4 Easy Ways to Share Large Files

April 9, 2010 by  

It’s not unusual in these days of webworking and remote collaboration to have the need to share large files with colleagues, clients, or even family members.  Not only do we have large reports but there are also the ever growing collection of photos, audio, and video files.

While Gmail allows you to send attachment up to a generous 25 MB in size – there are times where that just isn’t large enough as you may have files that are 100 or more MB to send. Here are 4 great services I’ve found that will let you easily send large files to others:

YouSendIt – The free version of this service will let you send files up to 100 MB with a 1 GB monthly download limit. The file will remain available for 7 days to download.  Simply go to their website, fill out a short form (with your email address, the address of who you want to send the file to, a subject line, and short message), then click the browse button and choose which file you want to send.  It upload the file to their servers and emails a link to the person you are sending the file to. If you want additional features including the ability to send files up to 2GB in size you can choose one of their paid services (including pay per use if you only need to do this once in a while).

Dropbox – Dropbox not only lets you easily share files with others but it also allows you to sync your files online and across your computers automatically. They give you 2GB of online storage for free and you can pay for up to 100 GB. You need to download a small program but it’s free and work on Windows, Mac, or Linux systems. It creates a dropbox folder on your computer where you can easily copy files to upload them or share them with others.  What I love about Dropbox is that you can share an entire folder and make it public or just share it with a group of people. There are some other great features:

  • Shared folders allow several people to collaborate on a set of files.
  • You can see other people’s changes instantly.
  • Automatic backup of your files.
  • Web access. A copy of your files are stored on Dropbox’s secure servers. This lets you access them from any computer or mobile device. They even have an iPhone App.

You start with 2GB for free but they will give you up to 8 GB free for referring other people.  Here is my referral link so if you want to try it out please click here to share the love!

Drop.io – Similar to Dropbox, Drop.io is a simple, free way to swap files. Users set up a “drop” for the files they’d like to share, set a password for it, and then anyone with access can add to the drop, download the files, and edit or delete files. What’s great is without even setting up an account you can create as many 100 MB drops as you want with a few clicks.  If you want more space or additional features you can upgrade to one of their paid accounts.

Pando –  If you have certain individuals that you often need to share large files with Pando might be the best option for you.  This service will let you email files and folders up to 1 GB in size. The only catch is that while the other three services I mentioned don’t require the person you are sharing with to download or install any software (you just send them a link) Pando requires each person using it (the sender and the receiver) to have the Pando software installed.  However if you send someone a file and they don’t have Pando it will inform them they need the software and provide a link where they can install it.  While this is a bit annoying the ability to easily send files as large as 1 GB to those you often work with make it a small price to pay. Like the other services you can upgrade to a paid or pro version for enhanced features.

What do I use?

I used to use Pando a few years ago when Jason and were collaborating on a song with some other musicians remotely. It worked great because there were about 4 of us that were constantly sending files back and forth so it was no big deal to have us all install the software. That being said I like the other services because the person I’m sharing files with doesn’t need to have anything installed. I can just send them a link. These days I tend to use Dropbox or YouSendit. I haven’t used Dropio but I have received files others have sent me through that service and it was quick and easy to access them.

Sending large files is often a stumbling block for working with others – but now it doesn’t have to be.  There are a lot of other services that offer similar features but these are the 4 I recommend.

What do you think?  How do you transfer large files with others?  Post a comment below and share your tips!