Send Large Files

As employees become increasingly dependent on being able to share and collaborate on large files, organizations are finding new tools that make file sharing simple. Finding a method that’s both easy and secure, however, can be difficult. Read on to learn the best tips and practices for sharing large files – inside and outside the office.

What is Considered a Large File?

Most email clients limit the total message size – including message text and any file attachment – to anywhere from 10 MB to 25 MB. However, delivery isn’t always guaranteed – when nearing the higher end of the scale, sending within the same client (i.e., Gmail to Gmail) is the best bet, otherwise another email server could reject the too-large message.

Options for Sending Large Files

Using Free Tools to Send Large Files


Should you use a free tool? That depends. For sending one-off documents for which you don’t need to take any security precautions and that don’t require any privacy, a free tool could work great. But typically free – especially when it comes to sensitive data – is too good to be true.

Whether you need to maintain strict confidentiality, meet compliance requirements, or provide audit trails, sending large files with a free method typically isn’t the best bet. The free tools you may find in an online search rarely have the security necessary to protect your data as it moves from A to B.

Keep reading: No Such Thing as Free File Transfer

Sending Files Over Email

Email works to send large files until you start to approach the file size limit – but isn’t necessarily as secure as other options for sending files. Jump to Sending Large Files Over Email: Tips and Tricks

What About FTP?

While both free and popular, FTP is outdated and doesn’t meet today’s cybersecurity standards. Sending files via FTP exposes your data to security breaches, and there are many new, more secure options that have taken FTP’s place. Jump to Secure File Transfer Options

Keep reading: Is FTP Dead?

Watch: Replacing FTP Scripts with Managed File Transfer

Homegrown Scripts

Homegrown scripts can have time-consuming upkeep and might not stay current with evolving hazards. Plus, these often rely on the original author to make quick changes. While they may begin life as cost-effective solutions to sending files here and there the constant updates, fixes, and re-writes end up taking up more and more time, while still not meeting all your file sending needs.

Questions to Consider If You’re Using a Free Tool:

  • Does your solution have a “resume transfer” option or delivery receipt? What happens if your file doesn’t make it to its destination? Are you informed?
  • Is your data secure as it moves from A to B?
  • How long does it take your file to get to your recipient?
  • Does the tool you’re using to send large files expose your servers?
  • Is your solution better at sending large files once in a blue moon, or sending files on a recurring basis? Can it do both?

If your organization needs assurance that big files transfers will be executed without a hitch, it’s time to look at a more robust solution.

How To: Send Large Files

The best method for sharing large files depends on multiple factors, all unique to your organization or the data you’re trying to share:

Sending Large Files Over Email: Tips and Tricks

  • Zip your files to shrink the attachment size
  • Send multiple files separately, or split up your file and attach portions to individual emails
  • Reduce any images – however, this could affect the quality, so avoid reducing image size if it’s an essential print or web piece
  • Sign up for a file sharing app and share a link to the file rather than sending the large file itself
  • Use a secure email module that allows anyone in your organization to send ad-hoc email messages with no size or file type restriction

Secure Email for Sending Large Files

Secure Mial Diagram

Options like Secure Mail lets anyone send ad-hoc email messages and files simply, with no size or file type restriction.

How it works:

  1. Draft a message in the Secure Mail module or Outlook plug-in.
  2. Attach your files – of any size. These are immediately encrypted to protect the sensitive data they contain.
  3. Once you send the message, the recipient will get an email with a unique link to the secure “package.” Then, through a secure HTTPS connection, the recipient can download the message and files.

For the especially security-conscious, file transfers sent through Secure Mail can be password protected, given an expiration date, and/or allow a certain number of downloads before the files within are deleted.

Explore Secure Mail

Secure File Transfer Protocol Options

  • SFTP – Best for preventing unauthorized access to sensitive information while data is in transit
  • FTPS – Choose from two security modes within FTPS to ensure security
  • AS2 – A popular option in the retail industry for securely transferring EDI
  • HTTPS – Protect web visitors’ identities and keep uploaded data
  • MFT – A method that encompasses all of the above, and more

More about these secure file transfer alternatives to FTP

What is Secure File Transfer?

The Managed File Transfer Approach to Sending Large Files

Managed file transfer is a secure option that gives you the flexibility to both automate batch files and send one-off emails with absolute security. No file size is off-limits, and built-in features take the pressure out of tracking, auditing, and compliance:

  • Unlimited file size transfers: Big files don’t stump an MFT tool.
  • Email options: GoAnywhere’s Secure Mail lets employees easily send confidential messages and files as secure HTTPS links. Just as easy as sending a standard email.
  • Volume capacities: Multiple big files? No problem. High visibility and scalability can handle the load.
  • Automation: Reduce time spent on sending files and set up automated file transfers for routine sharing.
  • Auto-resume: Provides peace of mind when it comes to network connectivity. If the network has a problem mid-file, many MFT solutions pause and resume when it’s resolved – no more “transfer failed” messages or recipients asking where their file is.
  • Security: A secure file transfer solution encrypts information at all stages – at rest and during transit.
  • Audit logs and reports: If a file ever fails to send, find out before your intended recipient. Plus, if compliance regulations and privacy laws impact your operation, GoAnywhere MFT easily tracks and reports all file transfer activity.
  • Easy access: Through a single, user-friendly web browser dashboard, authorized users can transfer big files anywhere, anytime.
  • Speed: Accelerate large file transfers over UDP data channels.

GoAnywhere MFT offers secure file transfers through a centralized, enterprise-level approach. Data sent through the solution is kept safe during the transfer as well as at rest through industry standard protocols like FTPS and SFTP and Open PGP and AES encryption. With GoAnywhere in place, data sent is more secure, simplified, and meets compliance stipulations.

When Sending’s Not Enough: Content Collaboration

Sending files to specific recipients is one way to get data from point A to point B. But using a shared app or folder can facilitate collaborative changes. Many cloud-based file sharing tools, like Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, and Dropbox, make sharing large files simple. Upload files to the platform and simply assign users access to individual documents or entire folders. Most file sharing tools limit your storage space based on the subscription plan, but still make sharing large files straightforward.

For organizations that need to exchange large files securely with internal users but want to avoid the cost and lack of security controls that come with a mainstream file sharing product, there are options! Consider secure file sharing tools like GoAnywhere’s Secure Mail, Secure Folders, or GoDrive to support your internal file transfer requirements. All of these are affordable, practical, and easy to use.

Learn more about large file transfers for peer-to-peer exchange