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FilePizza: share files without the middleman in your browser

Most file sharing methods are not efficient, secure or private in nature. For instance, most Internet services are eliminated right away when it comes to privacy. If you don't want your files to be stored on servers you don't have full control over, then you cannot use the likes of Dropbox, OneDrive or Google Drive for that.

While encryption may be a suitable option, it adds another step to the process which increases its complexity.

This leaves direct transfers between systems or in-person exchanges of files. Programs like BitTorrent Sync will do the trick as they are designed for exactly that scenario, but that requires that you can run the software on host and target devices.

FilePizza on the other hand improves that further as it moves everything to the web. It is a web service that uses WebRTC for the purpose.

Instead of sending files to third-party servers first, generating a share link, informing contacts about the link and waiting for the contacts to download it, you select a file, get the share link and when that link is opened, the file is shared directly from your computer.

This eliminates the middleman as the file is never uploaded to the FilePizza server or any other server on the Internet.

filepizza

Even better, as soon as you close the page the file is not offered anymore and any file transfer that is still undergoing is cut off as a consequence.

Files are limited only by the browser used. This means that you can share files up to 500 Megabyte if you are using Google Chrome, and files of any size using Firefox (the devs have not tested it using files larger than 2 Gigabytes though in the browser).

A handful of drawbacks need to be mentioned. First, information on the actual site are scarce. You won't find information about security on it for instance. In fact, the page is almost void of information and not even the fact that transfers are P2P is mentioned on it.

Second, the service works best if the sender's Internet connection is fast especially if shared files are large. If you have 1Mbit upload, you may not want to use it to share a 1TB file for instance.

The same is true if you want to spread the file to multiple recipients. Since connections are direct, you upload the files to each contact separately which increases the bandwidth significantly when compared to hosting services on the Internet.

Lastly, WebRTC can be used to detect local IP addresses and some users prefer to disable it because of that (see instructions for Firefox and Chrome).

Verdict

FilePizza is a useful web service which may improve how you share important files on the Internet. It is simple to use, eliminates the need to upload files to servers on the Internet and gives you full control over the process as you can end it at any time by closing the tab the service is running in.

This article was first seen on ComTek's "TekBits" Technology News

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