Transferring a large file isn't always easy. When e-mail won't work (which it often doesn't for files of any heft), you can burn to a disc or send a file piecemeal, but neither option provides much value to the person who just needs your file now, and simply.
Online file-sharing services can transfer large files for you. To use these services, you upload your file to them, and then your recipient gets a link to the download. The file itself doesn't go through e-mail, just the link to it. Let's look at a few different products that perform this service.
Box.net Box.net may be billed as a service designed for companies, but it's equally useful for consumers.
Overall, Box is extremely easy to use and its interface is second to none. After signing up for an account, you can upload a file of up to 1GB in size, add comments to it to provide some context for other users, and save it to a single folder or multiple folders on the site. Once the file is uploaded, you can e-mail or IM a Box link to others, who can then download that file to their local machine. You can even create a shared workspace and work together online. Whether it was uploading the file or using that shared workspace, Box provided me with an outstanding experience.
One of Box's best features is its customizable widget. After heading to its widgets page, you can upload files, customize the look and feel of your widget, and share it with others by embedding it in your Web site or blog. You can keep adding files until you hit the 1GB limit. It's a really neat feature and a great way to share files that you don't mind keeping unsecured. I created my widget (right) in under a minute.
Unfortunately, Box only provides 1GB of storage a 25MB upload limit for free. If you need more than that, the company charges $7.95 for 5GB of storage and 1GB uploads or $15 per user per month for businesses that want 15GB of storage and 1GB uploads.
Dropbox Dropbox is similar to Box because it allows you to upload files and share those with others. But in order for them to see the files, the service requires you to add them as authorized users.
Once you sign up for Dropbox, you can immediately start uploading files and creating separate folders to control access to documents. Once a folder is created, you can share it with others by inputting their e-mail addresses into the sharing box on Dropbox. The service then sends those users a link to sign up and start sharing access to the folder.
Uploading files in Dropbox is simple and generally zippy. If you want to create a photo gallery that can be viewed by anyone, the site boasts a Photos section where you can upload pictures. And although it works as advertised, it doesn't compare to nicer galleries like those you'll find on Flickr.
One of the most compelling reasons to use Dropbox is its offline functionality. When you sign up, you can download the company's desktop client, which allows you to drag-and-drop files into it. Once complete, it syncs with your online account in the background while you work. It's an outstanding feature.
Dropbox also offers an attractive pricing model. Although it doesn't provide as many collaboration features as Box, it offers more capacity for free. In fact, you can upload up to 5GB for free. It costs $9.99 per month or $99 per year to have 53GB of storage.… Read more