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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

1253. Sharing files

Shari wants to share large files with co-workers and friends.  What is the best solution?

First of all, resist the urge to send large files as email attachments, especially when they're large files -over 1MB.

There are far better ways than email to send large files to your friends and co-workers. If nothing else, be sensitive to the fact that your friends may suffer with a slow connection (or worse, dialup) and nothing is more infuriating than to quickly connect to the internet to pick up your email, and to find a huge attachment of a movie of Aunt Eleanor's parrot or the latest antics of a newborn. Just say "No!": Don't send these files via email attachments.

To share those "important" videos (please note the irony implied by the quotes), post them to Facebook. That way, people who want to watch the baby smile can do so. If, on the other hand, you need to actually share files with friends and co-workers, consider a legitimate file-sharing service.

There are myriad such services, and they all offer different features, at different costs. You can easily share files and folders that you store in our favorite file sharing/synchronizing/backup service, Dropbox. The beauty of DropBox is that it doesn't require you to upload the file--by storing it in your DropBox folder, it's instantly available for sharing.  Actually it still uploads it, but that is all done under the covers.

If you prefer to upload the files you want to share, check out file sharing services like YouSendIt, MediaFire, WeTransfer, Droplr, and Ken's current favorite, CloudApp. (And there are lots more, as well!) All these services provide limited free accounts, with fewer restrictions, greater bandwidth, and larger file size caps with paid accounts.

Treat your friends the way you want to be treated: Don’t make them receive the files unless they want to receive them.

And remember: only share legally.  No pirating please!

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