3 Ways to Send Monster Files Faster

Last Updated Aug 24, 2009 2:27 PM EDT

Recently, I wasted an enormous amount of time trying to send a bloated (892 MB) Word file to a colleague. First, my ISP refused to let me send such a large attachment.

I tried sending from another e-mail account; this time, her e-mail blocked it. We tried going through Yahoo! mail -- way, way too big.

I zipped the file, but because it was chock-full of graphics, it didn't shrink enough to make much difference. Finally, I just made a PDF of the document and e-mailed it that way.

Had I only known that there are much better ways to send monster files.

  1. The first is the trickiest, but if you're tech-savvy, it works well: Set up your own FTP server and send files that way. Of course, you'll need to know a lot of geeky details, and this may not work if you or your recipient are behind firewalls. Another downside: FTP won't encrypt transferred files, so if security is an issue, this isn't a good solution for you.
  2. If you're not up to that challenge, there are services out there that'll do it for you -- for a fee. For example, ShareFile, Box.net, and Egnyte provide secure online file storage and sharing. There are plenty of companies to choose from (just Google "online file sharing"), including offerings from Microsoft and Adobe. Costs can vary from a reasonable monthly charge to "Zoinks!" so shop carefully.
  3. You can also go the free route with peer-to-peer options like PipeBytes, WikiSend, and Files2U. Probably not as secure as going through a top-tier file-sharing service, but some of these free services do offer password protection.
And of course, if time isn't a factor, you can send a file the old-fashioned way, via optical media or a flash drive. But with these other options at your fingertips, who needs envelopes?

What file-sharing services do you recommend? Share your suggestions in the comments section.
(image by lotyloty via Flickr, CC 2.0)

  • CC Holland

    CC Holland is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and a number of national magazines. Online, she was a columnist for AnchorDesk.com and writes regularly for Law.com and BNET. On the other side of the journalism desk, she's been a managing editor for ZDNet, CNet, and KCBS-TV in Los Angeles, where she earned an APTRA Best News Web Site award.