From kindergarten graduation and prom night to first steps and walks down the aisle, our ever-present smartphones make capturing these precious moments all too easy.
Unfortunately, sharing these memories can be a challenge.
Most email servers won’t accept attachments larger than 10 MB. But the average size of a digital photo is 2-3 MB; videos are even larger. Sending all the images from an event often requires numerous attachments or multiple emails, and that’s a hassle for everyone.
Using a cloud storage system is the best option for sending large files. While it sounds magical, the cloud is just a practical way of storing data on a securely maintained, third-party server. It’s a way to view your files from any smartphone, tablet or computer that’s connected to the internet. The cloud is also a backup if your phone is lost or your computer crashes.
Simply create an account with your chosen online cloud service and upload the files you wish to share. You can then notify a recipient that photos are ready to view with an emailed web link.
When the recipient clicks on the link, it takes them to files stored in the cloud. If they aren’t members of the cloud service, they’ll be required to create an account, which usually includes a 30-day free trial.
Using a cloud service for sharing is a no-brainer. Choosing one is tougher. Here are some of the most popular:
- Dropbox is an established cloud service and offers 2 GB of free storage. This can be increased to as much as 16 GB by linking your Dropbox to social media accounts or referring friends. Individual pricing starts at $9.99 monthly, and business pricing starts at $15 monthly. Dropbox offers discounts for yearly billing.
- Google Drive is possibly the best option for Android users because it’s already integrated into your device. It offers 15 GB for free and 100 GB for $1.99 a month.
- OneDrive is likely the best option for Microsoft users because it’s integrated into Windows 10’s file explorer. It offers 5 GB for free and 50 GB for $1.99 a month.
Services such as Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive are great for sharing files and for syncing documents between devices. For example, a report for school or work can be accessible on both a computer and a smartphone.
It’s important, however, to remember those services are not ideal for backing up your files. A secondary physical copy, such as an external hard drive, is ideal. But also consider adding another layer of protection.
Online backup services are capable of backing up all your files to the cloud. Options such as Carbonite and Backblaze are affordable at roughly $5 monthly.
So share large files with friends, family and co-workers, and keep the data safe.