Awhile ago I received a question about the best way to share large files remotely. In that case, the file size was more than 4GB, which takes a long time to upload from cable and DSL connections. At slower connection speeds, overnight mail is faster. For files less than 1GB in size, I’m currently enamored with Box.net as a file sharing solution.
Box.net keeps things simple, by offering access from your browser, which should avoid many of the firewall issues people encounter with FTP. Box.net offers very simple permission based sharing, so you can determine who gets to share which files. I’m also finding Box.net to be far more reliable than popular competitor, YouSendIt. The times I’ve used YouSendIt recently, I’ve ended up restarting an upload more than once. Box.net hasn’t failed me yet.
Box.net is also handy for online collaboration. It uses Picnik for image file editing, making it a snap for someone to upload an image to me, allowing me to make changes to the image, and then get them reviewed by the person on the other end, without ever downloading the file. Similar editing functions are available for text documents and spreadsheets using Zoho. eFax integration supports faxing documents stored in your Box.net account. By using Box.net as your virtual My Documents folder, you can access important files no matter which computer you’re currently using, which is handy if you don’t want to deal with managing a home network, or if you forget to copy files to a public location for use later.
For up to 1GB of storage, Box.net is free, with the limitation that your files must be smaller than 25MB, which is perfect for documents and most photos. The paid versions all keep versions of changed files, which is a huge advantage for remote collaboration. Try it, you’ll like it.