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How to: Send large files for free

E-mail is creaking under the demands of the internet, and nowhere is that more obvious than with sending files. Yes, you can send a couple of photos easily enough, but as soon as you move into audio or video, you’ll be struggling. Even Gmail has a hard cap of 50MB – not that much in the grand scheme of things.

So how do you send large files online? Well, there are broadly two ways to do it depending on whether you’re looking to send files to someone as a one-off, or regularly.

To break that down a bit further, if you don’t want to fill your free cloud storage with large files you send – and then spend time deleting them – then you’re better off using the tools for one-off files. On the other hand, if your important files are already in the cloud, or you want to collaborate with someone for an extended period of time, then you’re much better off using the tools built into the likes of Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive and Google Drive.

How to send large files: As a one-off thing

There are a number of websites that let you upload a large file, get a link and then pass that onto your recipient. This is less like posting a parcel directly to someone, and more like leaving a parcel in a secure location for your contact to collect at their leisure.

But which one? Well, if you really want to make this a one-time thing, you’ll want one where you don’t even need to register. WeTransfer is a good option for this, letting you upload files of up to 2GB in size. Just enter the email addresses of up to 20 people, and your link will be sent to each contact, valid for a week after uploading.

If 2GB isn’t enough, Send Anywhere is worth a look. You can send a file of up to 4GB in the browser, 10GB via the Outlook plugin or Chrome extension and 20GB via the Android/iOS apps. If you stick to the web version, there’s no need to register.

If you value privacy and security above everything else, it’s worth looking at Mozilla’s solution, Firefox Send. Just go to send.firefox.com and you’ll be able to upload a file of up to 1GB in size that is encrypted client side. The file will then self-destruct in 24 hours, or after it has been downloaded once – whichever comes first – and Mozilla has no access to files uploaded or downloaded.

Not much use if you’re looking to share the files with more than one person, but handy for one to one transfers.

How to send large files using a Cloud Storage Service

If you keep your important files in the cloud, rather than locally, there’s a good chance you can just share the important bits and pieces directly with guests. Dropbox, for example, lets you share your files with people whether or not they’re a member. It offers 2GB online storage free, with up to 16GB extra space with referrals, and has paid plans available.

It’s a similar story for Google Drive, except that it offers even more storage for free – if you already have a Google account, you have 15GB free space just waiting for you. To share a file from the web version of the cloud storage service, just select it and then click the paperclip icon to generate a link. If you want to change the permissions someone has, i.e. let them edit or comment on your file, just click the ‘Sharing settings’ button from the pop-up window.

Finally, there’s OneDrive – Microsoft’s answer to Dropbox and Google Drive. It comes with 5GB of storage, and lets you spread files easily with the built-in share button. To share a file from OneDrive, open onedrive.live.com in your browser and log in when prompted. Next, select the file you want to send and click Share. Before clicking Link, you can choose whether to allow editing, and whether to set a password or expiry date.

Source: pcauthority

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