Why Make Life Harder? Sharing Your Files Should Be Simple

Why Make Life Harder? Sharing Your Files Should Be Simple

Stop pulling your hair out over sending large files with these three options.

Now’s your time. You’re working on a big project for the board of directors of your company, this could be your big break, right?

Right — okay, you’re done. Let’s get this thing emailed over and check it off the list.

Sending…Sending…Failed.

Now you are starting to panic, you’re trying to get the report you’ve been working on for weeks over before the deadline passes and your file’s too large. At this point, you’re likely starting to pull your hair out and screaming at your computer.

But don’t lose years of your life over this — it’s really an easy fix. Here’s a little detail on what we’ll cover in this file sharing 101 course today:

  • What file sharing is and why you can’t send giant files
  • Cloud-based solutions to your file sharing needs
  • Why keeping extra flash drives at your desk might just come in handy
  • Simple sharing with company-wide networks

A Quick History in File Sharing

For most people in the business world, file sharing is an everyday process. But that doesn’t mean you’re always sharing large files — so you may be surprised, and a bit perplexed, when you get that “file exceeds maximum size limit” notification.

Just to catch everyone up to speed, email providers place a limit on the size of files that can be transferred. For example, Gmail allows you to attach files up to 25MB, but won’t send anything over that limit. This shouldn’t affect you too much if you’re just sending family and friends a few photos of your cat doing something adorable. It’s when you start trying to send professional videos, graphic design files, reports or even CAD documents, that you start to run into some issues.

After spending weeks working on a huge report, now it’s time to send it to your boss — but what happens if the file is too large? Don’t worry, you have options.

Why are there file size limits anyhow — isn’t the internet an endless cloud, or something like that?

Well, imagine that hundreds, no, hundreds of thousands of people were trying to email huge files to each other at the exact same time. Think about how much extra power the server would have to use and how much slower it would be to processes these mass amounts of data. It could even have the potential to crash the server due to data overload (that’d probably have to be a lot of data though).

So, how do you get around these file limitation? There are a few options to solve this problem. Which solution you chose is dependant on what resources you, or your company, have available. Let’s take a look at three different solutions — by the way, there are tons of other options out there as well!

The Cloud, It’s the Answer to Everything — and Your File Sending Needs

The cloud. It’s something everyone knows about, but not everyone understands. Let’s just clear that up before we get too far into this topic. The cloud is the concept of storing your images, files, etc., on internet servers rather than your local computer. Computers have limited storage space, so by using the cloud and offers you endless space, you can store more than you would have on your personal laptop.

The cloud holds your files and data on a variety of servers to reduce the need to take up storage on your computer. Your data isn’t just floating around above your head!

Really, that covers why we are talking about it in this article as well — unlimited space. If the cloud can manage your files so your laptop doesn’t have to be bogged down, why can’t it help when sending your large files to other people? It can!

There are many options out there for these types of programs, such as Dropbox or other related programs. Programs like this allow you to house your images, files, and reports on their site (using the cloud) and share the information easily with a simple link to the content.

Making for a super easy sharing option, and as a bonus, it gives you a place to centrally house all of your resources. If you’re looking to file share with customers and people outside of your company, this is probably your best option.

Keep Flash Drives on Hand

Now, this solution may not help you very much if you’re working with clients and coworkers in a different state, and definitely not another country, but it’s a great quick fix for in the office. A flash drive is an external way of storing files and data. They can easily be plugged into one computer, uploaded with files and then plugged into another to transfer that information.

Flash drives can hold information outside of your computer to leave storage for something else. They can hold plenty of storage, and much more than you can send over an email server. So, these can be a quick and simple solution for file sharing within your office or with a client you are seeing on a frequent basis — not necessarily for long distance sharing.

So, maybe not the solution for every project — but if you’re in a pinch, you can walk that report down to your boss’s office and drop it on his computer to make sure you meet your deadlines.

It doesn’t have to be as fancy as this, and you most likely won’t be using it outside — but flash drives are a great option for large file sharing in a local setting.

Make the Most Out of Company Shared Drives

Another option for internal and company sharing is utilizing company shared drives and VPN networks. The benefit this has over the flash drive option is that if you work for an international company, you can have access to the main share drive to easily and quickly share files with coworkers in real-time.

Whether someone is in another state or another country, they should have access to the company shared network. Making it much easier to drop a file into a folder and shoot an email to the receiver to let them know where it is housed — without the need to attach a file.

If you were using a company shared drive, anyone at this meeting could pull up the file on their computer and take a look at the information in real-time.

A shared network would have been the perfect solution for sharing your big, career-making report to the board of directors we talked about at the beginning of this article.

This solution is not made specifically for sharing files outside of your organization, cloud-based programs are still your best option for this practice. It all depends on what your specific file sharing needs are.

Now Get Out There and Start Using Your New File Sharing Knowledge!

Now that you’ve had a crash course in file sharing 101, it’s time for you to get out there and use all of your new found knowledge.

Keep in mind that these three options are only a few of the many file sharing solutions out there. Find what works best for you and get those once in a lifetime report opportunities into the board of directors with plenty of time to spare.

This is a sponsored post for Dropbox. All opinions are my own. Dropbox is not affiliated with nor endorses any other products or services mentioned.

***

Melissa Pallotti is a professional writer, computer geek, and hockey fan based in Pittsburgh, PA. You can connect with Melissa on Twitter or LinkedIn.

 

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