For many, the cloud is a place where private documents, music, pictures, or videos can be stored and exchanged online. Understanding the different technological aspects of these services, however, proves to be a cloudy venture for many. Did you know, for example, that, in addition to many other things, online stores and websites can also be hosted in the cloud?Cloud Hosting: a reputation worth defending
7 free file sharing services
File sharing services let you share large files via a download link. They’re particularly convenient for users looking to share multiple files or large files that cannot be shared as email attachments. We'll show you the best free file sharing services.
Overview of file sharing platforms
|Filesharer||Max file size per upload||Costs||Features|
|File.io||Up to 2 GB||Free||- No registration- Files deleted after one download|
|SwissTransfer||Up to 50 GB||Free||- No registration- Optional password protection- Swiss data protection standards- Download available for 30 days|
|WeTransfer||2 GB to 200 GB, depending on selected plan||free basic version, costs for sharing larger files start at $10 per month||- Usable without and with registration- Download available for 7 days|
|FileMail||Up to 5 GB||free basic version,Pro and Business versions from $12 per month||- Usable with and without registration- Download available from 1 to 7 days|
|TransferNow||5 GB to 100 GB, depending on selected plan||Free basic versioncosts for sharing larger files from around $10 per month||- Usable without and with registration- Download available for 7 days|
|Dropbox Transfer||100 MB to 100 GB, depending on selected plan||Free basic versioncosts for sharing larger files from around $10 per month||- Only with registration (free Dropbox account required)- Download available for 7 days|
|4shared||2 GB to 100 GB, depending on plan||Free basic versioncosts for sharing larger files from around $9.95 per month||- Only with registration (free 4shared account required)- Download without registration delayed and with lots of ads- Deletion of all data after 180 days without login|
Updated: November 2022
What is filesharing?
Filesharing refers to sharing files publicly or privately with other people via a network. Files can be located on dedicated servers, server networks, cloud storage, or on users’ hard drives. Depending on the method, file sharing takes place via a download link, cloud storage or special software.
In traditional filesharing, files are shared in a decentralized peer-to-peer network. In most cases, the files are located on the users’ computers, and software is required for the exchange.
File share programs which allow users to share files via a download link using a browser are secure and easy to use. These filehosters (also sharehosters) offer encryption and password protection even in the free version. Downloads tend to be available for a few days before they’re automatically deleted.
A growing number of file sharing services combine their services with cloud storage and paid subscriptions for sharing larger files.
What to look out for when using file share programs
Which file sharing service is the right one for you depends on your individual requirements:
- Data size: The most important criterion when choosing the right file sharing service is the average size of the files to upload. Ensure that the maximum upload size is sufficient for your purposes.
- Frequency of use: If you frequently use a document sharing platform, it’s worthwhile to use a cloud storage service to share your files directly from your storage. If you only want to generate a link to share a file once in a while, it may be more convenient to use a service without registration.
- Data protection: When sending sensitive files, consider choosing a file sharing provider that complies with strict data protection guidelines.
- Security standards: When uploading and downloading, the IP address of users who don’t use a VPN can be publicly visible and vulnerable. A secure file sharing provider protects these operations, for example, through encryption.
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7 free file sharing platform
Below are some of the top free file sharing services suitable for sharing files that cannot be sent as email attachments. Cloud storage providers like Google Drive, OneDrive, iCloud or Box are excluded. While these do include file-sharing tools, they’re mainly suitable for backing up photos, documents, music files, and videos. However, a growing number of file sharers are also offering cloud storage features.
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With File.io you can upload files of up to 2 GB free of charge and without registration. You share a download link with selected users by email or messenger. They can then download the files once before the files are auto deleted. For $25 a month, users can share files up to 10 GB in size with unlimited file downloads and optional auto-delete. File.io also acts as cloud storage with 2 TB storage volume. If you need even higher data volumes, you can upgrade to the premium plan and share files up 100 GB in size.
Swiss Transfer is a service provided by Swiss web hosting company Infomaniak. Users can share up to 50 GB in files for free. Swiss Transfer adheres to Swiss data protection standards. Files can be shared using a download link valid for a maximum of 30 days or via email. Downloads are protected using a password.
WeTransfer is among the best-known file or cloud-sharing services and can be used without installation or registration. Without registration, you can share up to 2 GB of filesfor free. A Pro subscription increases the upload volume to 1 TB. The process is simple. Just enter your email address and that of your recipient. Once the upload is finished, the recipient receives a download link. Password protection and customized length of link validity are only available in the Pro subscription.
Find out more about WeTransfer alternatives in our guide.
Filemail was founded in Norway and offers the convenient option of sending large files via email for free. It’s a cloud-based service that can be used on a browser or via the app. The recipient receives a download link. When using Filemail for free, you can specify whether the download should be available for one or seven days. If you register, you get access to free storage and a download volume of 5GB and benefit from virus checks and encryption. In the Pro variant, download availability can be extended.
TransferNow is a convenient and registration-free file sharing service to send files up to 5 GB in size. For a higher upload volume, you can increase it to 100 GB by subscribing for €8.33 (around $9) a month. The premium version provides 1 TB of storage, turning TransferNow into cloud storage. Each file transfer is HTTPS-protected.
Dropbox Transfer has the advantage that many people are already familiar with Dropbox. The file hosting service is one of the market leaders among cloud storage services, alongside Google Drive and OneDrive. But Dropbox alternatives also make for plenty of competition. With Dropbox Transfer, you can send up to 100 MB for free using a download link. To do this, register for free or log in with your existing Dropbox account.
You can use the file sharing platform 4shared from a browser or via an app on iOS and Android. Once you register for free, you can also use it as a cloud storage. Files up to a maximum of 2 GB can be shared by email or via download link. When downloading, users without a 4shared account have to wait a short time before their download begins. The service does display adverts. Free 4shared accounts that have not been used for more than 180 days are deleted. A paid subscription starting at $9.95 per month is available which lets users upload files faster, which can be up to 100 GB in size as well as get rid of advertising.
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