GMail, Hotmail and Yahoo mail allow email attachments upto 10 MB in size. While this file attachment size limit is enough for most web email users, it can be limiting when we have to share huge files with our friends/clients like video clips, high resolution digital photographs, large CAD drawings, multimedia presentations, uncompressed audio files, etc.

So how do you transfer Really Big Files Over Email ? There are atleast three different ways to bypass the email attachments size limit as described below:

Approach 1: Divide and Rule

Split the large file in smaller file sizes using a free utility called HJ Split. The email recipient can download all these files and then join them using HJSplit again. The software is available for Mac, Windows or Linux so practically anyone can use it.

Let's illustrate that with an example - Windows Live Mail allows attachments upto 20 MB. So if you have to send a 45 MB file over email, split that big file into three smaller files and send them to your friend in three separate emails. He then downloads them in a local folder and runs HJSplit to recreate the original file.

Approach 2: Switch to Lycos Mail

Facing stiff competition from Yahoo and GMail, Lycos has completely revamped their web email service. They now offer 3 GB of storage space and have removed all restrictions on the email attachment size.

So you can send and receive essentially unlimited file attachments of any length. My suggestion would be to continue with your existing email service, but use the free Lycos Mail on occasions when you have to send really huge files.

Approach 3: Use Free File Hosting Services

Large file hosting services like Rapidshare, Megaupload or Yousendit let you upload files on the web upto a few hundred MB in size. Gigasize is a new entrant that lets you send files upto 1 GB in size. You can again apply the splitter rule here so even if the file size exceeds the 1 GB limit, split it into smaller chunks and then upload them.

Precautions When Sending Large Files:

1. If you are sending a big file as an attachment, always make sure that the recipient has a good internet connection else you could choke his mail server or even his ISP could reject the message.

2. When you are sending a file by splitting it into multiple pieces, keep the subject line of the email as Part 1 of 6, Part 2 of 6, etc so that your friend has no problems in finding the missing parts.

3. Use services like rapidshare, megaupload with caution as your files are uploaded in a public domain. So delete the file as soon as your recipient had download the file at his end.

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Email Etiquette, Rapidshare Tricks, Sharing Really Big Files