Thoughts, information and reflections about technology

Need to send a lot of large files?

You can run into a problem when sending large files via email. The problem is that many accounts are still limited to about 20MB for their inboxes. Suppose you have 3 files you want to send to one person who has a 20MB cap on their inbox. Each file is 8MB. You can email the first 2 ok, however the third will probably bounce because it would exceed the mailbox limit.

This is becoming more of a problem due to the ever increasing file sizes of documents (caused by more pictures, embedded video and audio etc).

So, what do you do when you want to send a large file to someone with a limited mailbox?

yousendit.com is one answer. You can go to www.yousendit.com and type in a recipient’s email, your email, and a short message. Then you browse to the file on your machine that you wish to send. Currently the free version is limited to 100MB files. All you have to do then is hit ‘send’. The file is then uploaded to yousendit’s servers. An email will go to the recipient with a link that will allow downloading the file via a web browser.

There are a couple of things you should consider,

* This is NOT a secure way of sending information. Sensitive files should not be sent. Even if you put a password on am office document, there are password recovery apps that can determine the password you used.
* They offer a paid subscription of about $30/month that will allow you to send larger files (2 Gig), password protect the download and offer authenticated delivery. Even with the password option, you should still evaluate the risk of sending information this way.
* You do get a couple of emails when you use the free service but they are non-obstrusive
* Make sure the person on the other end is expecting the yousendit email so it doesn’t end up in their spam box or get overlooked.

If you had a large number of users, you could probably set up a web based solution that would allow your users to upload the files to a website and then send a link via email to the person they want to give access to the file. However, you need to establish ironclad security. I would think that there would probably be additional liability issues if you were dealing with third party information such as information subject to Hipaa. On the other hand, I didn’t find anything on yousendit’s site about Hipaa compliance.

UPDATE – Dec 2017 – The information in this post has become largely irrelevant with the emergence of Dropbox, Google drive sharing and microsoft OneDrive.  Properly used, those services can solve the security issue.

Also, yousendit is now Hightail. https://www.hightail.com/

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