According to shocking statistics published in Business Insider, cybercrime increased by 600 percent during the Covid pandemic. This worrying trend shines a light on a sensitive matter that affects most businesses – secure file transfer.
With more and more companies shifting to the digital workspace, sending files securely over the internet is proving to be a challenge. Data breaches have become commonplace, and businesses are losing billions due to this.
It's such situations that make it critical to know how to securely send large files over the internet. Popular methods of sending files that used to work before, like email or messaging apps like WhatsApp can no longer cut it. Apart from the obvious fact that they are not secure, file size limitations make them unreliable.
So, how can you send large files online while ensuring data protection?
What Is Secure File Transfer?
Secure file transfer refers to a data transfer method that utilizes secure protocol and encryption to protect the data while in transit. Most file sharing solutions use industry-standard protocols like SFTP, FTPS, HTTPS, and AS2, among others, to secure the communication channel.
Each of these secure file transfer protocols offers strong encryption compared to standard FTP, along with an additional security buffer, like passwords, keys, and certificates to validate connections or users.
Managed file transfer (MFT) is also considered a robust platform for secure file transfer with additional features like automation, data encryption, and auditing file transfer actions.
Why does data security matter when sending files over the internet?
With the world becoming a digital village, sharing files online from one client or employee to another is a core part of any business. It’s fast, convenient, and reliable. But, what if the file contains confidential details, like trade secrets, financial data, personal information, or secret marketing strategies?
The last thing you’d want is the files to fall into the wrong hands. A secure file transfer system guarantees the safety of your data. Among other things, it allows you to:
Send large files with ease
Sending files the traditional way (using email) is often met with file size limitations. Gmail, for example, limits file attachments to only 25MB. Modern file sharing solutions enable you to transfer large files over the internet without worrying about file size.
Minimize risks of a data breach
The biggest data breaches in 2021 alone cost well over $4 billion. Such incidents are costly, and one way to guarantee data protection is to use a secure file sharing service. It ensures the safety of your data while in transit, safeguarding it against eavesdroppers.
Since the files are encrypted, cybercriminals cannot intercept or retrieve them. What's more, these services offer additional security layers through multi-factor authentication.
Faster file transfers
Another benefit of using secure file sharing solutions is the speed with which files are transferred. Not only is the process faster, but your files will also reach the recipient just the way you send them – undamaged.
The time you save from using such services allows you to do other more important things.
How to Transfer Big Files Using FileWhopper
FileWhopper offers one of the fastest and most secure data transfer services. What sets it apart is that it has no file size limits. Whether it's 5GB, 100GB, or 10TB, you can rely on the platform to quickly transmit your data.
Additionally, it’s a pay-as-you-go service, meaning you only pay for what you're sending – no commitment fees or subscription plans.
Most importantly, FileWhopper offers the most robust security for your data while in motion. It utilizes zero-knowledge encryption, which is considered a cutting-edge method of data protection.
With this method, no one, including the service providers or servers can access your password. In other words, in the event threat actors use a brute force attack to break into the server, your password won't be compromised.
Only you and your recipient share the password, which is why companies trust FileWhopper to send files containing sensitive information. Other security elements that put FileWhopper on top of the rest include:
- Your files, including the file or folder name, are encrypted before being uploaded. Only the auto-generated unique ID can be seen. So, no one will know the nature of the files you're sending.
- Once the transfer is complete, the data is automatically deleted from the servers, meaning no one (including government agencies) can intercept it.
The platform accelerates file transfers using multi-threaded data transfer technology. This means that your recipient doesn’t have to wait for the upload to be complete before they can start downloading. Rather, downloads start as soon as the upload begins, as long as you share the password and download link.
Other Secure Methods to Transfer Large Files Online
There are several other secure options in the market that you could also use to send large files over the internet. These are:
Remember we mentioned how Gmail limits file attachments to 25MB? Well, it turns out, whenever the file size is exceeded, you get a prompt that they will be sent as Google Drive links.
Google Drive gives you the first 15GB free. After you’ve used up the storage space, you can upgrade to one of the monthly subscription plans, which start at 100GB for around $2 per month.
Other cloud services like OneDrive and Dropbox also let you upload large files and then share the link via messaging apps or email. Each of these cloud storage platforms charges fees for using their services.
Dropbox prices start at $11.99 per month, which gives you 2TB of storage space. OneDrive, on the other hand, offers 5GB free, and you can increase the limit to 100GB for $1.99 per month.
File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
FTP allows you to send large files online by uploading them to your hosting server. The main advantage of using FTP is that it was designed to handle large files and offers a faster way to transfer files.
However, it has its downsides:
- FTP isn’t a secure method to share files over the internet. It can be hacked, especially if wrongly configured, or you use weak credentials.
- The FTP system won't work if you don’t have a stable internet connection.
- Unlike other file transfer services, the setup is technical, and may require an IT expert.
The alternative is to use SFTP – Secure File Transfer Protocol – which offers a more secure file transfer system through Secure Shell (SSH). This encryption prevents unauthorized access, and for the transfer to occur, the server must authenticate the client and verify that the channel is secure.
VPN (Virtual Private Network)
You may be surprised to learn that you can use VPN to transfer files. For the most part, VPN masks your IP address and online activities, so your ISP can't monitor your traffic. Doing so prevents them from limiting your upload bandwidth.
It's this reason that makes VPNs useful for transferring big files online. They are especially helpful when using public Wi-Fi to send sensitive documents since they offer protection from cyber threats.
However, VPNs might not be the best option for two reasons:
- If the file/folder is too large, it may affect your VPN connection
- Files might not reach the recipients intact
- Setting up a VPN might require technical expertise
Another method for transferring large files is to compress them. Doing so reduces the file size, saving on space needed to store them. The advantage of ZIP files is that it supports lossless data compression, meaning your data will remain intact after the transfer.
What’s more, it is quite simple to compress files on a Windows PC. Plus, you can easily extract ZIP files on any operating system without requiring additional software. It's advisable to create a folder and put all the files you want to transfer to it. This allows you to send them as one unit and makes them easier to extract.
If you are sending MP3 and JPEG files, you don’t have to compress them since they are already compressed. One downside you may have to contend with when compressing files is that it entails a manual process. This can prove cumbersome and time-consuming if you’ll be transferring files frequently.
Transfer Large Files Online with Peace of Mind
In an era where online security cannot be guaranteed, it's imperative to find the most secure file transfer service to send or share large files. When choosing a service, check if they have file size limits or monthly subscription fees.
It can be disadvantageous to have to subscribe if you simply want to transfer large files once or twice. In this case, a pay-as-you-go service will be your best option. If you prefer a platform that allows you to share files and access them from anywhere, consider cloud storage providers like Google Drive or OneDrive.