About the File Drop-Off Service

What is the File Drop-Off Service?

Whenever we find the need to share documents, images, or datafiles with colleagues, with friends, with suppliers or even just sending a file to ourselves (so we can pick it up elsewhere), the first thing we usually think of is to send the file as an email attachment. However, this isn't always the most practical approach for a number of reasons:

  • the University's email system has a limit on the size of files you may send by email (currently this is 50MB); other external sites may have similar (possibly smaller) size restrictions;
  • if the file is large, then it may possibly use a large chunk of the recipient's (and your) mailbox quota;
  • if you are sending the same file to a number of recipients, there is the possibility of multiple copies of the file residing on the server. This takes up space, and may affect performance;

To avoid these issues, we provide a service called File Drop-Off. This tool is intended to replace the need to send an attachment via email. You simply upload a file from your computer to a central, secure location, and the recipient(s) are sent an email notification that you wish to share a file with them.

The File Drop-Off service is available at https://dropoff.ncl.ac.uk/

Who can use the Drop-Off Service?

Two categories of users may use the File Drop-Off Service :

  • members of the University (That is, users with a @ncl.ac.uk email address - either staff or student);
  • external users (anyone anywhere else with an email address);

A member of the University can drop off files for other members of the University, or for any external users.

An external user may drop off files for members of the University only.

Some restrictions

There are some restrictions that you should be aware of. You may not drop off a file larger than 20GB to the Drop-Off, and any drop-offs containing multiple files may not exceed 20GB in size. These limitations are imposed primarily by the fact that uploading large files may take some time on a slow network, and we have found that approximately 20GB is the largest file size that can be reliably uploaded on the (fast) campus network before the upload will timeout. If you have the need to exchange large files and/or you have limited network bandwidth available, then you should consider using a file archive utility (such as 7Zip) to split the file into smaller parts.

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