Here's how to send a large video file to friends, family or colleagues.
The use of video is exploding. It is so easy to make great-looking video that virtually everyone has a clip or two of important events or people in their lives, or great destinations to which they have been. But sharing videos can be a problem. Where you can send almost any jpeg image via email or even text message, even the smallest video file is likely to be way too big for email.
But in order to get the full benefit of a video clip you need to be able to share your videos. Here then we look at how you can share videos so that people can view them, and how to share video files.
How to send videos: YouTube, Facebook
One very simple way to share a video clip is to post it to YouTube and then email a YouTube link to your friends. YouTube can accept virtually any kind of video file, and anyone can set up a YouTube channel - you just need a free Google login. Simple browse over to YouTube.com to find out how.
Posting to YouTube doesn't mean that your video can be viewed by anyone, either. There are three settings for YouTube videos: Public, Unlisted and Private. The former is viewable by anyone with a web connection, Unlisted means it is viewable to anyone who has the direct URL but it won't appear in searches or listings, and Private means you have to give permission for anyone to view your video.
Of course this approach is limited. You can send your video in the sense that your friend, colleague or relation can see it, but they don't have the file to edit or post themselves.
(You could also use Facebook to show off a video in a similar manner. But such are the vagaries of Facebook privacy settings it is best to assume that anything you post is visible to anyone who wants to see it.)
How to send video files: DropBox
If you are reading this piece you probably want to send a video file rather than simply sharing a view of that video. One of the best ways to do this is to use a cloud service such as DropBox.
DropBox is a hugely popular file-sharing and cloud-storage service. You install a small piece off software that creates a virtual dropbox, then put large files into it from your computers, phones, or tablets. It's a great way of backing up files, and it allows you to share with confidence.
To share a file via the DropBox website you simply sign in to your account, and then go to your list of files and folders and select the folder you want by clicking on the empty space to the right of the folder's name. Click Invite to folder in the toolbar, and then enter the email addresses of the people you want to invite and click Share folder.
From Windows you can share a folder from the DropBox desktop application I mentioned above. Just open your DropBox folder, right-click the folder you want to share, and select DropBox, Share This Folder.
This will takr you to the Sharing page on the DropBox website. As before you simply enter the email addresses of the people you want to invite, and click Share folder.
There is a small fee for using DropBox, but there's also a free trial.
How to send video files: Free sending services
DropBox is great if you regularly have to share large files. But for a one off you may not wish to sign up for a service and you certainly won't want to pay for it. In this case you should try one of many, largely free, large file sending email services. These include but are not limited to YouSendIt, SugarSync, WeTransfer and MailBigFile.
In each case you have to upload your file to the service, and it then lets you send a link to your friend or colleague to download the file. Such services can take a while to load up the file depending on your connection, and some will impose limitations to the size of file you can send. They will also probably try to sign you up to premium accounts, and many display adverts. But as a one-off means of sending a large file they are simple and useful.
How to send video files: Whatsapp and iMessage
These days you are more than likely to have recorded your video on a phone or tablet. Thus you may not want, or even be able, to transfer it to a desktop PC or laptop before you share it further. Fortunately you're not limited to emails or text messages. Better to use services such as WhatsApp or Apple's iMessage. These allow you to send multimedia messages in much the same way as MMS messages, but using internet rather than cellular data.
Thus you can send large video files without killing your phone contract. The good news is that the person to whom you send the file can then save it to their phone or tablet, so you have transferred the file. But it will have been hugely compressed in the process, so don't expect amazing quality.