Large files can be bothersome because they take up disk space and are difficult to transfer. Sending them via email or flash drive is cumbersome because email has a file size limit that prevents you from attaching large files and flash drives can easily be stolen or lost. That’s why we’re going to show you how to send large files using cloud storage services.
If you need a free and fast solution, you can find one in our free file hosting vs cloud storage article. While free cloud hosting services offer an easy way to send files and don’t require you to register, they might delete your files due to inactivity or bombard you with ads. If you want to avoid that and still be able to transfer large files, cloud storage is the better option.
It lets you clear space on your hard drive by transferring files to the cloud. It also makes collaboration easier because you can use native and third-party tools to work with your team members. Many services have versioning, as well, which helps you if someone edits or deletes the wrong file. Media playback and sharing are staple features, too.
We’re going to go through a few services and show you how to send large files. If you’re familiar with the method and just want to find a good service, refer to our best cloud storage services list.
Criteria for Sending Large Files
It won’t do to just pick any service. You have to take into account that many have file-size restrictions that won’t let you upload large files and daily upload traffic caps. Storage space limits are a factor, too. If you want a quick list of the services that play nice with large files, read our best cloud storage for large files article.
Another factor is speed because it doesn’t matter if you can upload, store and send a file if it takes ages to get to the cloud. That’s where services that have a good infrastructure come in. A global network of servers will help you achieve fast upload speeds, but that will depend on your internet service provider, too.
File sharing capabilities and restrictions also play a part because some services restrict sharing to registered users. Others don’t do that, but can have weak security for your shares. If you intend to do a lot of sharing, you should read our best cloud storage for sharing piece.
For the rest of the article, we’re going to show you how to use cloud storage services to send large files. Our first pick to do so, in no particular order, is pCloud.
pCloud is a U.S.-based service that was launched in 2013 and ranks near the top of our best cloud storage list.
The service doesn’t limit file size or put a cap on upload or download speeds. You can read more about those features on pCloud’s unlimited features page.
Still, it has a transfer limit of 500GB per month for Premium users and 2TB per month for Premium Plus users. Those aren’t small caps, though, so they shouldn’t hinder your work.
pCloud has good speeds, which will help you upload your files fast. Our tests were conducted outside of Boston and showed it takes about seven minutes to upload and about one minute to download a 1GB folder. Its servers are in the U.S., so the closer you are the better your speeds will be. To see the test table and learn more read our pCloud review.
To send your file, log in to your pCloud account, then find the file you want to share.
Next, click the “share” button. Alternatively, you can click the three dots and select “share” or select multiple files and press the share button from the menu at the top of the page.
The share window lets you enter a friend’s name if they are registered with pCloud or their email address if they aren’t. You can get a nice, short version of the link, but keep in mind that the short version is less secure than a normal link because it is easier to guess. Password protection and link expiry dates are only available for premium plans, though.
MEGA was founded in 2013 by the notorious Kim Dotcom. Though he no longer works there, it goes on without him and advertises itself as “the privacy company” because it provides private encryption and is located in privacy-friendly New Zealand.
The company doesn’t impose file size limits, but it does cap the total volume of data you can transfer between MEGA and your computer each month. The cheapest plan lets you transfer 1TB of data and that goes up as plans increase in price, so it won’t hamper your sharing.
In our MEGA review, we tested its speeds by uploading a 1GB folder over a WiFi connection out of Canggu, Bali, with 10 megabits per second upload speed and 20 Mbps download speed. The download speed was on point, but upload took almost twice the time it should have, which makes it slower than average cloud services.
That might have been because of the distance between us and a server, though. You should get better speeds the closer you are to its data centers in Luxembourg, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Canada and New Zealand.
To send your large file, follow the steps below.
Log in to your MEGA account and locate the file you need.
Next, right-click it or click the three dots that appear on the right when you hover over it and select “get link.” You can use the “send to contact” option, but it’s restricted to users from your chat history or, in other words, MEGA users.
That’s restrictive, but MEGA gives you the option to use encrypted links, even as a free user. Pro subscriptions add expiry dates and password protection, which makes for strong content control.
Dropbox is one of the most popular services, with more than 500 million users. It launched in 2007 and is a leader in user experience.
If you use the web client, you won’t be able to upload files larger than 50GB, but there are no such restrictions on the desktop client if you have enough space. Note that there is a 200GB daily sharing limit. Shared folders also count toward your storage space quota.
To learn more about storage space and plans the service offers, read our Dropbox review.
After you log in to your account, find the file you want to share and hover over it. The “share” button will appear. Click it.
Doing so will launch the share window, which has a field for you to enter the email of the person you want to send the file to. Files shared that way will be limited to the “can view” permission. Stronger content control settings, such as password protection, link expiration and download limits, are available for links if you have a premium plan.
Sending large files doesn’t have to be troublesome or involve clunky methods, such as USB sticks or email. If you’re tech-savvy, WebDAV and FTP are other methods for it. If they intrigue you, read our what is WebDAV and what is FTP articles to learn more. That said, using cloud storage to share big files is straightforward and good for mainstream users.
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We’ve demonstrated how easy it is by going through the motions in three services that allow large file sizes and have good sharing capabilities. Still, they differ in other aspects, so refer to our reviews to make sure you choose the right one for you. One important factor we’d like to point out, though, is value. pCloud is far better than the other two for that.
What do you think about sending large files? Which service do you rely on? Thank you for reading and please leave you thoughts in the comments below.