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28 April 2013
I've noticed that several people like to use 4-Shared to distribute large files to multiple recipients. This works well but 4-Shared is one of those free services that makes money by trying to trick visitors into clicking on links that are really cleverly hidden advertisements. I don't have a problem with this business model because I can usually figure out how to avoid the trick links and get what I want. But, it can be frustrating for a first time visitor to work their way through the maze of false links and downloads.
So, here are some step-by-step instructions to using 4-Shared to download files posted there by other members of the CBSRMT community. (All of the inserted images are active links to the full-size version.)
1. A link to the files will usually be provided in a forum post. I'll use one that was recently posted as an example. (This link may not stay active so don't be surprised if it goes away after a few weeks.) Click the link or copy and paste it into your browser address bar.
Figure 1 - Click the Sign Up link at the top.
2. Once you get to 4-Shared, the first thing you want to do is create a free account for yourself. Click the "Sign Up" link at the top right, see Figure 1, and go through the sign up process. Once you're all signed up, come back to this page. If you already have an account, just login.
Figure 2 - Choose the file and click Download.
3. Now, check the box next to the file you want to download then click the "Download" button at the top of the column. (See Figure 2.) The download button has a blue down arrow icon in it. I like to do one file at a time because the process is simpler.
Figure 3 - Play or Download
4. After a few seconds, you'll be at a new page where you can live stream the file or download it. Don't click the big fake DOWNLOAD or PLAY NOW links! Those are fake links that will try to trick you into purchasing something. If you want to live stream the file, click the Play button in the lower left of the mp3 applet. If you want to download the file, click the Download button directly below the file description and all the way to the left. The Play and small Download buttons are the only ones you should be concerned with! Everything else is a trick. So, you've chosen to download and you've clicked the small Download button with the blue down arrow icon. That takes you to the next step.
Figure 4 - 20 second timer
5. Again, this next page is loaded with tricks. The only button you need to be concerned with is "FREE DOWNLOAD" right below "Waiting Time: 20 seconds." Click this FREE DOWNLOAD button. (If you're not already logged in, you'll be asked for your user name and password. After logging in, you'll have to click the link again to activate the 20 second timer.) Wait the required 20 seconds for the link to become active. After 20 seconds you can click the download link and start the download process.
Figure 5 - Counting down to zero
Figure 6 - If automatic fails, click here
6. If you have a pop-up blocker in place, your download might not start automatically. In that case, just click the link where it says "If your download has not started automatically, please click here." Either way, you'll now be presented with the standard Open / Save / Cancel dialog box. Click Save and choose a location to save your download to.
Figure 7 - Open, Save, Cancel
7. That's it. The file is now on your computer.
These instructions were created while using Internet Explorer. If you use a different browser, there may be minor differences but the overall process is the same.
Remember, 4-Shared makes their money by selling advertisements and they try to trick their visitors into clicking on those advertiser links in order to maximize revenue. Don't be tricked and you'll be able to use the free service to get files others have made available to the group.