[Updated] The Best Way to Share Large Files
Sharing large files is essential for most companies, but how do you ensure that the files are suitable for the right people and not everyone else? When considering factors such as security, batch transfer, and tracking, companies need more than just one-off solutions, they also need to share files with employees, customers, and trading partners.
Fortunately, whether you are sending large files to recipients or allowing users to access them in the cloud, there are many options for sharing large files. Depending on your use case, some solutions may be more appropriate than others.
Simple access using file sharing tools
Many cloud-based file sharing tools (such as Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive and Dropbox, etc.) make it easy to share large files. Upload the files you want to share with the platform of your choice and provide users with access to individual documents or entire folders. Most file sharing tools limit your storage space based on subscription plans, but still, make it easy to share large files.
Using cloud-based tools to share documents with people outside the organization brings some risks, and following basic guidelines can keep you in control of data security:
1. Set specific user access permissions for files and folders
Avoid allowing external users to access your internal file structure. Choose a solution that allows you to implement a password on the document. An alternative to cloud-based storage with similar functions is GoDrive, a file storage tool that helps employees and partners synchronize and share documents locally or in the cloud. Easily track file versions, comment, and track conversations in the tool. Although cloud-based storage is relatively secure, on-premises deployment options such as GoDrive give your organization complete control.
2. Use a secure email solution to send large files
In some cases, you can send large files via email, but you will encounter two obstacles: file size restrictions and security standards.
Most email clients limit the size of file attachments, which can be a blessing for the sender. This ensures that they will not send emails that the recipient will never receive due to large attachments, and prevents them from using oversized files to occupy space in the email client. Besides, sending files (regardless of file size) via email may expose companies to unnecessary security risks or violations.
Using a simple, secure tool like Secure Mail that plugs directly into Outlook, you can easily send files from an email client or browser-based interface. Each recipient will receive a unique link to the file, making it easy to track who viewed and downloaded the file.
Tips for transferring large files
Other features of secure email solutions usually include sharing multiple files, setting access expiration dates, and the ability to call back files so that recipients can no longer use them.
Secure email solutions are great for temporarily sharing large files, and many secure email solutions do not limit file size or file type. However, sharing files manually can be time-consuming, especially when you share large files frequently or in batches.
Use more than file transfer protocols
File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a popular but very old transfer method. Most organizations have evolved from FTP and often choose more secure alternatives:
FTP over SFTP or SSH uses a secure channel to prevent unauthorized access when files are moved. Thanks to security features including user ID, password, and key authentication, SFTP allows only the correct user to access your files. FTPS or FTP over SSL allows you to share files with trading partners, employees, and customers after verifying the authenticity of the system. AS2 or AS4 is a common method to share EDI data safely and reliably and can be used to share any file type. The messages sent with AS2 and AS4 can be compressed, signed, and encrypted to achieve secure sharing.
Share files securely with an all-in-one solution
If you share files in batches regularly, a dedicated Managed File Transfer (MFT) tool may be your solution. MFT enables you to easily share files of any size and know whether they have reached their destination with the help of notifications and detailed audit logs. Moreover, if you or your recipient's network connection is not normal, MFT will be suspended while sending and resume when everything resumes normal operation so that there is no "transfer failure" message in the inbox.
As an added benefit, some MFT solutions include a secure email option this way, your organization can share large files with temporary emails or via MFT. MFT also allows you to track all file sharing through these two options, making the audit work quick and easy.
With the help of the MFT solution, the collaboration between people is very simple; effectively share files and collaborate from any authorized computer or mobile device.
MFT provides more advantages than any other tool for sharing large files. With MFT, the file size is not limited and the variability is greater，whether you have a large file or multiple files, you can ensure that the recipient will receive all the information without losing data. Besides, your documents are safe during transportation and at rest.