Email is a common form of communication in the workplace, and you may need to send large files that might not fit in an email. You may need to send a project file to your colleague, a large batch of images to a client or important sales data to your supervisor. Understanding how to send large files can enable you to effectively share valuable information with coworkers and customers. In this article, we explore free ways to send large files online.

How to send large files online

Many email providers like Gmail have a strict 25MB size limit for file attachments. A typical three-minute video, however, might be between 60 – 120MB. Knowing how to transfer large files without using regular email can help you succeed professionally because youll be able to share data and files larger than 25MB.

Here are multiple ways to send large files online for free:

1. Upload your files to free cloud storage providers

Instead of saving a file on your computer, save it to a “cloud” server, a term referring to remote, digital server space. Taking advantage of cloud storage space is an easy way to send large files because you dont need to download a special program. A working internet connection is all you need to upload data to the cloud. To access the file or share it with someone else, log in to your cloud server account and send them the link to its digital location.

There are many different cloud providers, and most of them have a free tier. Google Drive, for example, is integrated with Gmail and offers users 15GB of free storage. Most providers offer multiple paid tiers if your online file storage needs exceed the limit provided on the free tier. Common cloud storage options include:

2. Use a VPN

You might be able to use a virtual private network (VPN) to transfer large files because it helps you avoid a common problem — internet service providers (ISPs) often restrict users upload bandwidth. When you use a VPN, your internet traffic is encrypted, making it more difficult for your ISP to detect the size of the files you send. Most VPN providers have a “share files” feature to make it easy to pass data between people and devices.

Heres how to use a VPN:

3. Compress your files

Compressing your files can make them much easier to send because a software uses the zip format to reduce the storage space required. If youre using a major operating system like Windows or macOS, you likely already have compatible zip software downloaded on your system. If you dont or if youre looking for an option more efficient than regular zip files, you can download free compression software like WinZip.

To compress files on a PC:

To compress files on a Mac:

You can hold multiple large files in one zip folder, and extracting the files is easy. Right-click the folder and chose “extract all.”

4. Mail a hard drive

Its an old-fashioned method, but physically shipping a hard drive loaded with large files can be a useful way to send information. Companies often use this method when they need to move a considerable amount of data at once because, depending on how large the files are, sending the hard drive in the mail can be a faster mode of transfer than trying to use an internet connection.

If you decide to send files this way, you need to load them onto a hard drive. When youre ready to send the data, package the hard drive and take it to the post office or another mailing service. It helps to pay close attention to how you pack the hard drive because the device can be vulnerable to physical damage.

5. Purchase a USB flash drive

If you want to move large files to a different computer, perhaps from your home computer to your workstation, a USB flash drive can store anywhere from 2GB to 1TB of data. Its also common for coworkers to pass USB drives between them.

To transfer the files:

A potential drawback with this method is that you need to keep the physical flash drive until the files are successfully transferred onto the new device.

6. Use a free file-hosting service

In addition to the cloud, you can use free websites and applications to host large files that you want online. A free account at Jumpshare, for example, gives you space to upload your file and receive a link in return. Anyone who you give the link to can access the file. You can send 250MB worth of data with a free account.

7. Use an FTP client

A traditional way to transfer large files is to use file transfer protocol (FTP) because users can upload files to servers specially designed to store large amounts of data. There are multiple ways to access an FTP server, including:

FTP is a great option if you need to send many files at once because theres no size restriction for single transfers. When youre file is uploaded to the server, you can share the link with someone else to give them access.

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