Sending, Receiving Files
Working with YouSendIt is easy. The user interface resembles what you get with a Webmail account, and it requires no training to get used to it. To send a file, simply click on the Send tab to upload a file and automatically send a notification to the intended recipient(s) that a file is waiting for them.
The process is just like sending an e-mail: enter the e-mail addresses in the To field (if youve sent to them before, matching addresses will appear on a drop-down list as you type), a subject line, a message (alas, only up to 100 characters, which can be a bit limiting), and type in the name of the file you want to send (or hit the Browse button to surf to it on your PC).
Here you can also set file-expiration options (ranging from 30 minutes to never), which will automatically delete the file after the time period you specify; select password-protected secure delivery; ask for certified delivery with tracking; and request a return receipt. Then simply add another file if you wish, or hit the big Send It button.
You are prompted to keep that browser page open while the file uploadsanywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes, depending on the file size and the speed of your connectionbut you can pop over to another application and keep working while the file loads in the background. YouSendIt then sends an e-mail to your recipients, as well as a confirmation e-mail to you.
On the receiving end, your colleagues and clients receive an e-mail (tailored to your business, if youve set it up that way) letting them know that a file is waiting, with a link to the download. If they are YouSendIt members already (for instance, those within your company that you added at setup), theyll be prompted to log in, then taken to the dropbox. Recipients outside your circle will be shown a temporary password in the e-mail, which they enter after following the link.
In addition to long-term file storage, Corporate Suite also offers versioning capabilities, so you can revisit previous versions of an uploaded file to see how it has evolved over time. Corporate Suite also offers strong security, including encrypted file transfers, password-protected files (so even if a link to the dropbox winds up with an unintended recipient, they wont be able to download it), receipt confirmation and the ability to set access rights and permission levels for employee accounts.
The only missing feature is file preview. This would be handy for recipients who might be away from a broadband connection, so they could see at least a thumbnail view of a file before spending an excruciating amount of time downloading it via dial-up. (YouSendIt recognizes this need and may introduce preview in a later release.)
If you can compose an e-mail, you already know how to use YouSendIt to send files.
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Plans and Pricing
For individuals, the Lite account is free to use, and lets you send files up to 100MB in size (with a 1GB monthly download limit). The Pro account ($9.99 a month) lets you send files up to 2GB in size and includes delivery tracking and access to the desktop utility and application plug-ins. You also get 40GB of bandwidth per month plus 2GB of online storage (you can pay for more as you need it).
The Business Plus level ($29.99/month) is a good choice for many small businesses. With Business Plus you can customize and brand your dropbox and notification e-mail, and you get 200GB of monthly bandwidth and 6GB of online storage. You can also password protect files, opt for certified delivery and return receipts and store contacts in your YouSendIt address book.
Mid-sized businesses and smaller companies that rely on file transfer to interact with clients will want to consider stepping up to Corporate Suite, which includes branding, unlimited bandwidth for uploads and downloads, the administration and security tools, and more. Plans range from $99.99 per month (for five people and up to 20GB of storage) to $299.99 per month (for 25 people and 60GB or storage).
For businesses that rely on courier services to shuttle files around, YouSendIt can be a time- and money-saver. Its easy to use, and it gets the job done with a minimum of hassle for both you and your recipients.
This article was first published on Small Business Computing.