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all I need is a simple service that allows me to host images online and have access to the direct URL of the image (without paying and without obtrusive ads).

http://imageshack.us does not give me direct URL of the image.
http://www.freeimagehosting.net has way too many ads.

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closed as off-topic by Rubén, serenesat, jonsca Mar 14 at 2:43

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

http://imgur.com will do the job for you. You can upload an image from your computer or from the web and it will provide you with a direct link. You can even group multiple images in to a group.

Sign up isn't required but if you do it's pretty easy and it lets you manage your images and image groups etc.

enter image description here

imgur is used by Stack Exchange when uploading images to questions and answers

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http://www.photobucket.com has direct links for free.

For example: http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f351/charonn0/sad-eyes-dog-1.png

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but i'm forced to signup.. – Pacerier May 16 '11 at 0:14
Yes. And? You didn't specify that you didn't want to have to sign up. – Andrew Lambert May 17 '11 at 5:40

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