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Sending large files over the internet can be a real hassle. E-mail doesn’t work very well because most e-mail servers have strict limits on the sizes of attachments. If you’ve ever tried to send a large file over e-mail, you were likely met with frustration and timed-out uploads.

Not long ago, it was easier to just copy large files over to DVDs or flash drives and physically send those devices over to whoever needed the file. Things are a little different today thanks to increased access to high speed internet and an exploding cloud storage industry.

There are dozens of companies now that support the sharing of large files. Most of these companies offer both paid and free file sharing options. Here’s a quick look at what I consider to be the best websites for sending big files online.

1. Sendspace.com

Sendspace.com will let you send files up to 10 GB in size to your friends. A free account at Sendspace.com maxes out at 300 MB files with “basic” download speeds. You can upgrade to a pro account for $8.99 per month to send files up to 4 GB in size with a limit of 100GB shared per month. A pro-plus account costs $19.99 per month and supports files up to 10 GB in size.

The nice thing about Sendspace.com is that it is easy to use. You can visit the main website to drag-n-drop any file right now. You’ll get a download link that you can then give to anyone who needs to download the file.

2. DropCanvas.com

DropCanvas.com is one of the simplest online file sharing solutions of them all. All you have to do is visit the website and drag-n-drop files on the front page. This will create a “canvas” that you can share with anyone. Each canvas is limited to 5 GB of storage space and you can attach as many files as you want to each canvas.

This is by far the fastest way to send large files online. You don’t even need to sign up for an account. You can visit the site anonymously, upload a few files and share those files with anyone else.

The drawback is that Dropcanvas.com is still relatively new and we don’t know much about the security standards or future of the company. For that reason, you probably shouldn’t use Drop Canvas to send sensitive files with other people. Save this service for nonessential videos and mundane homework files.

3. JustCloud

JustCloud is an online backup and file syncing tool that competes against the likes of Dropbox and Mozy. The thing I like about JustCloud is that it offers unlimited storage space and can be used to send any file in your account to other people.

The only limitation to file sharing with JustCloud is that individual files are limited to 1 GB or 5 GB depending on your account. The nice thing about JustCloud is that you can store and share an unlimited amount of data. This is the best solution if you have large, recurring file sharing needs.

The biggest downside to JustCloud is that it does not have a free account option. If you want to share files with JustCloud, you’ll need to pay for an account. That’s another reason why JustCloud is best if you plan on sharing files regularly. The upside is that a paid account will also get you unlimited online storage, file syncing and automatic backups for your personal computer.

Other File Sharing Services

These are just three of many services that can be used to send large files online. The reason I like these the most is that they have so far proven to be reliable. There are other services out there that can be used to share files, but I’ve found many of those services are widely used to distribute pirated material.

As we learned from the Megaupload.com takedown, the government does not look kindly upon piracy. File sharing services that are used by pirates are best avoided because it’s only a matter of time before they get shut down. Many people lost legitimate files on Megaupload.com thanks to the piracy issues that surrounded that company and its founder.

The services mentioned above are your best bet for simple and fast file sharing. These services are not widely used for piracy, and that makes them a safer bet for important files. If you decide to use a service not listed here, make sure you do your research first.