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How to Send Files Too Big for Email

Are these files you are sending too large for an email? You may have tried writing text and that didn’t help either. Fortunately, there are many ways to send large files to people over the Internet, and most of them are even free.

Maybe it’s vacation photos you want to send to a friend, home movies your uncle asked for or your music collection, 4K Raw video files, backup data, video games, etc.

Whatever you post, there are ways to make it work. However, before choosing the best way to send large files, first determine how large they really are in order to use the most appropriate service (i.e., don’t pay for what you can get for free).

Calculate the total volume

You can’t know which file upload service to use unless you understand how big your files are. For example, if you are sending someone a movie that is only 800MB in size, you can use a different service than if you are trying to deliver a 1TB video collection.

The easiest way to find out how much space your files are taking up is to put them in a folder and then determine the size of the folder. The same can be done with individual files if that’s all you’re sending. On Windows and Linux, right-click the item and select Properties; Mac users should right-click and select Get Info.

Choose a file sharing service

There are many services that can share files with other people. One option is cloud storage, where your files are first uploaded to a remote server linked to your account, and then from there you can share those files with anyone. The advantage is that you only need to download it once, and then they are always available and easy to share with any number of people.

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Temporary cloud storage is similar to regular online storage, but files are not stored for long and you usually do not need to create a user account to use them. Files can often be shared multiple times with different people using a special link.

Another option is to use a P2P file sharing service so that the files are not saved anywhere, but instead transferred directly from your computer to another person’s computer. You may prefer P2P services because they are more available on demand, usually unlimited, and your files are not stored online.

The downside is that you’ll have to re-upload files in the future if you choose to share them again, plus the speed at which someone can download your files is limited by your download connection.

Cloud Storage

Google provides anyone with a Google account with 15GB of storage, some of which you can use on Google Drive to share files with others. Upload your files there and share with anyone whole folders or individual files that they can upload at maximum speed. You can pay for extra storage space.

MEGA is a cloud storage service with a focus on encryption and privacy. You get 50 GB for free, but you can upgrade and get more. Files and folders can be shared and you don’t have to share the decryption key, so only certain people who have the link can access the files.

MediaFire lets you upload files up to 20GB in size, which you can use with your Basic, Pro, or Business account, which comes with 50GB, 1TB, and 100TB online storage, respectively.

Share files and entire folders with others, even if they are not MediaFire users. Paid plans offer advanced link exchanges like password protection and one-time links, folder downloads, direct links, and more.

Cloud Cache

Firefox Send allows you to download up to 2 GB of data (or 2.5 GB if you’re signed in) at a time, which can expire after one to 100 downloads or in five minutes, one hour, one day, or one week. You can also password protect your download.

Use WeTransfer to send up to 2GB of files at the same time, which you can share via email or a dedicated URL. Files are deleted automatically after a week unless you purchase WeTransfer Plus, which is more of a persistent cloud storage where you can store up to 500GB of data, password protect file shares and more.

The free version of WeSendit.com supports sending files up to 5 GB in size to a maximum of 15 recipients at the same time and allows you to upload a maximum of 500 files. Send downloads by email or link; they expire in seven days.

Pay for premium and the transfer limit increases to 20GB with additional features like password protection, 100GB of online storage, unlimited storage time, and more.

P2P File Sharing

ShareDrop is a blank page where you and other people can join a dedicated link and share files with each other. There is no file size limit or any settings. Just select someone else in the virtual room to send the file, select the file on your computer and ask the person to confirm their consent and start the P2P file transfer.

The JustBeamIt free file transfer website allows you to transfer files over the Internet regardless of their size. You are provided with a one-time link where anyone using can download the files you have prepared, but they only have 10 minutes to start downloading, otherwise the files will expire.

Use Live Transfer Takeafile to send any file up to 500GB directly to another person (without uploading to a server). Or use the cloud upload option as a temporary cloud storage service so the recipient can upload your files faster; it is limited to 512 MB per file and does not support all file formats.

Keep in mind the pressure

Whether you are emailing files, uploading them to cloud storage, or sharing them via a P2P file transfer service, compression can help a lot.

For example, if your email service does not accept multiple files because they exceed the limit by a few megabytes, compressing them in the archive can help by reducing the total size they will take up during transfer.

Compression is also handy if you have multiple files that you want to share at the same time, but the file transfer service you are using can only accept a single file download. Put all the files in an archive and then download that single file, which the recipient can then download and unzip to see all the files you’ve shared.

7-Zip is one of the most popular compression programs, but some of the other options include WinZip, PeaZip, and compression features built into your operating system. You may want to know about the differences between some of these compression tools if you are not sure which one to use.

An example of file transfer

Now that you have a good idea of ??how to determine what kind of transfer service you might need and what options you have for sending large files online, follow this ShareDrop example to see how it looks in action:

Step 1. Open the ShareDrop website.

Step 2. Click on the plus sign at the top right.

Note. If you are sharing large files with other people on the same network, that is, those with the same public IP address as yours, skip to step 5; ShareDrop automatically identifies other local users.

Step 3. Copy the link that you see in the text box and share it with the person you are sending the file to.

Step 4: Click Finish! on your page.

At this point, you should see everyone else who opened the link you shared.

Step 5: Select the avatar of the person you want to send the file to. Everyone is identified at the bottom of their page.

Step 6. Select the file you want to send on your computer.

Step 7. Click “Submit” on the ShareDrop page, and then ask the recipient to click “Save” on their page.

This is it! You can now watch the blue progress bar around the recipient’s avatar to see how long it takes to complete the P2P transfer. When the file transfer is complete, a green checkmark appears briefly.

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