Need to transfer a something hefty to somebody over the internet, but don’t know how to send large files online? We’ve got your back. Large file transfers can be done in a few different ways, so we’ve put together this guide to cover the simplest, most effective, and most secure methods.

No matter what you’re trying to send, the techniques listed below will help you get the job done without paying a dime. Here’s how to send large files for free.

Compress files before sending

Regardless of how you choose to send your file, making it smaller will only help in terms of storage. File compression will not only shrink whatever you’re trying to send, but it’ll make the transfer go faster regardless of which method you’re using — be it email, FTP, or cloud storage. The same goes for smartphone users too.

Most computers come with file compression utilities built in, too, so making a ZIP file only takes a few clicks. Here’s how it’s done.

If you’re transferring music or video, we suggest using RAR compression instead of ZIP because it uses a better compression algorithm that generally cuts down on data loss and file corruption. We recommend using 7-Zip for this, as the open-source file archivist is one of the best currently available.

Upload to a Cloud storage service

The best, and most popular, option for transferring large files is to upload them to an online storage service where your desired recipient can download them. Thanks to the rise of cloud computing, there are a zillion of these types of services, so we’ve taken the time to pick out some of the best ones for you.

Below you’ll find a quick list of our current favorites, all of which offer plenty of storage space, security, and sharing features. We won’t get into specifics on how to use each program, but will instead provide quick descriptions to help you find a service that suits your needs.

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Microsoft’s OneDrive service has seen significant upgrade and renovation over the years, making it one of the more competitive solutions for storing files and folders online. With its shared folder system, you can share anything you want at any time and stop doing so at the click of a button when you’re done. A free package nets you five gigabytes of free storage, while $2 a month bumps that to 50GB. The $7  a month package increases that to a terabyte and gives you the cheapest avenue to increase your daily file sharing limit.

Box

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Box has a little more of a business-slant than some of the other offerings in this section. While that doesn’t mean it lacks features applicable to individuals and has a free storage offering and affordable packages, to access its file and folder sharing features you will need to buy into a Business account, which requires a minimum of three users. Each will cost $15 a month.

Files and folders shared over those accounts can be password protected though, so that’s a useful security feature that makes Box a great choice for those concerned about the privacy and security of their data.