Whether you’re trying to send a promotional video to a client or a home tape to a family member, large file transfers can be a headache without the right tools.
Trying to send a bunch of video files through an email account is far from ideal. Given that email providers like Google (Gmail) only allow you to attach files up to 25MB, you need an alternative.
The best ways to transfer, send or share large files
|Upload your files to cloud storage
|Files.com, ExaVault, and Dropbox are examples of cloud storage systems that enable files to be distributed through sending links to the file’s location.
|Use Chat Apps
|Telegram Messenger - This free chat app has strong security and allows files of up to 2 GB to be transferred, while the paid Telegram Premium increases that limit to 4 GB
|Compress the files
|Use systems such as 7-Zip, Express Zip, and WinZip to reduce the file size before sending.
|Use a VPN
|Mask the size of the file and its real destination from restrictions imposed by Internet Service Providers (ISPs).
|USB Flash Drive
|Move the file physically by carrying it on removable storage.
|Use the straightforward unencrypted file transfer system that is fast and will move large files.
|Passes files along a secure tunnel and enables file transfers interrupted by dropped connections to be resumed.
|A secure file transfer system that is protected by TLS, which guards safe browser connections in HTTPS.
|A link-sharing system that includes a free account option.
|Courier a Hard Drive
|Move a large volume of files safely over long distances.
|A file storage and link-sharing system that can manage files up to 10 GB in size.
|A free file access and distribution system that handles files of up to 2 GB and can be upgraded for a fee to manage files up to 20 GB in size.
How to send large files
1. Upload your files to cloud storage
Uploading files to cloud storage is a great way to transfer large files such as photos and video. Popular cloud service providers like Google Drive, Files.com, ExaVault, Dropbox, and OneDrive offer mountains of online storage. Each of these products is accessible with more than enough space to cover most file types.
These solutions are cost-effective so that you don’t have to pay a premium to be able to store and access your files in the cloud. For example, Google Drive is free for your first 15 GB of storage space.
Our methodology for selecting large file transfer systems
We reviewed the market for transfer software and analyzed the options based on the following criteria:
- The ability to manage the transfer of large files
- A range of secure transfer options
- An easy-to-use interface
- Options for air-gap transfers
- Activity logging
- A free tool or a free assessment period
- A good set of useful tools at a reasonable price that represents value for money
Tested on: Cloud/SaaS
When we tested Files.com we identified the following key features
- File Size Limitation: Supports files up to 5GB in size, allowing users to upload and store large files.
- Cloud Storage Space: Provides cloud storage space for users to store and manage their files and data remotely.
- Transmission Duplication Reduction: Implements a feature to reduce transmission duplication, indicating a mechanism to optimize
data transfer and storage efficiency.
- Secure Access: Ensures secure access to files, implying the implementation of security measures to protect user data from
- Collaboration: Allows users to invite others to view files, indicating a collaborative aspect where multiple users can access and work on shared files.
Why do we recommend it?
Files.com is a good, quick way that a business can get a cloud drive up and running and have a method for sharing and sending files provided without the need for in-house technical expertise. It is easy to set up an account for each of your employees and you don’t have to worry about storage or transfer security because it is built into the service.
The Files.com system is frequently used by media companies because it is particularly good at transferring large files of up to 5 TB. The cloud service deploys a transfer accelerator to speed up file transfers to the server.
Once a large file is resident at Files.com, the user just sends a link to the intended recipient for access on the server rather than transferring the file onward.
Who is it recommended for?
Media businesses, engineering and manufacturing design services that deal with large files would benefit from the Files.com service because it can transfer files up to 5 GB in size.
While testing, we identified the following pros and cons related to Files.com.
- Scalability: The solution is scalable, catering to the needs of both small businesses and large enterprises.
- Robust User Management: This provides a comprehensive system for long-term use and efficient collaboration.
- Flexible File Sharing: Users can create links to files with special rules, such as expiration dates or click tracking, offering flexibility and control over shared content.
- File Compression: The platform allows the compression of large files, facilitating faster transfer speeds and optimizing storage space.
- Integration Support: Supports integrations with other cloud-based storage options like Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive, enhancing interoperability and facilitating seamless data management across platforms.
- Learning Curve: While the platform is generally easy to use, some of the more advanced features may take time to learn and implement.
Files.com is, in our opinion, the best solution available for transferring large files because this service allows you to save large files on a secure cloud platform for link-invite access by recipients. Not only is this system more secure than any solution that sends copies out to many other locations but it helps save the planet. Internet traffic is a major consumer of electricity and therefore, increases the carbon footprint of businesses that send large files around the world. Cut down waste with this system and improve security by using the platform for backups as well.
Official Site: https://www.files.com/signup/
ExaVault is a new service that aims to compete fully with the more established cloud file storage services by adding on useful secure file transfer services. This platform offers plans that are intended for the temporary storage of files for distribution and other packages that can be used for business user file storage long term.
When we tested ExaVault we found the following key features.
- Usage Options: Offers flexible usage options, this feature provides users with various ways to utilize the platform based on their specific needs and workflows.
- Secure Connections: Ensures secure connections, indicating the implementation of encryption protocols and security measures to protect data during transfer.
- Storage Encryption: Implements storage encryption, which means data stored on ExaVault is encrypted to enhance security and protect sensitive information.
- Access Controls: Provides access controls, allowing administrators or users to define and manage permissions, ensuring a secure and controlled access environment.
We reviewed a number of cloud-based secure FTP systems on this list but of these, ExaVault excels at its ability to integrate into automated workflows. The service is able to transfer larger files than Files.com. ExaVault relies on compression, which allows it to compete with other systems.
Why do we recommend it?
ExaVault is very similar to other services on this list, and as we found, all of them are excellent systems with link invites for access permissions. The ExaVault system is good for transferring large files and centralizing file storage which maintains control over the content of those files.
We found that all of the plan levels offered by ExaVault allow white-labeling, so this is an excellent service for managed service providers to offer to their clients. As well as offering a system for the transfer of large files, this tool can be used to centralize corporate file storage or backup local directories automatically through syncing
Who is it recommended for?
Businesses that want to automate file transfers and create scripts for file processing would benefit most from the ExaVault system. These types of workflows can be difficult to set up and if you don’t need that capability, then you would find it hard to choose between this service and Files.com. Upon testing, we identified the following pros and cons related to ExaVault.
- Secure File Distribution: ExaVault is noted for being useful in secure file distribution, making it a reliable platform for sharing files securely.
- Corporate File Server: Can serve as a corporate file server, indicating its capability to handle and manage files for business use.
- File Sync: Provides the ability to sync local files, ensuring backup and cross-device availability. This feature enhances accessibility and data redundancy.
- Granular Access Controls: Offers access controls at the file level, allowing for fine-grained control over who can access specific files. This is crucial for maintaining security and privacy.
- No Free Version: Unlike some competitors, ExaVault doesn’t offer a free version, which could be a limitation for users who prefer or require free options for their file-sharing needs.
ExaVault offers a 30-day free trial and its plans start at $120 per month for 1 TB of space serving up to 10 users.
Dropbox is another popular choice because it has a desktop application and mobile application that allows you to upload files no matter what size they are. If you upload these files to the Dropbox website then you’ll have to stay below a limit of 50GB.
When we tested Dropbox we found the following key features.
- No File Size Limit: Dropbox allows users to upload and store files without a specified file size limit, making it suitable for handling both small and large files.
- Mobile App: Provides a mobile application, enabling users to access and manage their files on the go using smartphones and tablets.
- Cloud Storage: Dropbox cloud storage allows users to store, sync, and share files over the internet, providing accessibility from various devices.
- Free Plan: Provides a free plan, giving users the option to use the service without incurring costs, albeit with potential limitations on storage capacity and additional features compared to premium plans.
Dropbox is one of many cloud drive systems, with major rivals including Google Drive and OneDrive. This service provides users with exactly the same type of file storage environment that they use on their desktop computers.
Why do we recommend it?
Dropbox is very easy for average users to comprehend. It can be set up as a backup system through syncing, simultaneously making files available on multiple devices. Like other cloud platforms, Dropbox includes the typical access controls to allow others access to their files through link invites.
The user interface on the desktop application is also very user-friendly. All you need to do is right-click the Share button on the file you want to send and then enter the email addresses of the people you want to share the file with.
Who is it recommended for?
Dropbox is a good choice for any business type and also for individuals for private use. Businesses with work at home employees who switch devices when moving from the office to the site would particularly benefit from using Dropbox.
During our testing, we identified the following pros and cons related to Dropbox.
- Cross-Device File Transfers: Enables file transfers on both mobile and desktop devices, providing flexibility and accessibility across various platforms.
- Automatic Synchronization: This ensures that files are kept up-to-date across all connected devices without manual intervention.
- Scalable Subscription-based Platform: Dropbox allows users to adjust their storage capacity based on their needs, making it suitable for both individual users and businesses with varying storage requirements.
- Great for Collaboration: Dropbox is noted for being great for collaboration, providing features and tools that facilitate teamwork and file sharing among users.
- Separation of Personal and Work Files: This offers clearer distinctions between different types of files for users who use Dropbox for both personal and professional purposes.
- Account Switching Complexity: Switching between accounts could be made easier, potentially streamlining the process for users who manage multiple Dropbox accounts.
- Complex Permission Management: Managing permissions can be difficult to understand and implement at scale. This may pose a challenge for organizations with complex access control requirements.
Dropbox is free for less than 2GB of storage space. Though you can also upgrade to the Professional version for $19.99 (£16.19) with up to 2 TB worth of space.
2. Use a Chat App like Telegram
Telegram Messenger is a chat app that allows you to transfer a file of up to 2 GB between users. This tool is regularly used by private individuals, businesses, social groups, and political organizations to provide group collaboration facilities. The app is very secure with all connections protected by AES-256 encryption and file transfers are sent within the app tunnel.
- Secure Chat Channel: Telegram provides a secure chat channel feature, emphasizing the importance of privacy and security in communication.
- File Transfers up to 4 GB: Allows users to transfer files with a maximum size of up to 4 GB, this feature enables the sharing of large files.
- Multi-Thread Transfers: Supports multi-thread transfers, potentially improving the efficiency and speed of file transfers by utilizing parallel processing.
- File Compression: This feature helps to reduce the size of files being transferred, optimizing bandwidth usage and speeding up the transfer process.
- Group File Access: Enables group file access, allowing multiple users within a group to access shared files. This feature enhances collaboration within group chats.
Telegram’s encryption system is a custom protocol, which is based on 2048-bit RSA encryption for session establishment and 256-bit AES encryption for the session. This is a typical combination used by VPNs. The system is so secure that it drives authoritarian governments crazy – the app is banned in China, Iran, Cuba, and many other countries.
Why do we recommend it?
Telegram is a chat app but it can also be ranked as a team collaboration tool for businesses. In this category, it competes with systems such as Slack, Teams, and Zoom. Each member opens an individual account and then joins a group for corporate activity.
Telegram is free to use, or you can use a paid upgrade, called Telegram Premium. This version allows files of up to 4 GB to be transferred. With both versions, Telegram uses a multi-threaded architecture to send files in segments simultaneously, which speeds up transfers. It is possible to send larger files by splitting them up or by compressing them with zip systems.
In the course of our testing we found a unique feature with Telegram. It’s encryption system is a custom protocol, which is based on 2048-bit RSA encryption for session establishment and 256-bit AES encryption for the session. This is a typical combination used by VPNs. Telegram is so secure that it is banned in China, Iran, Cuba, and many other countries.
Who is it recommended for?
Telegram is used by businesses, pressure groups, and private individuals. The service is an open-source system providing APIs, so your developers can create a unique corporate system.
During our testing, we identified the following pros and cons related to Telegram.
- Strong Privacy: Telegram privacy with its strong encryption and blocks on screenshots, enhances the security of user communications.
- Fast File Transfers: The platform supports fast file transfers, making it efficient for sharing files of various sizes.
- Group File Access: Users can post a file to a group for mass access, facilitating collaboration and information sharing within groups.
- Code Availability for Custom Apps: Telegram makes its code available, allowing developers to create custom apps and integrate Telegram functionality into their applications.
- Voice and Video Chats/Conferencing: This provides users with diverse communication options.
- Expensive Premium Version for Large Groups: The Premium version may be expensive for large groups, potentially limiting access to certain advanced features for users with budget constraints.
- Lack of Team Administration Functions: Telegram lacks team administration functions, meaning individuals have control over their accounts without centralized team management features. This could be a limitation for organizations looking for more granular administrative control.
Pricing: Telegram is free to use while Telegram Premium costs $4.99 per month. Subscribe via the Premium Bot for a lower price of $3.49 per month or $34.90 per year.
3. Compress the Files
Another tried and tested method of transferring files is to compress them. Compressing the files reduces the amount of space that is needed to store them. The process of creating a zip file is simple on Windows.
When we tested, we found the following key benefits.
- Transfer Time: Reduces the size of files, which in turn decreases transfer time when sending or sharing files over the internet.
- Storage: File Compression reduces their size on storage devices, effectively cutting down on storage requirements.
- Privacy: Smaller file sizes can make it more challenging for unauthorized users to access or intercept sensitive information during file transfers, contributing to enhanced privacy and security.
All you need to do is create a folder and place all of the files you want to transfer into it. After you’ve created the folder you can right-click on it and select Send to > Compressed (Zipped folder). The files are ready to be sent.
It is important to note that file compression is ineffective for JPEG and MP3 files because they’ve already been compressed! To process the files you can use free compression software such as 7-Zip, Express Zip and WinZip.
- Control Over File Channels: Provides users with more control over which channel they send the compressed files through, allowing for a customized approach to file transfers.
- Time and Cost Savings: Smaller file sizes contribute to faster uploads and reduced storage costs, especially when planning to store files on a cloud-based system like Google Drive.
- Manual Process: File compression with Zip is a manual process that requires knowledge of file compression techniques. Users need to actively initiate and manage the compression of files.
- Ineffectiveness for Already Compressed Files: File compression is not effective for files that are already in compressed formats (e.g., JPEG, MP3), as these file types are already optimized for size.
- Recipient Compression Knowledge: If the recipient is unfamiliar with the decompression process, it can lead to difficulties in accessing the compressed files.
4. Use a VPN
Using a VPN or Virtual Private Network is a useful technique for transferring files because it allows you to avoid broadband traffic management restrictions placed by your internet service provider (ISP). Many ISPs control upload bandwidth to restrict the size of files that you can upload.
- Connection Encryption: VPNs encryption feature secures the connection between the user’s device and the VPN server, ensuring that data transmitted over the network is protected from potential eavesdropping or interception.
- Transmission Privacy: VPNs provide transmission privacy by encrypting the data being sent and received, preventing unauthorized access.
- Hides Sender’s Location: A VPN helps conceal the user’s actual location by routing their internet traffic through the VPN server.
- Bypasses ISP Limitations: By encrypting traffic, a VPN prevents ISPs from identifying the contents of web traffic, including the size of files being transferred.
A VPN is used to encrypt your traffic and keep your online activities confidential. When using a VPN an ISP can’t identify the contents of your web traffic. For file transfers, this means that the ISP can’t recognize the size of the files and impose any limits on you.
Sending files through a VPN isn’t without its issues. The internet connection will likely slow down substantially and the files won’t necessarily arrive intact. So if the quality is a large concern, it is advisable to try an alternative tool.
- Secure Data Transfer: VPNs allow for private and secure data transfer between two sites, ensuring that information is protected from unauthorized access.
- Circumvents Protocol/Application-Based Throttling: VPNs can circumvent protocol or application-based throttling imposed by ISPs.
- Potential for Faster Speeds: In some cases, using a VPN can be faster than relying on public services, especially when considering the ability to bypass certain restrictions.
- Setup Knowledge Required: Setting up a site-to-site VPN or installing one independently requires technical understanding, which may pose a barrier for less tech-savvy individuals.
- Not Viable for One-off Transfers: VPNs may not be the most practical solution for one-off transfers.
5. USB flash drive
USB flash drives are an excellent alternative if you need to transfer files to a friend or colleague. USB flash drives range in size from 2 GB to 1 TB giving you more than enough space to upload files. Of course, if you decide to use a USB flash drive you will have to make sure that you don’t misplace it!
When I tested USB flash drives I found the following key benefits.
- No Technical Skills Required: The process of transferring files is straightforward and user-friendly, making it accessible to individuals with varying levels of technical expertise.
- Creates Air Gap: USB flash drives inherently create an air gap, physically isolating the stored files from the connected device once disconnected.
- Fast Transfer Speeds: USB flash drives offer fast transfer speeds, allowing for quick and efficient file transfers between devices. This makes them a convenient and time-effective solution for moving files
With a flash drive transferring files is extremely easy because all you need to do is insert the drive into your computer’s USB ports. Once the computer recognizes the drive you can drag-and-drop the files you want into it.
After that, you can eject the USB flash drive and take it to another device or individual. If you want simplicity and reliability then this one is a good choice. During our testing, we identified the following pros and cons related to USB flash drives
- Simple File Transfer: USB flash drives are one of the simplest forms of file transfer.
- Ease of Use: It doesn’t require special skills or technical knowledge, making it accessible to a wide range of users.
- Security Concerns: USB flash drives are not inherently secure, and data stored on them is vulnerable unless the drive is properly encrypted.
- Risk of Data Loss: If the USB flash drive is lost, stolen, or corrupted, the data stored on it is at risk of being permanently lost.
- Limited Capacity: USB flash drives may not be suitable for site backups or extremely large file transfers due to their limited storage capacity.
FTP or File Transfer Protocol is an old school way to transfer files. FTP is a TCP/IP protocol that transfers files between FTP servers and clients. FTP was designed specifically for transferring large files. All you need to start using the protocol is an FTP client.
When we tested the FTP protocol we found the following key benefits.
- Good for In-House Transfers: FTP is well-suited for in-house transfers within an organization’s internal network.
- Straightforward: The process of uploading or downloading files is generally easy to understand and execute, making it accessible to users with varying levels of technical expertise.
- Fast: FTP utilizes a dedicated connection for file transfer, which can result in faster data transmission
What FTP lacks in security, it makes up with its file management capabilities. There’s no restriction on the size of single transfers; you can queue transfers, schedule future transfers, and send multiple files at once. The advantages of FTP make it one of the more efficient ways to send files back and forth.
There are many free FTP clients online like FileZilla and Xlight. The only problem with FTP is that it is not secure. Usernames and passwords are transferred in plain text so an attacker can read the contents of files. To protect against attackers use FTP for non-confidential data.
When testing, we came across the following pros and cons.
- Easy to Use: FTP is easy to use, and its user interface is generally straightforward. This enables a wide range of individuals to perform file transfers.
- No Restrictions on File Type, Size, or Number of Transfers: This flexibility makes it a versatile option for various types of data transfer needs.
- Great for Trusted Partners: FTP is a great option when trading files with a partner or entity that you know and trust.
- Secure Issues: Data transmitted via FTP is not encrypted, making it vulnerable to interception. This makes it less suitable for transferring sensitive or confidential information.
- Vulnerability to Hacking: If FTP is misconfigured or if weak credentials are used, it can be susceptible to hacking.
- Dependency on Server and Internet Stability: The FTP system will not work if either of the sites involved is experiencing server or internet connectivity issues.
Related Post: How to Resolve common FileZilla Errors
Secure File Transfer Protocol or SFTP is the secure variant of FTP. The protocol enables the user to transfer files through Secure Shell (SSH). SSH serves to prevent unauthorized users from viewing passwords and other information through encryption while files are in transit.
- Many free clients
- Universally implemented
To transfer a file the server must authenticate the client user and verify the channel is secure. The inbuilt security features of SFTP make it ideal for sending sensitive data in an enterprise environment.
Most FTP servers include SFTP transfers by default. Reliable free SFTP servers include SolarWinds SFTP/ SCP Server, FileZilla, and Syncplify.me Server. SFTP is also advantageous when compared to FTPS because it doesn’t require lots of open ports to function, thereby alleviating open ports on your network which are potential entry points for attackers.
However, SFTP is a little less convenient than some other measures on this list because you have to install an SFTP server and configure it. So if you want simplicity you’re better off with a cloud storage solution. In addition, if regulatory compliance is a concern then the lack of user activity logs can cause problems. On testing we came across these pros and cons.
- A more secure option than FTP, helps protect data in transit better
- Doesn’t utilize a large number of open ports
- Can move files using CLI
- Can be hacked if misconfigured or has weak credentials
- System will not work if either site is having server or internet issues
- Requires technical setup that requires IT experience
File Transfer Protocol Secure or FTPS is another secure version of FTP. FTPS is secured over Secure Sockets Layer or SSL (also known as TLS) which encrypts connections. With this protocol, file transfers can be authenticated through passwords, client certificates, and server certificates. FTPS authenticates connections with a user ID and password or certificate and verifies the certificate of the server you’re connecting to. When testing SFTP, we came across these stand out benefits.
- Encryption: The use of SSL/TLS protocols ensures that data is encrypted during transit, enhancing the confidentiality and integrity of the transferred information.
- Widely Used: FTPS is a widely adopted and recognized secure file transfer protocol.
- Free Clients Available: There are free FTPS client applications available, making it accessible to users without incurring additional costs.
FTPS’s encryption allows you to send confidential information while being compliant with most regulatory frameworks. FTPS transfers are PCI DSS, SOX, HIPAA, and HITECH compliant.
- Secure Tranfers: FTPS’s encryption features allow organizations to send confidential information in a secure manner while remaining compliant with various regulatory frameworks.
- Firewall Challenges: Due to the opened ports during FTPS transfers, many firewalls can make it challenging to establish FTPS connections. This can add complexity to the implementation of FTPS in certain network environments.
It is important to note that FTPS isn’t without its vulnerabilities.Every time a file transfer is made a port is opened, which could be an entry point for an attacker. As a consequence, many firewalls make it difficult to use FTPS connections. Not all FTP servers support FTPS but there are many products that do such as Syncplify.me, and FileZilla.
There are many free and paid online services that enable you to upload large files and Jumpshare is one of the most popular. Jumpshare allows you to send up to 250 MB of files for free and record them as shareable links. Whoever has the link can then access the file content.
- Free Plan: Jumpshare offers a free plan, allowing users to access certain features without incurring any costs.
- Send a Link: The ability to send a link simplifies file sharing. Users can share files by providing a link, making it convenient for both the sender and the recipient.
- Control Access: Users can manage permissions and restrict or grant access as needed, adding a layer of security and privacy to file sharing.
The screen capture, session recording, and video editing features in Jumpshare are unique among file-sharing systems. This package is aimed toward file sharing as a medium for work collaboration and sales presentations.
Why do we recommend it?
The free edition of Jumpshare is very tempting. That plan includes some of the unique video screening and embedding services of the Jumpshare service that are greatly expanded in the paid versions.
If you compare this with the 25 MB limit of most email services (which are user friendly), there is a substantial difference. For example, in Jumpshare you can drag and drop the files to the menu bar icon that you want to share. A link is then copied to your clipboard
Using Jumpshare is a good idea if you want the convenience of transferring files online without the need to use more technical “workarounds.” Just sign up online on the vendor website.
Who is it recommended for?
Anyone that needs to send visual information, or conduct brainstorming sessions with shared images or motion capture that can be annotated would benefit from the Jumpshare system more than any other file sugaring system on this list. Testing surfaced the following pros and cons.
- Drag and Drop Interface: This user-friendly design enhances the overall experience and makes file sharing and management straightforward.
- Simple Downloadable Links: Jumpshare allows users to send files as simple downloadable links. This simplifies the process for recipients who can access the shared files with ease.
- No Technical Setup: Users can benefit from Jumpshare without the need for extensive technical setup. This is great for individuals who prefer a hassle-free experience when sharing files.
- Requires Email Login: While this is a common practice, some users may prefer options that do not necessitate email logins for simplicity or privacy reasons.
- Not Ideal for Long-Term Large File Transfers: Jumpshare may not be the best option for long-term large file transfers, such as backups, replications or systems involving Electronic Data Interchange (EDI).
10. Courier a Hard Drive
If you have lots of large files to send then filling up a hard drive and sending it off with a courier is an effective way to transfer files. Physically sending a large volume of files via a courier is often much faster than attempting to upload those files through a broadband connection.
- Global Reach: Utilizing a courier service for data transfer via hard drive shipments provides opportunity for global reach.
- Non-Technical: The process is non-technical, making it accessible to individuals who may not have advanced technical skills or expertise.
Shipping hard drives can raise some concerns in terms of damage and theft. If you use a courier be sure that it is packaged correctly to avoid damage in transit. During our testing, we identified the following pros and cons related to courier services.
- Straightforward Process: Users can follow a straightforward process without the need for specialized technical knowledge.
- Easy File Retrieval: Once the hard drive reaches its destination, the recipient can easily retrieve the files. This simplicity adds to the convenience of using a courier service for data transfer.
- Risk of Damage: Drive and its content can get damaged in transit, leading to data loss.
- Not a Good Long-Term Solution: It may be more suitable for specific situations rather than ongoing, routine data exchange.
Send Anywhere is a file-sharing application that allows you to send files with a 6-digit key from your device to any destination you desire. You can create a link to access files so that other individuals can access your shared files in any location. When we tested Send Anywhere we found the following key features.
- Link Sharing: Send Anywhere allows users to share files by sending a link, simplifying the process of file transfer.
- Time-Limited Access: The platform offers time-limited access to shared files, providing control over the duration during which recipients can access the shared content.
- Mobile Access: This feature enables users to share and access files through iOS and Android mobile applications.
This system is a file distribution service that temporarily stores files on a cloud storage platform. This makes it a halfway system between an FTP utility and a cloud drive with link invitations.
Why do we recommend it?
The cloud storage and link invite systems we checked out are great but not everyone needs that degree of service. If you just want a short-term secure link invite file sharing platform, Send Anywhere is a good system to try.
Files uploaded to Send Anywhere have an expiration time so that they are unavailable after a specific time period. Send Anywhere has a 10 GB file size limit. The application supports a range of operating systems including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Amazon Kindle, and Outlook Add-In.
If you require more power, you can purchase Send Anywhere PLUS, which gives you a server to work with. Send Anywhere PLUS is faster with a 100 MB/s transfer speed and uploads at up to 50 GB at once. The paid version is also very affordable at $5.99 (£4.85) per month.
Who is it recommended for?
Businesses that need to send out files and don’t want to manage storage space for the files would enjoy the Send Anywhere system. The type of activity that the system would be suitable for would be event invites or routine, non-personal notifications, such as those used by a healthcare provider, a car garage, or a legal service. During our testing, we identified the following pros and cons related to Send Anywhere.
- Supports up to 10 GB of Files per Send: Accommodating larger file sizes for more extensive data sharing.
- Secure File Access: Security is enhanced through the use of a six-digit code to access shared files. This adds an extra layer of protection.
- Cross-Platform Compatibility: Supporting Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. This ensures that users on different platforms can seamlessly use the service.
- Mobile File Access: The availability of mobile applications for both iOS and Android platforms allows users to access shared files conveniently on their mobile devices.
- Not the Best Option for EDI: May not be the optimal choice for Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) transactions or files that must strictly adhere to compliance standards.
- Not a Viable Solution for Site Replication: Send Anywhere is not designed as a solution for site replication or server backups.
Finally, we have WeTransfer. It’s a free online file-sharing service that requires no registration. All you need to do to use it is go onto the website, add your file, enter the destination email address, your email address, and a message. The free version enables you to transfer up to 2GB worth of files. When we tested WeTransfer we found the following key features.
- Online Service: Operates as an online file transfer system, allowing users to upload and share files over the internet.
- Free Plan: Provides a free plan, offering users certain features without incurring any costs, making it accessible to a broad user base.
- Send a Link: Users can share files through WeTransfer by sending a link, simplifying the file transfer process.
Although there is a paid service for WeTransfer, it is the free version that makes this package unique. You can just send one file through a link instead of an attachment, which gets around the attachment size limit of most email systems.
Why do we recommend it?
The no-fuss free service of WeTransfer is an online system that doesn’t require either you or the recipient to sign up or log in. This is a quick and handy method for emailing large files.
You can also upgrade to WeTransfer Plus which supports 20 GB of file transfers at once and up to 100Gb storage total for $12 (£9.72) a month. You can also protect your files with a password and customize the emails you send. The large file transfer limit should cover most enterprise users sufficiently.
The fact that you don’t need to sign up makes WeTransfer a top pick if you want to transfer a file.
Who is it recommended for?
WeTransfer is a good service for anyone or any size of enterprise.
- 2GB of Free File Transfers: The free version is generous in its file transfer capacity, allowing users to send files of up to 2GB without any cost.
- Great for One-Off Files: WeTransfer is suitable for one-off files that exceed the size limits of typical email systems.
- No Sign Up Requirement: Facilitates easy file access for recipients by not requiring them to sign up or install any additional software.
- Not Suitable for Confidential Files: WeTransfer may not be the optimal choice for transfers involving confidential files. Users with stringent compliance requirements may need to explore alternative solutions.
- Not a Viable Solution for Backups: For tasks involving continuous, large-scale data transfers and backup processes, users may need to consider dedicated solutions tailored for these purposes.
Some more tools for transferring large files
There are many free file transfer utilities available and we have reviewed many of them above. However, this is not an exhaustive list; here is a list of more tools that you could use to transfer large files
- WinSCP This widely-used file transfer system for Windows doesn’t have special procedures for moving large files. However, it is very easy to use with a great interface that offers a drag-and-drop function. Use SFTP with this free utility to easily connect to remote locations and grab or send files.
- IBM Aspera If you have heavy live streaming transfer needs, this is a very good option. Aspera can accelerate the speed of transfers to deal with large files quickly or constant demand for high-volume interactive streams. Get a 30-day free trial.
- Raysync This service is a secure file transfer manager that requires a client program to be installed on both ends of a transfer connection. That requirement means that this is probably a better solution for in-house inter-site transfers. However, it is also possible to bundle a Raysync client with an installer to make wizard-driven installs run faster. Access a free trial to assess it for yourself.
- TransferNow This is a file hosting service. You upload your files to the TransferNow server; they can be retained for a year. Once on the server, you distribute by sending out links. Recipients can view or view files. Get a free account that will transfer files up to 5 GB in size or opt for a paid account to transfer files up to 50 GB in size. Access a 7-day free trial.
- FileMail Despite the name, this service is not limited to managing file transfers via email. This is a hosting service, so you upload your files to the FileMail server, with 1TB of storage space. There is no limit on the size of a file that can be transferred. Integrate the cloud storage service into your site or distribute links to file recipients and let them download your files. You can get a 7-day free trial of any of the FileMail secure file sharing plans.
- PSiTransfer A simple open-source self-hosted file sharing solution. It’s basically a drag & drop file upload system to send and receive files.
- Magic Wormhole For the more technically minded, this clever command-line tool allows sending files from one computer to another, quickly and securely. It generates a code that can be entered on the receiving end to facilitate the transfer
No matter how many large files you need to send there is a medium out there to help. The file transfer service you use can be as complicated or as simple as you want. Don’t get trapped by file limits imposed by your email provider! Pick a storage solution that can accommodate the bandwidth of files you need to transfer (and a VPN if your ISP is capping your uploads).
If you’re more old school then purchasing a flash drive will give you an efficient means to transfer your data. But if you want something you can access from anywhere, then a cloud storage provider like Google Drive or Dropbox is probably a better fit.
If you’re more technically minded and want to manage a high volume of file transfers then downloading an FTP server might be worth it for low priority files (make sure to use FTPS or SFTP for secure file transfers if you go this route!).
What is the best way to send a very large file?
The biggest problems faced by those who want to send large files are that a dropped connection can abandon the transfer and a big file can take a long time to move. Therefore, you need to find a managed file transfer system that uses a multi-threaded system to break up files and send many segments simultaneously. These tools also provide a Pause and Resume option and transfer recovery for broken connections.
How can I send 30 GB files for free?
The easiest way to send very large files is to upload them to a cloud drive and then send a share link instead of the file. However, many of these systems have space limits on their free edition – for example, the limit on the free Google Drive is 15 GB and for free Dropbox, it is 2 GB. Look at specialized large transfer systems, such as SendBig, which is free for files up to 30 GB, or get a free trial on a premium plan of a cloud drive or email service.
How do I send large files from my phone?
There is no technical difference between sending files from a phone or tablet as there is from a computer. The biggest issue arises from the individual’s data plan. If it is metered, you could end up paying a lot for an extra data allocation. If this is the case, send the file while connected to a WiFi system and turn off data temporarily.
How can I send a large file with a slow connection?
One of the biggest risks with slow connections is that the longer a session lasts, the higher the possibility of a dropped link. Use a data transfer app that will pause and resume a transfer in the case of a lost connection. Some transfer utilities will split a file up and send segments concurrently. However, if you have restricted bandwidth, that won’t solve the problem.
Can hackers attack my cloud storage?
There have been a number of very well-publicized hacks of cloud storage in the past. However, many cloud storage providers have tightened up their security with two-factor authentication (2FA). This involves a challenge question sent to your phone and makes it impossible for a hacker to access your account even with the password.
How do I bypass Google Drive virus scan warning about large files?
Google Drive scans files before downloading them. It can only scan a file up to 25 MB; anything larger gets a warning that the file can’t be scanned. However, the file will be downloaded anyway. To avoid this, split the file up. If you want to send the file to someone, send them a link instead so they can view it online.