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Send large files with little stress

Q. Kim, I'm trying to send a bunch of photos to a friend to edit, but my email service says they're over the size limit. Even sending one at a time isn't working. Is there another way to send large files?
-Kenneth from Portland, OR, listens to my national radio show on KEX 1190 AM

A. I always find it funny that the Internet was made for sharing information, yet it's so hard to send large files. Until recently the best methods were too complicated for most folks.

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That's why everyone's first thought is to use email attachments. Unfortunately, email has some serious limitations for sending files.

Most email providers have a 10 megabyte size limit on attachments. Gmail is the exception to this rule with 25MB. But some email providers won't accept an email that size, so 10MB is the safe limit.

That's fine for basic text files and a small photo here and there. When you're trying to send a family member, or editing pro, dozens or hundreds of wedding, baby or vacation photos, it just doesn't work.

Sure, you could split up the files or compress them with a program like 7-Zip, but that's just more work. And it will still fill up your friend's inbox.

Don't even get me started on trying to share videos through email. Do your friends a favor and upload the video to a secure site and send a link. That way it won't fill up their inbox. Learn about secure video-sharing sites here. So if email is out, are you out of luck? Don't despair; I know some easy ways to send large files.

But first, Kenneth, you might think about starting to build your own photo editing skills. And I have just the way to do that.
Lynda.com has more than 2,000 expert-made video tutorial courses on every computer subject you can think of, including photo editing. This isn't just me shilling for an advertiser; I'm using it to brush up on my own Photoshop skills.

As an exclusive for Kim Komando listeners, you can have access to all of these courses FREE for 7 days. Click here to take advantage of this special offer.

OK, with that shameless promotion out of the way, let's get back to the matter at hand.

A better way to share files is to use the cloud. If you aren't sure what the cloud is, watch this fun video.

If you just need to send someone files, then a file-transfer site is what you need. Wikisend is a good example.

It lets you upload files up to 100MB. After the files are uploaded, you can share the links with friends through email. They just click on a link to download the files right to their computer.

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One nice feature of Wikisend is you can control how long the files are accessible. You can also password-protect your files for extra safety.

For sharing larger files, WeTransfer is a great site. You can send 2GB of files per transfer. Or, if you want to upgrade to WeTransfer Plus, you can send up to 5GB with password protection. Shared files are available for 7 days, or you can pay for long-term storage.

For absolutely enormous files, you can try TransferBigFiles. With a paid account, you can send up to 20GB of files at once. At that point, however, you might be better off putting the files on a flash drive and mailing them.

TransferBigFiles also offers SSL security, which is the same kind offered for banking transactions online. With the Personal account, your stored files will never expire and shared files can be downloaded 100 times.

You can check here for other websites that share medium and large files easily. The cloud isn't just useful for transferring files; it can also store them. This is great for long-term projects, especially if you need another party to edit them.

I've covered the benefits and many popular types of cloud storage here. While you read that tip, be sure to note the difference between cloud storage and cloud backup.

I do have one caution. Many cloud sites have aggressive marketing tactics. They might scan your files for targeted ads. Google is notorious for this.

The sites I've listed above don't do this. But if this concerns you, you should always check the privacy policy before you use any file-transfer or storage service.

Now you can share without fear of ad targeting or privacy invasion. But with so many people using Facebook, Google+ and Twitter, pretty much everything is on display. I can show you how to keep your information private.

 
 
 
 
 
 
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