Whether you’re looking to share a home movie you recorded with friends, or you plan on sending your entire collection of photos to your aunt, most of the time, email sharing just won’t cut it. With average email send caps at 25-75mb, you need something better. Luckily, there are plenty of free services that allow you to send and share files as often as you want, and for free. While you can pay for many of these services, chances are you just want to send one or two things, so there’s no real need to pay for a subscription. The following include the best free options you can use.
Dropbox is one of the most well-known file sharing programs out there and as a bonus, it also offers up to 2GB of free storage. The catch is that you cannot have more than 2GB of space without paying, which means that you cannot send more than 2GB. On the bright side, it does offer long-term storage, easy access, web view and even web play for most types of video and media. Essentially you can send your video file to friends and family and they can watch it right from their browser.
Box allows you to store up to 10GB of data in the cloud, but with the free version, you can only upload files 250 mb at a time. This is great if you’re planning on sharing your library of classic music recordings or your photos, but not so good for larger files.
WeTransfer is the best way to easily transfer files that are up to 4 GB in size. While you can transfer more sizes if you pay for a subscription, average files tend to be 4GB or less. If you have a bigger file and want it to be free, then consider using a torrent instead. What’s the catch on this one? WeTransfer is absolutely great for sharing files but upload and download times can take more than an hour per gigabyte with ‘regular’ Internet. MailBigFile.com is a close competitor.
Mega is kind of like DropBox but you get a lot more free space. The free Mega account comes with 50GB of free data storage, which you can share and collaborate with your friends and family. While there are no limitations on downloads, they can be slow, especially if there is a lot of traffic, because Mega automatically puts ‘free’ accounts on the backburner when there are a lot of current uploads.
Torrent/Peer 2 Peer
One of the best ways to share large files, especially those larger than 2-4 GB is to simply use a torrent. While this is obviously illegal if you plan on uploading any sort of copyrighted content, it is 100 percent legal to upload and share personal and privately owned content. In fact, many torrent sites also allow you to create private torrents so that you can share your file to someone, and only those with the link can access it. Torrents are considered one of the best ways to download information because they literally break data up into smaller chunks and download it simultaneously, allowing the entire file to download faster. You will need a Bittorent client to handle the actual downloads, but other than that, you can use either a Bittorent client with upload features (Vuze.com offers this) or a popular torrent site to upload and share your own private torrents.
Things to Keep In Mind
There are quite literally dozens of sites that specialize in nothing but allowing you to send files. However, the majority of them charge money, or want to limit your file uploads. For this reason, anyone with very large files can definitely consider torrents as their best option. Unfortunately it is extremely important to make the file private or untagged in order to ensure that everyone on the planet doesn’t download your personal information. Other than that, you’re ready to start sharing your files.
If you’re planning on sharing multiple files like photos or an album, consider zipping it into a .zip or .rar file before sending. This allows the folder to upload as one file, which is faster for both upload and download. While you won’t be able to upload these into an email, any torrent or general sharing program should have no problem with it. Other than that, you should be ready to start sharing your files and media with your friends and family. Most people consider WinZip to be one of the best .rar creators.
Jay Robinson is a fun guy who spends just a little too much time on the Internet. He’s into free stuff, and new technology.