Question of the Month for May

Question: From time to time I have to email very large files as attachments, what’s the best way to send them?

Answer: When email was first created, it was never intended to be a vehicle for large files. In fact, many email programs prohibit users from sending attachments larger than 10MB. However, with the sheer amount of business that is now conducted online and between different networks, sharing large files is often a necessity. Fortunately, there are several file-sharing services, such as Google Drive, DropSend, and SkyDrive, which provide a solution to this problem.

When you need to send a large file, simply upload it to one of these services, then email the link to the intended recipient. When your email is opened, all the user has to do is click on the link and download the file even if it’s in the gigabytes in size. This process bypasses email sharing limits and simplifies the process in general. If the information in your file is sensitive, there are also options to encrypt it for security purposes while shielding it from prying eyes and allowing your recipient to still open it.

Gmail users can easily use Google Drive for this purpose; it is already integrated into Gmail, and they can use the Drive link at the bottom of the email to insert a link to the file they need to share. For those who use Outlook or Hotmail, SkyDrive is the integrated transfer service and works on the same principles. DropSend has a plug-in for Outlook and has an easy-to-use desktop app that works seamlessly with both Windows and Mac; there is even a DropSend iPhone app to use while sharing large files on the go.