We have all faced this situation before. Your friend or colleague has some files you need, but you don’t have a USB drive. It’s a large file too.
So what if I told you there’s a simple way to transfer those files wirelessly without installing any apps?
As good as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Direct technologies are, our devices aren’t that great at communicating with each other yet. Even copy-pasting between devices is difficult. Sure, if you see yourself transferring files often, you can install some apps to send files between devices over Wi-Fi. But at the spur of the moment, you need something simpler and something that doesn’t need either party to install new software.
You’ll be pleased to know that there are some such apps, and they do a bang-up job.
9c.nu (Web): Share a Clipboard on Wi-Fi
When you want to type a long message, the proper full-sized keyboard of your laptop is better than the touchscreen keyboard of your phone. 9c.nu is a shared clipboard for devices connected to the same Wi-Fi network. It’s a good replacement for the now defunct Hopper to copy-paste between devices.
Open the site on one device and type whatever you want in it. Then open 9c.nu on the other device; nope, you don’t need to change the link. As long as both are connected to the same wireless network, you’ll see the same text on both screens. Cool, eh?
It’s a neat way to copy-paste a large chunk of text you’re reading from your laptop to your phone, or vice versa. Plus, all you have to remember is “9c.nu” without typing anything else.
Snapdrop (Web): Works Offline, and Best for Personal Use
Of all the tools listed here, Snapdrop is my favorite. It’s so simple and easy to use, and has a memorable name. It’s like Apple’s Airdrop, but in a “snap”.
Visit Snapdrop from any browser on any device and give it a few seconds. Once the site caches, it can even work offline, so it’ll function even if your Wi-Fi network’s Internet connection goes off. Just add and name your device in Snapdrop, and you can start to transfer files in a jiffy.
Snapdrop also lets you share text messages between the devices, but I don’t see anyone using it much. 9c.nu is better for that.
LanNote (Web): Ideal for Small Offices or Groups
Like 9c.nu, LanNote has only one URL you have to remember. You visit Lannote.com from any device connected to the same Wi-Fi network. But it’s not restricted to text alone. LanNote can handle text, files, and links, making it one of those useful online utilities to work in a group.
It’s basically a common board for everyone to share stuff. Add your name, write the message or insert a link, and share a file. It’ll be posted on LanNote immediately, formatted in a list. So anyone who visits can see who wrote that note and when.
For a small office, this is a wonderful tool that will work only when you’re together in the office, and be non-functional if you’re not on the Wi-Fi network, making it a little more secure from your files falling into the wrong hands.
Simple Savr (Web): When Security Matters More
You wouldn’t always want anyone on your Wi-Fi network to be able to download files or see the messages you are sharing. If your entire office is connected to the same network but you want to use an app for just your team, then Simple Savr (SSavr) is what you need.
The web app has password protection to help you securely access the data you are sharing. SSavr is also the only one of these apps to encrypt the data, making it that much safer to send sensitive files securely. But while it gives you all this, you can add individual IP addresses so SSavr’s scope is expanded beyond the people sitting near you, just in case one of your teammates is working remotely.
Apart from that, the app is excellent. Its responsive design makes it friendly to use on mobiles and laptops, it syncs text and files instantly, and you can upload files up to 25MB. It just works.
Reep.io (Web): When You Don’t Have Wi-Fi
In case your devices aren’t connected to the same Wi-Fi network, you can use the power of the internet to quickly transfer a file. And no, I don’t mean uploading it to the cloud.
Cloud transfers take too much time. First, you have to upload your file to a server completely. Only then can I start downloading it to my device. That takes twice the amount of time as simply sending the file to me directly.
Instead, Reep.io lets us create a peer-to-peer connection between our two devices. So as soon as you start uploading, I can start downloading it, before your upload is finished. It speeds up the process substantially.
Which Installable Sharing App Do You Love?
These web-based tools are fantastic for a quick fix, since you can complete your task without making everyone install some new app on their device. But for a long-term solution, offline installable apps are often better.
I personally love Send Anywhere, and think it’s the best way to transfer files between devices today.
What about you?
Which app do you use to share files and messages between devices, and why? Have you got any neat alternative for the office-specific apps above like LanNote or Simple Savr?