Usually, if I need to send a large file to a friend, what I normally do is upload it to DivShare, wait for it to finish uploading, find the link, compose a new email and send the link. But if I’m disconnected from the internet while uploading the file, that’s it, I have to start all over again.
That’s just one of the myriad of problems I face with conventional online file-sharing. I don’t like having to wait for the file to be uploaded, especially if it’s a large one. I also can’t find my way around the file-size upload limits that most file-sharing services restricts us to. Driveway was the most decent service I found, their upload limit is 500MB per file with a standard 2GB free account.
I stumbled onto Podmailing a while ago. At first, I felt a little weary and had my doubts about it, but for the sake of exploration, I decided to give it a try.
For me, it was a totally new concept, which I find hard to explain, but I’ll try anyway. Sending a file through Podmailing is as easy as dropping a file into its application window. It will then ask you for your email address, so that the recipient knows who the podmail is from. Subsequently, you’ll have to enter the recipient’s email address, add a subject and type a little message- which should probably say “Don’t worry, this is not spam. It’s the video you wanted.” Click SEND.
After that, the magic begins. The file is uploaded to Podmailing’s relay servers where it will be stored temporarily (up to 30 days). An email containing the download link is sent to your recipient. Clicking on it will open a web page, where your recipient will have 3 options to fetch the file:
1. From the browser.
Simple. Click and Save. However, this is not the best method because Podmailing will send the download link to your recipient even before the file has finished uploading! Why? Find out later.
2. Directly via Podmailing software.
Click on ‘Download it with Podmailing’ and be rewarded with a ‘.zed’ file. Double click on it and start downloading the file instantly. Your recipient will have to install the application first. The beauty about this is that we don’t need to wait for the file to be completely uploaded. Podmailing will download the part which has been uploaded, and at the same time, sets up a Peer-to-Peer (P2P) connection between the sender and recipient, so that the transfer will be even faster.
3. Download with BitTorrent.
Also on the download page is a link to get your file with BitTorrent. The genius about this is: imagine that you’re sending a 700mb video file to several friends. If they download it simultaneously, they will act as a swarm and they’ll grab parts of the file from each other. When one of your friends completely downloads the file, he will act as a seeder. This means that you’re not the only one sending the file and it quickens the process by a huge factor. This method also removes the issue of the upload speed to Podmailing’s servers.
So sending large files need not be a hassle. There are a couple of things that irk me about Podmailing, though.
Firstly, I didn’t have to create an account to use it, which means that there was no agreement about the privacy of my files which I send through Podmailing. So, I have to refrain from sending sensitive material with it.
Secondly, they store my files on their servers for 30 days. Good and bad in some ways. I guess it’s good because then my recipient can download it whenever he/she wants, even when if I’m not online to participate in the P2P transfer. On the other hand, I don’t like it because I don’t have the option to remove it from their servers after the transfer is complete.
But other than that, if you don’t really care about the privacy of what you’re sending and would just like a solution that will send very large files quickly and easily, Podmailing is it. Have a go and let me know your experiences in the comments.
Podmailing is available here as a free beta for Windows and Mac.
(By) Jackson Chung is a full-time med student attempting to perform a juggling act with relationship, studies and his future.
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