It is a problem that you don’t think about until you actually have to face it. What happens if you have a large electronic computer file to send to someone and the email service you use has a limit on the size of the file you can send?  For example, a common email service is Gmail but you can’t send an e mail with an attached a file with a size over 25MB1 (without a workaround) and other email services are also likely to have broadly similar restrictions.2

It is possible that you might want to send a very large digital file to a colleague, family or friend and it is too big to send by an attachment to an email. You could transfer the file to say a CD or USB drive and pop the device in an envelope and get the postman to deliver it via the ordinary standard postal mail service. However, as you might suspect, the online world does offer a number of useful and practical alternatives. The large files could be video files or computer folders containing a substantial number of individual files or large numbers of pictures or images. Their sheer size could easily breach the maximum attachment limits of standard email accounts.

One excellent service that I have used a number of times in the past is https://wetransfer.com/ and it does exactly as the internet address suggests. Even better, the basic facility is free and should service the needs of most occasional users such as the readers of this column. The business has been around for 10 years, virtually an eternity in the tech world and so should be a stable and reliable service. The home page usually displays stylish adverts whilst the free service facility can be found to the left of the home page.

Simply click the plus sign to add a file (you can also add a folder) and complete the short and simple online form. You need to provide the email address of your intended recipient, your own email address and a message. Then click transfer and watch the progress of the upload. You can send up to 2GB of files at any one time and you don’t need to register for an account for the free service; you simply click and use.

The files will only be available for download for a limited period of time and for the free service the uploaded file or folder will be deleted in a week. The recipient receives by email, a link to download the transferred file whilst you as the sender, receive a confirmation email that the file(s) was sent successfully. Helpfully the sender is also sent an email to say that a download has happened. It is a slick, easy to use and reasonably fast service.

Of course, the company behind this enterprise needs to make money and they do it by offering a paid for service. It’s not cheap but offers password protection of the files (so protecting sensitive data), store the files online for as long as you like, subject to a reasonable limit as well as a more generous send limit. I suspect most readers of this column would be satisfied with the free version.

Although I have mentioned https://wetransfer.com/ of course this is not the only show in town. A newcomer that was reviewed by an on line publication last year3 https://fromsmash.com/ is also free for the basic package, requires no registration and crucially has no upper limit on file size. Files are potentially available for up to two weeks after transfer.4

Both these services (and these are just two examples of what is on offer) are web based and there is no need to download any additional software. Simply click and use and whilst you may have occasional use for such a service, at least you know it exists.

References

  1. https://support.google.com/mail/answer/6584?co=GENIE.Platform%3DDesktop&hl=en
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Email_attachment
  3. https://www.techradar.com/uk/news/new-file-sharing-site-smash-has-no-ads-no-file-size-limits-and-a-creative-twist
  4. https://about.fromsmash.com/pricing