WeTransfer vs Dropbox

dropbox  Share files

A while back I wrote a guide on using Dropbox to share files. There are other ways to store and share files over the net. Torrent files are rarely used but are a great way to share files, especially very large ones. WeTransfer is another great way to share files. There are other online services that I use to share and store files. Today I’d like to review two of them, WeTransfer vs Dropbox and offer suggestions on when you should use them. These sites offer free and paid services, for now I’ll restrict my review to the free services they provide.

Dropbox

Dropbox is a “cloud” service that allows you to store and share files. The files are stored in the “cloud” which means you can access them through an internet connection from anywhere. A good metaphor for Dropbox is a USB storage drive that’s online. Dropbox and USB storage device are very similar: you have limited storage (2GB); you can create, delete, and undelete folders and files.

However, you do need an account with Dropbox to use the service. If you don’t have one you can register here. You can also share files and folders in your Dropbox account. The best way to share files is by using a folder, especially if you are sharing multiple files. Each file in Dropbox has a unique url. You can share this url link with someone and they’ll have access to the file. Dropbox also have a Desktop app that sync’s a local Dropbox folder with your online account.

The major drawback of Dropbox is the storage limit which is set at 2GB. They also have an upload limit of 300MB when using their website. If you use the desktop app, there are no limits.

When to Use Dropbox

  • If you’re looking for online storage for small files (less than 1GB).
  • If you’re looking to share and store multiple files.
  • If you want greater control of your files.

WeTransfer

WeTransfer is primarily a file sharing site. You can store files using WeTransfer but they limit the storage period to two weeks. WeTransfer does not require that you have an account with them. All you need is an email address and the file you want to share. You also need email addresses of all the people you want to share the file with.

What is so cool about WeTransfer, in addition to its great design, is that you can share a file of up to 2GB in size. And you can share as many files as you want. But you will need to upload each file individually.

The greatest limitation of WeTransfer is that all files are inaccessible two weeks after they are uploaded. You also have no control of the file after you’ve uploaded it. For instance you cannot delete the file or move it. You also have a maximum of 20 emails address that you can share the file with.

When to Use WeTransfer

  • If you’re looking to share multiple large files (more than 1GB).
  • When you’re not looking for online file storage.
  • Want an easy to use, hassle free service.

Both Dropbox and WeTranfer are free file sharing and storage services that are perfect for different occasions. They are not interchangeable. You probably need both and they complement each other perfectly. I use WeTransfer to share large video and audio files that would otherwise clog up my Dropbox account and use Dropbox to share and store smaller files. Both are indispensable to our transcription business. However, we never use WeTransfer while working with confidential documents, especially when providing academic transcription services.

What other file sharing sites would you recommend?

Comments

  • Mike

    Great post. Have you tried using cx.com. They offer 10GB storage space!

    • Kongo

      Looks interesting, I’ll definitely try it out. More space is always good. Thanks for the share.

    • Clare michael

      I can’t see, to find a free trail for wetransfer. Do you might sending he link? Is this the best transfer for a 4 minute video?

      • It all depends on how large the 4 minute video is and your particular requirements. How large is the video and do you want to keep a copy of the file online?

  • Mary

    I’ve been using google drive. It uploads very fast!

  • Steve

    For my video editing work I now use:

    flows.yobidrive.com

    Super easy, super fast, and that creates a permanent link with your recipients.

    I’ve a private access key that might still work: KCAM2UQP6ETA

  • Clare michael

    I can’t fine a free wetransfer site. Do you mind sending a link? Is this the best the to se for a 4 mi ute video transfer?

    • Hi Clare, the link to wetransfer is wetransfer.com

  • Why do you not use WeTransfer for confidential work? I need a means to exchange files with clients on a project by project basis—confidential. Also, I need it to be easy for clients to send me files—they might send a rough video (1GB) and I’ll edit and return. Then they might send a video clip for me to append. Email isn’t practical, DropBox seems difficult on the client end unless they have an account.

    • Simply, me and my clients have control of the files when we use dropbox. With Wetransfer we don’t. You cannot delete the file after the project is done. And Wetransfer links are shared through email, which is not that secure. It’s so easy to create an account with dropbox that it should take your client less than a minute. But you can also create accounts for your clients and send them the log in details. If you do sign NDAs with your clients, stick to dropbox. Otherwise you can take your chances with Wetransfer (although now you can register for an account with wetransfer-I don’t think it’s free though).
      Hope that helps.
      Kongo

      • Well, right now, people email their “confidential” files to me. That certainly isn’t secure but the stuff isn’t really that secret—presentations that they will give will eventually be seen. I hadn’t thought of opening the dropbox accounts for them. I need something as easy as possible—Sharing though dropbox seems a little complicated and vulnerable. The WeTransfer account (plus) is $10 a month. That is well worth it to me but I’m not sure the client gains an advantage with me having an account—i.e., they cannot upload to my plus account (I do not believe they can).

        I look for simple because I have literally spent hours helping people upload and download files! The $10 would save me a lot of time as long as those links are not public—though they send them by email.

        • I have not tried out the wetransfer pro account. So I really can’t talk about it merits or demerits. But for this to work you will need to get your clients wetransfer accounts too, which beats the purpose of using wetransfer in the first place; it complicates things. And yes they cannot upload file into your account, unless you give them your login details. It all depends on if you have a legal responsibility to keep the files confidential. If you do, then you’re better safe than sorry.
          It does take a while to get clients up to speed using dropbox. What I do is write blog post and do short video tutorial that I can share with my clients on how to use dropbox. That seems to solve 99% of the issues they have.
          Dropbox has a two step verification system, which makes it more secure. I do like wetransfer because it easy to use, but the pro account loses that advantage over the myriad of file sharing services that are out there.
          And if you are really concerned about confidentiality, you need to consider not using your email to share files.

  • BILLY

    Great post Kongo–thank you. This comparison is exactly what I was looking for.

    • My pleasure Billy. Glad it was of use.

  • Sin Cos Tan

    I absolutely LOOOOVE using Dropbox for ALL my storing and sharing needs, and HIGHLY recommend creating your own account (especially useful for college students), for free, AND download the many Dropbox related third party supporting apps on iphone or android!!!

    Every time u refer others to join Dropbox through your website account, Dropbox, I believe, gives u an additional 500MGs FOR FREE on top of your initial 2Gs free storage space.

    I maxed out at over 16Gs now, and I haven’t used half my space yet with all my documents, pictures, music, and videos there already. =D

    • Yeah, glad to hear you like dropbox so much. I think their 2GB free storage (might have been okay in 2005, but not anymore) is too little for most users. I get 15GB free on a a Drive account or 10GB on a Box account. Yes you can get to 16GB max by inviting (a lot of) friends, but they do need to offer users more free space upfront. Look at what happened to YouSendIt (hightail)!

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>