This article will quickly review how to share files with both Box.net1 and Amazon S32, and more importantly, nudge those (who are still using email to attach large files) into the direction of online storage.
Box.net and Amazon S3 are just two examples of ways to store and share files online.
Both solutions offer these benefits:
- Ability to handle files of any size
- Increased file protection
Ability to handle files of any size
Email software has a max file size attachment limit. It’s gotten better over the years, as some services allow up to 25 MB of attachments, but in the grand scheme of today’s digital media files, that’s still pretty low. For example, today’s digital cameras can output some pretty large files, depending on your resolution settings.
Online storage removes the file size barrier.
Increased file protection
Storing files online provides an added level of protection against damage or theft. Trusting all of your important documents on some hard drive in your basement may not be the best solution. The hard drive could fail, get damaged somehow, whereby all of your data will be lost.
Storing files online protects against such drastic scenarios.
Differences between Box.net and Amazon S3
- Clean, friendly web interface
- Easy access through any web browser
Box.net will appeal to those looking for an “out of the box” solution. Once you sign up, you can begin uploading and sharing files – it’s that simple.
Amazon S3 strengths
- Pay-as-you-go model
- Ability to develop applications around the files
Amazon S3 was created mainly for enterprise application developers looking to take advantage of affordable scaling. If that sentence has your head spinning, just focus on Box.net details. Those of you looking for more advanced online storage capabilities, consider Amazon S3.
Sharing files with Box.net
Box.net makes it very easy to share files. Simply click Share on any file or folder, and you’ll be presented with a secure link, which can be passed around to anyone wishing to view or download the file.
You can also apply password-protection to shared files, as well as view the exact number of times the file was downloaded.
Box.net is the perfect solution for users not wanting to get too technical. There’s even a free version which allows for 1 GB of file storage. What are you waiting for!?
Sharing files with Amazon S3
Amazon S3 allows for file sharing, but the approach is a little more technical.
I’m going to recommend S3Fox3, a browser extension for Firefox, for working with your S3 files. This extension makes it easy to share files.
First, right-click on the file or folder you’d like to share, and make sure the permissions allow anyone to Read the file.
Next, right-click on the file again and choose Copy URL to Clipboard.
You’ll now have a full URL to your file, which can be passed around for anyone to view/download. Here is an example URL:
With such easy and affordable online storage solutions available, there’s no reason you should still be attempting to attach large files to email. Make a little effort to get started with these services, and you’ll be happy you’re no longer a victim of emails’ limitations.