Best way to send/receive large files?

What is the best way for a novice computer user who is also a client to send me a large data files that do not fit in email?

For example: I am making a website for a client. This client has basic computers skills such as surfing, word processing and email. He does not have experience in coding, burning a CD, or FTP before. He is gathering lots of digital content (high-res photos, logos, pdf’s…etc) for the website. Lets say a total of 150 megabytes worth but gathered in phases of 10-20megabyte chunks. We tried via email, but his companies email system choked at 5 megabytes or so. So, what is the most simple yet fastest and repeatable way for him to send me data too big for email?

I thought about walking him through burning a CD or using a thumb/USB drive for the data. Then he can snail mail it to me. That is a good solution if it only needs to be done once or few times. However, he will need to send me the content in waves or several phases. Not to mention the slowness of mail and/or expense of several deliveries.

I thought WebFTP at dreamhost would be a great solution since its easy to use and would not take much explaining on my end. The biggest challenge would be teaching him how to “zip” up the photos and pdf’s. Sadly, dreamhost’s WebFTP only accept small file sizes.

I feel teaching him over the phone software FTP would be too confusing. Maybe not? Anyone done that before?

My ideal solution would be something web based like WebFTP that will allow the client to upload files to large for email that is easy to use for a computer novice.

Any thoughts or solutions from those who do website design for clients that are not local? How do you get data from the client?


A couple of quick random ideas:

  1. How about an FTP gui for windows like SmartFTP?
  2. I use WinSCP for secure SFTP with a nice drag and drop interface.
  3. He could always open a gmail account. It has a 20GB attachment limit.

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Do a search for a Directory Listing Script, it has an upload function for files up to 7 megs. Otherwise create an FTP link w/ a writable folder. windows explorer will allow you to copy files just like it were from a disk, but slower (depending on internet speed)

here’s mine (upload disabled) I password protect my upload function on a different directory.


James Strickland
Misawa Air Base, Japan

I think you mean to upload through internet explorer. It is easy to use but can’t resume uploading if the connection is down.

As Lesman mentioned, some FTP client applications are easy to install and use. You can also resume uploading if you are disconnected.

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