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Problem Downloading Large File

Problem Downloading Large File

Richard T.21
New member | Level 2

I have a large file (100GB) on Dropbox for which I've sent a link for a third party to download. That party has a professional optical fiber connection (1 giga).  The party has advised that the file never finishes the download. He's used several computers and tried a number of times with no success. To avoid any confusion, he's not trying to download a zip of the file or anything like that, just the file I uploaded.

Is there any reason this will not work?

Thanks in advance.

10 Replies 10

Re: Problem Downloading Large File

Alexis G.1
Super User

100GB is a big file for sure.

Why you just don't split the file in 4.7GB chunks using Winrar or similar program?

Will be more easy for upload / download.

My 2 cents.

Re: Problem Downloading Large File

Richard T.21
New member | Level 2

Thanks for the suggestion. If I do that, it rather defeats the object of what I'm trying to achieve, which is to upload a file and make it easy for the recipient to download it. The recipient is not going to want to somehow have to reconstruct the file after doing 20+ individual downloads of smaller chunks. That is even assuming he is technically competent to do so. He just wants to download the file.  I don't blame him. It's retrograde having to deconstruct a file only to reconstruct it.

It also highlights the secondary issue that people complain about repeatedly on this forum - that they cannot just send a link to a large folder to download as the system is not able to zip up large folders. So the recipients have to download multiple (sometimes 100s) of files individually. A suggestion to overcome that is to zip the files up before synchronising with Dropbox. That way there is only one large file to download... Not much point in doing that if you then have to chop the file up again.

I upgraded so that I could specifically transfer large files. It looks to me like I'll have to send the data via a hard disk, which defeats the whole object of upgrading for me. I've written to Dropbox support but have not heard back.

Re: Problem Downloading Large File

Alexis G.1
Super User

Hi Richard.

You must understand a 100GB file is a huge, big file. The same if you get your own Exchange Email server and you want to transfer a 200MB email. You will just have issues. There is tons of factor for high size file transfers.

You can control perhaps your environment but you cannot control your client network environment. Perhaps when he is in the middle of the big download, he have a network glitch and the download is interrupted and need to start again, perhaps he have issues with the download being interrupted by a browser plugin, an antimalware or antivirus program, etc. We don't know. 100Gb if a huge file and tons of issues can happens during the download time frame.

Even when Dropbox is able to do incremental upload/downloads, this only works when you use the client, not the network download via web interface.

Not only Dropbox, special apps and websites for transfer files like yousendit.com and transferbigfiles.com have issues when you try to download big files. Very good solution for transfer 100 MB, 250MB, 500MB, 700MB files, but when you are talking about 100GB files, things are different. I don't believe they even allow you that.

If the client have a Pro account, you can share the folder with them and they can install the Dropbox client. The shared folder/file will be downloaded in incremental and the changes to get the files will get better, by a lot!

If your client don't have Pro, he will be stuck with download options from the website, and this will be terrible.

Do you try to move the file to your Public folder in dropbox and then generate the Public Link via your Windows Explorer?. This will generate a link for sharing via email (Ctrl + V to paste it) with your client. I use this way to transfer big files (tested up to 2GB) without issues.

Good luck.

Re: Problem Downloading Large File

Richard T.21
New member | Level 2

Thank you.

Of course I do understand that 100GB is a large file.  I upgraded to Pro so that I could upload and share large files and that 100GB file took ages to upload..! 😉  But the time and the upgrade are pointless if I cannot share the resultant upload. My recipient does not have Dropbox and doesn't want to install it and pay for a pro service.

I asked Dropbox support for help on this, but didn't get a response.

I've had to send the file on a drive via a courier service to the recipient in another country. It's bizarre that they will now get the file quicker by that method than via the internet.

My suggestion for a solution to this issue is that Dropbox implement a choice of links to files and folders over, say, 10Mb in size.  I think that not only should the option be for an https link but also an sftp or ftps option. I think the download issue is a problem with the https protocol using a browser.  I think using one of the secure ftp protocols with a decent client such as WinSCP or FileZilla would overcome many issues and also probably reduce the load on the Dropbox servers as there would be fewer failures and re-tries on downloads of large files. I also think that there may be a way of transferring files server to server (rather than downloading) with one of the protocols which would mean that the file could be transferred direct to the FTP server of a recipient rather than being delivered to a desktop machine.

They could alternatively, provide a downloadable download app with which a special link could be used.

Re: Problem Downloading Large File

Rich
Super User II

I think the download issue is a problem with the https protocol using a browser.

Most likely, yes.

I think using one of the secure ftp protocols ...

Dropbox has stated in the past that they will not provide FTP access.

Re: Problem Downloading Large File

Alexis G.1
Super User

I asked Dropbox support for help on this, but didn't get a response.

Do you follow up your ticket on Zendesk?

Open your ticket in this link: https://www.dropbox.com/support
Track your ticket in this link: https://dropbox.zendesk.com

Replies take approximately 1 - 3 business days with Pro users getting priority (longer for Basic users). Business users have priority and phone support available.

I've had to send the file on a drive via a courier service to the recipient in another country. It's bizarre that they will now get the file quicker by that method than via the internet.

It's a 100Gb single file. Yes, due to network limitations, big file size and other factors, etc I believe you can send a 128GB thumb drive with the file on Overnight mode and your recipient will have the file available in 24 hours.

I think the download issue is a problem with the https protocol using a browser. 

Yes, agree. the standard is the issue, not Dropbox.

I think using one of the secure ftp protocols with a decent client such as WinSCP or FileZilla would overcome many issues and also probably reduce the load on the Dropbox servers as there would be fewer failures and re-tries on downloads of large files.

Dropbox don't have ftp support. And even if you create a local ftp server at home, download a 100Gb file via FTP will be a nightmare. I myself try to download 1 - 2GB files via FTP and have issues as well. Connection drops, file downloads are interrupted, etc.

I also think that there may be a way of transferring files server to server (rather than downloading).

Workaround: You can share your account on temp basis with your recipient so they can download Dropbox, install it and the file will be downloaded in his computer. It's just a workaround. 

Split the 100Gb files in 20 x 4.7GB files and performance will be better. You can create an auto-extract exe/zip file if the recipient is an end user without knowledge.

They could alternatively, provide a downloadable download app with which a special link could be used.

You can do this now. You can generate a link from your big file and just share the link.

Re: Problem Downloading Large File

Richard T.21
New member | Level 2

Alexis G, just for clarity, you say, "You can do this now. You can generate a link from your big file and just share the link."  I shared the link generated from within Windows file explorer, but it uses the https protocol to download when clicked (via a browser) - the very method I've been moaning about.  Have I misunderstood? Is there another way to give them access via a download app other than them having to install Dropbox on their own machine and synching the particular file (which would require them having Pro Dropbox). If there is, please can you advise?

My suggestion is that Dropbox provide a little app that interfaces to their servers and securely downloads the file to where ever required. A one time run type app. Not a run all the time synching app.

Re: Problem Downloading Large File

Alexis G.1
Super User

Richard.


You are correct. There is 4 options for file download:

  1. Client. Install the client. Dropbox client will download the folders and files.
  2. Link. Like you explained: Add the file to the Public folder. Using explorer generate a link. Share the link with the recipient.
  3. Download from the Website.
  4. Share the file with another Dropbox Pro user.

I still believe this will be a nightmare if the recipient don't have Dropbox Pro. Even special big file transfer services like https://www.plustransfer.com/ allow you a max file size of 5GB.

https://transferxl.com/ allow 100Gb but similar services like yousendit.com and transferbigfiles.com have issues (I started the download and at 700Mb the connection drops).

So is not reliable. It's not a common scenario. I again believe you need to focus on best practices: split the files in smaller chunks and send links again. This is my 2 cents.

 

 

Re: Problem Downloading Large File

Richard T.21
New member | Level 2

Hi, Alexis. That's really two options, not four:

1. Synchronise using the Dropbox app (for which both recipient and sender have to have Dropbox paid accounts for a file of any substantial size).

2. Generate a link (either using explorer or from the web site), send it to the intended recipient and then they can only download via the browser web interface, which we all seem to agree is inherently unreliable.

There are a number of file transfer services that efficiently handle large files. Signiant and Aspera both offer, for example, such services, but there are a plethora of others. They seem to use a locally downloaded app to run and manage the download. With the technology Dropbox already has in its synch app, I would think that it would be reasonably easy to adapt this to work as a separate app that simply downloads to a local folder.  I believe having this as an option would increase the number of people paying to use the service (as senders).  I upgraded to get such a service (being able to send large files).  I already had enough storage space to handle sending smaller files via my Dropbox.  Overall I am disappointed that I wasn't told before paying that the service was not suitable for transferring files above a couple of GB in size.

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