Sending large files to other people, such as photographs, GEDCOM files, word processing documents, PowerPoint slides, video from your digital camera, or other large amounts of information can be problematic. To be sure, there are many ways of accomplishing the task, but none of them are very convenient:
1. You can send a file as an attachment to an e-mail message. The problem is that some e-mail systems limit attachment sizes to one megabyte or a few megabytes. None of today's e-mail systems can handle large attachments of a gigabyte or so. You won't be able to easily send all those photos or videos from the family reunion.
2. You can share photos on Flickr.com or some other photo sharing site. However, this solution is designed for photographs and does not work so well for GEDCOM files, word processing documents, PowerPoint slides, or other files. Most of the online services limit you to a few hundred megabytes of files although there are exceptions. Some sites are also very public and do not provide for private file transfers.
3. You could use Yahoo Briefcase or some similar file sharing service. This works well for all sorts of files, but you probably will have to teach the recipient how to retrieve the file(s). That's easy if he or she has technical experience, but it may be a challenge for novices. Again, most of these "briefcase" systems only store ten to perhaps fifty megabytes, not nearly enough for video files.
4. You could always obtain your own FTP (File Transfer Protocol) server, but (1.) that is expensive, and (2.) again, you probably will have to teach the recipient how to retrieve the file(s). That's easy if he or she has technical experience but may be a challenge for novices.
5. You could set up free software on your own computer to turn it into a file server but (1.) that's complex, (2.) you probably will have to teach the recipient how to retrieve the file(s), (3.) you probably will have to leave your computer turned on all the time, waiting for the recipient to retrieve the files, and (4.) your computer may slow to a crawl when another person connects and starts retrieving the files.
All of this is complex enough make it difficult to send files to only one person. How about situations when you want to send pictures or other files to everyone at the last reunion? Perhaps 50 or 100 people? Perhaps some of them are using Windows while others use Macintosh. How do you handle that?
The "simple" task of sending a few files to a group of people quickly becomes complex. Luckily, there is an easy answer. Best of all, the solution is available free of charge.
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