Guide to sharing files online for free.

A woman in an office shares files online using her laptop.

Learn about the most popular file-sharing methods and how you can share PDFs online.

Wondering how to share files online, such as a video you edited or a document you created, but not sure where to start? Sharing files online is the most efficient way to communicate, and the days of sending documents through snail mail are over. We can’t digitize and send physical products over the internet (not yet, at least), but online file sharing is the way to go for documents like forms or contracts. But with so many options available, how can you pick the best way to share your files?

Let’s take a look at some methods to share your files online.

Options for how to share files online.

There are many different ways to go about sharing files online. This article will explore some of the best approaches, including traditional methods like email, cloud storage solutions, FTP, and using applications directly. The types of files you can share include:

Other file types that can be sent online are ZIP and RAR archives, software installation files, and more. It’s important to be aware of any size limits or restrictions that may apply when sharing files online, as well as any security considerations or precautions you may need to take to protect your data. For the most part, file types can be shared online as long as you have a suitable platform or service to facilitate the transfer.

Use traditional methods to share files online for free via email.

Perhaps the most common way to share files online for free is to send them as email attachments. It’s a workable solution, but the attached files must be fairly small. Here are a couple of ways to share online files via email:

  1. Attach the file to an email. This is the most basic method of sharing files and involves attaching the file directly to the email message. However, this method can be restricted by file size limits imposed by email providers and may not be suitable for very large files.
  2. Use file compression. Another option is to compress the file using a tool before attaching it to the email. This can help reduce the file size and make it easier to send, but it will also add an extra step to the process and may require the recipient to have compatible software to extract the files.

Some potential cons of using these traditional methods to share files online for free via email include:

Use cloud storage solutions to share large files online.

Cloud storage solutions like Microsoft SharePoint and Google Drive provide an excellent way to share large files online. With these services, you can upload your files to a cloud-based server and share them via a secure link. One of the most significant advantages of using cloud storage is that there are typically no file size limits, which means you can share even very large files with ease.

Many cloud storage providers also offer built-in compression tools, which can help reduce the size of your files and make them easier to share. Using a cloud storage solution is a great way to share files online, as it provides a secure, efficient, and convenient way to transfer large files.

Share files securely online using FTP.

FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol and is a method for sharing files securely online. FTP is typically used by those who are more technologically advanced because it requires specialized software to access and use, as it involves setting up a server that can host the files you want to share. Here are some options for using FTP to share files securely online:

  1. Set up your own FTP server. If you have your own website or server, you can install FTP software and set up your own FTP server. This will give you complete control over the file-sharing process, but it requires technical know-how and may not be suitable for beginners.
  2. Use a third-party FTP hosting service. Many third-party hosting services provide FTP access. These services often provide easy-to-use web interfaces that allow you to upload and download files and may offer additional security features like encryption.
  3. Add security protocols. To increase the security of your file transfers, you can use SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol) or FTPS (File Transfer Protocol Secure). These protocols encrypt your data during transmission, making it more difficult for unauthorized users to intercept or access your files.

While FTP can help you share files securely online, it does require a certain level of technical expertise to install and use effectively. If you’re not comfortable with the technical aspects of FTP, it may be better to use a simpler file-sharing method.

Share files securely online using an application directly.

Another method to share files online is by using an application such as Adobe Acrobat. Doing so is a convenient way to send and receive files securely. Acrobat requires you to create an account, but once it’s set up, you can easily share files with others through shareable links.

Using an app to share files online is a great option because it’s fast, easy, and convenient. Acrobat offers additional features like cloud storage, collaboration tools, and integrations with other Adobe apps, making it a versatile solution for file sharing. The solution also uses strong encryption and other security features to ensure that your files are protected during transmission.

How does file sharing work when you share files online?

File sharing online refers to sending digital files like documents, pictures, music, or software to others over the internet. To share files online, you upload them to a server or a file-hosting service, and then others can download or access them through various methods like email, cloud storage services, or file transfer protocols.

You can choose to share files privately or publicly. However, using secure and trustworthy file-sharing platforms is essential to protecting your files from unauthorized access or loss. Also, be careful not to share copyrighted material without permission.

What is the best way to share files online?

The best way to share files online depends on your specific needs and preferences. Some people prefer the convenience of email, while others choose a secure application or file transfer protocol (FTP). Whether you use email, cloud storage, FTP, or an application, you should prioritize security and privacy when sharing your files online.

More resources to work with your Word and PDF files.

Now that you’ve learned how to share files online, here are additional ways to work with your Word and PDF files:

Find out other ways to work with PDFs online, from converting your files to PDF to compressing PDF files to smaller sizes. Discover everything you can do with Acrobat.