Cloudwards Guide: How to Send Large Files

obrBy Rahul Dasgupta — Last Updated: 30 Aug'16 2016-08-30T13:53:49+00:00Google+

Are you looking for file sharing tools and services that securely, quickly and most importantly — transfer large amounts of data?

And would you also like to learn how to send large files over the interwebs?

If you answered “yes”  to these questions, then read on, as I will be discussing the various ways to send large files online and the services that will help you send them.

My Outlook email account allows me to send file attachments of up to 25MB, but I do not use this email service to send files bigger than 5MB in size.

Why? Well, imagine your recipient is unable to check his or her emails for a few days.

In such a scenario, large file attachments can easily stop any further emails from being successfully sent to him or her, due to their email inbox becoming full.

Also, for files larger than 25MB, it is impossible to use popular email services like:

For big ass files, it’s time to pull out the big guns. So I shifted to simpler and more effective tools for sharing large files online.

In this article, I will list the different tools and techniques you can use to send big files online, either for free or by paying a minimal fee.

Which Large File Transfer Options Should You Use?

When there are too many options for doing a particular task; confusion creeps in, the same adage holds true for sending large files online.

Hence, I will discuss the various methods to do so, and indicate scenarios in which each option will be most ideal.

Using FTP Tools

File Transfer Protocol (FTP) services still prevail in this age of cloud storage and are actively used.

If you don’t like spending time compressing large files, before transferring them online, try using FTP clients like FileZilla or Cyberduck.

However, with FTP tools, the transfer process is complicated and takes a long time.

Which is why it fell out of fashion once the cloud stepped in, I will thus not discuss FTP services in any further detail.

Using Cloud Storage Services

Sending large files of about 1GB was once considered a major headache, but now, it’s become very easy to do so, thanks to the rise of cloud storage services.

There are various file sharing services available in the form of websites, apps, and software clients and all of them store files on their servers.

The difference between them is that some only offer temporary storage, while others are long-term storage solutions.

Temporary Storage File Transfer Services

These services are mostly third-party file transfer websites or apps, which are not affiliated with any particular email service.

They store data online for a limited period (mostly for a couple of weeks) by default, (with a free plan) and then delete them automatically.

If you want to use such a cloud service for free, there will most likely be a file size limit in place.

However, you can increase this limit by going to a paid plan.

Some examples of such services include:

The services mentioned above are focused on sending large files and don’t offer features related to file modifications or syncing via the cloud.

It’s possible to get long-term storage with these cloud services by upgrading to their paid plans.

Long-Term Storage File Transfer Services

The following are cloud storage services in a true sense:

  • Google Drive (15GB of free storage and only works with Gmail)
  • Dropbox (2GB of free storage and works with different mail services)

These services not only help transfer large files but can also store data for an extended period, and come with online file editing, plus automatic syncing.

Prerequisites for Sending Large Files

Before using the above file sharing tools, remember first to compress your files, to hasten the data transfer process.

Some tips for compressing large files include:

  • Use the built-in file compression utilities on Windows or Mac
  • To compress a video or music file, use “RAR” instead of “ZIP”
  • RAR files don’t suffer from corruption or data loss during compression

Step-by-Step Guide on Using Different File Transfer Tools

Instructions for Using Temporary Storage File Transfer Services

  1. Go to the tool’s website; I’ll use WeTransfer as an example.
  1. Once you clearly understand the terms and conditions, as seen above, click on “I agree”.
  1. Select a file ( the size limit, in this case, is 2GB) by clicking on “Add files”.

Hint: You can even drag and drop the selected file, and it’s also possible to add more than one file.

  1. Enter your email address, along with the recipient’s email address. WeTransfer can send a file to 20 recipients at the same time.
  1. Write some text in the optional “Message” field for your recipient. Remember to be polite!
  1. Select how you want to transfer the file, via email or download link, by clicking on the share type button (it’s three dots) that appears to the left of the “Transfer” button.
  1. If you chose the “link” option, a message (as shown below) will pop up stating the file will be stored online for seven days.
  1. Then just click “Transfer” to share the selected file.

As you might have noticed, WeTransfer does not require you to create an account.

You can start sending large files to recipients using WeTransfer’s free service straight away.

However, there is a paid plan in the form of WeTransfer Plus, which requires a login and comes loaded with additional features.

Such as:

Sending large files on Sendspace and DropSend is quite similar to sending them on WeTransfer.

All you need to do is follow a simple template of instructions, as indicated below:

  • Compose an email by entering your email address and the recipient’s
  • Upload the file to the cloud
  • Send the file link, which the receiver will click to view or download the file

Instructions for Using Long-Term Storage File Transfer Services

  1. Sign in to your account. I’ll use Google Drive for this example.
  1. Go to the Google Drive section.
  1. Upload any file that’s over 25MB in size by clicking on the “NEW” button.
  1. Once the file gets uploaded to your Google Drive account, right-click on it and choose a relevant sharing option.
  1. Click on “Share” to compose an email message and enter the recipient’s email address too.
  1. The recipient will receive an email with a link inviting them to view or download the file you sent.

Google Drive only works on Gmail accounts, If you use another email account, consider an alternative cloud storage tool to send large files online.

A similar procedure works for other long-term cloud storage services, like Dropbox.

In Summary…

I hope you enjoyed reading about the various ways to send large files online.

It’s important to use cloud storage services that enable quick file transfers and offer various security features.

For example, I like the fact that most cloud services password protect data and encrypt it during transit, which is imperative from a security perspective.

The tools are also so easy-to-use, and should be used for large files that are under the size limit allowed by your email service.

Please use the comments section below to express your thoughts about sharing large files, and also, kindly share this post if you found it valuable!

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