The most common method to share files with an individual on the internet is through email. Though it’s convenient, conventional and usually secure, it comes with a restriction of maximum allowed file size which on an average is around 10 MB. While some services like Google have extended it to 25 MB for in-house emails, that might not be adequate. A couple of photographs from my DSLR camera are enough to blow that limit.
So now what? Of course there are many file sharing services that promise to deliver unbeatable service but with the recent shutdown of Megaupload, I don’t think it’s safe to share files using such services. Moreover, to download the file a user has to get past hurdles like waiting time and captcha which I personally try to avoid.
The second option is to use a cloud backup service, and I must say these work really well. I am sure most of you are using it already in the form of Dropbox or SugarSync, but if you are a Windows user, I am sure you will find SkyDrive to be a little more flexible.
Now that SkyDrive has been completely reengineered and comes with apps for Windows and smartphones, sharing big files has become quite easy using it.
Using SkyDrive to Share Files
Step 1: Assuming that you already have an account on Microsoft SkyDrive, I would ask you to drag and drop the file you want to send into your SkyDrive folder. If you are planning to send multiple files contained in a folder, I would be better if you use an archive manager to zip all the files together and then upload it (maximum 300 MB). Though you can upload files to your SkyDrive account directly from web, if you are planning to upload large files I would suggest you use the desktop tool for the same.
Step 2: Now that you have uploaded the files to your SkyDrive account you can share these files using a computer or a smartphone (Android currently not supported).
We will see how things go on computer using a native browser. After the file is uploaded to your SkyDrive account, you will be able to see it on your Online SkyDrive File section in your web browser. Right-click on the file you want to share and select the Share option from the right-click context menu.
Step 3: You can now simply email the file to a contact with a message body. If you want to grant edit permissions to the recipient directly on your file on SkyDrive, check the Recipients can edit box and press the send button.
If you are planning to share the file on some forum or instant messenger, you can generate a link using the Get a link option and selecting the type of privacy option you want. Once the unique code is generated, you can share it wherever you like.
One thing I think is missing here is that you cannot change the link of a file once it is generated, which you may want to do in order to restrict the person from accessing the file after a certain time interval (I love this feature in Picasa while sharing photos).
If you are planning to share the file on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, there’s a direction option for that.
Cool Tip: Not only can you send big files using SkyDrive, but you can even receive them directly to your SkyDrive account. Just create a folder and while sharing it with your friend, select the Recipients can edit option. Your friends can then add files to the folder as long as they are a Windows live user, and you can access them directly on your computer, the one where you have the desktop app installed.
So next time you want to share some big files with someone online, do try SkyDrive. It’s smooth and easy. We would love to hear your thoughts about the service.