Update: 05/29/07 - It looks like Dropload is no more as any requests to the site are timing out. Please see our review of YouSendIt.com which should solve your problems.
When I first read about Dropload in Robin Good's newsletter, I filed his email. I knew someday this web based file transfer service would solve a problem for me. Although there are many free services, Dropload appealed to me for two reasons:
1. I receive an email when my file is retrieved.
2.The email sent to the recipient from Dropload with the file pickup link shows my email address. This makes is easier to get through spam filters.
Like many of these services, Dropload is very easy to use, but it does require you to create an account. The advantage to an account based system is I can see my file history. This also allows me to recall a file if it's not been received. This feature can be invaluable if I send the wrong file.
Once the account is created, you simply login in and fill out a screen such as the one below. The service even allows you to recall past email addresses by using the Previous button. The most difficult part is if you a write a long note since the input area is tiny.
Once you click the drop it button, you'll see a confirmation notice regarding your file. The important part to notice is the file deletion date. This highlights that the service is a temporary measure to get a file from you to another party. Your file is not going to be sitting indefinitely on their servers. Instead, the file is either deleted based on the 7-day rule or shortly after your recipient retrieves the file. No exceptions.
The process is equally easy on the receiving side. Your friend or colleague will get an email from Dropload with your email address. Within the email, you'll see the file name, retrieval hyperlink and any notes the sender included.
The receiver clicks the retrieval hyperlink and their browser will open to the Dropload file pickup page. From here, the process is the same as downloading and saving any web file.
As to be expected, there are some caveats. The service is best suited for single file drops less than 100Mbs in size that do not contain sensitive data. For instance, I couldn't send this file to multiple people, nor could I send multiple files within the same upload. Most of these limitations are to deter abuse issues.
Despite these issues, there are workarounds. If you need to send multiple files, you could create a single zipped file with all the files so long as it was less than 100Mbs. If you must send sensitive data, you could encrypt the file. There are third party utilities such as WinZip that can assist with these tasks.
The service worked flawlessly for us in our testing. Some people had the impression the file upload speed was slow. I think this was more a perception issue as we always wish uploads were as fast as downloads. We're painfully reminded of how much slower our upload speed is each time we test our DSL speed with Broadband Reports.
One unintended benefit of this service is someone commented he normally would've kept my email in his Inbox. However, because I said the file disappears after 7 days and how I wasn't going to upload the file a second time, he acted. I may have to use this approach more often when requesting feedback.
Referenced InformationURL: http://www.dropload.com/
Limitations: single files can be 100Mbs or less and the file is deleted in 7 days
Last Updated (Saturday, 19 June 2010 14:11)