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The right way to send large (>100GB) files via Dropbox to a client with no Dropbox subscription?

The right way to send large (>100GB) files via Dropbox to a client with no Dropbox subscription?

khkannisto
Explorer | Level 4
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Hi,

I have Dropbox Pro myself, so uploading files should be no problem. The key question is: What is the optimum ZIP file size is so that a client who does not have a Dropbox subscription can download them? I cannot find a clear answer to this. In some places it says you can download a folder of 20GB or a single file of unlimited size. Is this actually the case? Can I upload a 215 GB file and assume that a client with no Dropbox subscription can actually successfully download it? Or do I need to break it down to 2GB, or 20GB or 50GB ZIP files for it to be downloadable at the other end? I am NOT going to ask the client to get a Dropbox subscription in order to download the files. 

1 Accepted Solution

Accepted Solutions

Rich
Super User II
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@khkannisto wrote:

Some years back it was impossible for a client to download anything over 2GB without signing up for Dropbox.


No, that's not true. If you invited someone to a shared folder they would be required to have a Dropbox account. If they had a free account, their storage space would be 2GB to start. That means they wouldn't be able to join a shared folder containing more than 2GB of data. Sending someone a shared link never had a 2GB download limit.

 


I am currently generating a split ZIP file with 50GB chunks. It will take 6 hours to generate the ZIP file and maybe 20 hours to upload. I really hope that that can be downloaded at the other end. 

If you're using a view-only shared link, they should be able to download the files, dependent on your own bandwidth limits.

 


To prevent abuse, Dropbox accounts have the following limits:
  • Basic accounts and accounts on a trial of a Dropbox team: 20 GB of bandwidth and 100,000 downloads per day

I take that to mean that if the recipient has a basic account they will only be able to download 20 GB per day


No, that refers to the bandwidth available to shared links and files requests used by people they share with. If someone on a Basic account shares a link to a file, or they send someone a File Request to receive files, the bandwidth limit applies to their account. If they're just downloading from someone else, they don't even need an account.

 

The exception here is if you send a Basic user a link to a file and they try to save it to their own Dropbox account instead of downloading it. In that case, they wouldn't be able to save it because it exceeds their space limit (assuming a 2GB free account). They can still download the file to their computer.

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11 Replies 11

Rich
Super User II
Go to solution

@khkannisto wrote:

What is the optimum ZIP file size is so that a client who does not have a Dropbox subscription can download them?


If you're using a shared link, the limit has nothing to do with the recipient and whether or not they have an account, but with the bandwidth limitations on your own account.

 

khkannisto
Explorer | Level 4
Go to solution

Some years back it was impossible for a client to download anything over 2GB without signing up for Dropbox.

Last year I couldn't transfer a file over 20GB or 50GB (I don't remember which one). The recipient couldn't download anything larger.

It had nothing to do with what I could upload, as I can upload a 2TB file. It had everything to do with what the recipient could download.

Which is why I am asking what the current limits are and how to best proceed.

khkannisto
Explorer | Level 4
Go to solution

I am currently generating a split ZIP file with 50GB chunks. It will take 6 hours to generate the ZIP file and maybe 20 hours to upload. I really hope that that can be downloaded at the other end. 

khkannisto
Explorer | Level 4
Go to solution

The link you gave includes this statement:

To prevent abuse, Dropbox accounts have the following limits:

  • Basic accounts and accounts on a trial of a Dropbox team: 20 GB of bandwidth and 100,000 downloads per day

I take that to mean that if the recipient has a basic account they will only be able to download 20 GB per day.

 

Thus: How do I send them about 700GB of files via Dropbox?

 

Edit: Ok, that seems to talk about the senders account type. Nevertheless, I would really like to know if there is a limitation today to what a recipient without a Dropbox account can download, as there has been limitations on this in the past at least up to one year ago.

Rich
Super User II
Go to solution

@khkannisto wrote:

Some years back it was impossible for a client to download anything over 2GB without signing up for Dropbox.


No, that's not true. If you invited someone to a shared folder they would be required to have a Dropbox account. If they had a free account, their storage space would be 2GB to start. That means they wouldn't be able to join a shared folder containing more than 2GB of data. Sending someone a shared link never had a 2GB download limit.

 


I am currently generating a split ZIP file with 50GB chunks. It will take 6 hours to generate the ZIP file and maybe 20 hours to upload. I really hope that that can be downloaded at the other end. 

If you're using a view-only shared link, they should be able to download the files, dependent on your own bandwidth limits.

 


To prevent abuse, Dropbox accounts have the following limits:
  • Basic accounts and accounts on a trial of a Dropbox team: 20 GB of bandwidth and 100,000 downloads per day

I take that to mean that if the recipient has a basic account they will only be able to download 20 GB per day


No, that refers to the bandwidth available to shared links and files requests used by people they share with. If someone on a Basic account shares a link to a file, or they send someone a File Request to receive files, the bandwidth limit applies to their account. If they're just downloading from someone else, they don't even need an account.

 

The exception here is if you send a Basic user a link to a file and they try to save it to their own Dropbox account instead of downloading it. In that case, they wouldn't be able to save it because it exceeds their space limit (assuming a 2GB free account). They can still download the file to their computer.

khkannisto
Explorer | Level 4
Go to solution

Hi Rich,

 

Thank you, that was helpful information. 

 

From that my conclusion is that I should upload those 50GB files, generate individual read-only file links for each (there will be about 14 of them for 700 GB split into 50GB chunks), and NOT a folder link so that they don't try and add it to their free or basic or whatever version Dropbox they may or may not have.

 

Then I should send them a mail with a list of all those individual links and everything should be fine. As long as they download every one of them successfully and recombine the ZIP at their end. And since my (sender's) limit with Dropbox Pro is 1 TB per day, that should not be a problem.

 

And sharing a folder containing the ZIP files would not be the way to go (unless they have a Dropbox Plus or better).

 

Sending 14 transfers of 50 GB (or 7 transfers of 100 GB) would be another option, I gather, although that sounds more cumbersome.

 

Do I have that correct?

 

Best regards, Kalle 

Rich
Super User II
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@khkannisto wrote:

Do I have that correct?


Yes.

khkannisto
Explorer | Level 4
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If I give the recipient a link to the folder containing the files, they still cannot download individual files that are more than 2GB.  Even 4GB mp4 files fail to download.

 

It may be that direct links to individual files allow downloading more than 2GB, but you still cannot download a individual file which is over 2GB (when zipped) if you only have a link to the containing folder. You have to give the recipient an individual link to each and every file which is over 2GB. Not very user-friendly.

 

It would be good to have this laid out clearly somewhere in the documentation.

 

Or, much better, fixed so that this counter-productive 2GB limitation is removed.

khkannisto
Explorer | Level 4
Go to solution

There is actually some sort of a bug here: you cannot even download a folder that is under 2GB from the main folder listing "download" button that pop up on hovering. I tried to download a folder that contains 128 MB of files from my own dropbox while logged out. Already that gives me the error "the ZIP file is too large". Once I open the folder so that the individual files are listed, the same folder can be downloaded from the download button at the top of the page.

 

Similarly, you cannot download an individual file of any significant size with the pop-up "download", but it then works when you first go to the preview view.

 

 

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