Everyone’s experienced this before: you’re preparing an e-mail when suddenly, a message from your e-mail provider pops up indicating that the attached files cannot be sent due to maximum size restrictions. This is often the case, for example, when users want to send several files at the same time, or when particularly large files such as wedding videos, concert recordings or large text files are involved. In order to be able to send large files via e-mail for free, several solutions are available.
Compress files and save storage space
In order to be able to send large files by e-mail, it is possible to compress the files beforehand. When compressing or “zipping”, the files are stored in a so-called “ZIP” folder, which requires less storage space than files in the normal format.
The interesting thing about this procedure is that it does not change the structure of the files or folders, but only the required storage space. However, this option is only useful up to a certain size (25 MB for most providers). This is because even in compressed form, files that are too large exceed the maximum file size of most e-mail providers.
Popular operating systems such as Windows (from Windows XP onwards) and macOS already have the necessary software. In all other cases, ZIP programmes can usually be downloaded from the Internet for free.
Tip: If you want to zip entire folders to send large files by e-mail for free, you can first unzip the folder on your own computer. This way, you can really be sure that the folder structure is preserved after unzipping and that everything arrives safely with the recipient.
Clouds and filehosters – possible alternatives?
To avoid mistakes: clouds and filehosters are, strictly speaking, not virtual hard disks, as these are ultimately operated by servers. Nevertheless, you can use a cloud like a virtual hard disk on which you can also store larger files.
With the provider Dropbox, for example, you can store up to two GB online. So, if you want to send large videos by e-mail, you can store them in a cloud instead. The only requirement: you and all other users must create an account and also have an active Internet connection.
- Not just you, but everyone you give access to, can access the files as they please.
- You can access the uploaded files anywhere, meaning you are not tied to a specific location.
- Certain providers allow you to edit the files, so you can work on the same file with more than one person at a time.
It may sound simple and straightforward at first, but at a second glance, it can be difficult:
- Without an active Internet connection, it is not possible to send large files by e-mail.
- Even filehosters have their limits: additional costs are usually incurred above a certain size.
- Your files are stored on the Internet, which poses certain security risks. You should therefore think twice before storing sensitive data in a cloud.
The best way: TransferXL
Send large files by e-mail without sacrificing security: this is made possible thanks to TransferXL. TransferXL is an option that combines both the advantages of e-mail providers and file hosters.
You can send up to 100 GB with TransferXL and restrict access to the files by assigning a password using end-to-end encryption. This encryption ensures that only you and the desired recipient have access to the sent data.
You don’t need to worry about complicated compressions, either: TransferXL takes all the work out of your hands. All you have to do is select the files, upload them and specify a recipient.
Last, but not least, the question of cost cannot be left unanswered, and here again is where TransferXL becomes even more attractive as sending files up to 5 GB is possible free of charge.
The most important questions and answers about sending files by e-mail
Common free e-mail providers specify a maximum file size. On average, this limit is 25 MB.
What is a compressed file?
Compressing a file does not mean that the file itself is modified. Compressing a file only changes the amount of storage space required.
If you upload files to a cloud, the files are stored there for the time being. For this reason, despite comprehensive security measures, the possibility of third parties gaining access legally or illegally cannot be ruled out. For example, in the event of copyright infringement, the hoster is obliged to grant the authority access to the files.
TransferXL’s optional end-to-end encryption already encrypts your data on your computer. So, before the data even goes online, access is already restricted. This way, you can be sure that no unauthorized persons have access to your data.
Sending data up to 5 GB is free with TransferXL. TransferXL is funded by its paid Pro or Enterprise subscriptions, which allow you to send up to 25 or 100 GB. In the future, TransferXL also wants to finance itself through advertisements.