Thursday, May 17, 2007

Sending Large Files (continued)

Most ISP’s allow you to send attachments of up to 5Mb per email. Some ISP’s have increased this to 10MB. This is great for Mp3’s and pictures, but terrible for everything else. Let’s say you have an Adobe Photoshop graphic to send to your favorite printing company, chances are it’s over 5Mb. You may be fortunate enough to have a graphics designer that is savvy in splitting the file into sections – and most likely this is a common occurrence for designers to send their files to the printer. What do you do if you don’t have this magical graphics designer?

Further to the dilemma, most ISP’s only allow a certain amount of storage space for your emails, so you can easily exceed your storage quote with 1 large email, worse yet – if you have a slower internet connection, you will have to wait for the email and it’s attachment to arrive at it’s destination. You then receive that dreaded deliver failure report email – your email didn’t make it through because you misspelled the address, or the email address is no longer used.

Email systems were never designed for high speed transfers, and large attachments. These should be done through ftp, or regular http transfers to begin with. The problem lies in the ability to send large files quickly and easily. FTP (file transfer protocol) programs require a special server and a client software, as well as a specific username and password to allow people to upload their files. This means someone has to administer the FTP server. The sender’s will also have to know a little about FTP clients to be able to upload files to the server. HTTP (hypertext transfer protocol) or the web - as it is commonly called nowadays is the best method, however there was no easy way to send files from a web browser. This also requires some behind the scenes magic, and a host of applications and software to create a place to put the uploaded files, a method to accept the uploaded files, and finally – someone to manage the server.

The good news is there is a solution. With the ever evolving internet, several companies have developed the means to allow us to send large files. It is not uncommon to be able to send an entire CD to another person. There are basically two methods available. The first method requires the installation of proprietary software. Which is often a free version, limited in some way to either control you upload and download speeds, file size maximum’s, or possibly riddled with advertisements. Pando is one example, although you may purchase a subscription to avert all the advertising.

You may also just visit a website such as dropsend and use the regular interface with no additional software installation, however you can bet there will be advertisements. A third option is to upload the files to an online sharing and storage storage website, such as however services such as these typical limit the attachment file sizes. You may store several Gigabytes of data, however you have to split them into parts using Winzip, or Winrar.

This then resembles websites and web mail services such as gmail, msn, and yahoo, typically offering 2 Gigabytes of storage, however in 5Mb or 10Mb pieces.

The best option seems to be web based uploading and sharing – even with the occasional advertisement. Here is a list of some of the few companies offering this type of service;

Dropfiles - Want to email large files? We've got the answer
Send files of up to 1 GB - store files online.

Fileden - Free File Hosting and Online Storage
With File Den's free file hosting service it's easy to share files across the internet with friends, family, work associates or anyone else. FileDEN allows their users to direct link to their files also giving you the opportunity to also embed your files into your webpages, myspace or other social networking profiles

Quickeo - Private File Sharing
Quickeo is an application for people who want to share their private digital photos, videos, music and other files with their friends, family and community – not the whole world. It simplifies the transfer of private multi-media files for both the sender (no uploading to a server necessary) and the receiver (no downloading necessary)

Fileho - Host - Transfer - Deliver
FileHo is an online one click file-hosting service. It allows users to upload, host and share files for free. FileHo offers unlimited speeds, unlimited file-size, unlimited lifetime of files and unlimited disk space for any of your needs. Also, FileHo is an ad-free site! That's why downloading process has never been so easy and fast.

Mediafire - Free File Hosting Made Simple
MediaFire is truly 100% free and unlimited file host. Unlimited uploads, unlimited downloads, unlimited bandwidth, multiple simultaneous downloads and no sign up required

Dliveo - Send and Track any size file
Dliveo solves the problem of how to easily send and track large files over the Internet. The most advanced Internet file delivery service, Dliveo delivers your very large and important files to one or many people and you always know when they arrive. No file is too big!

Zapr - Share Stuff with your Friends
Zapr is an application which lets you create links to any files on your PC. You can then send these links to friends (via email or IM) and they can get the files directly from your computer via their browser. It's safe and secure.

Omnidrive - File access anywhere, anytime and from any platform
Omnidrive is what you expect hosted storage to be - easy to use, accessible from anywhere and unrestrictive. Omnidrive will make your life easier by allowing you to store, access and stream your files from almost any web connected platform.

Mailbigfile - Send large files when email won't, with MailBigFile
Many ISP's limit the size of files that can be attached to an email, often as little as 10 or 20 MB's is the maximum size. Or perhaps you've received a large file by email in the past and found that you have to wait whilst it downloads before you can see the rest of your emails? Well, now there's an alternative - and it won't cost you a penny.

Pando - Send and Receive Large Files
Pando is free personal P2P software that makes sending and receiving large files and folders a breeze. Need to email large attachments, IM a folder or publish your downloadable videos to the web? Meet Pando.