Electronic data transfer is a staple in the world of work today. Gone are the days when data transmission was dependent on the capabilities of a post office. Technology evolved and allowed for not only transmission of test, but also various forms of media such as audio files, video files, and those that have other formats. This is possible because of the attachment feature that is included with just about every e-mail client in existence today, regardless of whom the provider may be.
While this was a great innovation that doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon, it has a glaring limitation that you have possibly experienced as a user of email. This is the maximum attachment size. To allow for an efficient system and to preserve storage, e-mail providers usually impose a limit on attachment that usually ranges between 15 and 30 megabytes (MB). This doesn’t mean people don’t need to transfer larger files and with e-mail out of the equation, alternative methods are sought. Below is a brief overview of a few platforms that can be beneficial in this regard.
Dropbox is one of the most popular services used for both storage and file transfer in schools and corporate offices alike. Once a Dropbox account is created, it’s owner can store files in a dedicated cloud space. These files can then be shared with others using a unique link. Anyone with the link can then download the files right to their own devices.
Dropbox has both a free version and a paid version. The free tier is the most popular (for obvious reasons) and gives instant access to two gigabytes (GB) of storage. There are two paid tiers that offer a terabyte (TB) or two TB of storage for $9.99 monthly and $19.99 monthly respectively.
Box is a file transfer alternative that has been picking up quite a bit of steam in recent time. It offers on demand file syncing and is specially engineered with collaboration in mind. While the desktop versions can be convoluted and a bit off-putting to get into, the online version is unbelievably easy to use by comparison. The free tier of Box gives a user instant access to 10 GB of dedicated cloud space. Box is known to provide high availability and numerous integration options. Even with the large space pool, the free version of Box only allows uploads of files that are no larger than 250 MB at a time. The paid version, which costs $10.00 monthly allows for uploads up to five GB and access to a 100 GB pool of storage space.
OneDrive is Microsoft’s attempt at providing cloud storage and a sharing platform. Of course, this means that the service can only be accessed using a Microsoft account. This doesn’t mean that you need to go create a new Microsoft account as your existing mail service account (if it’s not a Microsoft account) can be flagged as a Microsoft account, which gives access to the service. Of course, being a Microsoft product means that it integrates well and easily with other Microsoft products such as the Microsoft Office suite.
The free OneDrive tier grants access to five GB of storage. There are numerous pricing plans available as but the ones to note are the $1.99 monthly 50 GB tier and the OneDrive Personal tier, which costs $.6.99 monthly for 1000 GB. Sharing files with OneDrive is a little more complex as it requires the recipient to also have a Microsoft account.
There’s no need to worry if e-mail can’t handle the size of the file you’re trying to send as there are numerous paid and free alternatives to do so including the ones mentioned above. A couple others of note are Google Drive and WeTransfer.