Practically Networked Home Earthweb HardwareCentral earthwebdeveloper CrossNodes Datamation
Welcome to PractiallyNetworked
Product Reviews

 • Routers
 • Hubs/Switches
 • Wireless Gateway
 • Wireless AP
 • Wireless NIC
 • Network Storage
 • Print Servers
 • Bluetooth Adapters
& Tutorials

 • Networking
 • Internet Sharing
 • Security
 • Backgrounders
 • Troubleshooting

 • PracNet How To's
User Opinions
Practicallynetworked Glossary

 Find a Network Term  

  Most Popular Tutorials

• Microsoft Vista Home Networking Setup and Options
The most daunting part of upgrading to Windows Vista may be trying to figure out where in the layers of menus the networking and file-sharing options are hidden.

• Do It Yourself: Roll Your Own Network Cables
It may not be something you do everyday, but having the supplies and know-how to whip up a network cable on the spot can be very handy.

• Tips for Securing Your Home Router
Seemingly minor and easily overlooked settings can still have profound security implications. Here are some steps you can take to make sure your wired or wireless home router and by extension, your network is as secure as possible.

  Most Popular Reviews

• Microsoft Windows Home Server
If you have a home network, you'll welcome the easy file sharing, remote access and the image-based backup features of Windows Home Server.

• Iomega StorCenter Network Hard Drive
Iomega's fourth generation StorCenter Network Hard Drive brings many of the features found in higher-end storage devices down to an attractive price.

• MikroTik's The Dude
This free tool delivers many of the same capabilities that you'd find in pricey network monitoring tools. As long as you don't mind tinkering, The Dude is a decent network utility that should be worth the download.

Big Files Don't Have to Be Big Headaches

Ever send an e-mail that appears to leave your outbook, but then later you find a notice that delivery failed? You're not alone — sending large files often fails. Fortunately, alternatives abound.

by Joseph Moran

If you've ever tried to send someone a large file as an e-mail attachment, you've probably experienced what I'll call the boomerang effect — the e-mail seems to leave your system OK, but you check back later only to find an notice that delivery of your message failed.

This week we'll take a look at why sending large files via e-mail often fails, and explore several alternatives to the practice.

Although mail servers sometimes block attachments based on the file type (for example, most reject .exe files for security reasons) the inability to deliver one usually means that the message exceeded the size limitations imposed by the recipient's mail provider. Most providers — including ISPs that offer e-mail service — employ such limitations in order to control the amount of server storage space and/or network bandwidth consumed by e-mail.

E-mail size limitations can vary by provider. For example, Comcast, Earthlink, MSN/Hotmail, and Time Warner all impose a 10 MB limit. AOL's limit is 16 MB, and Gmail, Verizon, and Yahoo allow e-mails up to 20 MB in size. Those may seem like big numbers, but you can exceeded the with as as few as a dozen JPEG photos. (Putting them in a ZIP file doesn't do much to reduce their size since JPEG images are already tightly compressed). Often the attachment size allowed is even smaller than the quoted limit, because many mail providers count message text and transport encoding data (which may be several megabytes) toward the limit.

Even if your large file is still small enough to be deliverable via e-mail, you may still want to think twice about sending it that way because large attachments can consume a considerable chunk of the receiver's total mailbox storage space. If he or she doesn't perform regular mailbox housekeeping, your e-mail can cause the storage quota to be exceeded, which will halt all mail delivery to the account until some space is freed up.

There's Got to Be a Better

Luckily, e-mail isn't the only way to send someone a large file. These days there are numerous Web-based services that let you get around attachment size limits by hosting files for you and letting your recipients download them via a browser. Here are a few such services — all can be used free of charge, though they each also have paid versions with extra features and fewer restrictions.

One of the simplest is Senduit. It doesn't require any advance registration and allows you to easily upload a file up to 100 MB in size. After uploading, you get a special URL that you can paste into your e-mail, and that link can be set to automatically expire in anything ranging from one week to a half-hour.

YouSendItis a similar service that also lets you send up to 100 MB files, but it prompts you for the recipient's e-mail address and will automatically send them a mail message that contains a link to your file. YouSendIt will also allow you to upload your file via a secure SSL-encrypted connection. While you don't have to create an account to use YouSendIt, the service won't let you include a custom subject line and text message with your file unless you do.

MailBigFile is another basic file-sending service with a 100 MB limit. Unlike YouSendIt, MailBigFile does allow you to include a text message with your file without registering with the site, but it doesn't offer secure uploading unless you upgrade to the paid version.

If even 100 MB doesn't cut it for you, check out DropSend, which lets you send files as large as 1 GB. DropSend's free plan does require registration and limits you to five file sends per month. Like MailBigFile, DropSend only offers secure uploading when you use the paid version.

All of these services make sending large files much less of a hassle than doing it as an e-mail attachment. The downside to services like those mentioned above is that they require you store your file on some unknown server until it gets picked up (though technically, so does e-mail).

If you'd rather not relinquish your file to a third-party, tune in next week when we'll look at some ways to send files without having to upload them somewhere first.

Joe Moran is a regular contributor to PracticallyNetworked.

For more help, don't forget to try one of our PracticallyNetworked Forums.

Add to | DiggThis Earthweb HardwareCentral earthwebdeveloper CrossNodes Datamation

Home | Networking | Backgrounders | Internet Sharing | Security | HowTo | Troubleshooting | Reviews | News | About | Jobs | Tools | Forums