What is it?
You might consider a data transfer service provider if you don´t want to send us your pictures via regular mail or if your e-mail provider can´t handle the file sizes you wish to send to us digitally.
The simplest solution would be shrinking your pictures to an acceptable file size. This works for you, if you have few pictures and it is not important that they have a high resolution.
How to shrink them? There is a great video tutorial on how to do that with the Windows program “Paint” on www.giga.de. It´s in German only, but the desktop video is pretty self-explanatory.
Another possibility is to “compress” your files or file folders by “zipping” them.
How to do that on a Windows computer is explained in the help section on the Microsoft website.
Warning: Cyber criminals love to send e-mails with attached zip-files. If opened these files set free various forms of malware (viruses, Trojans,…).
Best to let your recipient know in advance that you plan to send him/her an zip-attachment, so they´ll know the attachment comes from an reliable source and is safe to open.
Alternatively, you can transfer files with so-called file-sharing/file-transfer services or „save and share“ the file on so-called file-hosting plattforms.
File transfer providers
You use file transfer providers when you wish to transfer a larger amount of data from A to B. The files are only stored on the provider platform for a limited period of time. Long enough to give the recipient a chance to visit the site and download the files from there. Most file transfer providers store those file for about 7 days before deleting them from their servers.
File hosting services
You choose a file hosting service when you plan to store your data there for a longer period of time. For example to have a back-up of all your pictures in “the cloud”, where you can access them from any place in the world that has internet access.
Storage is your main objective, not sharing. However, most hosting services offer the option of sharing the stored files with others.
By sending a link to the online folder to your recipient, you can make your file available for him/her to either see
(view-only) or to download and edit as well (full access).
Don´t worry, the recipient will only have access to that specific file or folder, not to your entire data stored there.
There´s a catch: A lot of hosting providers require the recipient to register there him/herself and get his/her own account. Not everyone you know will want that!
Cloud, hosting, …. gets you worried about data safety?
Keep in mind – technically your e-mail provider is a file hosting/transfer service as well.
Your messages and attachments are stored on the the provider servers ( and on the server of your recipient´s provider) until you deleted them.
How do I get it?
Nicht selten hat Ihr E-Mail-Anbieter auch selbst schon Daten-Hosting-Angebote.
Vorteil: Sie sind bereits registriert, müssen also kein weiteres virtuelles Konto irgendwo anlegen und sich ein weiteres Passwort merken.
Often your e-mail provider also offers data hosting options.
They´re called something “drive” ( in analogy to your hardware drives on your computer) our “cloud” ( because the external storage and 24/7 everywhere accessibility gives you a feeling of your data being “somewhere up there”). Examples are: Google Drive, GMX Cloud, iCloud, Microsoft OneDrive,….
You´re wary of the big guys and don´t want to keep all of your eggs in one basket?
An alternative might be www.dropbox.com. It is not safer or better per se, but it is not connected directly to any of the large IT companies mentioned above.
Germany has very strict data privacy policies – so you might find it a good idea to store your data with a company that has servers in Germany. Strato´s Hi-Drive offers such a possibility, but the service is not free of charge.
On the following site you find an overview of various file-tranfer-services
The following criteria will help you to stay and feel safe:
• Impressum/About us: A decent website should have an “About us”, that includes information on where the company´s headquarters are, who is responsible for the website and how to contact them. In case of dispute the country of origin is relevant for what laws actually apply and which courts will have the juristicion to decide on your case.
- server location – relevant for which laws for privacy policies apply
- What happens to my data ? In order provide the service you decide, the company requires you to grant them certain rights of usage. If you come across such phrases, it doesn´t mean that next thing you know you´ll see your vacation snapshots on T-Shirts or coffee mugs. But – always ask yourself, is this right really necessary in order to provide the service described. A flash-light app on your smartphone doesn´t need access to your contact list in order to be able to glow. You might also be keen on knowing, how long the provider will actually store your data.
- data encryption
Service providers like www.web.de advertise their service by saying that your data will be encrypted before transfer.
That´s great, but it´s only a start. Because it means that the files are encrypted while travelling from your computer to the service provider´s server. So no man-in-the-middle would be able to understand them. However, what´s important is also how your data is protected while in storage. In a Wikipedia-Article the company Dropbox is being criticized for not encrypting the data they store. So technically, Dropbox employees would be able to read your files.
- This is what you can do
Unabhängig welchen Datenspeicher-Dienst Sie nutzen können Sie die dort gelagerten Daten zusätzlich verschlüssen z.B. mit der deutschen Software https://www.boxcryptor.com/de
Independently of which file hosting service you choose, you can encrypt your files there by using and extra software like the German boxcryptor: https://www.boxcryptor.com/de
But – while that might be a great choice if you only want to store your files for personal use, this kind of encryption might disable the sharing options the provider offfers.
Do you really need a boxcryptor? We can´t tell you. It depends on what kind of data you store there and how worried you are. A lot of people have adopted an “ I have nothing to hide” attitude.
While this is most likely true, you have a responsibility for other people´s privacy, f.e.x when they´re are friends and family in your pictures; when you deal with sensitive data, confidential client information, ….. If that´s the case, your attitude should be: Better to be safe than sorry.
Should I, or shouldn´t I?
That depends what scenario you consider more likely, your phone getting lost, your house burning down or your external hard drive crashing….. compared to your cloud storage getting hacked?
Here in the ebw we often use „WeTransfer“.
Why we think WeTransfer is recommendable?
For one thing, the recipient doesn´t need to register and get an own account in order to get your files.
All you need to do is, type in your own e-mail address, the e-mail addresses of up to 20 recipients and then upload files to a maximum size of 2 GB.
More is possible, if you choose the premium option for a fee.
After 7 days, the files are deleted from the WeTransfer servers.
The fact that they don´t need to register with their name and don´t need to remember another password makes WeTransfer attractive to many people.
As we said earlier, so far, we don´t have negative experiences with this service.