If you’ve been using the web over the past decade you’ll remember how difficult it used to be to send large files to people online. Either your file’s size wasn’t supported by the service you chose or the upload would time out, leaving you in the lurch. Since then, our ISP bandwidths have increased and so have our file sharing needs. Does an elegant file transfer service exist?
WeTransfer is the answer you’re looking for. This beautiful app has been around since late 2009 and has served over 100 million files since its inception. It allows you to send files up to 2GB in size and offers companies unique branding opportunities. And the best part? It’s free! Let’s go find some of our biggest files and see if WeTransfer can handle them, shall we?
WeTransfer is a simple app that allows you to send files to anyone with an email address for free. Unlike most other file transfer services, you can send files up to 2GB in size and don’t need to sign up to do so. There are no banner ads or pop-ups either – the only advertising you’ll come across is the branded background that companies can pay to display to users.
The first thing you’ll notice about WeTransfer is how clean and clutter-free the interface is. There aren’t any ads except for the background which (which sometimes displays the app logo), and there’s a small floating panel to add files and email addresses. The same panel later displays your file upload progress and finally a confirmation that your upload is complete. Plus, it supports 9 European languages.
Sending a file using WeTransfer takes no time at all, since you don’t need to sign up – just browse and select your files, enter up to 20 recipients’ email addresses, your own email address and an optional message to go with it, and you’re done. Each transfer can take up to 2GB of files, whether it’s a single file or several. Your files will be stored for two weeks before they’re deleted from WeTransfer’s servers.
Once your file has been uploaded, you’ll receive an email confirmation with options to forward the files to more people and even a link to the download that you can share via IM or on social networks. You’ll also receive email notifications when your recipients download your files. The emails sent out to to your recipients are neat and professional and don’t go to spam folders.
The biggest advantage of using WeTransfer is that you don’t have to wait till uploads complete to enter your recipients’ email addresses, which means you can set a large file to upload without having to wait around to actually send it – and the email alerting you of your successful file upload is reassuring. Plus, there aren’t any misleading banner ads that might confuse or annoy your recipients (particularly if they’re clients of yours).
Advertising on WeTransfer
There are two ways that brands can promote themselves on WeTransfer: by signing up to display a custom clickable background on the main WeTransfer site, or by registering their own Channel – a branded subdomain (e.g. appstorm.wetransfer.com) that displays up to three custom backgrounds (in rotation) along with a link to the brand’s site at the bottom of the page.
When you send files using a channel, the emails sent to recipients will feature your custom background and will be brought to your subdomain to download files. In addition, your files will be available for four weeks instead of two. This service costs a nominal US$120 a year and can be used by companies/freelancers to share files professionally with clients and vendors. It’s also a great way to promote one’s brand when giving away free downloads.
WeTransfer works as quickly as your ISP will allow and I found it to be as fast an unencumbered Dropbox upload. The app currently runs on Flash, doesn’t display file previews or information, doesn’t support mobile devices too well and you can’t drag and drop files into it – but a HTML version is already in the works so we should be able to see those features soon.
There’s plenty of fierce competition but few apps offer the elegance, ease of use and file size support that WeTransfer does. DropSend allows files up to 2GB in size for free but only 5 times a month; 4shared‘s download page looks like this:
In the page shown above, the actual download link is hidden by an irrelevant pop-up ad, there’s a whole toolbar of things to promote 4shared (which is probably not what your client is on this page for), and there are several ads, including a NSFW ad as well.
I sometimes use Dropbox to send files but I prefer using WeTransfer because I don’t have to clog my hard drive and cloud storage with files that only my clients need. Also, WeTransfer’s notification emails keep me in the loop as when my file upload has completed and when my recipients have actually downloaded the files – a big plus over sharing via Dropbox or other cloud-based storage services.
WeTransfer is easily one of the best file transfer apps ever created. It’s great that their business model not only generates revenue but also ensures a better user experience for end customers. Everything, from the responsive background to the upload interface to the notification emails, looks great and works really well. And at the great price of free, it really can’t be beat. If you’re sending files, look good while you’re at it with WeTransfer.
BONUS! You can head to WeTransfer’s info page to download some sweet wallpapers for your desktop – get them now!