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Remember when files had to be split between multiple floppy disks to move them between computers? Or the inconvenience of burning data 9 Tools to Easily Rip Your DVDs & Blu-Rays to Your Computer 9 Tools to Easily Rip Your DVDs & Blu-Rays to Your Computer If you still own DVDs or Blu-Rays, you should back up! Although it's a legal gray zone, the problem is those discs don't last forever. We compiled the nine best free tools. Read More to rewritable CDs? Thank goodness we’ve moved on from those primitive methods.

The truth is, file transfers have never been faster than they are today. Yet, to many of us, transfer speeds still seem like they inch along and take forever to complete. It’s funny how inconvenient it can be finding a quick and easy way to move data between devices.

Fortunately, we have you covered. Never again will you have trouble with cross-device file transfers.

Between Windows and Windows

The best method for Windows-to-Windows data transferal depends on how often you will make those transfers. If it’s a one-off file transfer, then you’re better off using something like Bluetooth or Wi-Fi Direct.

For Bluetooth to work, both the sending and receiving Windows computer must be Bluetooth-compatible. Wi-Fi Direct is a similar concept, except files are sent and received straight over Wi-Fi instead. While Wi-Fi Direct is much faster, the downside is that it isn’t as universally available as Bluetooth.

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Either way, we have a guide to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Direct file transfers WiFi Direct: Windows Wireless File Transfer That's Faster Than Bluetooth WiFi Direct: Windows Wireless File Transfer That's Faster Than Bluetooth Wireless data sharing from a Windows 8 computer to another device comes with its challenges. With Bluetooth and WiFi Direct we tested two popular and widely available solutions. This is what we found... Read More on Windows 8.1; check it out if that’s the way you want to go.

On the other hand, if you will send a lot of files over a long stretch of time, e.g. if it’s part of your regular routine or workflow, it’ll be more convenient to set up a shared folder or shared external drive on the network, one that other computers can access at any time to pull files on demand.

Consult our home networking guide Everything You Need to Know About Home Networking Everything You Need to Know About Home Networking Setting up a home network is not as hard as you think it is. Read More for more details on that.

Between Windows and Non-Windows PCs

These days, it isn’t uncommon to have some mixture of Windows, Mac, and/or Linux machines under one roof. While these systems tend to remain isolated most of the time, there are times when you might need to move a file from one to another.

The main obstacle is that each system has its own unique way of storing file data, called file systems What A File System Is & How You Can Find Out What Runs On Your Drives What A File System Is & How You Can Find Out What Runs On Your Drives Read More . For example, the most common are NTFS on Windows, HFS Plus on Mac, and EXT* on Linux. Conversion between file systems is not always easy.

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But in the case of Windows-to-Mac, it is. Starting with OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard), Macs have been capable of reading and writing in NTFS format, as long as the user makes a necessary system setting change.

This means you can share a folder between Mac and Windows and transfer files through it. Check out our tutorial on sharing files between Mac and Windows How To Easily Share Files Between Mac & Windows Computers How To Easily Share Files Between Mac & Windows Computers Read More for detailed instructions.

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The same holds true for Windows-to-Linux, but the process is a little more involved. Each system can set up a folder for the other system to access, but you’ll need to install cifs-utils (to access Windows folders from Linux) and samba (to make a Linux folder visible to Windows).

HTG has a wonderful sharing guide that explains how to do all of this in fine detail.

Between Windows and iOS

For the most part, file transfers between Windows and iOS involve little more than music, in which case you could just go ahead and use iTunes for synchronizing–but iTunes tends to be a frustrating mess when used on Windows.

The good news is, there’s a better way.

FileApp is an app, available on both iPhones and iPads, that acts as a mobile device file manager. With it, you can browse and open any file that resides on the device you’re using, including formats like PDF, DOC, XLS, and PPT. (You get to decide which app the file opens in.)

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But what we’re really interested in is FileApp’s ability to share files over Wi-Fi. It essentially turns your mobile device into an FTP server, allowing any computer to connect (using an FTP client The Three Best Free FTP Clients for Windows The Three Best Free FTP Clients for Windows Read More ) and download files directly.

Head over to our guide on sharing files with FileApp Transfer Files Wirelessly Between Computers & iOS Devices With The Help Of FileApp Transfer Files Wirelessly Between Computers & iOS Devices With The Help Of FileApp One of the biggest complaints from iOS users is how tied up their devices are to their computer and iTunes. A user has to cable-connect their iDevice(s) to a computer and sync with iTunes to... Read More for step-by-step directions on how to get it set up. Do note that anyone who connects through FTP will be able to view all files on the device.

Between Windows and Android

Like FileApp, which was mentioned above, Android has several apps available on the Play Store that can turn any Android device into an FTP server. When the server is on, any computer can connect, browse the entire Android file system, and download files at will.

At this moment, my preferred app is My FTP Server. It doesn’t look too great, but it’s incredibly simple and straightforward, and that’s all you really need when it comes to file transfers.

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If you’d prefer to send individual files rather than opening up your device as a full-blown file server, consider using PushBullet (recommended) or AirDroid. Both can send files over the network to any connected computer at the tap of a button.

And, of course, you could always plug your Android device straight into your computer with a USB cable, as detailed in our guide to transferring files between PC and Android How To Transfer Files From Android To PC How To Transfer Files From Android To PC Need to get a file from your Android phone or tablet to your Windows PC? It's actually pretty easy. Here's how to do it. Read More . By far the most straightforward option.

Cross-Platform Transfer Methods

In addition to all of the above methods, there are a few other techniques and services you can use that will likely work regardless of which devices you’re trying to bridge. As such, these are often the most convenient options, though they do come with their own downsides.

Dropbox is the obvious choice. We’ve written about transferring between Android and PCs with Dropbox Share Files Between Your Computer & Your Android Device With Dropbox Share Files Between Your Computer & Your Android Device With Dropbox Dropbox is an ingenious file storing and sharing tool. Not only can you upload files to your online Dropbox and share single files or entire folders, you can also install the Dropbox application on your... Read More before, but Dropbox is also available on iPhone, iPad, Windows Phone, Windows Tablets, Blackberry, Kindle Fire, and the Web. Use the provided Public folder for easy sharing of files.

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The drawback of using Dropbox–or any other cloud-based storage–is that your files must travel through a middleman, which is inherently less secure and less private. Plus, you have to upload and download separately rather than transferring straight to the target device.

Another option is to transfer through email using a file transfer service like FileMail Share Files Up To A Whopping 30GB With Anyone Through Filemail Share Files Up To A Whopping 30GB With Anyone Through Filemail Filemail is an awesome service that allows you to send massive files up to 30 gigabytes on a free account to anyone. Read More , which is free, requires no registration, and allows files up to 30 GB in size. If FileMail doesn’t work for you for some reason, you can try these other methods for sending large email attachments 8 Ways To Email Large Attachments 8 Ways To Email Large Attachments Email was never made for large file attachments. Many email servers won’t even accept emails with attachments over 10 MB in size. To send large files via email, you’ll need to upload your email attachments... Read More .

But the best alternative is to use a cross-platform direct transfer app called Feem. This awesome tool is available for download on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Windows Tablets, and soon enough, Blackberry.

With Feem, you can make a direct transfer from any device to any other device, as long as Feem is installed on both. The transfer is made wirelessly over Wi-Fi, which means it’s fast, unrestricted, and doesn’t rely on a middleman service.

There are a few other features too, which you can learn more about in our overview of Feem for file transfers Transfer Files Quickly Across Your Devices Using Feem Transfer Files Quickly Across Your Devices Using Feem Android and Apple users enjoy the benefit of hassle-free file transfers. Unfortunately, the available apps have limited cross-platform functionality. Try Feem for Android, iOS, OS X, Linux, Mac and Windows. Read More . The one big downside is that it’s ad-supported, and if you want to remove ads, you’ll have to buy a license for each Feem app ($5 for Windows, $2 for Android, etc).

Any Other Ways to Transfer Files?

If you’re frequently shuffling files around, I’d go with Feem. If you’re working with the same files across multiple workstations, I’d stay in sync using Dropbox. But if you just need a one-off transfer, I’d go with one of the more device-specific solutions.

In any case, you should now be equipped to make any kind of file transfer between any two devices.

Are there any useful tools or methods that I missed? How do you transfer files between your devices? Enlighten us in the comments below!

Image Credits: Wi-Fi Keyboard Via Shutterstock, Man On Laptop Via Shutterstock, Folder File Transfers Via Shutterstock, Devices Around Table Via Shutterstock, Cloud Wi-Fi Network Via Shutterstock

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