No matter the size of the company, an increasing number of businesses need to be able to send files or receive files, either internally (among staff) or externally (with clients, contractors or field staff).
Smaller companies often don't have the resources to set up their own servers (either in terms of hardware and the IT staff to maintain it), especially in the earlier days of an enterprise. This limits their ability to use FTP (the traditional choice for sending large files) or network drives (the simplest solution for internal file sharing). Large companies also face similar limitations, especially in current difficult economic times. Let's face it: everyone's on a tighter budget these days.
While email is a common choice for sending files, it suffers from a number of downsides:
1. Lack of security: email is a very easy electronic media to access...in other words, it's easy to hack. This is a major concern for businesses that handle sensitive information, such as health care-related companies (insurance firms, doctor's offices, etc.), financial institutions, or law firms.
2. File size limits: most common email programs impose limits on the size of attachments that can be sent along with messages, generally in the range of 25MB. While this may not be an issue for many non-business users, many companies need to be able to send or access much larger files, such as contracts, architectural drawings, computer applications or patient files (among many possibilities).
3. Poor tracking: if a particular file (or set of files) is subject to changes from several people, email does not really give the ability to properly track changes made, who made them or who has accessed the files in question.
The inherent risks and issues involved in FTP were discussed in the previous post on this blog.
So, if neither of the 2 most popular methods of sharing files are the best way to go, what is?
A web based file transfer service.
Online file sharing solves all of the issues mentioned earlier. For example, FilesDIRECT offers:
1. Security: 128-bit encryption is used for uploading and downloading files (the same level of encryption used by banks and major online retailers like Amazon.com), and files are sent using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) cryptography. Combined with the ability to password protect downloads and uploads, this is a level of security that cannot be matched by other methods.
2. While the vast majority of email programs severely limit the size of files that can be sent (most to a max of 25MB or less), FilesDIRECT allows users to send files up to 2GB in size without downloading any software. Downloading the free desktop app allows for file transfers of any size.
3. FilesDIRECT's built-in file management includes automatic tracking of files, including the file name and type, it's size, and upload and download history.
Another benefit is that, once a company has an account, they can set up a (free!) upload page (aka: a dropbox) to allow others (such as clients, contractors, etc.) to upload files to the company for free...without having to open accounts of their own.
All of these features make big file transfer with FilesDIRECT a natural choice for businesses of any size in any industry.
Now, this post probably won't be of interest to the technically inclined, but for folks who are curious about some of the jargon flung about the file transfer side of the internet, this one is for you.
FTP stands for "File Transfer Protocol", and it is a method used to copy files from one host to another over networks like the internet - technically, over "TCP/IP" networks, which stands for "Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol". Access to an FTP client can be either anonymous or password-protected, depending on how it's been set up.
FTP was originally created by Abhay Bhushan in 1971, with the standard specifications having been updated twice since then (in 1980 and 1985). Let's look at that again: the File Transfer Protocol, one of the major methods used to send files, was first written in 1971 and it's last major update was in 1985.
25 years ago.
Moreover, ask any (honest) IT professional and they'll tell you that FTP was never designed to be a secure method of sending data, and even with security upgrades, it's still vulnerable to a wide variety of attacks (according to the good folks at Wikipedia). Though somewhat mitigated in modern versions, data (including user names, passwords, etc.) can often be easily accessed and read. Additionally, it tends to leave mile-wide holes in your firewall, thereby opening your computer to potential attack.
As one would expect for such an old system, usability is not very good - even newer versions are often clunky and distinctly not user friendly. If you've ever had to use FTP, chances are you've experienced this firsthand...I know I have.
"There's got to be a better option!" You might say. And I would respond "Yes, yes, there is." It's been 25 years since the advent of FTP, and a lot has changed since then, including the coding languages available to programmers and, in fact, the very structure of the internet.
This is a very good thing, because it's given us a variety of choices, the best of which are probably online file transfer services like FilesDIRECT. I confess to being biased, but let's look at the reasons why:
- Password protected uploads and downloads
- 128-bit SSL encryption
- Easy to use - super-simple user interface
- Send large files (2GB using your browser, or files of any size with the desktop app)
- Send and receive multiple files simultaneously
- There are no servers to maintain
- Works with any operating system
And, of course, much more.
With modern, more secure options like this, I can't think of any good reasons for using something as outdated as FTP.
It's time to move large file transfer into the 21st century.
Trying to email large files is a process filled with limitations and problems, and even though it’s a popular method to send files, you shouldn’t risk losing your work to it. Low file size limits and a tendency for messages to disappear without any kind of notice are all reasons to switch to something new. Now, you can quickly and safely email large attachments to anyone, anywhere in the world with FilesDIRECT.
Using one-click send and a secure SSL encryption, FilesDIRECT is the best and most convenient web based file transfer service available.
Whether you are a large enterprise business needing to email thousands of confidential documents or a small graphic design firm trying to get dozens of large Photoshop files to the printers, FilesDIRECT is the perfect solution. In addition, no FTP or tech knowledge is required, just click to upload your file and emails are instantly sent to both you and the recipient letting everyone know the files are ready to be downloaded.
Have questions? Want to try FilesDIRECT? Sign-up for our FREE trial and start emailing large files right now.
We've been promising everyone tutorials on how to use the service to transfer large files, and while we're setting up our video studio, we thought we would post these in the interim.
Okay, you've just signed up with FilesDIRECT, and you have some files you'd like to send - now what?
First, log in to FilesDIRECT by entering your username and password in the upper right-hand corner of the screen:
Once you have logged in, you will see two tabs on the upper left: "Dashboard" and "Manage Files". Make sure the "Dashboard" tab is selected:
Once you are in the Dashboard, you have 3 main options:
1. Send a File
2. Manage Files
3. Customize Page
Click on "Begin Upload" (underneath Send a File)
This takes you to the Upload page - once the page loads, click "+ Direct Send" at the bottom of the page:
This will bring up the additional fields to fill out to send the file(s).
First, verify your personal information at the top of the page: feel free to add or remove data as you like (the only information you need to have is your name and email address)
Halfway down the page is the "Add files" button. Click it.
Now you can select the files you want to send via the popup window:
Once you've selected the files you want to send, just scroll down, enter in the recipients' email address, and the subject and text of the message you'd like to send them along with the file. Then decide if you want to password-protect the download and/or have the file automatically erased after being downloaded:
If you want to encrypt the files, select "Click Here for Secure Uploads" at the top of the screen.
Then just click "Continue" and sit back and relax as your files are uploaded and sent!
Simple, easy, safe: that's FilesDIRECT.
For thirty years, FTP has been the default method of moving files around networks, including the internet. It's no surprise that FilesDIRECT replaces FTP, but on what basis?
The real question is: on what basis does it not?
Security - For the past thirty years, plain FTP has ignored security concerns, passing its passwords across the net in plain text. In today's world that's completely unacceptable, especially with the huge rise in easily eaves-droppable mobile devices. Also, FTP plays havoc with firewalls, opening a new connection for every file, which makes your network less secure (especially when the firewall is configured out of desperation to allow FTP, but disallow better security.) FilesDIRECT is SSL-encrypted every time, and nothing passes in plain text.
(Photo: Dazzie D)
Usability - Timestamps on files aren't kept with FTP, leaving users lost as to what version of what file they're looking at after a transfer. Directory listings aren't standardized, meaning users can be stuck working with clumsy, incorrect information about what files are where. FilesDIRECT uses easy to read links and lists to display directories and timestamps are what they're supposed to be.
Simplicity - FTP clients are confusing, especially for new users. What thirty year old software technology wouldn't be? By comparison, if you can use email and a web browser, you can use FilesDIRECT.
Sadly, FTP won't be going away any time soon. The good news is you don't have to keep using it: now you can choose FilesDIRECT!
(Photo: Tanaka Juuyoh)
When you're trying to send your files, you assume that once you've sent them off, they arrive at their destination, right?
If you've tried using email to send large files, or to arrange file sharing via FTP, you know that (as the song goes) "you can't always get what you want". Maybe the file's too big. Maybe it got saved to the wrong directory. Maybe your account's been hacked.
Your data is too important to be trusted to "maybe".
FilesDIRECT offers solid architecture that ensures top-notch security and availability. Our secure North American servers make sure that you can both send and receive your files easily, from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. Unlike older, outdated models of transferring information, your files are sent instantly, stored securely, and constantly traced, so you always know who has access to your data. As the premium online file transfer service, FilesDIRECT offers you:
Instant email notification lets you know when your file has uploaded
Our system accepts any type of file up to 2GB in size
Includes free online storage for your files
Can be used with any browser or operating system
Industry-leading support for our clients, including live phone support (even for our trial users!)
All account holders can track their files & transfers in real time (by file, IP, email address & time)
All this and more through a simple "one-click" interface. Why leave your file transfers to chance?
There are a number of online storage and file transfer services out there, but are they all created equal?
Of course not.
Unlike other online file transfer services, FilesDIRECT won’t charge you extra to send larger files, or for a minimal (ie: barely noticeable) amount of storage, or demand you have a minimum number of users on your account (each of them having to separately pay the full price, of course).
Our free trial account starts with 2GB of storage, and it only grows from there - the starter plan gives you 10GB of storage and lets you transfer up to 300MB a month.
There’s no “pay to play” with FilesDIRECT: all our plans (including the 30 day free trial) come with our full suite of services, including:
- Detailed tracking
- 128-bit SSL encryption
- Customizable email notifications
- Personalized “drop box”
- Full (phone and online) support
- and much, much more
You get all this starting at just $18 a month. If you want to send large files, FilesDIRECT gives you the most bang for your buck – guaranteed.
Try it FREE today!
There are many problems with receiving large files – almost as many as there are trying to send them. FilesDIRECT takes care of everything for you: no more complicated FTP, email size limits or expensive couriers.
Our web-based service means even someone without a FilesDIRECT account can send you files up to 2GB in size with literally a single mouse click – and you can download it just as easily.
Here’s how it works:
When you sign up with FIlesDIRECT, we’ll create (and host) a webpage where others can upload files for you.
This page is easily (and completely) customizable to meet your company’s branding needs.
Once files have been uploaded, we’ll send two emails: a confirmation to the sender and a notification to the user. Once you receive the email, just log in to your FilesDIRECT account and start downloading!
The files are stored on our servers for as long as you like, ready for you to download at your convenience.
All our file transfers come with full 128-bit SSL encryption – the same level of protection used by banks and big online retailers like Amazon.com.
No more burning cd’s, hiring couriers or putting up with FTP. Easy file transfer is finally just a click away!
(Photo: Seattle Municipal Archives)
With everything from floor plans and schematics to 3D renderings and CAD files, engineers and architects have to send large files to various people and companies, often in different cities and even across the globe. Whether you are looking for the ability to send large architecture files or email engineering files, FilesDIRECT can solve all your file transfer problems.
With the ability to send files to anywhere in the world with our simple one-click upload and send, FilesDIRECT is the perfect architect and engineer large file transfer tool. Sign up now and start sending your files with:
1. 128-bit SSL encryption for maximum security
2. File sizes of up to 2GB - no email size limitations
3. Compatibility with all operating systems
4. No server setup or hassle from dealing with FTP's
With a new 30-day free trial, you can literally be sending your files in minutes.
If you've never tried to send a large video clip across the Internet via email attachment, let me save you the trouble -- don't bother. Email wasn't designed to haul around large multimedia objects like video and that weakness still shows even at this late date.
The problems are:
The File Probably Won't Get There
Video files are big by nature, and with the proliferation of cameras on laptops more video clips than ever are being created. Sharing these clips is key to business in a lot of cases, just like it is for PDFs, photos (JPEGs and GIFs) word processing and spreadsheet documents and all kinds of data types. The problem is that video clips are larger (contain more data) by far than any of these kinds of files. When you send a file using email, the sending program doesn't check with the receiving program if the attached file is too large to make it over, and with video, most of the time it is too large! So what happens is the email is sent - and bounces back with "attachment too large". But sometimes, much worse than that, the second big problem with video email happens:
The Attached Video Didn't Get There And You Don't Know It
The way email works means that a message with a big video file attachment probably won't get where you're sending it, which is bad enough. What's worse is: you might not even know it didn't get there. When email fails, you get a bounce message, but maybe not right away, and maybe not at all. Plus, it's very common that the email makes it over but the attachment is prevented from coming over -- and you are never told! That's no way to conduct business.
The Solution: Files Direct
Because Files Direct doesn't rely on email, any video attachment up to 2GB will make it to its destination! Just send the file
and an email confirmation to you and to the recipient appears immediately, taking the mystery and unreliability out of video file delivery across the Internet.