What are the alternatives to WeTransfer?

Published by Vyas Amar on

Update: The government of India has lifted the ban. But the alternatives and the resources mentioned in this post remain as valid as they did when I had published this article. If you do not want to read about the ban and its impact, you can skip to the section Alternatives to WeTransfer directly.

Introduction: Ban on WeTransfer

On May 31 2020, several news sites in India began to report that ISPs in India had begun blocking the file sharing service WeTransfer. This was a result of an order from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, or TRAI. The question arises, what are the alternative file sharing services like WeTransfer?

The core issue behind this was an order dated May 18th, which recommended blocking the service citing “national security and public interest.”

As on June 2, 2020- the day I am publishing this post, WeTransfer is still available on some internet networks. VPN or Virtual Private Networks of course allow you to access the service without any hiccups. But that may not be the case with everyone, and it is likely that the ban may have an impact over the long run.

Ban and its impact

Many businesses, freelancers, and individuals use services such as Wetransfer to exchange files across offices or continents. Such services offer speed, convenience, and in some cases, privacy. We will discuss the features of such services in detail below. But here is a real life (and recent) example:

We are working with a new audio editor for editing episodes for Baalgatha podcast. The editor had completed their work and wanted to send the files over to us. He sent us a message on WhatsApp, asking if he could send files via WeTransfer. The below image tells the rest of the story. We use a different tool, Koofr, for managing our media files. You can read about it in the backstory section at the end of this post.

Exchange over WhatsApp about ban on WeTransfer- Blog of Amar Vyas
Real life WhatsApp Exchange regarding WeTransfer ban

File sharing services like WeTransfer

As soon as the news about the blockage was published, many publications posted articles like “3 alternatives to WeTransfer”. You can read a couple of them here and here. But they mostly cite the usual suspects: Google Drive and Dropbox, with only one real alternative each, Firefox send and Smash. However, the list is much bigger. Below I have included a much more comprehensive list of sites that can be good alternatives to WeTransfer.

The Long List of alternative file sharing services like WeTransfer

I developed this list by looking up on resources like similarweb, alternativeto, and Capterra. In addition, I read up reviews on Forums such as Reddit. In no particular order, the alternatives are:

Ezybox

Ezybox is a free service that offers transfer of files via web browser and an Android app. Using AES-256 encryption, Ezybox encrypts the files. Maximum file size is 5 GB, and you can upload or share multiple files. The files are stores for 7 days. Signing in offers greater control, such as showing past links, adding or removing files, and customising the logo for download page.

Screenshot of Ezybox file sharing service. Blog of Amar Vyas
Ezybox file sharing service

SendGB

Highlights: SendGB does not require you to register in order to send files. The upper limit of file size is 5 GB, that is, you can send files upto 5 GB in size. You can upload multiple files, but not folders. In order to share a folder, you will have to zip it before uploading. SendGB encrypts the files, a single link is shareable with 20 people, and password protection is optional.

Screenshot of SendGB file sharing service. Blog of Amar Vyas
SendGB File sharing service

Filetransfer.io

Free version: File size has a limit of 6GB with your family. Files stay ‘live’ for 3 weeks.

screenshot showing Plans for FileTransfer.io File sharing service. Blog of Amar Vyas
screenshot showing Plans for FileTransfer.io File sharing service.

ge.tt

Screenshot showing ge.tt file transfer service. Blog of Amar Vyas
ge.tt file sharing service

Firefox Send

Update: Firefox Send has been discontinued as on Sept 17, 2020. Read the announcement from Mozilla.

screenshot showing Homepage of Firefox Send file transfer service. Blog of Amar Vyas
Homepage of Firefox Send file transfer service

Volafile

screenshot of Volafile - File sharing and transfer service. Blog of Amar Vyas
Volafile – File sharing and transfer service

Smash

Screenshot of smash - File sharing and transfer service. Blog of Amar Vyas
Smash file sharing and transfer service
Table showing Comparison of Alternatives to WeTransfer-Blog of Amar Vyas
Comparison of alternatives to Wetransfer. Click on image to view in a separate window.

Alternative to Wetransfer: Other File Sharing Services

pCloud is a cloud storage service that allows sharing and transfer of files.

Update Sept 2020: pCloud also has a service called pCloud Transfer, which allows you to send upto 5 GB of files without having to register.

Screenshot showing pCloud-Transfer: free file sharing upto 5 GB. of Blog of Amar Vyas
pCloud Transfer allows upto 5 GB of file transfer

SafeNote

SafeNote is a service that provides encrypted messaging and file transfer.

You can generate time-bound or single access links, to send files upto 5 files of 20 MB each.

Screenshot of file transfer service Safenote. Blog of Amar Vyas
Safenote allows you to send 5 files of 20 MB each securely

I checked out SafeNote in a couple of ways : sending a test message to myself, and uploading a test file. I had set the file transfer to a “single use” mode, that is, it could be accessed only once. When I tried using the same link a second time, I got the below message:

Single Use link feature iN SafeNote. Blog of Amar Vyas
Link Expiry Notification in SafeNote

Filepizza Allows transfer of files through the browser itself

Wesendit offers features similar to WeTransfer.

Screenshot of Wesendit file stransfer service. Blog of Amar Vyas
Wesendit is another Europe based service that follows a ‘fremium’ model

Hightail (formerly Yousendit) is a similar service. They offer a freemium model. That is, pricing plans ranging from Free, all the way to $36 per month for a Business Plan.

Another notable mention is Telegram– you can send files upto 1.5 GB

Logo of Telegram Messenger. Source; Wikipedia. Blog of Amar Vyas
You can send files via Telegram Messenger or WhatsSpp

KPN filetransfer (suggested by user debaser on LES)

Uplovd they allow 20 GB of files, and I liked that they have a page in Hindi. Upvold is from the same folks who developed Piratebay. Bute now they also offer a file sharing service called Bayfiles. You may notice that their interfaces are quite similar.

Screenshot showing Hindi interface of uplovd file sharing site. Blog of Amar Vyas
Uplovd allows file upload and sharing upto 20 GB
Screenshot of Bayfiles file sharing service
Bayfiles file sharing service
SecureSend File Sharing Service.Blog of Amar Vyas
SecureSend File Sharing Service
Screeenshot of Heyants file sharing service. Blog of Amar Vyas
Heyants File sharing service
Sending upto 1 GB of files via Kuiksend
meerodrop-alternative to WeTransfer. Blog of Amar Vyas
Merodrop is another alternative to WeTransfer
Image by Amar Vyas- 15 Alternatives to WeTransfer. Blog of Amar Vyas
Image by Amar Vyas- 15 Alternatives to WeTransfer

Plik File Transfer

Plik File Transfer Service

Plik is a file transfer servie that offers some intersting features such as commenting, manually removing files from the server (once they have been uploaded) and more.

Onionshare

Onionshare uses the TOR service, as per their github page,

“Open OnionShare, drag and drop files and folders into it, and click “Start Sharing”. A secret .onion URL such as http://asxmi4q6i7pajg2b.onion/egg-cain will be presented for you to share.”

-onionshare website

Self Hosted Alternatives to WeTransfer

Services like Owncloud, Nextcloud, Projectsend and Pydio can also offer ways to share files. Also Seafile (thanks user vimalware on Lowendspirit blog for the suggestion). In the community edition of seafile, unregistered users can upload to a password-protected folder.

Update:
Added filerun (Thanks to this discussion on LowEndTalk)

screenshot showing Self hosted file sharing services. Blog of Amar Vyas
Self hosted file sharing services

If You Prefer the Command Line

This post lists the following options:


Update Sept 21, 2020:

I was sending some files as an email attachment using Thunderbird email client this morning. The email client sent an alert that the attachment file size was large, and asked me if I wanted to create an email link instead.
The Knowledge Base (KB) for Firefox/ Thunderbird notes the following about Thunderbird Filelink:

Services such as
FileRun
MEGA
ownCloud
Pydio (formerly AjaXplorer)
Synnefo
~okeanos
DL for Thunderbird
Last but not least, you can use Filelink with a WebDAV server with the WebDAV for Filelink add-on. As per the KB page, DL may be the best if you prefer using your own server instead of relying on third-party providers.

Updates

Sept 26, 2020: Appsumo has a deal for Connected, which is a file transfer service.

Oct 30, 2020: Added two more services:
SwissTransfer and Filemail.

Swisstransfer is a free service that enables you to send upto 50 GB of files, multiple times a day. Filemail is a Premium service, with plans starting at 5 US Dollars a month.

Update Nov. 4, 2020

The base plan (free tier) for Dropbox Transfer only allows 100 MB of transfer, in the pair tier you can transfer upto 100 GB. Sender has to log into the account.

  • Send Anywhere (Send Anywhere Plus  is the paid or premium tier of this service, which will get closed. The Free Tier will continue, the paid users are encouraged to move the Sendy cloud)
  • Blackhole, which is a Blockchain based file transfer service. It has Mac and Windows apps available, and the freet tier allows you to use “unlimited bandwidth, unlimited storage” feature. A blockstack account is required to login and send files.

3 Comments

cruelty · August 28, 2020 at 11:40 am

Ԍreat article.

Ace · October 9, 2020 at 6:45 pm

That’s a very informative article, and less of an SEO land-grab than the usual articles churned out. There is one small way to improve it though. The addition of Filemail dot com. Send a file of up to 50 GB for free, no registration required. Paid accounts can send a file of any size. Our desktop app uses UDP, so you’ll get speeds that make TCP over long distance look like its running in slow motion.

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