If you’re old enough, chances are you remember a time in this century when moving files around was a challenge. If you had a file on your hard drive or shared drive at work and needed to carry it with you outside the office, it was not a simple task. Online services like Box, Dropbox, and OneDrive changed that, but before they came along, it took some creativity to move files.

Legend says that Drew Houston started Dropbox while he was still in college because he kept forgetting his USB thumb drive in his dorm room. He was frustrated enough that he started a company to solve the problem.

Dropbox and services like it were a boon to SMBs. First of all, you didn’t have to deal with all of the issues around managing files. You could access your files wherever you went, and if you forgot your presentation at work, you didn’t have to make panicked calls to your colleague to email it.

That’s assuming of course that you could email it. If the file was too big, that also presented a problem. Sometimes it meant saving the presentation to a thumb drive and overnighting it to your hotel.

Large file challenge

Sure, you can just open your iPhone and AirDrop your photos from one phone to another and it’s hugely convenient. We take this convenience for granted in 2019, but it wasn’t always so simple. You had to think ahead, and sometimes creatively troubleshoot how to get your files from Point A to Point B.

Even today, moving larger files can be a challenge. In fact, just this week Dropbox made its Transfer products generally available to help solve this ongoing issue. As the company wrote in the post announcing the new feature:

“Transfer lets you send up to 100 GB of files in just a few clicks. Just select files from your hard drive or Dropbox account to create your transfer. You can even password protect it and set an expiration date to encourage recipients to download the files. You’ll get a link you can send to anyone—even if they aren’t on Dropbox. After you send it, viewership stats let you see how many times the transfer’s been accessed.”

As an MSP, these kinds of tools free you from having to help your clients perform these kinds of tasks. These tools also make it so much easier for them to do these kinds of file management tasks themselves. However, it wasn’t that long ago when it required your technical skills and assistance to make it happen.

Photo: Jirsak / Shutterstock

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Posted by Ron Miller

Ron Miller is a freelance technology reporter and blogger. He is contributing editor at EContent Magazine and enterprise reporter at TechCrunch.

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