I'm in the middle of backing up important data on my computer before reinstalling everything due to a HD failure however I don't have access to any sufficiently large external HDs or flash drives. My compressed Backup Folder is about 50GB in size and I was wondering what the best way to transmit that much data might be. Email obviously caps pretty low and Dropbox can't store that much data cheaply. All the tools I've found online cap at 10-20GB.

EDIT: Sorry about not enough detail. I'm trying to move the files from the HD in my desktop to my laptop. So I don't know that I can move the HD into my laptop. I think that Ethernet would be the ideal solution for me, I'm concerned not so much with it being immediate but I would ideally like a cost free solution and I have an ethernet cable (just don't know what I'm doing in regards to setting up that transfer). My Desktop is running Windows 7 and my laptop is running Windows 8.

  • 50GB fits on a 64GB SD card which can be had for under $100 and filled in hours (at worst). Then your only problem is accidentally swallowing it. I'm confused by this question. If it needs to be now and needs to be online, Amazon S3 might be an option for cheap storage (3 cents/GB on the high end afaict) Apr 16, 2014 at 3:44
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    No point in buying flash memory just to transfer files - why not just connect an Ethernet cable, manually assign addresses, and copy everything over? It's probably the fastest way if both machines support gigabit (well, except a fast USB3.0 drive, I guess).
    – user55325
    Apr 16, 2014 at 3:46
  • Ethernet cross over cable will do the trick. However explain transmit please. You have another computer? If so then just take the hd out and drop it in the other machine. If you can't then cross over Cable or USB stick or you can get a kit to make your internal drive external. I think i paid 20 bucks for mine and i have got my 20 bucks out of it and then some.
    – Jason McD
    Apr 16, 2014 at 4:13
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    You don't even need a crossover cable with reasonably modern hardware - the NIC will autonegotiate and perform the crossover automatically.
    – user55325
    Apr 16, 2014 at 4:29
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    User => true however it depends on the vendor (like anything in this works). Crap i did miss the laptop comment. Of course a 64 gig flash is 30 bucks and gives you 2 backups(flash and copy to laptop). I always like more backups of important data.
    – Jason McD
    Apr 16, 2014 at 4:47

4 Answers 4


Based on your edit, it looks like the cheapest and fastest way would be to use an Ethernet cable.

To do this, connect the laptop to the desktop, then go to the TCP settings (should be in your network card's properties page) and set a static IP address (doesn't really matter what you pick, as long as you use an internal address that doesn't conflict with anything else on your network - e.g. you can use for the desktop and for the laptop, as long as nothing else on your network uses anything in that subnet). Set the subnet mask to

Both computers should now be able to see each other, and you can transfer files between shared folders (or use FTP, etc.) (I would note that I haven't done this on Windows since I was running 98SE, but I never have any problem on Linux).

Good luck!

  • Finally finished. It may be worth noting that I didn't have to do any setup with the internet settings as all the answers suggested. Though that might just be because the two computers were already on the same network or because they were connected by an ethernet cable.
    – avorum
    Apr 17, 2014 at 14:23
  • Probably because Windows auto-configures the connections with some default non-routable IP - as long as they're on the same subnet and don't assign the same one this will probably work.
    – user55325
    Apr 17, 2014 at 15:19

the best and fastest way of data transfer between two pc or laptop is Ethernet cable. you have to configure the ipv4 address as IP : Subnet Mask : Gateway : for first computer and for other computer IP : Subnet Mask : Gateway : your computers will be connected just share the drive in which data is present and copy data.

  • 1
    Actually, for back to back connections, you don't need to specify a gateway. Apr 16, 2014 at 6:13
  • thank you...i always use this method to transfer data between my laptop and desktop in case of only two systems. otherwise i leave it blank..
    – A. Prasad
    Apr 16, 2014 at 6:30
  • You only need to specify a gateway to tell the computers how to access ip addresses outside of its own network, so if you're only going point to point, it's irrelevant Apr 16, 2014 at 6:33

From your questions, it seems that you are looking for a cloud backup solution (instead of sending data between two computers) with 50GB capacity. As an alternative to Dropbox you may want to try MEGA which gives 50GB capacity free of charge.

However, cloud solution is definitely not a good way to backup 50GB of data - uploading 50GB to the cloud can be time consuming and painful (e.g. connection terminated in the middle of the way). Cheapest way would be to copy everything to DVD-ROMs; a convenient way would be to copy everything to one or two big SD card or USB drive (they doesn't cost much! and you can reuse them afterwards).

If you have a spare computer with enough capacity, you can copy your file through network, either by Windows file sharing, FTP or any file transfer tools.


Even when direct RJ45 cable method responses are rather preferred in this case, if could be useful to know about any method capable of resuming and working via internet:

  1. FTP transfer, Filezilla ( https://filezilla-project.org/ ) uses to be a good solution. Install Filezilla Server on one of your computers, and Filezilla Client in the other. Filezilla is capable of resuming data transfers. This option is very good, but involves some complexity with port opening (22TCP) and firewall. Any way there are very good tutorials at FileZilla WiKi ( https://wiki.filezilla-project.org/Main_Page ). This method works on LAN (locally).
  2. TeamViewer ( http://www.teamviewer.com ). Latest version is capable of resuming in sending files. Install them on both computers, connect from one to the other, and select the File Transfer option in the above menu bar. This method is easy to install and configure, with no ports nor learnings required. This method works on LAN (locally) too, but is not adviced as it will be slower (the transfer will probably be redirected through internet).

By the way, a local (LAN) transfer is faster, but the two above methods are worth the price configuring, because:

  • Sometimes you don't have any other chance than internet.
  • Sometimes it happpens that time to finish is not a problem.
  • Even when doing local transfers, the capability of resuming is valuable (for first method: FTP).

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