What's the easiest way to give someone a 20GB folder? I've thought about starting a bittorrent, but it seems like there must be a simpler way. It's too big to email or upload to any free filesharing servers. I could start my own server but it seems like there must be an easier way to do it than that as well. Any ideas?

  • 3
    This is one scenario where IPoAC would be highly efficient.
    – Phoshi
    Nov 22, 2009 at 15:01
  • 5
    you can still use a bit torrent.you can make one with utorrent just use the openbittorrent tracker as your tracker.it will make your torrent and you can send it to your friend.It will still use your internet but now it will be sent and checked as a bit torrent How does it work? When you create a torrent file the application will ask you for a tracker address, then simply type in OpenBitTorrents tracker URL's: tracker.openbittorrent.com/announce udp://tracker.openbittorrent.com:80/announce and you have your 20 gig torrent.
    – mike
    Nov 24, 2009 at 7:49
  • 1
    OpenBitTorrent is a bittorrent tracker free for anyone to use. You don't need to register, upload or index a torrent anywhere, all you have to do is to include the OpenBitTorrent tracker URL in your torrent.
    – mike
    Nov 24, 2009 at 7:50
  • @Phoshi: IP doesn’t support such big packet size. I’m going to invent FTPoAC.
    – kinokijuf
    Jan 21, 2012 at 16:11

17 Answers 17


Yeah that is a heck of a lot. Is this person close? throw it on some external media and bring it to them or mail it.

Before considering any sending options over the internet, make sure you compress it first. This can drastically reduce sending time, especially if a lot of text documents are involved.

Bittorrent wouldn't be a bad idea actually. You can upload incrementally and whenever you guys have the time.

There is also DC++ which I've used for similar tasks.

  • 16
    +1 for using external media. It seems to me that it's the only real sane way to do it. Nov 16, 2009 at 5:24
  • 3
    Physical media for definite. +1 because this is a great example to explain the difference between bandwidth and latency - your package will have pretty high bandwidth (20GB in one or two days) but also really high latency (one or two days for even the first 'data packet' to arrive)
    – AdamV
    Nov 16, 2009 at 10:16
  • 2
    Another +1 for Physical Media. Ship them a removable drive or a stack of DVDs. Never underestimate the bandwidth of a Ryder truck full of Terabyte HDDs! Nov 16, 2009 at 19:51
  • +1. also consider TCP/CP with a flash drive of appropriate size: rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc1149.txt Nov 20, 2009 at 13:34
  • 2
    We hire motorcycle couriers to move external hard drives around the City of London. It seems to be nearly as common as using them for dead tree mail these days. 1 terabyte in 15 mins is around 1 Gb/sec. Feb 26, 2010 at 19:05

DVR-R are cheap nowadays. If it takes less than 2 weeks for the letter to arrive to the other party, you should fit the folder to 4 DVD-Rs with compression.

It would be a more preferable method considering there maybe error even if you transmit the folder by multiparts RARs. I can't imagine trying to download 20GB of data from another peer (excluding by BT, since you only need to start the program and it'll do the downloading and error checking by itself).


The others are correct about snail mail.

But if you want to use the internet this is how you can do it.

  1. Pack and split into 700Mb files (tar, zip or rar will do)
  2. md5sum all the files (so you know that they are the same on the other end)
  3. scp or rsync with ssh (rsync will help you if you need to resend)

But beware, it is going to take some time. Let's say your uplink is 20kB/s.

The data is 20GB => 20 000 000kB.

Then it would take approximately 20 000 000kB / 20 kB/s = 1 000 000 s = 277h = 11 days...

And if we say that snail mail usually takes 3 days.

That means that you need to have a connection with a uplink speed of about 70-80kB/s if you are going to be faster...


Use Skydrive.............

  • 1
    It allows 30Gb already!
    – bert
    Nov 16, 2009 at 18:32
  • From the Skydrive site "You cannot upload files larger than 50 MB. Try reducing the file size, and then try to upload the file again." explore.live.com/windows-live-skydrive-upload-file-cant-faq
    – Moab
    Jul 16, 2010 at 22:48
  • @Moab now is updated to 300MB per file (still not enough but an improvement). 2GB if you place the file in your SkyDrive folder
    – SERPRO
    Dec 17, 2012 at 11:53

This is my answer to a similar question:

You really should consider using a mail service. It's not free, but it's a lot faster; you could just burn all the data to 3 double layer DVDs and mail them.

It would probably take a lot of time to upload 27GB of data.


Bittorent won't help unless there's multiple receiving party. If not, use ftp or DC+ server. Depending on the distance to the recipient, snail mail might be actually faster, that's just 5 DVDs after all.

  • 2
    true, but BT has in built error checking
    – Journeyman Geek
    Nov 16, 2009 at 10:24
  • :) There's a lot of simple tools that can calculate file hashes and check them.
    – vava
    Nov 16, 2009 at 11:23
  • 3
    Actually, BitTorrent won't help out even if there are multiple receiving parties. The initial seed still needs to send out the entire file once in the first place, and since were constrained by upstream, not downstream (go asymmetric!), that's the limiting factor.
    – Pridkett
    Nov 23, 2009 at 20:16
  • @Pridkett, it still be faster than sending out entire file for every receiving party. But sure, at least once it has to be sent from original seed completely.
    – vava
    Nov 24, 2009 at 2:51
  • 1
    Bittorrent is robust against network failures, efficient with bandwidth (won't resend already sent data), and many Bittorrent peer applications let the end user control the transfer speed. So even if there is only one receiving party imho these benefits make Bittorrent attractive. But everyone is correct, there won't be a speed benefit unless there are multiple senders/receivers.
    – LawrenceC
    Oct 12, 2011 at 12:05

if you can't split the 20GB's into smaller parts, then get a USB flash drive big enough to hold the data and send that by mail. Heck if it's important that speed play a role, then by overnight courier. That will be fast as well.


Toss it all on a USB thumbdrive and send it FedEx. (or UPS. Or USPS. Or Pony Express. Or, you know, drive it over there yourself.)

Shipping 20GB over the net is going to be painful any way you slice it. Honestly, this is a perfect use for the sneakernet.

  • If you need it transferred quickly and don't have access to your own very high-speed connection that you can actually use this is honestly the best option.
    – LawrenceC
    Oct 12, 2011 at 12:02

20gb is alot of data to be sending. Thats almost two weeks worth for me lol

Cut to DVD's and deliver by snail-mail ?

Or SkyDrive offers 25GB for free also.


As someone else pointed out i'd send it over DC, compress it first! You dont want the overhead of many files.

And if you compress it, please split the archive in several small ones. So you can re-send any corrupt files.

You do not want a 20GB rar file, or similar, to be corrupt when you finally are finished!


You can use: 1) upload 2) Storage media

1: upload (You need to have fast internet connection) a) Bit torrent b) Sky drive ( you can get 25 GB for free and direct link ) c) File-sharing service ( rg: rapid-share, media fire [use hjsplit to split files] )

2: Storage media (faster than uploading/downloading)
  a) Pen-drive ( more than 20GB )
  b) External HDD ( read/write speed is faster than pen-drive )
  c) DVDs ( use 3 DVDS of 8 GB dual layered ) [ does the recipient has a DVD ROM ?? ]

My recommendation: use method (2) Good luck!


Carrier Pidgeon... never fails!


My best bet, define your own FTP server, place a root directory where your file is and then provide the other part your actual public IP address. He should get the file with no bandwidth restrictions at ftp://*yourip*....


You can use http://forgetbox.com, which I develop, for that.

There's no size limit, and you can share your folder to anybody in 4 clicks.

ForgetBox is made to handle compression and internet connection shortages. So it should do the trick!


Try Fileai Securely share files that are too big to e-mail for FREE!

-No File or Size Limits!
-BitTorrent-Style Transfers! Fast, Easy, and Secure! 100% FREE!

(I just copies what they have on their site; i dont work for them or anything lol)

  • Skydrive will not work becuase it has an upload file limit... 50MB
    – IT_07
    Nov 23, 2009 at 22:44

There's a heck of a lot of answers here, but I have to recommend this because it's awesome. Works almost like a torrent, in the sense that you can resume, and transfers in chunks.

It does require some simple "registration" thing, but it's really painless.

And the interface looks nice:

zeZebra. I have no affiliation with them.


Binfer is another option. It's not entirely free, though, only 1 GB is free.

  • Install it on your computer
  • Click on the Send Files button
  • Enter your recipient's email
  • Drag and drop the file and press Send
  • Leave Binfer running

When your contact starts Binfer at the other end, the files will transfer directly from your computer to your friend's computer. It will take care of interrupted transfers. You may want to turn off encryption at both ends to speed up a little.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy