Delivering Large Files Over The Internet

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Large File Transfers

By John S. Krill NOCCC

Problem: Sending a large file or many files to a recipient. Many e-mail systems do not allow large files to be included or they limit the number of files included in an e-mail.

Solution: Web sites that will allow you to upload a large file where a recipient can then download the file.

This report is only for the free version of each service. All but Microsoft’s SkyDrive have upgraded services for a fee.

Note: All the services require that you sign up for the service.

Product

Max File Size

# of Files

Storage Space

Time Limit

# of Downloads / File

YouSendIt.com

50 MBytes

1 per Transfer

None

7 Days

100

Adobe’s Send Now

100 MBytes

1 per Transfer

None

7 Days

100

Microsoft’s SkyDrive

100 MBytes

No Limit

25 GBytes

No Limit

No Limit

DropBox

Unknown

Unknown

2 Gbytes

No Limit

Unknown

YouSendIt

This Web site allows the transfer of one file at a time. The file size is limited to 50 Mbytes and the recipients have 7 days to download the file. If you have more than one file then you must repeat the process for each file. YouSendIt will e-mail each recipient that they have a files waiting for download. Once the download it complete the sender will be notified by e-mail that transfer is complete.

Web Address: www.yousenditnow.com

Pro: Easy to use. Many recipients.

Con: 50 Mbyte file size is to small. Only one file per transfer. Constant pop-up about their upgraded fee service. Constant e-mails requesting you sign up for an upgrade fee service.

Adobe’s SendNow

Adobe’s Send Now works in a similar way as YouSendIt but will allow for files of 100 Mbytes max. The service is easy to use. There is no constant requests to upgrade to a fee service. They leave that entirely up to you to decide.

Web Address: www.acrobat.com/sendnow/en/home.html

Pro: Easy to use. 100 Mbyte file size. Many recipients.
Con: 1 file per transfer.

Microsoft Live SkyDrive

In order to use SkyDrive you must have either a Hotmail or Live e-mail account.

SkyDrive is online storage system that has the ability to allow others to view, modify, and/or download the files you have put online. You decide who has permission to do this by e-mail addresses. Once you allow someone access, via their e-mail address, you can notify them, via e-mail, of the address location of the files they need to download. There is no limit on the number of files the recipient can download or is there a time limit for accessing the files. At any time you can disable a persons permission to access your files.

Any type of file can be uploaded. They do provide a special Photos folder that makes it easy to view and download pictures.

Permission to get access to files is via each SkyDrive folder. For example you may have one folder where the entire world can view and download files and another folder where permission is limited to a few via their e-mail address.

I get the impression that Microsoft hasn’t decided what direction to go with SkyDrive.

Web Address: www.live.com (Select Skydrive form the Menu bar.)

Pro: It’s free. 25 Gbytes of storage space. Creating folders, and uploading files was easy. No limit on the number of files a person can download. Uploading files is also an easy process. You can allow anyone access to your files or give only certain people, via their e-mail address, permission. You can create folders to isolate files in order to limit permissions.

Con: Though the basic system works there are parts of SkyDrive I couldn’t get to work. SkyDrive’s automated e-mail function seemed to work but an e-mail was NEVER sent. They have a system of giving your Messenger friends permission to access your files but that didn’t appear to work. There is no upgraded fee services. What you see is what you get.

DropBox

This sites works from an application that you install on your computer. Dropbox creates a folder on your computer where you put files you want to transfer to another computer and the DropBox application will upload the files to it’s web site where they can be downloaded to another computer. I can’t tell you more because I didn’t have time to use it and really didn’t like the idea of DropBox controlling the upload of files. If they can control one folder then someone can get access to all your folders through DropBox. Every time someone tells me something can’t be done the next day it gets done.

Web Address: www.dropbox.com

Pro: Appears very easy to use. Get 2 Gbytes of online storage for files.

Con: Don’t like the idea that Dropbox controls the upload process. I’m old-school and this just doesn’t sit well with me. I couldn’t find any information on file size limits. They may have none. I just don’t know.

Conclusion: If transferring files is your only requirement then I would use Adobe’s SendNow. It just works. And it doesn’t get in your way.

I do like SkyDrive and have been using it for some time to share files and photos with others. Once I figure everything out or Microsoft fixes some of the functions then it will be an even more useful tool.

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