How to send 5GB files??
August 19, 2010 4:53 PM   Subscribe

How can I send HUGE files over the internet? (5GB, 20GB, etc)?

I need to get some large video files to people overseas that are going to analyze the videos and code them (it's foot traffic data/video). I've looked at Usendit, SugarSync, and a few others. It seems that they all have a 2GB file limit (but they don't tell you that up-front). In fact, with SugarSync they freely admit (through a service ticket I logged) that even if I share out a file that I've uploaded... nobody can download it if it's larger than 2GB.

I'm willing to PAY. In fact, I've upgraded my SugarSync account multiple times just hoping that some tier of their service will allow this. No dice.

I have only a SHORT-TERM need, so I'm willing to pay for any solution. I don't want to setup anything too technically complex (FTP server, etc). I want a website or a downloadable client that I can just let these files get uploaded to and then my remote worker crew can download them. I'm even willing to pay for THEIR accounts (5 of them) if need be.

BONUS POINTS: If the service is top-notch and doesn't throttle my upload (or download speeds). I've got access to a fiber cable and can upload at 100Mb/sec, but I've found that most of these services won't even accept more than about 100Kb/sec incoming.

Any ideas would be awesome! Thanks.
posted by sharingideas to Computers & Internet (24 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

50 GB: $10/mo
100 GB: $20/mo
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 4:59 PM on August 19, 2010 [2 favorites]

1) BitTorrent
2) Burn DVDs and courier them.
posted by randomstriker at 4:59 PM on August 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

Oh, and you might want to use a program to split the HUGE files into 1GB pieces, so that if an upload fails, it's only 1 GB that you need to re-upload, rather than the whole thing. Something like SimplyRar for Mac or the Windows equivalent.

SimplyRar will split the big file into a bunch of little files, which you upload, and then your partners at the other end can use the same program to stitch the little files back into the big file.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 5:01 PM on August 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

You could create multiple smaller RAR archives from the files, and upload them. That should get around the 2GB file size limit. Get WinRAR. It can archive your giant files into many smaller volumes which can be reassembled by your remote crew.

If that doesn't work for you for some reason, you could always put it on a flash drive and mail it to them. If you pay enough and they aren't too remote, it could probably get there in a day.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 5:02 PM on August 19, 2010

You don't explicitly discount this, but I'm assuming you've considered snail-mailing a DVD? For big files, a sneakernet will often beat the internet
posted by trialex at 5:03 PM on August 19, 2010

I don't want to setup anything too technically complex (FTP server, etc).

Unless you were talking about setting up a personal FTP server, FTP use isn't complex. Even setting up your own server isn't bad, but we'll ignore that for now. If you pay for hosting with FTP access, you'll need a client (or if you have Windows, you can use Explorer as a really straightforward FTP client), and anyone (or people with a password) can download the files through a browser. Dreamhost has $8.95 plans with unlimited storage and bandwidth usage.
posted by filthy light thief at 5:07 PM on August 19, 2010

amazon s3, no doubt
posted by Mach5 at 5:22 PM on August 19, 2010 [3 favorites]

Use Amazon S3. If you have a Mac, Transmit is a great client to connect to it. On PC, there is JungleDisk and a few other apps to simplify the process. It's fast, secure and you only pay for what you use. No speed caps, but there is a 5GB file size limit which is among the most reasonable you're going to see.

You can split the file pretty easily, and it's generally advised because downloading or uploading 20GB files at one hung thing without errors can be problematic. If you split it with say WinRAR or SimplyRAR on Mac, you can check and verify the archive's integrity is in tact.
posted by cgomez at 5:27 PM on August 19, 2010

You could try It allows someone who you share a link with to download a file or directory you specify directly from your computer. It's super easy. I haven't tried it with files that large, but I have used it with a batch of files that was that large in total.
posted by reddot at 5:32 PM on August 19, 2010

I use JungleDisk on both Mac and Windows, and it works flawlessly.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 5:35 PM on August 19, 2010

I believe Viddler stores the original file for 30 days on free accounts, so you could upload to Viddler, and the folks on the other end could download the original.
posted by COD at 5:36 PM on August 19, 2010

Seconding or thirding S3.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:49 PM on August 19, 2010

Files Over Miles comes up on the green every so often. Did you search askme? This has been asked in various ways before.
posted by chairface at 6:00 PM on August 19, 2010

You can also "upload" files to Amazon S3 by mailing them on a hard drive.
posted by mbrubeck at 6:05 PM on August 19, 2010

You can buy a big USB flash drive for not all that much money, put your files on it, and mail it to your partner. In the long run this is more reliable and far less of a headache.

16G: $34, for instance
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 6:27 PM on August 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

Another vote for RARing them into smaller files, and then using something along the lines of Dropbox.

All it would take is one loss of the thumb drive to put a huge crimp in any project, especially given the size of the files.

Reminds me of the time a boss once told me not to underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon filled with DLT tapes.
posted by Sphinx at 7:43 PM on August 19, 2010

Instead of paying for accounts for them, wouldn't it be much much easier to give them all your account information for whatever program you decide on?
posted by wayland at 7:54 PM on August 19, 2010

what you're for is Opera unite. I'm surprised how few people know about this. Very undervalued software. you must be online though for them to be able to download it.

Or go get
posted by chinabound at 8:43 PM on August 19, 2010

If you don't want to split the files in 5 GB chunks, and you only need the space briefly, you could boot up an Amazon EC2 instance and put the file there for HTTP download.
posted by nicwolff at 8:57 PM on August 19, 2010

Mac or PC? On a Mac, you could put the files inside your public folder and hook your Mac directly up the to the net. (Enable the firewall!) Then, send your partners to http://[Your IP Address]/ Ideally, hook up to the Fibre so you don't have to deal with your ISP throttling your upload.
posted by 47triple2 at 9:16 PM on August 19, 2010

*throttling your upload speeds.

This method assumes that you will be able to connect to the fibre and have your contacts download the file at the same time.
posted by 47triple2 at 9:21 PM on August 19, 2010

Another Dropbox vote here
posted by i_cola at 12:50 AM on August 20, 2010

You have a really fast connection. Cut off the middleman and host them yourself. Setting up a lightweight http server is really easy and I have used those many times to share large files. For example.
posted by Authorized User at 2:52 AM on August 20, 2010

Bit torrent is awesome for massively large files, but it relies on the idea that a number of people will be downloading/ seeding it simultaneously, and if these are private files, it's probably not going to be ideal. However I agree with suggestions about burning the files and sending the physical media. Often, with a sufficiently large file, it really is the quickest way.
posted by quin at 2:23 PM on August 20, 2010

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