How To Send Large Files (Larger Than 2GBs) Over the Internet for Free
Just a few years ago, a large file size would’ve been anywhere around 10MBs or 100MBs. Things have changed. Huge amounts of photo and video files are transferred online every day yet when it comes to the time to send a large 4GB or 10, 20GB file, most people will run into a problem.
Since there are many unique situations in transferring a file, I am noting a few cases that seem to be the best.
1. Easiest direct transfer between Windows, Mac or Linux systems: Skype
If you need to send a large file without hassle, use Skype. Skype is free. There are no limits in file sizes. There are no PC/Mac compatibility issues. Data transfer is encrypted and performance is good, even for LAN transfers. The only inconvenience would be for both parties to be online at the same time.
If you don’t want to be online at the same time, your options are limited as most online file transfer services have a 2GB file size limit. That said, if you need a temporary space for a single or multiple users to download, I would recommend WeTransfer or Dropbox.
2. For Mac to Mac transfers, direct folder sharing over the internet is the best.
For most cases, this will require a network port forwarded (in the router configuration) to the shared host computer. Port 548 is the port you need to forward for the AFP protocol to work and share files. Once the port is forwarded, you can easily send files using Finder and the shared IP address of the host computer. Unfortunately, most residential ISPs block the default ports for Windows file sharing (SMB) so a Windows shared folder will only work within your internal network (LAN) connection.
3. Use a file server.
While technically not a “free” solution, if you transfer files frequently, there is no better option than to do it using a file server (or a NAS – Network Attached Storage). A modern file server, such as the Synology Diskstation, will take care of your file sharing needs easily.
Newer methods will probably be created and discovered, but these are some of my best recommendations for file sharing in 2012. If you have a better way to send files online, share it with us!