Send and deliver

There are numerous websites designed to help you send those large files your e-mail client just can't handle.

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By  Matthew Wade Published  November 3, 2008

There are numerous websites designed to help you send those large files your e-mail client just can't handle. We gauge the performance of what are arguably the three main contenders for your consumer click - YouSendIt, MailBigFile, and MegaUpload.

These let you upload your monster files to their servers, and subsequently notify friends and colleagues of the file's location, so that they can download it at their leisure. As you'll discover here, there are all kinds of associated extra features and software plug-ins offered too, but sending and receiving large files is the main function of such sites. Let's get started then...

Arguably the first such service to strike a chord with netizens and gain serious brand recognition, YouSendIt touts a free-to-register basic service and three additional paid-for, more fully-featured consumer and business accounts.

The free Lite consumer service allows you to send files up to 100Mbytes in size (up to 20 recipients), with a total monthly recipient download limit of up to 1Gbyte. Not bad at all (particularly on the ‘number of recipients' front).

YouSendIt is also the service currently providing the most - generally free software add-ons, such as toolbars for MS Outlook, Adobe Photoshop and even a desktop app (‘YouSendIt Express') that users can employ for easier and quicker file sending (rather than logging into the site). Learn more at

Usage-wise, YouSendIt's interface is clean and a doddle to use; as once signed in, its left-hand page tabs are pretty self-explanatory (Send file, Inbox (files received), Outbox (pending files), Sent Items and Contacts - users you've sent files to previously).

‘Lite' senders of individual files who need more security but don't need a monthly subscription to the Pro service, can also pay one or several of various dollar amounts to certify the delivery etc. of that one crucial file (ranging from $3.99 for a return receipt, password protection, or certified delivery, to $8.99 for Premium Delivery - a single method of sending a larger 2Gbyte file with a longer 14-day expiration period).

YouSendIt's higher-level consumer service, the Pro account, really ups the ante. Costing a relatively reasonable US $9.99 per month (or $109.99 per year - the equivalent of 11 monthly payments), this ‘bigs up' the max file size to 2Gbytes, with a 40-gig maximum monthly download limit, delivery tracking, and a unique ‘Dropbox' feature. Some will love this facility, as it lets users send you files via a dedicated page on your own website or blog.

Pros & Cons

+ Simple and obvious interface

+ Lite account's 20-recipient feature

+ Pro service's Dropbox feature

+ Useful toolbars/extra apps

- Lite account's relatively low 100Mbyte file limit

- Lite account's relatively low 1Gbyte download limit

Windows test performance

Test connection: 3.5Mbps DSL line Upload file: 96.3Mbyte zip

Download file: 99.7Mbyte zip

YouSendIt Lite account upload: 3.5Mbytes/min

YouSendIt Lite account download: 27Mbytes/min

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