Sending files can be tricky business. It used to be difficult sending a file over 50mb, let alone 500mb, but nowadays, you’re practically spoilt for choice with amount of applications and file-sending/sharing sites that are on offer.
Here, is MouthLondon’s top 5 for sending your valuable information to that special someone/evil corporation:
Windows Live has been around for yonks and unfortunately the service is in dire need of an upgrade. It is very slow with low-bandwidth, and bloated extra features – trying to be all things at once is very difficult, not even Facebook gets it right half the time. Most people use the program to talk and connect with their friends, but this adds to the sluggishness of the service. The main problem Messenger has is that Microsoft software is usually a resource whore. Stick with it for the social connectivity, but look elsewhere to send big files.
Skype is basically an optimised version of messenger where connecting via webcam is more of a priority. Generally, file transfers are better because of more efficient software and coding, but for the most part it’s not too much better the Messenger; it just looks better and isn’t as buggy. The company has recently been acquired by Microsoft, however, so it probably will start to run slow in no time at all.
The first of the dedicated file sharing, Sendspace offers a service that is surprisingly fast at sharing all file sizes. You can share files with or without an account easily, and send them on via e-mail or hyperlink. The only problem the service has is its servers; if you do not have account your will be on a much slower server. A small image file of 27kb just took me 20 seconds to load, which really isn’t great. Sign up, though, and you will have fast and reliable file sharing every time.
Yousendit has been around quite a while, and has been the standard for students sending in large files just before a deadline: Art students I’m look at you. A dedicated files transferring website, it is incredibly optimised for doing the job. The service is fast, reliable and you can send a large files to someone’s e-mail address. Like Sendspace there is a quicker premium server, but even with the free option large uploads (50mb+) feel quick to upload and download.
With Sendspace and Yousendit, you’re uploading a file to their sever and subsequently downloading it from wherever they’re based – this makes the journey an A-B-C approach. That’s fine, you may think, but that can be quite an annoying and quite a costly diversion. Sendoid is, by contrast, a good old-fashioned P2P file transfer system, meaning that it makes a direct connection from one computer to another, reducing time and increasing speed.
Sendoid’s browser-based file transfer service maxes out for files around 1 gb, but the startup also offers a desktop application for transferring files of unlimited size. All of this is free and incredibly easy to use.
The big alternative is applications like dropbox or Sugarsync. These apps give you a dedicated folder, which you can sometimes choose the name and location of, and back up all your work to their dedicated servers, you can then download and share your files when you want. An added bonus is the piece of mind that all you work is handily secure: just in case you delete a copy on your desktop you can restore it, sometimes by as long as a month ago.
Images courtesy of Microsoft, YouSendIt, Sendspace and Sendoid