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file transferCloud options like Dropbox, SkyDrive, Google Drive and the rest of the herd The Cloud Storage Showdown - Dropbox, Google Drive, SkyDrive & More The Cloud Storage Showdown - Dropbox, Google Drive, SkyDrive & More The cloud storage scene has heated up recently, with a long-awaited entry by Google and a revamped SkyDrive from Microsoft. Dropbox has gone unchallenged by the major players for a long time, but that’s changed... Read More have made file storage and transfers rather easy. You upload something to your cloud account and then share the link with anyone so that they can download the file at their end. But there’s a catch.

Your files are stored somewhere and for whatever it is worth, nothing in the digital world is a Fort Knox. Also, cloud services like Dropbox have space restrictions. For instance, Dropbox caps it at 2 GB for a free account. Then comes the hurdle of upload restrictions. While the Dropbox desktop client lets you add large files, the web interface has a 300 MB limit. Hurdles everywhere and nowhere to go.

Oh! You can take the left ahead and go to zeZebra. The world always needs a simple file sharing solution without limits. The zebra answers the call.

zeZebra Rides To the Rescue

zeZebra is a peer-to-peer file transfer freeware that enables you to transfer any file type (documents, photographs, videos, etc.) of any size to anyone. But the appeal of the tool lies in its simplicity behind the nice looking interface, and the fact that it sets up a secure channel between two parties or more interested in a file transfer.

zeZebra says that it maintains encryption so that the transfer of files is completely secure. What helps of course is that the file you are transferring across the internet does not go through any server. So, it is not stored anywhere and it’s a ‘closed circle’ between the sender and the recipient. zeZebra does not even know the contents of the file that’s being transferred.

zeZebra is a 7.54MB download for Windows and Mac.


Running the zeZebra

file transfer

What’s your first take on the interface? Elegant? Simple and striking? Well, if it’s any of that then it is a good start and things can only get better as we run with our first file transfer. The simplicity of the interface brings the intuitiveness in handling the software as you really don’t need to go through intricate set-up steps. You only need to enter your name and email address to access the main interface when you run the application for the first time. Your name and email address also identifies you to the person to whom you will send the file.

To start a file transfer, you simply click the large blue Share Files button, browse to the location of the file, select it to begin the file transfer. This message pops up:

free file transfer


Instead of copy-pasting the share link from the clipboard, you can use the share options from the application itself. Check the screen below:

free file transfer

The default mail client for sending the shared link is Microsoft Outlook. zeZebra installs a plug-in for Outlook. But then of course, you can use Gmail or Facebook also to share the link. I am using Gmail and my automatically composed message looks like the one below. I just have to enter the email address of the recipient.

free file transfer

The neat part is that the recipient does not need to have the client installed immediately. You will notice that the shared link has an identifier number that links each user to the file transfer process. The recipient receives the link and zeZebra tells them that they need to download and install the zeZebra application to complete the ‘closed circle’ for the transfer to begin. Once the recipient has installed zeZebra, it will automatically detect the link and start the file transfer.

file transfer software

Both users need to be online at the same time to complete the transfer. But if the transfer is interrupted due to some reason, it can be resumed again (provided both parties are online). The screenshot below could have looked better if I had a few more users to try out a file transfer with…

file transfer software

A Few Settings to Consider

zeZebra is uncomplicated, But still there are a few settings you can check out. From the Plugins panel, you can enable and disable the Outlook and Picasa plugins. Both the plugins can useful especially if you want to send a large file or let’s saw a large high-resolution image from either of the programs. The Traffic panel controls the transfer speed mode and the number of simultaneous transfers to allow.

file transfer

Profile and Contacts are pretty much self-explanatory.

Size Really Does Not Matter

zeZebra is from the same tribe that includes other ‘friend to friend’ P2P tools like Alliance P2P, Waste,  and TudZu. There are just two things which are lagging right now – a more detailed explanation on the security of the connection and perhaps a chat program to enable real-time conversation between the parties involved in the transfer.

But to reiterate the value of the program, I will quote from the software’s webpage itself – No excuses, no spam, no complications, no fee. It’s free, really free.

It really is. That’s why you should try it out at least once with a large file transfer. Then come back and tell us in the comments if zeZebra deserves a place on the high table of our Best Windows Software.


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  1. druv vb
    October 12, 2012 at 11:00 am

    Now thats a real saver, being able to send files at amazing speeds to my neighbours without the usual copy-paste through flashdrives! Will surely try that.
    Nice review there.
    Keep it up MUO...

  2. Faisal Ahmed
    October 10, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    It offers a lot of pro's...the only con's I reckon is the precondition of the peer's being connected...had better if the receiver can receive file offline...

  3. Anonymous
    October 10, 2012 at 3:24 am

    i hve instlled zebra..and let firewall allow the progrm..
    but when i open it,it just keep connecting,nothing happend..
    cannot share files..
    can anyone help?

    • Saikat Basu
      October 10, 2012 at 5:39 am

      Has the other person who has installed zeebra kept his computer switched on and given it access across the firewall? The other computer also has to be on and not in sleep or hibernate mode.

  4. Suresh Volam
    October 9, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Thanks for sharing. Will try it today.

  5. ahmed Fouad khalil
    October 9, 2012 at 6:00 am

    very nice, peer-to-peer file transfer freeware and avaliable for both windows and Mac.

  6. Ashwin Ramesh
    October 9, 2012 at 3:42 am

    Thanks! I need something like this!

  7. Linda Prescott
    October 9, 2012 at 3:38 am

    Ill stick with Drop box

  8. Ibrahim Ali
    October 9, 2012 at 12:06 am

    I see that you are sending a pdf file ( - not that big) -- but will this REALLY (emphasis on the word) work for really big files? The reason is my experience with this kind of peer-to-peer file share method is negative - can't remember now what program/site I've used - maybe it's one of the five browser-based sites from your August 2010 at --- it was a total fail for my huge archival (7-zipped) music file transfer. So I turned to dropbox and boy all was pure magic!

    Another alternative way would also be (in my opinion) to split up the huge file into self-extracting file (using rar or hjsplit) and send them using established file sharing servers like rapidshare, mediafire, etc.

  9. Mac Witty
    October 8, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    I just wonder how many free services for file sharing, there is room for and how will they be able to make money. I don't think e-mail harvest, as someone "suggest2 gives such great earnings

    • Saikat Basu
      October 9, 2012 at 5:36 am

      The usual route is that there will be a basic service and a PRO service with more advanced features. That's how web apps generally evolve.

      • ahmed Fouad khalil
        October 9, 2012 at 6:02 am

        also they use your information to gain money

  10. Katie Conway
    October 8, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    Wow! Ever since iDisk became obsolete I've been looking for something like this.

  11. xantes
    October 8, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    There's more!
    What a better way to built up an e-mail database than by opening such a site! There's no WONDER that' SO FREE! What comes FREE for any one of us is a GOLD MINE for them!

    • Alex B.
      October 8, 2012 at 8:57 pm

      I never use my main email address when signing up for websites or services like this. I have created an email just for that. I don't care if I get spam on it or not.

      • Saikat Basu
        October 9, 2012 at 5:35 am

        That's the advice everyone should follow. I do the same too.

    • Lisa Santika Onggrid
      October 11, 2012 at 4:53 am

      That's why we have service like

  12. xantes
    October 8, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    Since you download a "client" on your computer to work with zeZebra THERE must be A SERVER through ALL the transferred files go through!
    Have you ever seen a server that doesn't have any "print" left on it when the server is up and running 24 hours and when is doing all this for so-called "FOR FREE"?! Make no mistake... THERE'S NO SUCH THING!

    • Saikat Basu
      October 9, 2012 at 5:33 am

      True, there is no such thing. Everything leaves a footprint. But I am sure paranoia also will mean caution and we won't be using it to send sensitive information.

  13. Florin Ardelian
    October 8, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    You forgot to mention that the sender must allow the zeZebra application to open a local port, so if the sender is behind NAT or there are strict firewall rules, then the zeZebra client won't work.


    • Billy Tyler
      October 8, 2012 at 9:57 pm

      Thank you! I was wondering why it was ineffective at my work computer.

    • Ashwin Ramesh
      October 9, 2012 at 3:42 am

      Thanks for pointing this out!

    • Saikat Basu
      October 9, 2012 at 5:34 am

      Thanks Florian for pointing that out. That is so obvious I didn't explicitly mention it.