You are going to share some photos with your family, send megabytes worth of PowerPoint slide with your friends, or important documents to colleagues. These files are bigger than your email attachment limit and you get confused on which online file sharing service to use, due to too many choice available in the market.
A good free online file sharing services should meet these important criteria to ensure enjoyable sharing experience:
- No wait time and no need to fill captcha code
- No annoying advertisement
- Lightning fast download speed and support download manager
- Aborted download can be resumed
- Storage time for uploaded files under your control
- Upload anywhere, anytime (no desktop client required)
- Simple a.k.a no-fuss-sharing
There are certainly no a single free file sharing websites meet all the criteria. However, below are some of the best free services around able to fulfill most of the criteria mentioned.
Small file sizes (< 50MB)
You could send 25MB files using email only but box.net is a simple yet feature rich file-sharing service. Share content with direct links to files and folders; turn any folder into a public webpage in one click. Preview and edit document files on the web and invite collaborators to manage files uploaded. Free users get 5GB web storage and have a 25MB file size limit. Relatively small file size limit compare to others probably is the weakest part of box.net. This service is ideal for collaboration of school project with friends or simple works with co-worker.
Windows Live SkyDrive
Windows Live SkyDrive is available for free for all hotmail users. It gives users a whopping 25GB storage and allows maximum 50MB individual file size. SkyDrive allows users to control file access with option to password-protects the files.
Medium file sizes (50~300MB)
Mediafire is one of the oldest file sharing services similar to Rapidshare. The biggest advantages of Mediafire compared to other old file sharing services are direct download link and resume-able aborted download. It is less popular among file sharer because it does not give incentives to them. Not like other services I recommend in this article, Mediafire does have some annoying advertisement. But the excellent service itself is enough for us to ignore the minor annoyance. Free users can upload 200MB for single file, unlimited storage space, and unlimited time storage as long as you log in to your account once in a while.
Dropbox, the legendary and ever popular file synchronization service which gives free user 2GB storage and 250MB bonus for each referral. You can get 500MB bonus per referral using .edu email. The reason Dropbox is only considered as an ideal service to share medium-sized file is that it only allows 300MB files for uploads using dropbox websites. If you are using your own PC or laptop with dropbox client, it is convenient for sharing files of all sizes.
Large file sizes (>500MB)
Google Docs is the online document tool by Google.com. Initially, the service was intended for sharing document files like .doc, .pdf, .ppt, or excel spreadsheet. Now, it accepts any kind of files with file size limit of 1GB. As a free user, you will only get 1GB storage. Google Docs allows online document preview and collaboration editing, perfect tool for collaboration works.
Ge.tt is probably the simplest file sharing service ever. For a quick share, you don’t even have to login or signup, choose one or multiple files of your choice, get the link and share to your friend INSTANTLY. This is what they call real-time sharing, others can start downloading the file while you are uploading. By default uploaded files will be removed from their servers in 30 days, however you can extend days to keep files in their servers by creating an account. With a free account, your files will expire when inactive for 3 months, access to real-time statistics and more control over shares. Individual file size limit is 2GB.
Free online file sharing services comparsion chart
Are this 6 free file sharing services able to solve your problem? Tell us how you feel after using them.