Sharing Large Files

One of the requests I get regularly is how to send large files to other people. While there is no best way there are better ways than just attaching it to an email.

Email attachments are risky. Many email servers, especially corporate ones, limit the size, number, and type of attachment. Typically a limit of 10MB is in place. This prevents the corporate email server from being bogged down with file processing. Especially as the server is typically also virus scanning any files going through email. They also will often limit files that have any sort of execution capability. Many users are surprised to find that this includes Excel and Word documents.

Excel and Word documents, as well as Powerpoint and a whole host of others, have contained within them the ability to hold macros that can call scripts. Those scripts have at times contained malware. Hence the ban in some places.

So, what is one to do if you have a 1GB file and want to send it to someone? Try send.firefox.com.

This is a service provided by Mozilla, the organization which supports the web browser application FireFox. A very good web browser by the way. It doesn’t get the recognition that Edge and Chrome get, but it’s a solid and fast browser.

If you bring up send.firefox.com you’ll see a screen that says drag and drop a file up to a maximum of 1GB. Then comes the cool part. You can set when the file expires. After a number of downloads (up to a maximum of 100) or after a period of time (up to a maximum of seven days). You can choose to protect the file with a password. Once you’ve made your selections you hit the Upload button to upload the file(s).

Now you’re presented with a screen with a link. Copy the link and send it to whomever you’d like the file to be made available to. This can be up to 100 people. This can be a very efficient way to send a large file to a reasonably large group of people.

The recipient of your message will get your email with the link to the file. When they click on the link they’ll be brought to a page which will ask for a password if you used one. Or they’ll just be presented with a download link.

What’s nice about this method of file transfer is the file is encrypted at your browser and unencrypted at your recipient’s browser. So, nowhere in its travels was anyone able to examine the file even should they get the link. And after your recipient(s) have downloaded the file it will eventually expire and the link will be dead. It’s nice when programs clean up after themselves.

1GB is quite a bit, but if you’re keen to send larger files or more files at once, you can signup and get a limit of 2.5GB. That’s big enough to send an entire movie if you’re so inclined.

FireFox send is super simple, easy, and safe.

Happy Computing.

Tags: