Big Data For Dummies
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Sometimes, you may need to send very large files to someone, but perhaps your regular email account can’t accommodate such large file sizes. That’s where cloud storage services can help. But instead of using a service like DropBox or Google Drive — which requires you to log in, upload the file, and then share the file — you can take the quick, no-frills route of using WeTransfer.

How does WeTransfer work?

WeTransfer is file sharing at its simplest. It works as if your email account can support those large file sizes — you type in your email address and the recipient’s email address, add a message, attach the file, and send. That’s it.

For the basic (and free) WeTransfer service, you don’t need to set up an account. You can transfer files as large as 2GB, which should be enough capacity to send a bunch of high-resolution photos, a few decent-sized videos, just about anything. The recipient gets an email with a link to download the file, and — voila! — you just sent a huge file that otherwise would have choked your email service provider.

WeTransfer claims that its service is secure, meaning that only you and your recipient have access to the files that you transfer. And there’s no reason to doubt their word. However, as with any cloud storage service, be cautious about what you send. A few cloud storage services have been hacked in the past. Luckily, WeTransfer stores your files on its servers for only seven days, so the window of opportunity to hack your files is narrow.

What do you get with WeTransfer Plus?

The basic WeTransfer gives you simple file transfer. But if you need to transfer files larger than 2GB or need to password-protect your files, you may want to check out WeTransfer Plus. Upgrading to Plus costs $10 per month (but you pay for an entire year’s worth upfront). Here’s what that $120 per year gets you:
  • Increased transfer sizes: You can transfer up to 10GB of files at one time. That’s enough capacity for a large high-definition video.

  • Long-term storage time: The files you transfer stay on WeTransfer’s servers as long as you want. You have only 50GB of storage space, however, which can go quick if you’re transferring very large files. Also, the default time files stay online is four weeks; you have to change the expiration date manually for longer storage time.

  • Password protection: You can set passwords to download the files you send to someone. That way, if someone else gets a hold of the recipient’s email with the download link in it, that person can’t download the file unless he or she knows the password. Hint: Don’t send the password in the email with the download link!

  • Additional personalization: You can customize the email that is sent to the recipient, as well as have a personalized WeTransfer URL (such as myname.wetransfer.com). You can also customize the backgrounds that appear on your personal WeTransfer site. People downloading files from you, or using your URL to send their own files, will see your custom backgrounds, which is a good opportunity to promote something to them.

How to set up a WeTransfer Plus account

The free WeTransfer is fine for sending most files. But if you need to send extra-large files or need to secure your transfers with a password, then you may want to invest in WeTransfer Plus. The upgrade isn’t free; it’ll cost you $10 per month. When you pay, though, you have to pay for the entire first year: $120.

Here’s how to set up a WeTransfer Plus account:

  1. Open your web browser and go to www.wetransfer.com.

  2. WeTransfer bombards you with promotions for WeTransfer Plus, so you shouldn’t have any problem finding a Get Plus button to click. After you click the Get Plus button, you see a page outlining the features of Plus.

  3. Click Get WeTransfer Plus. The page scrolls down to the sign-up form at the bottom.

  4. Fill in your information.

  5. Click the I Agree with the Terms of Service radio button.

  6. Click Complete Your Order to go to the payment screen.

  7. Choose your method of payment: Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, or PayPal.

  8. Fill in your payment details and click Continue to review your payment information.

  9. Make sure your payment information is correct and click Pay.

Keep in mind that you’re purchasing a year’s worth of the service for $120.

After your payment processes, you’ll be automatically logged in to your account. From here, you can begin transferring files with the advanced features of Plus, or you can set up your channel.

WeTransfer doesn’t offer a trial plan for Plus; you have to sign up with payment to begin using it. However, WeTransfer does offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. So if you don’t like WeTransfer for some reason, you can contact them to cancel and get a refund within the first 30 days.

How to transfer big files with WeTransfer

Here’s how to transfer big files using the free WeTransfer service (see Figure 1 for reference):
  1. Open a Web browser and go to www.wetransfer.com.

  2. The first time you visit WeTransfer, you’ll likely see a promotion for WeTransfer Plus. If you’re not interested, click Skip.

  3. Again, the first time you visit WeTransfer, you’ll see the Terms and Conditions dialogue box. Click I Agree to move on. You shouldn’t see this dialogue box again, unless you use a different Web browser or your clear your browser cookies.

  4. In the Send Up to 2GB dialogue box, click the +Add Files button and navigate to the file you want to transfer. After you add that file, you can click the +Add More Files button to attach other files. You can also see the amount of transfer capacity you have left.

  5. Click +Friend’s Email and type in the email address of the person you’re sending the file to. You can include up to 20 email addresses.

  6. Click +Your Email and type in your email address.

  7. Click in the Message text box to write an optional message to your recipient.

  8. Click Transfer.

    Figure 1: Transferring files with WeTransfer.

    Figure 1: Transferring files with WeTransfer
And that’s it! Your friend or colleague will receive an email with your message and a download link. WeTransfer will then let you know when the recipient has downloaded the file.

WeTransfer is a cloud storage service, which means it stores your files on its own servers so that the person you’re sending them to can download them. As with any cloud storage service, be careful with what you share, because cloud storage services have been hacked in the past. Luckily, with the free WeTransfer service, your files stay on WeTransfer’s servers for only seven days, so the window of opportunity for someone to hack into them is small.

How to personalize your WeTransfer Plus account

WeTransfer Plus provides you with an account — the free service doesn’t use accounts — which you can personalize. To access and personalize your WeTransfer Plus account, follow these steps:
  1. Open a Web browser and go to www.wetransfer.com.

  2. On the left side of the Send Up to 2GB dialogue box, click the Plus tab.

  3. Click Login to Plus.

  4. Type in the email address and password you registered with, and then click Sign In.

  5. After you’re logged in to your account, click the Plus tab to the left of the Send Up to 10GB dialogue box.

  6. You see a dashboard listing your transfers, address book, account link, and info. Click Account.

  7. Click Edit Your Account (see Figure 2).

    Figure 1: Your WeTransfer dashboard.

    Figure 2: Your WeTransfer dashboard
A web page opens showing your options for editing your Plus account. Here’s what you can do:
  • Account: On the Account tab, you can change your name, email address, and account password.

  • Personalization: On the Personalization tab, you can name your channel (that is, your personalized wetransfer.com URL) and add up to three wallpapers, which your transfer recipients see when they visit your wetransfer.com URL. WeTransfer warns you that, after you set your channel name, you can’t change it, so be sure of what you want to call it.

  • Avatar: You can add a photo of yourself, which will appear in the email that is sent to your transfer recipients.

  • Social: You can connect your Facebook and Twitter accounts, so that your transfers are shared automatically with your friends and followers.

  • Mobile App: You can connect your WeTransfer Plus account to the WeTransfer app on your mobile device.

Using custom wallpapers on your channel is a great way to promote something, because you have a captive audience while your transfer recipients are downloading files or using your wetransfer.com site to send their own files. For example, photographers can display their work as a rotating mini-gallery. You can even set the wallpapers to go to another Web site when clicked, such as your online portfolio.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Judith Hurwitz is president and CEO of Hurwitz & Associates, specializing in cloud computing, service management, information management, and business strategy. Alan Nugent is the CIO and SVP of security, business engineering, and IT at Acquia. Nugent has over 30 years of extensive experience in cloud-based big data solutions. Fern Halper, PhD, is the vice-president and research director for advanced analytics at TDWI. Halper has extensive expertise in information management, big data and analytics. Marcia Kaufman is COO and partner of Hurwitz & Associates, focusing on the cloud infrastructure, information management, and service management.

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