It is mind-boggling to consider how much digital data is exchanged daily, hourly, and even minute-by-minute via the internet. Every time a web page or file is loaded or downloaded, a back and forth transaction takes place. Nonetheless, it can be difficult at times to locate a product or application that can facilitate regular file sharing.

In this post, we'll examine the various instances in which file sharing is valuable, followed by a discussion of particular strategies for achieving your objectives. Remember that you should only share and distribute data that you developed or that is not subject to copyright limitations. The Varonis Data Classification Engine can aid in identifying all of your systems' data assets.

Examine our free security training courses, such as our Microsoft Office 365 hidden settings course, which covers crucial security settings and is eligible for CPE credits.

  • Formats for File Sharing
  • How to Choose a Platform
  • 10 File Sharing Programs
  • FAQs on File Sharing

Computers of the present day are capable of storing all file types, including papers, songs, videos, and entire applications. When you transfer one or more files from your local computer to a distant device or location, you are engaging in file sharing. In certain circumstances, the recipient must accept the file before the transfer can be completed, but in other cases, the transfer is completed automatically.

what are the advantages and disadvantages of sharing files?

Before actively sharing files, there are a lot of aspects to consider. Let's examine some of the most important advantages and negatives of the process.


  • Permits the transfer of huge files via a network connection.
  • Facilitates collaboration with individuals across the globe.
  • Eliminates the need to operate a central, always-online file server.


  • The required bandwidth can be expensive.
  • It is difficult to trace what happens to a file once it has been posted publicly.
  • Greater likelihood of contracting a virus or other form of malware from a remote file.
  • File Sharing Statistics illustrates secure file sharing statistics with a picture on a computer display.

When the subject of file sharing is brought up, the majority of individuals recall the popularity of Napster and other file-sharing applications in the 1990s. Today, file sharing is a crucial function for many enterprises and other applications. Let's study some file-sharing statistics.

  • 39% of uploaded corporate data is utilized for file sharing.
  • The average organization shares files with roughly 800 distinct online domains, including partners and suppliers.
  • Approximately sixty percent of data posted to a file-sharing site are never really shared with other users and are instead used as a backup.
  • Approximately 70% of shared files are restricted to the organization's internal users.

secure file exchange for businesses

Now, let's examine the finest techniques for always securing your file-sharing sessions.

  • Select a service with end-to-end encryption. This stops both external hackers and the host from accessing your data.
  • Always verify permissions settings. Most services include a public sharing option, which allows anyone with the appropriate URL to access your data.
  • Perform file audits to see who is accessing your files. If a file is no longer required, delete it from your cloud storage system.

secure file transfer

Before you may distribute files over the Internet, you must choose a method and protocol. Your decision should be dependent on the types of files you are transferring and the individuals who will receive them. We will explore the primary options and describe the situations in which they are most helpful.

file transfer protocol (ftp)

FTP was one of the earliest technologies developed for transferring data over networks, and it continues to be widely used due to its dependability and effectiveness. FTP operations can be performed using a command prompt or a tool with a graphical user interface. You only need to indicate the source file you wish to move and the location where it should go.

  • Ideal for: large files, uncommon file formats, and old data.
  • FileZilla, Telnet, and WinSCP are examples of software.

peer to peer (p2p)

A P2P file transmission is intended to eliminate the requirement for a central server to host the data. Individual clients instead connect to a distributed network of peers and transmit files using their own network connections. P2P could one day be utilized to establish an unstoppable TOR network. Whether or not The Onion Router (TOR) is a true P2P environment relies on a variety of criteria, but its popularity in establishing a more secure online connection cannot be disputed.

  • Excellent for: Sharing files with a limited number of people, as well as files that are unavailable in public repositories.
  • Limewire, Gnutella, and BearShare are illustrative programs.

services in the cloud

With a cloud-based file-sharing service, one user uploads their data to a central repository, and then other users can download the material to their own devices. All data is hosted by a third party, however, users can set the permission levels for their files.

  • Excellent for: swift file sharing and data backups
  • Dropbox, Box, OneDrive, and iCloud are examples of software.

email providers

Some individuals are unaware that email can truly serve as a means for file transfer. When you attach a file to an outgoing message, you initiate a data transfer over the public Internet.

  • Great for: little files and information that requires explanation.
  • Gmail, Outlook, and Yahoo! Mail are examples of email client software.

removable storage

If you cannot find a network-based solution that meets your requirements, you can always rely on a hard drive to transfer files. This means that you are copying data to a USB flash drive or external hard disk and then plugging that device into the destination computer.

  • Ideal for: large files and sensitive information.
  • USB flash drives and external hard drives are programs as examples.

how to choose the best file sharing option factors to consider when selecting a file sharing suite, along with an example of two files

Once you've selected the file-sharing method you'll employ, it's time to select a service or product. This can be difficult because there are so many possibilities, ranging from well-established businesses to brand-new startups. Consider the following factors when picking a file-sharing solution.

  • You will want to know the upfront and monthly or annual cost of the service. In certain instances, you may also be required to pay for the bandwidth consumed during a transfer.
  • Security – If you are going to entrust a cloud provider with the hosting of your data, you should investigate how the data is stored and what measures are taken to safeguard it.
  • Compatibility — Determine which devices and OS systems support file transfers. If any of your consumers are unfamiliar with new technologies, you should seek out solutions with straightforward user interfaces.
  • Limitations – Prior to making a significant investment in a file-sharing service, be sure to identify any limitations or restrictions the provider imposes on the number of files that may be shared or the total quantity of data that can be saved.

In the majority of situations, a cloud-based solution will suffice for file sharing. There are numerous free solutions available for personal usage. When it comes to enterprise-level file sharing, you should search for a tool that is both robust and adaptable. This alphabetized list can assist you in narrowing your options.

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