YouSendIt: Send Huge Files Anywhere, Anytime

Sending large attachments to clients and colleagues via e-mail can be a crapshoot. YouSendIt acts like your own private FTP site—without the setup and maintenance.
Posted December 13, 2007
By

Jamie Bsales


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Are you tired of trying to work around the e-mail attachment limits of most mail services, and yet nowhere near willing to try setting up your own FTP server? There’s hope. YouSendIt bills itself as a “digital delivery company”—a sort of FedEx for the Internet age, helping businesses shuttle electronic documents to clients and colleagues. No more bounced e-mails, no hassling with an FTP site, and no more burning a file to CD and paying through the nose to ship it overnight.

With YouSendIt, you can send, receive and track files that you need to exchange with clients and colleagues. It’s ideal for professionals or businesses that deal with large files (images, video, audio, CAD, desktop publishing and so on) that need to be delivered outside of an organization, or to remote workers who don’t have access to files stored on the company network.

The concept is simple: You upload files to your private online “dropbox,” and the YouSendIt service notifies the recipients that the file is available for them to download, complete with a link. If someone uploads a file to your dropbox, you receive an e-mail notification that it’s there. Depending on the level of service you buy, you can even customize the look of your dropbox and notification e-mails with your company's logo for a more professional appearance. 

You can use your browser to access the YouSendIt service via the Web, or download the YouSendIt Express desktop utility. That tool, available for Windows and Mac clients (though the Mac is still technically a beta version) can handle larger uploads (files up to 4GB in size, versus 2GB in the browser) and transfer them more quickly.

YouSendIt also offers plug-ins for applications such as Photoshop, CorelDRAW and Aperture, so you can upload files from directly within those apps. There’s also an Outlook plug-in that adds a YouSendIt icon to Outlook’s toolbar.

YouSendIt offers a range of plans to suit every budget—even if your budget is $0. There are two individual plans (Lite and Pro), a small-business plan (Business Plus) and a tiered plan (Corporate Suite) aimed at business that need more bandwidth, more control over files and employee accounts and greater security.

YouSendIt screen shot
The clean user interface makes setting up and managing your YouSendIt account easy.
(Click for larger image)
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YouSendIt Corporate Suite
For our trials, we signed up for Corporate Suite. Signing up is painless; you can enter a credit card to be billed monthly, or ask for an invoice for a year of service (paying yearly saves you about 10 percent).

The biggest advantage Corporate Suite delivers over the other service levels is its management tools for an administrator. The My Account tab lets you add employee accounts, either by typing in each name and e-mail address (easy for only five people, but a bit tedious for 25 or more) or importing a CSV file.

Next, you’ll set up your dropbox. YouSendIt tries to automatically generate a fairly user-friendly URL for your dropbox, such as http://yousendit.com/youraccountname. In our trial, however, the assigned dropbox name had a string of six random numbers appended. But not to worry: We were able to remove those numbers and submit the dropbox name we preferred.

You can then add your own branding to the dropbox, such as a banner logo, a logo that will appear in e-mails generated by YouSendIt (so it looks like they are coming directly from your business), an e-mail footer message, a welcome message, and more.

The Admin tab lets you check on account activity. For example, you can search for deliveries by sender, recipient or date, view activity by user, and generate reports of all activity within a given date range.


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