Trying and failing to send large files is a big waste of time. When you’ve got important images, videos, and documents to transfer, the last thing you need is a ‘your file is too large to send’ error message. But with most email providers offering a limited amount of data storage, how can you share files easily and efficiently? Keep reading to find out 6 tips and tricks for sharing large files in 2023.
Sharing files between co-workers, influencers and clients shouldn’t slow you down or put your content at risk.
Here are 6 tips for sharing large files in 2023
1. Use cloud storage
2. Try a Digital Asset Management solution
3. Compress your files
4. Connect to a VPN
5. Use an FTP
6.Try a USB stick
7.Mailbox size limitations
Ever received a notification from your email service provider that says something like ‘Cannot Send Mail - Attachment Too Large’? This frustrating experience occurs because of email message limitations.
Here are 9 of the most popular email service providers and their message size limits.
Email service provider
AOL - 25 MB
Apple Mail/iCloud - 20 MB
Gmail - 25 MB
GMX - 50 MB
Outlook/Office 365 - 20 MB
ProtonMail - 25 MB
Zoho Mail - 100 MB
Yahoo - 25 MB
Yandex - 30 MB
Wondering what you could send for 20 MB?
While it all depends on camera/phone settings, here’s a rough guide:
- 4-5 15-second videos (e.g. TikToks or Reels)
- 10-20 photos
To give you a rough idea of what that means, a 1-minute video saved on your drive that, at 40 MB, wouldn’t be accepted by any email providers except GMX and Zoho Mail.
For marketing teams that need to send huge files back and forth across the organization—and between influencers and contractors—the kind of storage email accounts offer clearly isn’t enough.
If you’re working with files that are in the 50 MB+ range, you’ll need to find a way around this. One that is fast, secure, and well organized.
Here are 6 faster, easier and more reliable alternatives to sending files via email
Use cloud storage
One of the easiest ways to send large files to others is to upload them to a cloud storage space like Google Drive, OneDrive or Dropbox. They’re flexible, accessible anywhere and make the process of sending files very easy.
For example, if you’re a Gmail user you’ll see that the Google Drive button is already integrated. Press that, select your file and send it as a regular attachment. If your file is greater than 25 MB, Gmail automatically adds a Google Drive link in the email. All you need to do is grant permission access (viewer, commentor or editor) and the recipient will be able to use the file immediately.
A solution like Dropbox enables you to upload your files to a folder and then share the link via email to your recipient. There is also WeTransfer, a cloud-based computer file transfer service that doesn’t require registration. It’s as easy as loading the website, uploading your files, and choosing whether you want them to be sent via email or as a shareable link.
Cloud Storage Pros
-Great for small teams and internal use
-Share files easily
-Provides encrypted and secure access to your files
-Remotely update and sync files
Cloud Storage Cons
-Extra storage comes at a cost
-Dropbox is free up to 2 GB, after which you’ll pay $9.99 / month
-WeTransfer is free up to 2 GB, after which you’ll pay $10 / month
-It is not a file management system, which can make version control and brand compliance more challenging
-Certain companies will not have access to external cloud storage sites such as Google Drive
Try a Digital Asset Management (DAM) solution
With a holistic DAM solution, you can upload, manage, transform, collaborate and share thousands of large media files all in one place—a so-called ‘Single Source of Truth’.
This is very helpful for brands that need to deliver content in multiple formats for multiple channels and markets. Rather than operating across numerous tools and having to download, edit, and re-upload content hundreds of times over, DAM users can customize and deliver image and video files in one central hub.
This increases operational efficiency and improves collaboration, allowing marketers to focus on what they're best at — not waiting around for large files to upload!
-Save time searching for digital assets using metadata
-Assets can be easily edited and distributed all within one platform, removing the need for additional tools
-Automate and improve workflows
-Ensure brand consistency and remove risk of outdated or off-brand assets being used
-To reap the benefits of a DAM solution, it must be embraced by the whole organization with users properly trained and supported
-System will not perform optimally if assets aren’t properly tagged
-DAM is more costly than other solutions
Compress your files
If you have multiple files to send, compressing or ‘zipping’ your files might be an option to consider. On a Mac or PC the directions are similar. Move all the files into a folder, right-click and select ‘Compress’. This will create a new file on your desktop with the same name and a .zip extension. The great thing about creating a zip file is that while the folder as a whole is smaller, the files within won’t lose quality—vital if you’re dealing with brand assets.
There are also free compression software tools like PeaZip and 7-Zip. Both are free and easy to use, and can pack just about any compressed file you need.
File Compression Pros
-No need to pay for storage
File Compression Cons
-Unencrypting can occur, which may lead to the disclosure of sensitive data
-A manual process that requires knowledge of compression
-Compressed files must be uncompressed by the recipient—if they aren’t sure how to do this, it can add inefficiencies to collaboration and content workflow
-No collaborative or file management capabilities—this makes compression great for one-off use, but not a solution for teams creating and delivering large amounts of content
Connect to a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
A VPN is a good option if you’re traveling or using public wifi and need to share large files. VPN software encrypts your data and routes it through secure networks to servers far away (often in other countries), hiding your identity and keeping confidential data private.
This is helpful if you need to share large files safely and securely and would prefer not to use the publicly available (and often more vulnerable) wifi. However, a VPN isn’t fool-proof. Like any tool, they’re susceptible to malware—a risk that is increased when using a free VPN.
In addition, sharing large files can slow down your VPN connection and there’s no guarantee they’ll arrive intact. Zipping up files would probably be a better solution while traveling or working remotely.
-Private and secure data transfer
-Can be faster than using public wifi
-Requires knowledge of how to set up a VPN
-Not suitable for long-term file transfers
-Higher security risk than alternatives like file compression
Use an FTP
Much like a virtual filing cabinet, a FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is a dedicated space where you can store or transfer files. FTP was developed in the 1970s, allowing quick and easy file transfers. Today, most web browsers come with FTP clients that enable file transfer. There are also third party clients that can be downloaded including FileZilla Client, FTP Voyager, WinSCP, CoffeeCup Free FTP, and Core FTP.
Each FTP client provides different features. For example, FileZilla lets you set bandwidth limits for files. This enables you to control upload and download speeds, which is useful if you need to transfer multiple files at once.
-Multiple files can be transferred easily and efficiently
-No restriction on size of single transfers
-Transfers can be scheduled
-FTP isn’t as secure as some other file-sharing platforms
-Can be challenging to use for those without an IT background
-Easy for inexperienced users to wipe out work
Try a USB stick
A good old-fashioned USB stick is ideal for sharing large files with a colleague. They’re easy to use and give you as much space as you need to upload content, with USBs ranging from 2 GB to 1 TB.
Once you’re ready to transfer files, all you need to do is insert the drive into your computer’s USB port and drag-and-drop the files into it. Then eject the USB and your colleague is ready to upload the files to their computer. It couldn’t be simpler.
However, with simplicity comes limitations. A USB stick isn’t a long-term solution for marketing teams creating, managing, and deploying thousands of media assets every month. In that instance, a robust data storage and content management system would be more suitable.
-Simple and fast file transfer
-Easy to use
-Not 100% secure unless the drive is properly encrypted
-Not ideal for time-sensitive or very large files
-Not a long-term solution for regular file transfer
-Some companies block the use of USB sticks
-Using a USB stick doesn’t allow you to share files remotely
-Using DAM to edit, repurpose and share large files
Sharing large files doesn’t have to be a time-consuming or frustrating task. With solutions like cloud-based DAM, there is an easier way.
If you’d like to find out more about how a DAM platform can offer your business a centralized system to organize, edit, and transfer all of your media assets in one place, book a free demo today.