What Is WeTransfer and WeTransfer Plus?

By James T. Cains

Sometimes, you may need to send very large files to someone, but perhaps your regular e-mail 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 e-mail account can support those large file sizes — you type in your e-mail address and the recipient’s e-mail 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 e-mail with a link to download the file, and — voila! — you just sent a huge file that otherwise would have choked your e-mail 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 services, be cautious in 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 to 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 e-mail 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 e-mail with the download link!

  • Additional personalization: You can customize the e-mail 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.