Many a times you want to share large files over the internet. Generally, there are four options that you can use to share files easily.

  1. Attach the files to an email message and send it to the other person(s).
  2. Upload files to an online storage service and share the download link.
  3. Share the file from your computer itself by making your computer a web server easily.
  4. Create a torrent of the file and share the torrent file.

Now let's explore the possibilities, available services and benefits of each of these options. Each has its own advantages depending on scenarios and you can select the best way to share files depending on your needs.

1. Attatch big files in E-mail.

The most popular e-mail services are Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail. Both Gmail and Yahoo services cannot handle files of size bigger than 25Mb. Hotmail which recently re-vamped it's service lets you send messages upto 10GB.

But the maximum size of an individual file that you can attach to an Hotmail message is only 50 MB. Of course you can use a file-splitting utility like HJ-Split to break a huge file into smaller chunks and then attach them all to a single message. The recipient can then join the files back using Hj-Split.

The downside with email attachments is obvious - most web-based email programs (including Gmail) will reject incoming messages that have large attachments and therefore, if you are sharing a big file via Hotmail, the recipients also have to be on Hotmail as well in order to receive that file.


2. Upload files to a free online storage service

The common online storage providers include Dropbox, File Dropper  and SkyDrive.

Dropbox can be installed as a utility on your computer (Windows, Linux and Mac) and you can upload files of virtually any size to the Internet - it’s only limited by the size of your Dropbox storage which is 2GB in the case of free accounts.If you don't want to install it, you can upload files straight to the Dropbox website using  your browser but the limit in this case is 300 MB per file.

File Dropper is simple, elegant, and the biggest of the bunch. 5GB! This should be fine for any rational uploader.Uploading a file is as easy as browsing for your file, and clicking “Upload.” Every file gets a permanent link that you’re free to share with your friends. As simple as that.

SkyDrive(From Microsoft) offers 25 GB of free online storage, with a limit of 50Mb on individual files. To share a big file, split it into chunks of 50 MB each and then upload them all to a single folder on SkyDrive. The recipient can download the entire folder as a ZIP or the files one by one and then join them all at his end.


3. Share large files by making your computer a web server.

The easiest way to do this is using Opera unite which is a feature of the famous Opera browser. Just three simple steps and you have a web server running on your machine sharing whatever files you want with a web url. You can share this url with anyone and they can download the file directly from your computer. Of course your computer needs to be switched on when people are downloading. See this article for details - How to turn your computer into a webserver easily.


4. Create a torrent of the file

Most people get scared here because of unfamiliarity. But actually it's quite easy and simple to share big files over the internet using torrents. What you do is to create a torrent file for the file(s) you want to share and seed the torrent using a torrent client. Lets see an example using Vuze, the highly popular torrent client.

  1. From top menu, click File > New Torrent.
  2. Tick “use an external tracker” if not already ticked.
  3. And again, This is probably the hard part for most people. But it’s pretty easy, just put in one of the popular public trackers from the list below.

  4. Select single file or dicectory, click NEXT and point to the file or directory you want to share, and click NEXT
  5. Make sure “private torrent” is NOT ticked and “allow decentralized tracking” and "open torrent for seeding when done" is ticked.
  6. Save the torrent and send it to your friends.

They can open the torrent using a torrent client like Vuze and download file(s). Of course you will need to keep your computer switched on while they are downloading the file as the file is directly copied in pieces from your computer to theirs.

That's it. Depending on which option you are comfortable with, choose one to share large files over the internet easily in a few simple steps.