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REVIEW: TransferBigFiles.com Does What It Says It Will … Kinda

by Sean P. Aune | May 12, 2010May 12, 2010 11:59 am PDT

File sizes are steadily getting bigger, and e-mailing them to someone is not always the most optimal way, or even possible at times.  So, what do you do?  Well, short of getting a Web hosting account, you can use a a service such as TransferBigFiles.com to get the job done.

While services such as YouSendIt have been around for some time, they have limited the size of the files you could send for free to 100 MB with a limit of 100 downloads.  If you did upgrade to their lowest pay option for $9.99 a month, you get file sizes of 2 GB and a maximum storage of the same size; in other words you can store one file at a time.

This is where TransferBigFiles (TBF) comes in.  Also existing in the file transfer space, TBF offers you the ability to send files of up to 1 GB in size for free, but with limits of 20 downloads and five days of storage.  The big difference comes in the paid option, though.  TBF offers you you 5 GBs of storage for $5 per month, and the size of the files you can transfer increases to 2 GBs.

While it does seem like a bargain, how does it work?  Is it worth that pricing?

In a word: no.

While the service seems to be the right price, and it looks straightforward as possible, it has some very serious problems.

tbfoptions

As you can see, the upload is pretty simple, and you can even password protect the files, but I did get a bit of amusement from the check box at the bottom.

I certify that I own the rights to the file(s) I am sending. I understand any abusive files will be removed and I agree to the terms of use for TransferBigFiles.com.com

Well, besides home videos, why is anyone going to pay $5 a month to transfer files of this size? You can get a decent account on a shared hosting site that allows file transfers for about the same price and transfer files all day long.  It’s a small thing, but it is something to consider.

While this service may give you exactly what you are looking for, and then be worth the price, there comes the question of just how usable it is.  After multiple attempts at sending a 350 MB file, this is what I kept seeing:

tbfupload

And then it would just sit there … and sit there … and sit there.  If I can’t get the files to upload, then what exactly is the use of the service to me?  I did also attempt it in both Firefox and Chrome, and the problem appeared in both.

I did attempt to use the service again with a much smaller file, a mere 38 MB, and that one did upload rather speedily, and the e-mail notification of it being ready for download pretty much arrived instantaneously.  Once you have finally gotten a file into their system, you can follow the history of it in the “History” section of your account, seeing its status, number of times downloaded and more.

tbfhistory

So, beyond the world’s flimsiest certification of rights, pricing and files that never seem to fully upload, there is unfortunately not a lot left to be positive about the site.  Yes, we did finally get it to work, but at the cost of only uploading a small file and not one of a reasonable size at 350 MB.  If I was paying $5 a month, I would have to be giving this some serious thought.

One other potential negative, as I was setting up my account to review the site, and before the company got me a working temporary promo code so I could test it without giving over my credit card, I noticed the site gave me no trial period after I signed up for the upgraded account.  Once I was all signed up, that was it, give them the credit card or you couldn’t transfer a file.  Where was the trial to see if this even suited my needs?

Only being negative when you review something is not actually something you relish because you do know that people have put a lot of effort and work into it, but you have to be brutally honest for your readers, and I’m sorry, but we just can’t recommend this for your file transfer needs.


Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...

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