Many times people use the terms ″sending″ and ″sharing″ interchangeably when they are talking about peer-to-peer networking or even just sharing links from Dropbox or Google Drive. While for the most part, what they are saying is understood, there is a difference between the two services.
Sending is when you deliberately send a file to someone else. Or you upload it to a specific place and only give a certain number of people access to it. Sharing is a more traditional peer-to-peer method where you upload data onto a server that has a wider range of access.
Read also: How to: Share Folders in Dropbox
You could use one service primarily, both equally, or neither. It all depends on what you, as an individual choose to do with your information.
When to Send
If you are a smaller entity or a single person, getting into cloud data and mass file sharing may not be what you need to do. Certainly it will get the job done, however, there is always a small set-up procedure involved with the process, along with another log-in for you to manage.
If you’re not looking to come back to that file, or if you only need someone or a group of people to access that file for a short period of time, then sending may be the best idea. Two of the top sending platforms are SendFile and File Drop. These uploaders allow you to pull a file from your personal computer and upload it onto their cloud server. Once it is uploaded, the service will provide you with a link. You can access your file for a set period of time via that link.
One of the major differences between sharing and sending is that you cannot make changes to a file once it is uploaded to share. If you make any changes to your file you must then upload another version of it to share. For example; if you choose to send a file to your classmate, and then realize that you forgot to add some information, you must add it to your file, re-upload it, and then send your classmate another link.
When to Share
Conversely, if you want something to be up for a longer period of time that can be edited in the cloud, you will want to use file sharing. An example of fire sharing is Google Drive, where you can upload a document and then share the link with as many people as you like. They can edit the document that you have uploaded live without having to re-upload another version. When you have multiple collaborators working on a single project, this can become invaluable because it removes the chance that one or more of your team are working on a defunct model.
Lastly, many businesses choose to use sharing over sending because they need to have software that allows for multiple accesses. Databases are another thing that are best used with cloud service and sharing. One single database will house all of the company’s changes with multiple log-ins, instead of a person or program needing to compile data from up to hundreds of different sources on a cyclical basis.