announcement forthcoming, things took a turn for the strange.

It’s well known that Firedrive is used by some to host unauthorized copies of movies. It’s unclear just how many but thousands of sites around the world carry links to Firedrive that allow the viewing of mainstream movies with nothing more than a web browser. However, users trying to access those links are currently facing disappointment.

Since before the weekend, many (perhaps all) video files on Firedrive have been replaced with 13-15 second intros used by the major movie studios. TF tested a few random links we found using Google and found intros from Sony, Warner, Universal and Dreamworks, instead of the movies that claimed to be there.

Fire-weird

TVAddons, the XBMC-focused community previously known as XBMCHub, told TorrentFreak that the issues at Firedrive and sister-site Sockshare (which is also currently non-functional) have broken some of their XBMC/Kodi addons. However, even greater concern lies with those who use Firedrive as a personal storage site.

In recent months following the Putlocker transition, Firedrive has been debuting tools and features which give the site an appeal to users looking for Dropbox-style functionality. And this is where things get even more strange. After a short beta period, on October 1 Firedrive issued a press release heralding the official debut of their iOS and Android syncing apps.

“We are looking forward to our users exploring the new applications and finding value in sharing and backing up their rich media using Firedrive,” said Joseph Turner, CEO of Firedrive.

However, users searching for the apps on either the App Store or Google Play are now met with silence. ITunes reports that the app is only available in Canada yet switching to that location reveals that it has been removed. Searches on Google Play for the Android versions yields nil results.

Ever since their press release Firedrive simply hasn’t been working and the only posts on Firedrive’s Facebook page are from angry users complaining about everything from lost files to hackers having taken over the site.

“All I can say is thank god I didn’t pay for this bullshit and to think was just about to go pro and pay,” wrote one. “Never happening now even if it does come back with my files intact, which I doubt will happen! Anyone into a class action suit, I have 100s of hours of work lost could only imagine what paying customers might have lost!”

TorrentFreak reached out to the site for comment but we have yet to receive any response. If anyone has any additional information, feel free to contact us.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing and anonymous VPN services.

Putlocker Rebrands as Firedrive, User Files Remain Intact

Saturday, February 15th, 2014

firedriveDespite only being online for a few years, much of Putlocker’s existence as a file-storage site has been tarnished by accusations from Hollywood.

Back in 2011 the MPAA categorized Putlocker as a “rogue site”, operations that amount to a “direct threat to our community and the millions of hard-working Americans that rely on it for their livelihoods.”

Hollywood’s problem with Putlocker is that its users regularly upload movies and TV shows to the service without permission. Links to these videos are then posted on third-party streaming portals, enabling visitors to watch the latest blockbusters for free. Putlocker has always insisted that it’s complied with the letter of the law and by 2012 it was fighting back.

“Putlocker takes a strong stand against copyright infringement and in the past year and a half we have taken down hundreds of thousands of infringing files and blocked the accounts of hundreds of repeat offenders,” the site told TF at the time.

Despite the public statements and apparent copyright takedowns, Hollywood’s position on the site has remained unchanged. Up to and including their latest submission to the USTR, the MPAA has continued to insist that Putlocker is a “notorious market.”

USTR’s 2014 report on PutlockerPutlockerUSTR

Earlier this week, however, and in parallel with Hollywood’s latest accusations, Putlocker simply disappeared. Visitors to the domain were redirected to a completely new site with a brand new name – Firedrive.com. What followed was a steady stream of emails to TorrentFreak asking if we could shine any light on developments. Here are our findings.

“Putlocker has been under active redevelopment for over a year under a new management and development team. It was decided to rebrand the site, in order to get a fresh start,” the Firedrive team told TF.

The new site certainly looks fresh, with a brand new design that makes it look more like a competitor to the revamped Mediafire than some kind of alleged pirate hangout. Firedrive offers 50GB of free storage for everyone, with files accessible on any device along with features to share files as privately or as publicly as the user might like.

FireDrive SS

“Firedrive has all the features of Putlocker like free unrestricted access to files, streaming of media files, and mobile access, but that’s just the start. Firedrive has a wide array of new features that really make it a unique product. These include groups, public profiles, filedrops, advanced file permissions, document viewing, and much more,” Firedrive explains.

While Firedrive is clearly looking towards a fresh start, former users of Putlocker will be pleased to know that their data has been fully shipped over to the new site.

“Firedrive has all the user accounts and files that were on Putlocker, so users can just login with their old credentials and have access to their data. Anyone who had a Pro account on Putlocker, will continue to have a Pro account on Firedrive,” TF was informed.

Other features to make FireDrive even more accessible are currently in the works, including desktop and mobile applications, syncing across devices, and end-to-end encryption.

The additions are likely to please users, but whether the changes will be enough to improve the site’s image with Hollywood remains to be seen.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing and VPN services.