Need to send up to 1 gig by mail?

by Volker Weber

The YouSendIt team got together to tackle a common problem: secure online transmission of large documents without the use of clumsy client software, mail servers with limited storage space, and sharing passwords.

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mail via hyperlink

a huge potential for putting more services on top

greeting cards were just the beginning

I am just thinking to start another startup with that

who knows more successful concepts/sites? has good roots too


pierre, 2004-03-28

Volker - (gerne auch jeder andere),

mal wieder Lust auf einen Kaffee (coyote) im Hunderwasserhaus?


pierre, 2004-03-28

Also mal ehrlich.
Bis zu 1 GB per Email.
Selten so einen Schwachsinn gehört.
Personen die so große Dateien per Email verschicken sollte man sofort den Email Account sperren!
Da gibt es wirklich bessere Lösungen.

Festus, 2004-03-28

Lösung nicht erkannt. Die Datei wird eben gerade NICHT per Mail verschickt.

Volker Weber, 2004-03-28

Nice idea, but I see one problem: How do I know this is a trustworthy company. Would I upload possibly private files to their server? Would I enter private mail addresses on a web site, which also could be just collecting valid addresses for spammers?

Oliver Regelmann, 2004-03-28

es war gestern sehr spät...

Festus, 2004-03-28

As for the privacy of the uploaded content: Almost every decent packer has an option which lets you encrypt whatever you're going to send using a password of your choosing. Although these scrambling systems can be cracked it's such a time consuming process that most folks won't bother. In addition you can use a non-descriptive filename and use email adresses from any given webmail provider so not do disclose the real receipient.

I also tend to believe that the advertised size limit of 1 gigabye is more a marketing gag than anything else. Still, I do have some use for the service, given the fact that I have to work for clients whose mail server won't allow any attachment larger than 2 megabytes to go through. Some of my articles sport pictures that easily break that limit.

Stefan Rubner, 2004-03-28

Ohne Strunzabsicht:
1. DSL mit DynDNS oder sogar noch besser feste IP-Adresse
2. (mx)Eintrag der bevorzugten Domäne (aber nicht!!!) auf diese IP verweisen und seinen eigenen Mail Server dort auf SMTP Verbindungen warten lassen. Fertig.
3. Mit den neu eröffneten Möglichkeiten spielen: Martin darf von Andreas 2GB pro signierter Mail empfangen , Martin darf von Anonymen keinen Mail Body empfangen. An Tagen wo ich entspannt arbeiten möchte kommen nur noch signierte Mails durch. Usw, usw.
4. Spam? Was ist das ? Kann man das essen ?
5. Viren? Ne die schmecken bestimmt nicht !
6. Würmer? Mmmmh lecker! Am liebsten zum Frühstück!

Ne mal ehrlich, kann man es sich in Zukunft noch erlauben ohne Signaturen zu mailen? Ich glaube nicht wenn man nicht zufällig eine gut aussehende brasilianische Physiotherapeutin als Frau hat. Schatz ich bin soooo verspannt. Dieser ganze Mail Stress. Willst du mir nicht mal den Nacken massieren? Danke, dafür koche ich auch gleich, wenn ich mit diesem Posting hier fertig bin.

Martin, 2004-03-29

Ja, sicher ist das nett. Hat nur leider nichts mit dem Problem zu tun, das dieser nette Provider für mich löst. ;-)

Stefan Rubner, 2004-03-29

Okay let me explain the message: "Be your own service provider" ;-)

Martin, 2004-03-29

Ok, let me explain my problem: I'm on the sending side ;-)

Stefan Rubner, 2004-03-29

So what? Have you set up your Mailserver! Let the router do the job for you! But wait, maybe you like waiting for 1 Gig to load up? Hey, thats my job I am the professional progressbarwatcher ;-)

Martin, 2004-03-30

I'm afraid, you still do not get it.

We are talking about SENDING a large mail to someone who CANNOT RECEIVE it. It does not help AT ALL if you set up your own mail server.

I find it rather odd that somebody from the Notes domain does not grasp the idea that pushing large files is the wrong usage pattern. You rather push a small link to the file and let the receiver pull it.

BTW: Stefan does have his own server.

Volker Weber, 2004-03-30

I get it the first time. And it is quite a nice and simple solution. Thank you. But I think it is the wrong "usage pattern" relying on a third party using such a simple service that can be setup easily using your own home based infrastructure. Okay I wouldn't support my grandma on this, but she does not read this weblog either, luckily I convinced her dropping Outlook and switch to Notes. Best Regards.

Martin, 2004-03-30

Now, give me your best guess: How many of my (constantly changing) clients would be willing to use yet another account on my server just to get the stuff they pay me for? My bet is: near to none. Also, I wouldn't want to create a whole lot of email accounts on my server that could well be used for things I don't like or even want. So what does this leave me with?
a) Fighting an uphill battle with some stupid IT managers about raising the inbound limit from the insane low value they are using to a somewhat more reasonable amount. I guess I'm not going to be paid for that, so that's not an option.
b) Trying to convince my clients to set up mail servers of their own. For most of them are sitting behind a corporate firewall, this doesn't make too much sense to me. Also, there's again the problem of waisting my time doing unpaid work.
c) Figuring out how to duplicate the service provided by YouSendIt. Might be worthwile but then, I currently don't have the time for that for I've got some real work to do.

On the other hand, I don't want to rule out the possibility that I just don't get what you're thinking about when writing "such a simple service that can be setup easily using your own home based infrastructure". So any enlightenment would be most welcome for I really _do_ need a solution to the problem and I actually _don't_ trust any third party service.

Stefan Rubner, 2004-03-30

Send the Hyperlink via Mail pointing to your own HTTP/FTP server. That was my thought there. Regards. Over and out.

Martin, 2004-03-30

I already expected that answer. For the sake of any readers who didn't drop out yet:

Using a local HTTP/FTP server might be appealing at first thought. However, I wouldn't recommend either solution - at least not with an out of the box configuration.

The hyperlinks provided by YouSendIt are pseudo-random so to add some security by obscurity. While this is not a really secure solution, it's better than nothing. To implement locally, you'd have to write up the code needed - timeconsuming and error prone. You can do without if you're willing to accept easy to guess file- and pathnames. As an alternative one can take the additional hassle to not only upload a file but also to create various semi-random directories on a per user or even per transaction basis. Sure, you could work with authentication. A pita to set up, especially for the unexperienced user. Also, having to authenticate is at best an annoyance to the client and at worst a show stopper.

Same goes for FTP. Either you set up an open system with anonymous access and thereby lose security. Or you set up accounts for each and every user which again is at least time consuming. All this doesn't yet include the hassles you have to go through to set up a (dynamic) DNS account, point it to the right server, transfer your files to the right directory and finally write the mail (hope you remembered the URL/directory or did include the account info for easy reference).

In addition you would have to think about automatic deletion of files that were either delivered or just timed out without having been picked up. This would require yet another script, a small database to track the expiry dates and possibly a log analyzer to determine the pickup of a parcel.

In case you are the scripting goddess of our time and know the ins and outs of your server, this is (warning, wild ass guess ahead) just a weeks work to set up and iron out all the bugs. If you however happen to be the average Joe User, you might end up with just jumping the window in frustration or more likely with using third party services.

Actually, from a consultants point of view, I'd love clients who would want me to set up such a beast. But because I'm just the user, I don't think it's worth my time and effort compared to an already existing solution.

Stefan Rubner, 2004-03-30

True patience like a saint, Mr. Rubner. Thanks for your detailed reply. Regards.

Martin, 2004-03-30

Creo Tokens is a clever tool I found a while back, which deals with this problem... Instead of the file going to a web server, it sets up a one-time, encrypted peer-to-peer connection that you access via a small email attachment. Honestly, I've never used it, but it's a great concept.

Jeff Chausse, 2004-03-30

Old archive pages

I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.


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