The rule of thumb is: never attempt to e-mail a file larger than 2Mb! Large file attachments frequently don’t make it to the other end and at worst can clog the recipient’s mailbox and leave it unusable.

The advice is good but the dilemma remains – how do you send your big Powerpoint presentation, or the 25Mb PDF file, or the original TIF artwork, or whatever other big file needs to be transferred?

And sadly, there’s no obvious answer. This article describes some of the choices, including options like running a web server or an FTP server that require some serious technical expertise and a deep understanding of security and firewalls.

The commercial services like XDrive and Yahoo Briefcase are starting to look pretty appealing. A few dollars a month buys 50 or 100Mb of storage space online. Move a file into the online storage space, send out the logon name and password, and your contact at the other end can get the large file from you.

Businesses can also move up to services like Microsoft bCentral, offering a wide variety of tools for online collaboration – storage space with an elaborate front end for discussions, team and project management, and far more.

But don’t e-mail large files. I don’t want to earn any more money unclogging mailboxes!

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