The news has been flying about all over the Internet: social media giant Facebook has bought out file sharing service Drop.io.
For those who don't know, Drop.io took an unusual approach to sending large files by allowing users to create temporary "mini-drop-boxes". There were no other features - just the ability to anonymously share files for a brief period of time.
According to TechCrunch.com, the social media moguls have bought not only Drop.io's technology, but their talent: CEO Sam Lessin (and perhaps others) will be moving out to Palo Alto, California to join the Facebook team.
The company's incipient demise (non-paid accounts have already been shut down, and paid accounts will be closed on December 15, 2010) sends an interesting message to the rest of the file-sharing industry: Facebook is planning to add online file transfer to their service offerings.
This may or may not be a good thing, depending on one's point of view. Facebook has 2 main strengths that they can apply to the field that most online file transfer services cannot:
1. Massive traffic, and
2. Massive capital to spend on application development.
If they do go ahead and implement a technology similar to Drop.io's, and integrate it fully into their service, it would probably mean the demise of many of the current companies in the field - especially the new, smaller start-ups with little to offer besides sending files too big for email.
If the services that let users transfer big files wish to survive, they are going to have to "go the extra mile", and offer more than ad-serviced large file transfer.
What sort of value-add features should users look for in a big files transfer service?
1. The ability to receive large files: only a few of these companies let their users receive files from those without accounts, and they usually charge for the privilege.
2. Storage: while many users are only interested in sending large files, many more (especially businesses) are also looking for the ability to store files online - allowing them not only to collaborate but preserve valuable data.
3. Robust tracking: of special value to corporate users (from any size business), the ability to track uploads and downloads is a must - especially if multiple users in separate locations share one account.
FilesDIRECT (of course) offers all these features, and more, for free with all accounts:
1. Free customizable upload and download pages ("dropboxes"). Now your clients can upload files to your personal page - or download files from a set of private files you send them a link to.
2. Paid accounts start with a whopping 10GB of free storage - and it only goes up from there.
3. Tracking: live tracking of what files have been uploaded and downloaded, when and by whom.
There are many more features and our development team is always working on more...while fly-by-night "free" operations should be worried about the news out of Brooklyn, we know that FilesDIRECT will still be around for a long time to come.
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.
Healthcare organizations (including hospitals, claims administrators, doctors' offices, etc.) exist in a high-pressure, highly-regulated environment, and several of those regulations are about keeping and transferring patient data.
Regulations like HIPAA demand that healthcare organizations keep personally identifiable health information confidential, and that they track and report on how that information is accessed.
The challenge is that the systems used must not only be secure, but be simple enough that any staff who need to access the information can do so easily and effectively.
Email, though widely-adopted and easy to use, suffers from a lack of security and an ability to transfer only small files (10MB or less). FTP, though commonly used by IT professionals, is very complicated to use and very insecure.
A local hospital has a wide variety of staff, clients and partners, not all of whom are on-site. Doctors and nurses need to access and update patient information on the fly, while hospital administrators have to manage the access given to the hospital’s billing service, who is then in contact with patients' insurance companies. They had previously used email and FTP – but their FTP system lacked encryption abilities, and email was becoming less scalable and using increasing amount of server resources. To top it all off, neither system lets them manage workflow or enforce appropriate access to patient records.
The solution is online file transfer and storage. These services (like FilesDIRECT) let healthcare organizations store data offsite, which gives redundancy of important information and reduces server load.
FilesDIRECT’s “One-Click Send” system is easy to use; with a simple, customizable public upload page. This allows hospital staff and partners to use the system without time-consuming (and expensive!) training.
Our online file transfers use the same level of encryption as banks and major online retailers (like Amazon). This means healthcare organizations can rest assured their patient information is secure.
Simplicity, security, and built-in tracking means FilesDRECT is the perfect solution for HIPAA compliant file transfer.
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(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!
Whether you work in the commercial, TV, or film industry, FilesDIRECT can help you send large video files anywhere in the world. It can be a big bottleneck: between the set, producers, editors, and others all needing access to what's being created, you need an easy versatile solution that doesn't require more training.
With our simple one-click send, your videos will be uploaded and emails instantly sent to recipients for download. Not only that, but your files stay online as long as you choose for continued access.
Never again will you have trouble transfering large video files thanks to FilesDIRECT offering:
1. SSL Encryption for maximum security
2. None of the limitations of email
3. Compatibility with all operating systems
4. No server setup or hassle from dealing with FTP's
With eight different plans to choose from, you can sign up and start sending your files in minutes.
With the ability to upload, send, and store large files online in just one click, FilesDIRECT is the perfect solution for any print or design company looking to transfer large image files. Unlike FTP, FilesDIRECT doesn't require downloading any programs or worrying about setting up any servers - everything is done through your browser and can be used on any operating system.
You avoid couriering cd's back and forth, saving you and your clients time, money and frustration.
FilesDIRECT also uses SSL encryption so that you'll never have to worry about your files getting in the wrong hands. With a variety plans to choose from, FilesDIRECT is the most affordable site for anyone needing to email large images or any other type of media file.
Try FilesDIRECT free for 30 days and start sending your files today!
Keep your files for as long as you want and don't worry about the storage space. We have substationally increased our file storage limit for all accounts. Storage limits are starting from 2GB up to 50GB. Couple that with the fact that your files can be stored forever FilesDIRECT
can be your place to keep all your important files. With FilesDIRECT you can have access to them any where in the world.