5 File Sharing Solutions for Small Business

By Helen Bradley | Posted March 01, 2016
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    5 File Sharing Solutions for Small Business

    Gone are the days of owning a single computing device. Today, many small business owners and employees have a smartphone and a laptop or tablet—and some juggle a lot more devices than that. When you consider the number of computers and mobile devices that you and your employees use for work, the ability to easily transfer files from one device—or person—to another becomes critical.

    Not all mobile devices speak the same language, and you may require help to successfully share files. These five five small business file sharing solutions can help you and your employees transfer files—even really big ones—easily.

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    Small Business File Sharing Solutions: Dropbox

    DropboxDropbox not only allows you to sync documents across devices, it also lets you share them with other people. The free, basic account gets you 2 GB of storage. If you need more storage, Dropbox Pro provides 1 TB (1,000 GB) for $9.99 per month.

    You can upload files to your Dropbox storage via a Web browser, or you can install Dropbox as a folder on your computer and save files to your Dropbox folder. Dropbox syncs those files to the cloud when you connect to the Internet. If you set up Dropbox folders on all your computing devices, you can sync files between them with ease.

    You can also share files and folders on Dropbox with other people by emailing them a link that Dropbox provides. In addition, Dropbox works within many apps on mobile, such as iPads, so you can save files directly to Dropbox from within an app. If you need to seamlessly share files among multiple devices or share files with other people, Dropbox is a great small business file sharing solution.

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    Small Business File Sharing Solutions: WeTransfer

    Sometimes you need to send a whopping big file to someone else. If the file's too big to email, then WeTransfer is the perfect small business file sharing alternative for one-off file transfers. Even better, it's free for files up to 2GB in size.

    Visit WeTranfer website to send a file. You type your email address, the recipient's email address, a message, and then you upload one or more files—up to the 2GB limit. When you click Transfer, the file uploads and the recipient receives an email containing a download link. You receive a notification email once the recipient downloads the file.

    WeTransfer deletes the file after 7 days. This small business file sharing tool is a simple, quick way to send one or more large files without having to go through a sign-up process.

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    Small Business File Sharing Solutions: Hightail

    Hightail is not only a handy online tool for sharing files but also for collaborating with other people. A free account provides unlimited file transfers and five shared work spaces. You can upgrade to a paid option if you need more collaboration spaces.

    To send a file, provide the recipient's email address and an optional message. Then upload the file from your computer, or send a file you already have stored in Hightail. You can opt to save the file in your Hightail folders for a week (or longer with paid versions), and you can also choose to have Hightail verify the recipient's identity and send you a return receipt.

    This small business file sharing solution also offers premium delivery and password protection on a pay-per-use basis. If you use Hightail Spaces, you can upload files to the space and then share the space with other people—everyone can view, comment on, or download the documents. If you're not sure how many people you need to share files with, Hightail lets you store a file online for a limited time and then send it to multiple recipients—as and when needed—without having to upload the file every time.

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    Small Business File Sharing Solutions: Email

    Sometimes plain old email is the quickest and easiest way to share a file with other people or with multiple devices. Email works best with files smaller than 10 MB—any larger and the email server—yours or the recipients'—may reject the message.

    To send a file via email simply drag-and-drop it into a new message window. If you access your email via a Web browser, share files between your own devices by sending them in an email addressed to yourself. Send the file as an attachment using one device and open the email and download the attachment on another device. Email is the easiest, fastest way to send small files.

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    Small Business File Sharing Solutions: Physical connection

    If your mobile devices are in close proximity to each other you can transfer files using a physical connection. For example you can connect an iPad to a PC or Mac—using its USB connector—and transfer photos and videos from the iPad to the computer.

    Many Android mobile devices support a standard called USB On The Go (USB OTG). It lets you connect mobile devices using their USB ports. Combine a USB OTG-capable smartphone or tablet with a suitable file management tool, and you can transfer files from one device to another.

    Devices like the Kingston DataTraveler microDuo USB OTG drive (pictured above) let you get files off smartphones and tablets with ease.

    Helen Bradley is a respected international journalist writing regularly for small business and computer publications in the USA, Canada, South Africa, UK and Australia. You can learn more about her at her website, HelenBradley.com

    Do you have a comment or question about this article or other small business topics in general? Speak out in the SmallBusinessComputing.com Forums. Join the discussion today!

Need an easy way to send, share, and move files of all sizes? These five file sharing solutions for small business will simplify your work day.

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