file sharing · Services

Any file sharing services that let receivers pay for large file transfers?

Valerie Lanard Senior Software Engineering Manager at Salesforce

February 27th, 2015

Does anyone know of a secure, high quality file sharing service that allows the receiver to pay for the transfer of large files (10+ GB)? Dropbox and similar services require both parties to pay for large file transfer & storage - it's not sufficient if the receiver has a Pro account when the sender does not, and vice versa. Other sharing services don't support large files (5-10+GB per file).  I get large video transfers from partners, and this frequently means shipping physical drives back and forth, which feels so archaic. I'd love a solution that allows my business to foot the bill for 3rd parties to be able to securely send me large files. Any one know of such a thing?

Chris Luther Solutions Architect at Blink Reaction

February 27th, 2015

If I understand your need correctly, then you could utilize an FTP server (or Service) to provide drop boxes for your clients.  This is actually the "old school" approach to solving this problem.  You would pay 100% to provide this service, which could be used to send files in both directions.  Each client typically would be provided their own directory. There are a variety of solutions, from cheap web hosting solutions (see go-daddy) to more full-featured SAAS (see https://www.sharefile.com/),

David P.E. Managing Partner at Smith Stillion, Inc.

February 27th, 2015

A company in Seattle called Qikspace has developed a platform that allows large file transfers that are paid for by only one party. It is included in their business offerings as a Hosted solution. Www.Qikspace.com Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE DROID

Art Yerkes Computer Software Professional

February 27th, 2015

You might try bittorrent sync with a local nas device at your office.  While there is management overhead, nobody needs to pay an external service, and some automation is possible.

I work for bittorrent, so I am a bit biased.

Valerie Lanard Senior Software Engineering Manager at Salesforce

March 2nd, 2015

Joanan, the issue is not technical understanding on my end. I'm the receiver, not the sender. The issue with Dropbox has been that my *senders* already have personal Dropbox accounts - not tied to my billing, and I don't want to have to own the troubleshooting responsibility of having to get every one of them setup with a separate local user account, across different OS's, technical skillsets, etc. It's not even possible on every common OS.  Even if they upgrade temporarily to Dropbox Pro and I just reimburse them (which I offer to do), then the onus is on them to remember to cancel Pro.  It's not elegant, which is why I'm looking for a better option. Google Drive is great when both parties are on Google, but that hasn't typically been the case.  

I'm looking for a non-hacky solution where I pay, they transfer, and it just works.

BTW, BitTorrent Sync is actually quite a lovely solution based on my testing, but I'm too paranoid about the security risks to use it for sending intellectual property. Perhaps Dropbox is as risky and I'm just not aware, but I have read about security vulnerabilities in BT Sync. 

Hasan Alugubelly Developer Traveller & Dreamer

March 3rd, 2015

You could try Amazon S3 Requester Pays. Use it along with S3foxfirefox addon.
All you have to do is create an AWS account for each of the user. The owner only pays for file storage which is very minimal. Though it is not as seamless as dropbox or drive, this is one way I could think of.

Joanan Hernandez CEO & Founder at Mollejuo

March 3rd, 2015

Hello Valerie,

Fair enough!

Since the technical part isn't a problem on your side lets get real! :-)

Although I haven't used it, consider ownCloud. It is your own DropBox. You host it, you manage it. It is as limited as your web hosting plan allows it or your server space (consider/factor-in transfer rate$ on your side). You can create the account of your customers and voila! And best of all is open source, meaning "free".

Personally, I haven't used it because I haven't had the need, but if so, I would install it in a bit.

Good luck! :-)

Cheers!

Sujay Ghosh Freelancer Software Developer/ Consultant

March 3rd, 2015

Have you tried FileMail , The Pro account has unlimited size, and the free account is restricted to 30 GB.

I have used it , and its pretty good.

John Pettitt Visionary multi platform engineering executive and technology entrepreneur

March 3rd, 2015

BitTorrent sync is reasonably secure, if you're handling high-value IP then your should encrypt it independent of how you ship it.  The nice thing about Sync is it recovers really wall from dropped connections which is important with multi-GB files.

- disclosure: I used to work for BitTorrent, sync is after my time.

Jon A

February 27th, 2015

You might want to check out WeTransfer.com, an EU competitor of Dropbox. I don't know if they support your exact use case but the service is built around the idea of big file transfers.
YouSendIt / Hightail also does big file sharing, has been around for awhile.

Troy Benjegerdes Embedded Linux consultant at Aerotek

February 27th, 2015

The problem is that with most consumer internet connections, the upload speed (of your clients) is going to be something like 1/10th of the download speed. So while it'll be great for you, clients will get tired of slowing down their internet by uploading for 13 hours ( http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/how_share_big_files_over_internet_fast_easy_and_free_way?page=0,1 )

It's probably still cheaper to buy a bunch of 1TB USB drives and set up a prepaid fedex/ups shipping account, and if you really need it right away, you'll have the drive the next day.