One method of file sharing which is often overlooked is Usenet Newsgroups. They've been around almost as long as the Internet itself, yet many people don't even realize they have access to them. Basically they are message boards similar to this one, but with the added ability to include files with your post (which they refer to as 'binaries'. Here is a simple guide to get you started...
1. The first step is to determine whether your ISP offers Newsgroup access. You can do this by either calling them and asking, or by searching their website for information.
2. If your ISP gives you free access, you will need to find out the name of their news server (such as news.comcast.com), and also your login name and password.
3. If you ISP doesn't provide access (though most of them do), you can try using a free server, which you can find by searching in Google for "free usenet servers" (but most of them don't include binaries), or you can pay for service. The best deal I've found is Astraweb, which allows you to download 25GB for $10.
4. Next you will need a special browser to view Newsgroups. You can use Outlook Express, but it doesn't handle binaries very well. I recommend Forte's Agent, which you can download here: http://www.forteinc.com/agent/download.php The free version is more than sufficient for most users, but if you really want to you can obtain a registration key to unlock all the extra features. (Note: AOL users can only access Usenet through the AOL interface. I think the keyword is: Newsgroups)
The rest of this guide assumes you have Usenet access and are using Agent newsreader.
5. Once you've installed Agent you need to set it up to access your account. I could walk through the entire process, but I think this website explains it pretty well*:
*Just remember to put in your own News Server (obtained from your ISP) instead of "news.astraweb.com"
6. After your browser is populated with the full list of Newsgroups available, you'll probably want to scroll down to the ones that start with alt.binaries.... You can find groups that contain music, games, videos, pictures, and of course all the free porn you could ever need. Just double-click on a group to get a list of all the topics, then double-click on a message to read it (and automatically retrieve any attached files).
7. Since there are literally thousands of groups, you can use the 'Find' button (or Alt + F) to search for groups containing a specific word or phrase. If you find one you like, click on the 'Subscribe' button to add it to your list of favorites. That way you can jump right to it next time, without having to search for it.
8. If you wish to post messages, Agent will ask you to provide your name and email address. This goes without saying, but I highly recommend using a fake email to avoid being spammed and/or flamed.
- Of course this is only a beginners guide to get you started. If you have any other questions regarding Usenet or Agent, feel free to post them here and I'll do my best to answer them. Also, if you find any good groups post them. Here are a few of my favorites: