When you need to transfer a large file over the internet, try these websites and apps. From temporary sharing to a torrent-cloud hybrid, each has something a little different.
File transfer apps are often better than using email or a cloud storage provider like Google Drive. After all, you can simply create a link and share it with anyone, without worrying about permissions, giving out your own personal details, or constraining to file size limits. You can also share files anonymously with people in your vicinity, or share really large data faster through peer-to-peer technology.
1. Sharefast.me (Web): Temporary, Quick Transfers With Memorable URLs
Uploading a file online always raises fears of it getting into the hands of someone you didn’t intend it to. It could be that the link gets mistakenly passed to that person, or the data is part of a larger hack. Sharefast.me is the quickest website to share files for a temporary time.
The site doesn’t clearly mention a limit on how many files you can upload or the size of the files. But you have to choose the amount of time the files will be active for: 10 minutes, an hour, 10 hours, or a day. After that, the files will be deleted forever, protecting your privacy. In fact, Sharefast.me declares how many files it is currently storing on its servers.
There’s another hook here. Unlike other file sharing services, Sharefast.me creates two-character URLs that are easy to remember instead of the gibberish that other sites make. In fact, you can even create your own custom URLs, but those require a minimum of four characters.
2. Dropbox Transfer (Web): Share Dropbox Files Like Email
Dropbox lets you share larger files and folders, but then you have to worry about permissions, the recipient’s Dropbox capacity, and how long they get the file. Dropbox Transfer is the company’s new middle path between cloud storage and email.
With Dropbox Transfer, you can share files of up to 100MB through the basic account. Plus users can send 2GB files, while Pro users can send 100GB files. It works like email, in that your original file isn’t changed in your Dropbox storage, and the recipient gets a copy of that file. If they make changes, it won’t change your file.
Transfers will also automatically expire after seven days, to protect privacy. You can add files from your existing Dropbox storage, or upload new files through your computer. Dropbox Transfer also has automatic tracking, so any time someone downloads your file, you’ll get a notification.
Dropbox Transfer is currently in beta and rolling out to all accounts slowly. If you’re waiting, check out these other Dropbox apps you didn’t know you needed.
3. Pixeldrain (Web): 100TB File Sharing
Pixeldrain offers the most amount of file storage if you make full use of its features. In total, you can theoretically get 100 Terabytes of storage for free, which you can also share with anyone for them to download.
Pixeldrain lets you upload a file of up to 10GB. That’s the size limit on a single file. However, you can keep uploading many more files of that limit and turn it into a “list” to share. A list is nothing but a different name for a folder or a collection. A list’s maximum limit is 10,000, so you can theoretically share 10×10,000 gigabytes at a time.
But you need to be aware of how long Pixeldrain stores those files.
From the date of upload, you get 100 days. And every time someone visits the file’s URL to view it or download it, it will be stored for another 100 days. An uploaded file might never get deleted if that link is out there on the internet, so be careful about what you share on Pixeldrain.
Pixeldrain is one of those useful no-signup websites that you can transfer files without an account. However, if you do register, you’ll get to easily access your files anywhere and keep track of them.
Finally, Pixeldrain also has a simple text sharing tool like Pastebin. Copy-paste text into it and share the newly generated URL.
4. Dropcorn (Web): Share Anything to Devices Within 100 Feet
Dropcorn is the easiest way to share files with people in your immediate physical vicinity. Visit the web app on your desktop or phone, add files, and tell people within 100 feet to download it. Of course, you’ll need to grant it permission to track your location.
Currently, you can share files, images, or links. These can be through local storage or common cloud storage options like Dropbox, Google Drive, and Evernote. Once you’re done, click Drop to create a room with a unique room name.
This room will be discoverable for anyone within 100 feet, for the next minute. After that, the room and its data will disappear. You can also shut the room manually if you want.
If a user can’t find the room, or if you want to share the same files with someone not around you, you can still do that. Each room gets a unique four-color code. In the “Find Something” box, click “Find by color” and enter the code. Now, connect to that room and download the files and folders.
5. TeraShare (Windows, macOS, Linux): Torrent and Cloud Transfers, Together
TeraShare is a new program that joins the best parts of peer-to-peer (P2P) BitTorrent file sharing and server-based cloud file sharing. And it doesn’t have any limits to the file size either.
Here’s how it works. You download and run the TeraShare program on your computer. Add a file to it to share, which generates a unique link. Share that link with your friends, who can then start downloading the file.
Since this is P2P sharing, the upload and download start immediately. In fact, your friends will also download pieces of the file from each other’s computers, thus increasing speed. Of course, this needs your computer to be switched on while they download.
The “hybrid technology” part is helped by TeraShare’s own servers. Files smaller than 10GB are uploaded to TeraShare servers, so recipients can download it even when your computer isn’t available.
The combined effect of TeraShare is perfect for any group that needs to share large files among themselves often.
Download: TeraShare for Windows | macOS | Linux (Free)
15 Other Quick File Sharing Apps
This isn’t an exhaustive list of file-sharing apps. In fact, there are many, many more such options available for free. Much like these five offer a little something that distinguishes them from each other, check out this master list of 15 quick ways to share files without cloud storage.