January 7, 2009 in 5 out of 5 stars, A service, File uploading services

What is it?

drop.io: A gloriously clean and simple file-sharing tool. It's amazing that with all the solutions to this already out there, none have done it this well. If you need to share a too-big-to-email* file (or set of files) with someone, or share the same large-ish file(s) with multiple people, this is the best solution I've found. (Plus, knowledge of FTP soup: Not required.)

*For easy emailing of files, also see usend.io, built on top of drop.io.

drop.io Who makes it?

drop.io (these guys)

Why is it the killerest?

Because it's so simple all my clients and family can use it without a personal education session with me first. And it works. Well.

No signup required, it takes literally a few seconds (plus upload time) to share a file.

You can pick your own url suffix (provided it's available). So, drop.io/clientname or drop.io/yourname, for example.

You can easily password protect the upload, and expire the upload as soon as 1 day later, up to as late as a year later.

Once shared, you can track how many times the drop has been accessed.

Somewhat helpfully, each “drop” comes with an email address you can send files to, which will make them available for download.

Somewhat amusingly, each “drop” comes with a voice mail number you can call to add an mp3 of yourself to the drop (it also offers a full enclosures RSS feed of anything added - poor man’s podcasting tool?) plus, a private conference call number for meetings (I guess so you can share files, and chat about them).

An extra nifty feature is the ability to set up a pay wall so you can sell downloads through drop.io. Selling art? Photos? Music? An ebook? This might be a good solution. It can be pay per use, or a subscription. Pretty killer.

Premium users can send faxes with it. Anyone can receive faxes – but it’s clunky.

And there’s a lot more too, all without an overwhelming UI. It’s impressive.

They also have an API allowing brilliant solutions like usend.io.

What could be improved?

The premium code prominence on the upload page feels obtrusive and mildly confusing.

100MB limit per file (for free) might be a bit skimpy for some.

The help disappoints.

The faxing functionality is just too clunky, and while the help claimed it exists, I couldn’t see where or how.

It utilizes the right-click in a few places, which no one expects in a web app.

How much does it cost?

Free for 100MB per drop. Upgrade for $10 per year per extra GB.


Reviewed by Carson McComas

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Have you seen http://senduit.com ? Much the same idea, but the ui is even simpler

Posted by: Hadley Wickham | Jan 8, 2009 5:15:01 AM

Very nice Hadley, doesn't look like it lasts quite as long (longest expiration is 1 week) or have any features beyond sending the file, but there's no disputing that the interface is simple. For just quickly sending a file to someone, this looks like an excellent option. Thanks for the tip!

Posted by: Carson McComas | Jan 8, 2009 5:56:36 AM

I'm not really keen into using file sharing tools for privacy reasons.

Anyways, I find .io interesting...

it is the Internet country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for the British Indian Ocean Territory.

Posted by: Adventurous Wench women tours | Jan 8, 2009 2:23:04 PM

Yeah if I had highly sensitive data, I wouldn't share it this way. Thanks for the info on the TLD!

Posted by: Carson McComas | Jan 8, 2009 2:47:06 PM

Thanks for the drop.io writeup. I just happened to be in need of a file-sharing + conference call service for my consulting biz. The 'killer-est' part is the cost!

Posted by: Brad Forester | Jan 14, 2009 6:53:43 AM

You're welcome Brad - let us know how the conf call feature works, I didn't test that out.

Posted by: Carson McComas | Jan 14, 2009 8:25:43 AM

I am amazed with it. It is a good thing for my research. Thanks

Posted by: Enlargement | Jan 15, 2009 4:44:13 AM

The drop.io service has been discontinued. For inquiries please email support at dropio.com.

Posted by: :] | Dec 20, 2010 11:22:23 PM