Are you old enough to remember the times when transferring large files was done in a physical way? Whether you are a photographer or work in marketing, 20 years ago you probably sent a printed copy of banners or photographs with a courier or regular mail.
Luckily, the digital era has entered our life, but even then we had huge difficulties with sending a big amount of data online and were forced to use CD discs or flash drives.
Several years passed until we finally got a number of services, which allowed us to send big files online. The price started at $50 for 40Mb (megabytes, not even gigabytes), so it was a rather costly procedure, which explains why many people just kept using CDs.
More time passed and DVDs replaced regular CDs allowing to burn even more data, but you still had to send them physically. It was a real headache!
Nowadays we have a wide choice of options to send large files over the Internet with no difficulties, so in this article we will have a look at the 5 most popular ways to do it.
Want to send a presentation, a couple of photos or some documents? The email option is right for you as it provides an easy way to transfer up to 10MB right to your recipient’s inbox.
You should also consider that one’s inbox size is usually limited as well, so the recipient might not be happy to get large files this way. Moreover, it may be a costly option for those who access emails and attached files from a smartphone using a mobile data plan.
In general, sending files via email is not a good option for everyone. Primarily due to the file size limits, which actually allow sending just the essential documents or lightweight images. In case you need to send a larger amount of data, you should probably think of another way.
WeTransfer and MailBigFile are two services that allow to transfer big files online for free. The size limit is 2GB and they both allow to send the file directly to your recipient’s inbox. However, it’s quite different from email: after uploading the file the service automatically generates a download link, which you can then send via email. This is quite convenient, as it solves the problem with the inbox capacity limits. Once your file is successfully downloaded, you will also be notified via email. WeTransfer and MailBigFile offer paid services as well, where you will be allowed to send up to 20GB of data.
3. Dropbox/Google Drive
Both Google Drive and Dropbox are cloud storage solutions, but it’s rather convenient to use them for transferring files as well. Both of them offer a large amount of storage space where you can store your files long-term. While Dropbox offers you 2GB of storage for free, Google Drive allows to upload up to 15GB.
You can easily manage access to all or selected files and send a download link to anyone. There are no limits on the number of downloads, which makes these services a great tool for sharing files as well.
In case you need more space, you can purchase a subscription plan to cover your needs.
4. Your Own File Sharing System
In case you need a large number of files to be available to a number of people regularly, you may want to consider creating your own file sharing website. Of course, this is an option for advanced users who have enough knowledge to run a site, but the advantages of this way of sharing files are well worth it.
You can manage access to your website, so that only select people can enter it. You can monitor who accesses which files and how many times files are actually downloaded.
The amount of data you can store depends on the limit set by your hosting server. Usually, hosting providers have options to purchase additional space and it’s much cheaper than paying various services for transferring the same amount of data online.
Another great service is FileWhopper, which allows sending as much as 1TB over the Internet. To help upload or download such a huge amount of data, it provides a tiny desktop app, which ensures no data loss plus total safety by encrypting all of the data you transfer. The price depends only on the file size. Usually, your files are stored for 14 days for free, but you can purchase a longer file storage term if needed.