I’ve recently shown you how to share files among your various devices. But you probably will also want to share files to other people. While your first thought is probably to send them a file attached to an email, that is not always workable for several reasons, including:
- the file is just too big for your or their email server’s limits (usually over 5 MB is problematic).
- the file is of a type that their email server prohibits in order to avoid the delivery of a virus (usually files ending in .exe, and frequently in .zip)
If the intended recipient is someone you see in person, you can always put the files on a flash drive or burn to a CD or DVD and hand the device/disk to them. But in many cases the recipient is not local – what then?
What you need is a file transfer service. If you and your recipient are geeky enough you will just set up an FTP session on your server… but if you have no idea what that means, or don’t have your own server, there are a number of companies who will provide an upload/download service for you.
I usually use YouSendIt – their Lite version is free, and allows you to send files up to 50 MB in size. Paid accounts allow you to send files up to 2GB in size and to store files on their server.
So how does it work? After you set up an account with them:
– You either download their desktop application, or log into their website.
– You choose the option to create a new message, add the address(es) to whom it should be sent, and type a brief subject and message (“Hey – here’s that .wav file of our recording session”).
– Click the button to browse on your computer to the file you want to send and select it.
– The file will be uploaded to their server. NOTE: this may take some time, depending on the file size and the speed of your internet connection. You will need to wait for it to complete before disconnecting, and you don’t want to tryr to watch a YouTube video or other bandwidth-intensive action while YouSendIt is shoving your file up the “pipe.”
– The addresses you gave it will be sent an email. This email does NOT contain the actual file – instead it contains a link with which the recipient may download the file from their server. This again may take them some time to download depending on the file size, but you have avoided hitting their email server’s attachment restrictions since nothing was actually attached to the message.
YouSendIt is not the only company doing file transfers, but it’s the one I can recommend. Google “file transfer” if you want to check out others.