Have you ever tried sending large files via email? It’s not always easy.
For example, sending high definition photographs, video clips, and audio files to a friend or co-worker often gets met with an error. In other words, it’s not always very easy to do.
Problems When Email Attachment Size is Exceeded
Nearly everyone uses email to correspond over the Internet, but not everyone can attach and deliver large files in an email message. Doing so, will leave users rebuffed by error messages denying delivery due to size restrictions.
Since most email servers hover around the 20-25mb limit for attachments, it used to be necessary to digitally compress files to reduce their size, a process that can corrupt the original quality or integrity of the file being delivered.
This means the quality of your crisp photos will suffer, or your smooth audio files will sound washed out. Aside from compression, a great alternative to sending large files is being achieved through the use of cloud storage technology, a system in which data is stored, maintained, backed up remotely and made available to users over the Internet.
Cloud Technology: Harnessing the Internet to Share Information
With the advent of cloud storage technology, sending and sharing large files has never been easier or more convenient. Briefly, cloud technology works by relying on a vast interconnected system of computer servers to handle the effort necessary to store large amounts of data or run applications.
By harnessing and sharing the connectivity of the Internet, these networks make up the “Cloud,” a place to process and store seemingly limitless amounts of information without taking up space over your own personal network.
These cloud servers are incredibly helpful and reliable; if one server fails to process your information, there are other servers ready to pick up the slack. The combined processing power and storage space provide significant decreases on the hardware and software demands of an individual user, allowing for greater freedom of sharing.
Getting your Head in the Cloud
To take advantage of the cloud and send large files, all a user needs to do is run the cloud system’s interface software—which can be as simple as logging into your Gmail or Yahoo! account.
Ever wondered why your email account could hold so many messages without making your computer operate slowly? It’s because the information isn’t actually stored on your computer but is retrieved from the email server’s cloud every time you log on to the interface/application.
In fact, the only reason there are size restrictions when using email is for security; email servers could technically handle sending emails larger than their size restrictions dictate, but if there were no size limit then the servers would be subject to attacks from people sending massive files in the hopes to overload the cloud servers and prevent the network from operating.
Combining Email and the Cloud to Send Large Files
While you cannot send large files using email, you can send invitations to view, edit, download and collaborate on those very same files using download links from a cloud storage provider.
Two of the most popular cloud storage providers are DropBox and GoogeDrive; both programs work as online storage lockers for your files that can be accessed and shared using download links.
These download links can be sent via email, and are essentially permissions to access your personally stored file/s held on a cloud server. Because the information is linked to a server independent of your personal computer storage, there is no infraction on size limitations and information can easily be shared using email and other forms of online messaging.
Cloud storage is a great asset when it comes to collaborating online. You can share your work and even let others interact with and edit your files, which is extremely helpful for adding information to a colleague’s Excel spreadsheet or reviewing a Word document. Some cloud providers even allow for group chats. However, if you would prefer to simply share your file to be viewed, the permissions tab provides read-only access for email invitations and shareable links.
File Sharing to Sidestep Email Attachment Size Limitations
The next time you are confronted with size limitations, remember you can just as easily upload the file in question to your personal cloud storage drive and then share that file from the cloud using download links.
Depending on your storage needs and budget, cloud storage providers range from being entirely free to small monthly fees. For example, GoogleDrive’s free account provides up to 15GB of storage whereas a paid account provides up to a Terabyte of storage for a $10 monthly fee.
Today, cloud storage is such a pervasive and lucrative technology that it isn’t difficult to find a provider that can give you the service you need. Try GoogleDrive or Dropbox today and explore the advanced power of information sharing at your leisure.