If you use a computer regularly, it is obvious that at some point in your lives you have come across the need to copy a file to another device. This habit is essential to transfer personal or work files, and even to keep backup copies. Currently we have quite a few ways to do it, although the vast majority still opt for using a USB stick or external hard drive.
In this article we wanted to offer information about all the methods we can find to copy files from one computer to another without the need for any additional hardware other than your computer. For this we can use the tools provided by our operating system, third-party software, cloud storage, and even transfers through local networks.
Standard tools in the operating system
Over the years and the advancement of technology, today’s operating systems include very useful tools for copying or transferring files from one computer to another on the same local network. In Windows 10 we can do this through the option ‘Share between devices’ that comes standard. To activate it, just follow these steps:
- We access the Windows 10 settings panel through the start menu or from the notification panel.
- We enter ‘System’.
- We select the option of ‘Shared experiences’.
- We activate the switch and in the box below we select the option ‘Any person nearby’.
Through this tool, we can share files between computers on the same local network that have Windows 10. The operation is practically identical in Windows 11. To copy the file, we right-click on the one we want to transfer and select ‘Share’. If we have carried out the previous steps, a list will appear with the computers to which we can send the file.
On Mac this is also possible thanks to Finder and its file sharing tool. To do this, in the system settings you must enable this option on both computers. And in Linux it is also possible, especially if you handle yourself well with SSH and SCP.
The best websites to send large files
Copy files using third-party software
If the tools offered by our operating system do not convince us, especially if we have to deal with large files, we also have the option of having external programs and applications. One that we have talked about before is Send Anywhere, which fits our needs due to its simplicity and ease of putting it into operation.
The application has versions for Windows, macOS and Linux, although there is also an extension for Chrome and solutions for mobile devices. If we access via the web, we can also send files easily and the team that receives them must enter the same web and enter the key generated in the shipment to be able to download the file in question.
Another way to copy files directly and highly recommended is Snapdrop. Its system is quite similar to Airdrop, although it is also compatible with equipment and devices outside the Apple ecosystem. Here it is enough to enter their website on both computers, where they will generate a random name for us, and select the system to which we want to send the file. His method is based on P2P and WebRTC technology. Like this and many more examples, we were able to collect them in our article focused on free websites that allow us to transfer files without registering.
Another quite useful software is D-LAN, although this one is more oriented towards file transfer systems through a local network in the purest FTP style. The only thing we have to do is download the application on both computers and use it as if it were a conventional file explorer. Here we can create folders and add or remove files from both systems in a very easy and fast way.
It is no surprise that this method is one of the most used in our day to day, especially thanks to its versatility. Services like Google Drive, OneDrive, Drop Box, iCloud, and company have earned the respect of many users. Of course, sometimes you have to juggle to have all the storage that we would like for free.
Each of these services require registration, although once configured, it may be the way of copying files outside your local network that you use the most, both personally and professionally. Also, given their nature and as you already know, the files will not take up space on your computer unless you download them to have them accessible locally.
Mount an FTP server
Perhaps it is a more specific and less direct option, but once the server is up and running, it is really useful and comfortable. Currently there are very simple methods to start an FTP server. Here we would be establishing a local connection between both computers, although there is also the possibility of using it outside our network.
FileZilla or BabyFTP are simple applications to carry out the creation of an FTP server. All you have to do is install any of them on both computers, configure the connection parameters and thus be able to access the folders on both computers and transfer any file. In the settings panel we have the option to add or remove directories, or even modify the permissions to establish what the remote client has access to.
Send files via email
Perhaps the least efficient option, but useful if we do not find another alternative at that time. As you well know, we have a file size limit depending on the service we use, although if it is exceeded, Gmail, Outlook, and others, will rely on their cloud services to complete the shipment. .
To proceed with it, it will suffice to send an e-mail with the file that we want to copy to another address that we have. In this way and as you well know, we can access the mail from any device.