The best way to send blueprints and/or large files such as CAD drawings, high resolution photographs or videos, may depend on where you need to send them. In most cases, email is not the solution. Most email providers, especially the free ones, limit the size of email boxes and file attachments. In other cases, what you are sending may be too large for your recipient to receive. So what are the alternatives?
The old school way was to copy the large files to some kind of storage media such as a CD or flash drive, package it up and send it via snail mail. As you can imagine, there are many disadvantages to mailing the files. Some of the issues with mailing a CD, DVD or flash drive include: the expense of the media to contain the files, the cost of the courier service, and the risk of damage to the package and contents, not to mention the time it takes for the materials to get to their destination.
Another “traditional” way to transfer the files was to hop in the car and take the materials to the person or subcontractors for whom the files were designated for. Hand delivery may still be a good alternative if the files are very large and the recipient is really, really close, perhaps your next-door neighbor. Hand delivery might also be a good option if you are still using a dial-up internet connection using that old 9600 baud modem and a dot matrix printer. And if you are, the traditional way may be best option for you…
A better alternative for architects, builders, engineers and other business professionals is to use a file transfer or FTP service. There are many secure and affordable FTP solutions available today. FTP, or File Transfer Protocol, was designed for the sole purpose of transferring large amounts of data over a network.
Some of the important considerations when selecting a file transfer and/or file sharing provider include:
How long has the provider been in business?
Do they have a good reputation?
Does the provider offer multiple plans and allow upgrades AND downgrades at any time?
Do they offer live customer support?
What is the per-user cost of the plan?
Does the provider offer special options such as custom branding?
Do you or your users need to purchase or install special software?
What is their capacity; do they limit your size or put restrictions on your files?
Some so called “free” providers make money by selling their account information to advertisers and marketing companies. Keep in mind the old and proven adage, “You get what you pay for”. There are many other options and solutions to consider. A good way to start is to call the service provider and discuss the particular file transfer needs for your business.