Sharing files over the Internet is nothing new, but the process has evolved from the few days of sensitive FTP servers and unreliable P2P programs. Now, it’s easy to send large files with a simple web application or a cloud service, such as Dropbox, and the latter plans to make it even easier with a new free file transfer service called Dropbox Transfer.
What is Dropbox Transfer?
The normal service of Dropbox is based on sharing and synchronizing the same files among multiple users through a single unit in the cloud. While technically you can share files hosted on Dropbox, any edit or change affects the file for all users: if someone uploads a file and someone else deletes it, it will be deleted for everyone.
With Dropbox Transfer, users send a copy of a file that another user (or users) can download. The original file remains in the sender’s Dropbox so they can do it as they please. If you delete it, anyone who has received a copy through Dropbox Transfer can download that version.
The big difference between Dropbox Transfer and other file sharing services is the data limit: Dropbox Transfer allows users to send files up to 100 GB free of charge, which is quite important. Most other file transfer services limit their size limits between 2-10 GB if you are lucky. Anything above that will cost you money.
To be fair, the public version of Dropbox Transfer will probably have file size limitations for free users (after all, a free Dropbox account can store a maximum of 2GB of storage in the cloud). We will not know for sure until the final version of the Dropbox Transfer debuts. It is currently in beta, which means that you will have to register to obtain a waiting list if you wish to verify the service ahead of time.
How to sign up for Dropbox Transfer?
Go to the Dropbox Transfer website.
Click on “Register”
Log in to your Dropbox account or create a new one.
Click on “Join the wish list”
A notification will appear indicating that you have been added to the list.
Look out for your email inbox (the one linked to your Dropbox account) for an invitation. If and when you get one, follow the instructions to complete the beta registration.
How Dropbox Transfer compares with the competition
If you do not want to wait for a Dropbox Transfer beta invitation (or public release, if you do not enter the beta version), there are many other services you can use to send files for free. Some of them may not be as impressive as the 100GB Dropbox limit, but they will do so in case of trouble:
2GB file size limit
Unlimited file storage and a 10 GB limit on individual files
No size limit, but files are deleted after 20 days (and download speeds accelerated)
- Google Drive / Gmail
25MB limit for Gmail attachments or up to 5TB for Google Drive (which you can use to store 15GB free)
100MB file size limit, but unlimited access to uploaded files
7-day free trial (with a storage limit of 100 GB, there is no limit on the size of individual files)
Free: 10GB of storage; You can increase up to 40 GB through special offers (connecting social network accounts, recommend a friend, etc.). Various file size limits depending on your browser
Free: 15 GB for free accounts (plus a limited-time bonus of 35 GB for the first month after registration); Several offers can get free users of up to 50 GB of file storage. There is no limit on file size
- Send anywhere
Free: Transfer up to 10GB free
Free: 2GB file size limit, and files expire after 7 days