How often do you end up with a case of needing to send a file to a friend or a client, and you’re hit by one of two things:
Either you get told by your email client that the file is too large, or worse yet — you don’t find out until much later, getting a bounce-back email saying that the file was too large.
In this article, I’ll give you a list of four file transfer websites that I recommend, its positive and negatives, and then a final tip for those who feel a bit more comfortable with tinkering in your computer files.
If you have a non-secure file that you need to transfer, and it’s needed for only a short period of time, We Transfer is the way to go.
> The Good: You can send up to 2GB per transfer, which is usually enough for what you need at that short of a notice. No need to sign up or anything unless you get a Plus account. Just click + Add Files, enter in your recipient’s email and your email, as well as a message if so desired.
WeTransfer sends the files directly from their server to their email, sending both confirmation when the message was sent, as well as when your recipient downloads the file.
> The Bad: Don’t expect to get your message immediately. It takes at least 30 minutes to an hour for the message to get to the recipient, at least from when I personally used it with our clients. If you need to send the message or file again for whatever reason, you’ll need to re-upload it again.
Don’t be intimidated with how plain File Dropper looks – it works in a similar manner of WeTransfer, although with a few changes. It has a few extra steps in comparison, but it seems to be the exchange for being able to send larger files.
>The Good: You’re given a simple-to-use interface with your two instructions, and a filebox to upload the file. You don’t need to sign up for an account – instead, you get a personal link to pass onto your recipient once the upload is finished. Files do remain on their server until it has not been downloaded for 30 days, to which it will then be deleted.
>The Bad: There’s that extra step mentioned above – You’re given a personal link to give to your recipient, but you have to email it yourself to them.
The good thing is that if you have a gmail account – or use any Google service, chances are you already have access to Google Drive. This is Google’s solution to having an online cloud storage, but it also serves well as a good means to share and collaborate files with others. Everyone by default is given 15GB of storage total — although in my personal experience, having an HTC model phone with Google Drive installed snagged me an extra 100GB.
>The Good: All of your files are saved in one place in the cloud. You can separate and sort your files through folders, and even upload documents and excel sheets that can be read and edited in the browser. If you have Google Drive installed on your device or computer, you can merely save the document or file to the folder and have it sync to the cloud. With a click, you can either make the document or file viewable to anyone who has the share link you created, or you can make it restricted to only specified users. Should you need more space beyond the 15GB, Google Drive allows upgrades in small increments of 100GB for $2 a month, 1TB for $10, and so on.
>The Bad: While Google Drive has its ease and often works well, sometimes it can get really fickle. For random reasons, i’ve had viewers let me know that they just couldn’t view it. If you want to have someone specifically have permission to view your file, they’ll need to have a gmail account – it is all based on what other Google Drive accounts can connect to your own.
Having been around before Google Drive (and in general, before Google expanded into as many branches as they are now!) Dropbox is another – and one of the most popular – cloud services around; if anything, it’s what comes to mind when people mention Cloud Services.
While be primarily based online and in the web browser, this also includes device and desktop based syncing of your folders and files.
>The Good: Dropbox has the portability of being able to sync your files with your computers, making it easy to drag and drop your files into the storage. Once your file is uploaded, you can just right-click the file and generate a sharing link — or specify specific email addresses to have permission to view the file. You can password protect your files, rather than needing to set permission of specific people.
>The Bad: While you can retain your files for as long as you decide not to delete them, you only get 2GB with the free version – if you want more, you need to upgrade to 1TB of storage at $10 a month. If you set permissions for specific people, they’ll need a DropBox account.
Each of these file transfer options are good depending on your needs – whether you just need a quick, temporary file, or somewhere that a file can be continuously downloaded or stored.
Have a option not listed here that you enjoy? Comment below.
An illustration graduate of Moore College of Art, Elisha is one of the main authors of the blog. She adds the gears to the website to make it function, being adept at front-end development with a specialty in PHP, CSS/HTML, and WordPress.