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

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?

15 Replies

Chris Luther
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Chris Luther Entrepreneur
Solutions Architect at Blink Reaction
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 (seehttps://www.sharefile.com/),
David Smith, P.E.
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David Smith, P.E. Entrepreneur
Managing Partner at Smith Stillion, Inc.
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
Jon Asher
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Jon Asher Entrepreneur
Co-Founder at MileZero
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
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Troy Benjegerdes Entrepreneur
Embedded Linux consultant at Aerotek
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.
Valerie Lanard
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Valerie Lanard Entrepreneur
Senior Software Engineering Manager at Salesforce
Most services including WeTransfer & ShareFile require 2 paying customers on either end, not just 1 customer paying. Can't just buy an extra Dropbox account and give it to my partner either because 2 diff personal/pro Dropbox accounts on one machine aren't easily supported.

Qikspace does look promising but it's in beta with no pricing and still looks pretty beta. I have concerns about the level of security for transferring IP plus potential time suck if/when bugs & issues encountered. I will definitely keep tabs on that one though!

FTP is not secure and requires some extra setup & savvy on the sender's part. True scp could work, but I'd love to take advantage of someone else having written code, a nice UI for the sender, graceful handling of interrupted transfers, etc.

Basically I want something like Hightail or Dropbox for Business for the bootstrapped entrepreneur. My sporadic usage needs don't warrant an enterprise level premium.

And yes upload is slow, agreed, but this is an infrequent occurrence per client and still faster & cheaper in my experience than 2-way priority shipping.

Alas, maybe my next company... ;-)
Jon Asher
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Jon Asher Entrepreneur
Co-Founder at MileZero
You might want to try sharing a folder in Google Drive, it should allow users with share permissions to upload files and it's low cost.
Art Yerkes
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Art Yerkes Entrepreneur
Computer Software Professional
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
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Valerie Lanard Entrepreneur
Senior Software Engineering Manager at Salesforce
Bittorrent sync looks really cool. I'm testing it out with a friend cross-country to see how it goes. :-)

Joanan Hernandez
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Joanan Hernandez Entrepreneur
CEO & Founder at Mollejuo
Hello Valerie,

Can't just buy an extra Dropbox account and give it to my partner either because 2 diff personal/pro Dropbox accounts on one machine aren't easily supported

Have you tried the simple solution of creating another account in hat machine. I mean, you have your dropbox account with all the privileges. Then create another user account in that same machine (for example Val2). Then change to Val2 account on the computer, create the DropBox/Box account. Set it up.

Then, you just locally transfer the video file from val (original account) to Val2 (new account). From Val2 you upload in the background to DropBox. Last but not least, your partner will have the credentials of that new Dropbox account.

Get it?

Its a little cumbersome on your part, transparent for your partner, as he/she will have only one credential to deal with. This process while a little complicated, is less archaic :-)

Cheers!
Valerie Lanard
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Valerie Lanard Entrepreneur
Senior Software Engineering Manager at Salesforce
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.
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