5 safe online services to transfer large files for everyone

As email services stubbornly stick to their Web 1.0 25MB attachment size limit, users are in need of ways to transfer larger and larger files.

Of course, if security is not an issue, there is always cloud storage or temporary storage for files on your web domain. But if you need a secure way to transfer files over the Interwebs, you need something a little more secure.

Here are five secure file transfer options, which are also free.


As usual, we started with my favorite that was introduced to me two years ago. I love WeTransfer not only for its utter simplicity but also for its fast upload and download speeds. I like “works” things, and WeTransfer is always up and running.

There is a free option and a paid option. The free option allows file transfers up to 2GB without registering an account. Simply upload files, then add your own personalized emails and messages.

You can either email the download link or be provided with a unique encrypted link to copy and paste in a chat message.

The paid pro plan ($12 a month or $120 a year) offers some extra features like 20GB file transfer, 100GB file storage, password and expiration date when transferring your files , and even set up and design your own WeTransfer page and URL . But unless you are transferring large video and audio files, your files are never likely to exceed 2GB. So the paid plan will suffice.

Firefox Send

Firefox Send is another one that I tested recently. Brought to you by users of popular web browsers themselves, Firefox Send gives WeTransfer serious business for its money. Plus, it clearly benefits from higher name recognition.

Firefox Send increases the edge on WeTransfer by performing 1GB file transfers without registration and 2.5GB if you sign up for a free account. Once the person on the other end downloads the file, the link automatically expires, so you don’t have to worry about the links being passed around and your document being re-downloaded. But if you use a Firefox account to send 2.5GB, you can keep those links active for up to a week and share the link with more people.

Files can be password protected for free and once the file is uploaded you will be provided with your encrypted link.


Compared to others, RiseUp doesn’t offer too much in the way of features. Plus, the file size limit is capped at 50MB. But I’ve used RiseUp with great success and convenience in the past for smaller files.

Simply drag your file into the window and an encrypted link will be generated, which will last for a week. Or if someone else has told you they have the file, you can go in and delete it yourself right away.

RiseUp also has a pasted text section, similar to PasteBin. So you can copy and paste plain text into a web page and create an encrypted link to send that text to others.

Shared act

I have previously talked about Onionhare, so I won’t go into it here. But I would regret not including it in an article about file sharing apps.

Onionshare is starting to win my heart because unlike others, your files are not stored on any central server waiting for someone to download. Instead, the other person needs Tor Browser and when both are open an encrypted connection is formed. The file will then automatically transfer from your computer to theirs.

This is called Peer to Peer (p2p) and is probably the most secure form of transfer available.

An equivalent P2P platform is Resilio which I am about to try.


I will end this article by mentioning my favorite talk show – Signal. Signal is an extremely secure messaging app – some say the most secure ever. So, in theory, sending files via Signal should also be extremely safe and secure.

On the smartphone app, tap the contact you want to send the file to. Obviously this means they need the Signal app too. Then tap the “+” icon on the left.

This will bring up a list of things that can be sent via Signal. Click “Document” in this case.

Where you’re taken next for your document will depend on whether you’re on iOS or Android. On iOS, that will be iCloud Drive, so make sure your file is there first, then just navigate to it on your phone. The signal will then send it to your contact.

If you have an Android phone, I’m not sure where your files will be needed because I haven’t had an Android for eight years now. But I would imagine any default filing system on your phone.

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