HomeTechnicalsending large attachments via email


sending large attachments via email — 4 Comments

  1. The recipient doesn’t have to have dropbox in order for you to send them files. It is possible to put the file in your public folder and give them an http link to the file (right click the file and select option to copy url to clipboard). Dropbox doesn’t have a browsable directory listing, so only those people that know the file exists and know the actual url to it can access it.

    The biggest issue with dropbox is the speed of uploading is really slow, much slower than you might think, because it’s optimized not to suck up all your bandwidth and just upload in the background. It’s ok for smaller attachments, but very large files can take forever.

    When I have larger files to transfer to people and I don’t want to wait around for dropbox, I usually upload them via ftp to my web space and send them a link.

    The exception would be the extremely large files (or collections of files) in which case I’d mail it to them, usually burned to DVD.

    USB thumb drives would be a great idea, but only if there is a regular flow of transfers between both parties, where the drives would be reused and sent back to you, or in the case of a product that is sold and the cost of the thumb drive is factored into the price.

    The issue with mailing files is waiting for delivery. You have to take that time into consideration. Is it faster to wait for ground delivery or to find another way to transfer it over the internet?

    Another option for files up to 1GB is Pando, but that does require special software. It uses bit torrent technology to transfer the files, and the Pando server acts as the main seed, once you have uploaded the files to them. It also allows your recipients to begin downloading the files before you have even finished uploading them.

    A friend of mine had developed an application (Btts) that made it possible to easily operate your own small scale torrent tracker from your desktop, which would allow you to combine it with any torrent client to create a torrent file you could send as an attachment, instead of the file itself. Originally, it was available to the public from his website, but hosting problems occurred and he doesn’t have the site any more. I keep asking him to attach it to the forum post announcing it (it was an entry into a coding contest) but he keeps forgetting. If there is some interest in it, I could bug him again and not let up till he attaches it. 😉

    If he does, it would be found here: http://www.donationcoder.com/Forums/bb/index.php?topic=13569.msg120758#msg120758

    Using that would be very similar to using Pando, with the following differences:

    * No file size limits.
    * Any torrent client could be used by the recipients. Doesn’t require specialized proprietary software by some profit driven company.
    * You’d have to continue to run the tracker and seed with your torrent client till everyone has acquired the file. If you shut down your PC, it becomes unavailable.
    * No time limits for the availability of the files. You could seed it forever, if you want.

    In the case of certain file types, like large PDFs, you could also use something like Google Docs, not just to host the file for you, but you can also use it to create it, eliminating the need to actually upload it when you are finished.

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