The age of the web may have connected continents and allowed the world to function around the clock, but we still haven't quite mastered how to send large files by email.
But there's no need to spend vast amounts of money on a solution. These free tools will help you send large files to design clients without the hassle of bounced emails and hours of frustration with FTP connections. And some even have iPhone apps and Android apps to make your life even easier.
Have a look at these best free tools for sending large files, then perhaps also check out these other essential tools for managing a freelance design business.
01. Google Drive
Google's so ubiquitous these days that it's easy to overlook it, so we'll remind you: Google Drive gives you 15GB of free online storage, and it's easy to share absolutely anything you like, be it individual files or entire folders.
You can set your own sharing options too, for anything from a download link that anyone can use, up to sharing with specific people and giving them editing rights. And with the app installed on your desktop and your devices, it's splendidly simple to move the files you need to wherever you need them.
Previously known as YouSendIt, Hightail rebranded and relaunched in 2013 as a platform for sharing and collaboration. Its free Lite plan lets you share files up to 250MB, with instant visual previews and the ability to add comments to any file.
With the Pro version from $8.25 per month you can share files up to 25GB, and you get extra collaboration features such as email notifications, content permissions and approval tracking. And if that's not enough then there's also a Business plan, which offers custom packages to suit your company's needs.
Terashare is different to most file-sharing services in that it uses BitTorrent technology to transfer the file directly from your computer to the receiver's. There's no filesize limit, although files larger than 10GB cannot be downloaded when you turn your computer off as this is the only place the file is stored. Files smaller than 10GB are also uploaded to the Terashare servers so that they can be accessed at all times.
If you need to share a file with a lot of people then Terashare is a good option, as BitTorrent makes it possible for everyone downloading the file to download parts from each other as well as from the server.
You need to install a small client to make it work, and files are shared via a unique URL. Terashare is completely free.
WeTransfer is a lovely looking site that allows you to send large files – up to 2GB per transfer – as often as you like! That way, there won't be any of those last minute email woes when you run out of free transfers. You can send large files by email or grab a download link from the site; easy peasy.
For more hardcore users, there's WeTransfer Plus. For $12/€12 per month you can up your file size limit to 20GB a time, and store up to 100GB.
Since it launched back in 2005, SendSpace has been delivering files millions of times a week. Each file is tracked so if it's lost into the abyss of the internet, SendSpace will do its best to find it for you. There's also a useful drag-and-drop feature, as well as a SendSpace app – meaning you can send large files on the move.
With DropSend you can send large files of up to 4GB for free, and up to 8GB if you pay $5 per month. Fast, simple and secure to use, you'll be sending those all-important large files in no time. There's no software to install and it's available with 256bit AES Security.
You get five sends per month for free; the $5 payment plan gives you 15 sends per month. Check out the pricing to see other interesting options, including capacious online storage.
Wikisend is a free file-sharing service that doesn’t require you to create an account to use; you simply upload your file and are given a unique URL to access your file.
Files are then accessible for seven days for your client to download as many times as they need, and you can share files up to 100MB in size. Wikisend also provides password-protected file sharing if you register for an account.
Dropbox is the most well-known file-sharing tool. You'll almost certainly find that your client already has it installed and is familiar with using it – always a bonus.
You need to register an account to use Dropbox, though it’s free to do so. As well as a web-based application, there’s a desktop application you can install that enables you to sync and access your files from within a normal folder.
Dropbox also benefits from having no expiration dates on upload files: you can store files as long as you need to. Plus there's an uncapped maximum file size, so you can send the largest cat video mashups to your clients without worrying about capacity.
MediaFire is designed to make your media files available to you from anywhere. Not only does it store them, but it also includes a player so that you can view over 200 different file formats in your browser – convenient for quickly showing things to clients.
You get 10GB of storage for free with ad-supported downloads, or you can pay $3.75 per month for ad-free sharing, 1TB of space and a better user experience.
Most of the services here claim to keep your data secure, but that guarantee might not be good enough if you're working with sensitive data. Box is different to the rest in this regard; security is its niche.
Box gives you full control over the encryption keys that are used to secure your data, so no one else (even people at Box) can get access to them. There's also an unchangeable log of key usage so you always know who has looked at your data, as well as various other top-notch security features.
You can get a free personal account with a file size limit of 250MB, and business accounts start from $5/£3.50 per month per person.
Senduit is intensely simple to use: simply upload your file through the website and you’re provided with a private URL to share your file. The service has a limit of 100MB for files being shared, and allows you to set an expiry time for the files, for durations from 30 minutes up to seven days.