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Countless email messages are fired off worldwide everyday, and while the emails containing just text usually find their destination, things aren't so certain for emails carrying attachments. File-size caps, server hiccups, spam filters – all of these can derail an email as it tries to reach its destination.

The need to transfer business files will never go away; in fact, it will only become more critical. If a company wants to ensure safe and timely delivery of critical files, email isn't the answer.


Reason #1: Email can't support large file or large photo attachments

The following scenario has played out in offices around the world countless times. A employee sends a large document or presentation, attaches pictures in an email, and hits send. The file whisks away into cyberspace -- only to see a bounce-back email in his inbox or the email is stuck hung in his sent log.

One company’s email server might have a different attachment size limit from the destination server; thus, even though an internal email server will accept a file, it could still bounce back due to target restrictions. That unknown variable can be a great risk to business.

Even if large files makes it through, large files suck up significant storage space in several ways:

  1. in the recipient’s inbox,

  2. in the sender’s Sent folder,

  3. and in Trash/Deleted folders.

This leads to over-quota problems, creating a chain reaction of logistical problems like your inbox becoming over quota, it will bounce back any messages sent to it, thus preventing critical communication.

Reason #2: Large files mean slow systems

Picture a three-lane highway with cars and trucks moving along at a fast pace. Now imagine what happens if an over-sized truck barrels down the highway, taking up two lanes while flashing emergency lights. The whole freeway slows down; in some areas, traffic will totally stop until the truck passes by. Why? Because the infrastructure can't support something that large without disrupting the regular flow of traffic.

In that scenario, cars and trucks are regular emails and that over-sized truck is a large attachment being sent through the email server. Email servers aren't designed to handle large file transfers, and the process of delivering those files slows down network traffic. In a best-case scenario, things temporarily slow down while the large file moves from Inbox A to Inbox B. In a worst-case scenario, the infrastructure can't handle the overload and the email server crashes. Imagine the likelihood and the risk of this happening in medium or large corporations with hundreds if not thousands of users, where mail servers are handling numerous message transactions at any given point in time.

There's a reason why email systems have a cap on file sizes. Simply put, email servers weren't meant to be file-transfer conduits. File-size limits are meant to ensure that the infrastructure never encounters anything it can't handle. These limits can be one of the most frustrating issues facing end users. With files increasing in size as applications become more advanced and complicated, the file-size safeguard becomes a hindrance to day-to-day business users, slowing down communication – or even grinding it to a halt.

Reason #3: Email transfer is unreliable, untraceable, and can't be guaranteed

How many times does the question "Did you get my email?" get asked every day? When emails fail to arrive quickly, there could be any number of reasons - files sent as email attachments can be delayed or blocked due to server issues, the files could mistakenly be considered as a security threat or spam and thus sent into the junk folder, or the email may have been simply overlooked by the receiver because of the numerous emails bombarding us every day.

There’s simply no way to tell when or if a file was downloaded, whether the download was successful, or when that download occurred. In addition, because email attachments have no tracking system to verify who receives them, proprietary information can be inadvertently exposed.

In closing, each year, the size of application files grows bigger and bigger. At the same time, size and security restrictions increase due to a growing focus on confidentiality and protection. Ultimately, every passing day further antiquates the use of email for large file transfer.

Dropbox, Onehub and eFileCabinet are some options you can use to safely and reliably transfer and share large files and photos. Kappa can help you determine what options are available for your specific needs and will help you implement the solution that would work best for your company. Give us a call 407-331-5921!

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