WiFi File Transfer: Free & Alternatives

In this article we will cover how to share files using WiFi file transfer apps. We’ll also show how you can use alternatives such as Windows 10 Your Phone app, Windows 10 Nearby Sharing, Apple AirDrop, and Filemail. 

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What Is WiFi File Transfer?

WiFi file transfer is a solution to help you share files to and from devices connected to the same WiFi network. This means that the devices have to be fairly near to each other, and the router. 

This is different from WiFi Direct which doesn’t need a router. 

The best part about WiFi file transfer is that it isn’t slow like Bluetooth. 

Since all Windows, Apple, and Android devices can connect to a WiFi router, you can wirelessly transfer files between the various operating systems.

But you do need the assistance of some software on your mobile device to execute this method, and the process can be fiddly.

How Does WiFi File Transfer Work?

Apps like ShareIt, Zapya and others work in a similar way, so let’s take a look at what is involved.

wireless file transfer

The Basic Premise In WiFi File Transfer Between Mobile Devices

1. Install a WiFi file transfer app on both mobile devices.

2. On the sending device, click on Send and select the files you want to share, click on Send again. 

3. Follow the instructions, which will typically be things like turn off mobile hotspot, turn on Bluetooth.

4. On the receiving device, click on Receive, turn on Bluetooth. You will see a QR code.

5. On the sending device, scan the QR code shown on the receiving device.

6. You can now send the desired file.

WiFi File Transfer Between Mobile Devices And A Computer

1. Install a WiFi file transfer app on the mobile device.

2. On the sending device, click on Send and select the files you want to share, click on Send again.

3. You will be given a URL, that you must go to on your computer’s browser.

4. On your browser you will see a QR code, that you must scan using your mobile device.

5. On your computer, you will see the file you shared, download it.

When Is It Best To Use WiFi File Transfer?

wifi local sharing

If you are looking to transfer files locally between different platforms, then this method has its uses. It does the job of sharing files between two or more cross-platform devices.

There is no need to have a USB or Lightning to USB cable on you as you can use a wireless connection. In some cases, you will have to install an app on both the sending and receiving device. There is some fiddling about in terms of receiving devices going to specific URLs, scanning codes, and what-not.

WiFi File Transfer Substitutes

There are substitutes to WiFi file transfer apps, where the goal is to share files locally. If you don’t have an appropriate USB cable handy, or you want to share using a wireless network, you can use:

1. Windows 10 Your Phone app.

2. Windows 10 Nearby Sharing.

3. AirDrop.

1. Windows 10 Your Phone App

windows 10 nearby sharing

You can use the Your Phone app to transfer files to and from a Windows 10 PC to Android and iPhone. The connection between PC and phone is via WiFi.

How To Get Up And Running

1. Open Your Phone App.

2. You will be asked “What kind of phone do you have?”. Select Android or iPhone. For this example, we’ll go with Android. Click on Continue.

3. You will be told to go to www.aka.ms/yourpc on your Android phone, and to install the app Your Phone Companion. Or you can go directly to Google Play Store, and search for Your Phone Companion – Link To Windows.

4. Once installed on your phone, you click on Link Your phone and PC.

5. On your PC, check “Yes, I finished installing Your Phone Companion”, then click on Open QR Code.

6. Scan the QR Code using your phone. Check and accept the various permission requests.

What Types Of Files Can You Share?

Depending on the phone, you will either be able to share images from your Gallery only or images from Gallery and My Files.

How To Transfer Files From Android Phone To PC Using Your Phone App

1. On Your Phone app on your PC, click on Apps, then click on Phone Screen.

2. Go to the files you want to copy to your Android phone.

3. Drag and drop the desired files onto Phone Screen on Your Phone app.

How To Transfer Files From PC To Android Using Your Phone App 

1. On your PC open the Phone Screen.

2. Navigate to either the Gallery or My Files.

3. Drag and drop the desired files from the Phone Screen to your PC.

Pros

1. Sharing locally between some Android devices and Windows 10 is easy.

2. Can upload or download multiple files at the same time.

Cons

1. PC must have Windows 10 May 2019 Update.

2. Graphics card that supports Direct X 11.

3. Android device must be running Android 9.0 or higher.

4. You have to install Your Phone Companion – Link To Windows app on some devices.

5. Can’t share files over long distances due to the need to be connected to the same WiFi.

6. Files can’t be larger than 512 MB.

7. iPhone is not supported properly.

8. Depending on your device you may only be able to share images.

2. Windows 10 Nearby Sharing 

your phone app for wifi file transfer

Nearby Sharing can help you share files between PCs using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

To Share Files Using Windows 10 Nearby Sharing

1. Make sure that WiFi and Bluetooth features are turned on both your devices. Furthermore, disconnect from any network, including the internet, to start sharing files with another computer.

2. Go to Start > Settings > System.

3. Near the bottom on the left-hand side of the window you’ll see ‘Shared Experiences’

4. Go to the bottom-right of your Windows desktop screen and open the action center (marked by a message cloud icon). 

5. Click Nearby sharing and turn it on. Repeat the same process on your other Windows PC.

6. From the file explorer, find and select the file or files you want to share. Right-click on the selection and click Share.

7. For weblinks, go to the website you wish to share using Microsoft Edge. Click Settings and more and then Share.

8. Choose the name of the computer you want to share your data with.

9. On your other Windows device, click Save on the notification that pops up on the screen, and your transfer is finished. 

Pros & Cons Of Using Windows 10 Nearby Sharing

Pros

1. Quick and easy data sharing between PCs.

2. Secure method of the file transfer. In the settings, you can pick and choose which devices you are visible to. 

3. You don’t need an internet connection or a WiFi router for this transfer. 

Cons

1. PC must have Windows 10 May 2019 Update.

2. Graphics card that supports Direct X 11.

3. Nearby Sharing features only allow you to share files between Windows computers. 

4. The method doesn’t cover long distances because of the low range of the WiFi connection. 

3. Apple AirDrop

apple airdrop

If you are an iPhone user, you must have heard of AirDrop. 

Airdrop is an Apple exclusive feature that lets you share files between iPhone, Macs and iPads.

With the flexibility of Airdrop, you can easily transfer all your data to any Apple device of your choice. And the app doesn’t only work for photos and videos. You can share texts, locations, website links, and much more.

How To Share Files Using AirDrop On iPhone

1. Go to the Control Center on your phone and turn on both Bluetooth and WiFi. Also, tap the AirDrop icon to turn it on.

2. Choose the files you wish to send and press the share button on the bottom left side of your screen. 

3. Any Apple devices active around you will show up on your phone. Tap the one that you want to share your data with. 

4. Accept the file on your other device and the transfer will be completed.

How To Transfer Files Using AirDrop On Mac

1. Selecting your file of choice, click on the Share option in your app window.

2. Now choose the relevant file recipient from all the options that appear on your screen.

3. Click Accept on your other device when you get a notification of the file transfer. 

Pros & Cons Of Sharing Files Using AirDrop

Pros

1. Having a dedicated free app for transferring files makes it easy to send and receive files between various devices.

2. With AirDrop, you can easily send or receive any file, no matter what the size. This makes it especially convenient to transfer large photo and video files between devices.

3. You don’t need to connect any wires. As long as all your devices are close by, you can transfer any file you like.

4. Apple’s trademark file sharing app is not only free but is also safe from hackers. It is constantly updated to keep you and your data secure.

Cons

1. As the app uses Bluetooth and WiFi technology, you can share files over distances longer than 30 feet.

2. AirDrop is not compatible with non-Apple devices. Also, iPhones don’t have the regular Android feature of Bluetooth file sharing. Meaning you can’t transfer anything to your Windows PC using this app.

3. If you have an old device, from before 2010, you can’t use the AirDrop wireless feature.

Filemail: The WiFi File Transfer Alternative

filemail wifi transfer alternative

WiFi and even Bluetooth work perfectly when both devices are close to each other and file sizes are small.

But how can you transfer files to a device further afield? Or share files with friends and family? 

Certainly in a professional capacity, you will often have to send files to people and organizations that are distributed globally.

That’s where Filemail comes in. No complicated setups, no scanning QR codes, no jumping through hoops. Sending a file is as easy as sending an email.

How To Send Files Using Filemail

Go to Filemail.com and follow these simple steps:

1. On the homepage, type in the recipient’s email address in the To field.

2. Write your email address in the From field. Then type in the subject of your email. Also, add in a message if you like.

3. Click on Add Files to pick individual files for transfer. Or click Add Folder to send an entire folder worth of data.

4. Click on Send. Your files will be uploaded to Filemail’s cloud.

5. The recipient will get an email with a link to download the shared files. Or you can get a secure link and share that however you want.

Benefits Of Using Filemail To Share High-Quality Photos

Pros

1. Send up to 5 GB free

With Filemail, you can send and receive data without paying a penny.

2. Easy To Use Interface

The app has a user-friendly interface that is easy to use and understand. 

3. The Recipient Doesn’t Need Filemail

The person at the receiving end doesn’t need to install any app.

4. On All Platforms

We have apps for Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac computers, and a browser-based application. This means, you can use the same software to transfer all your files, to any device, near or far.

Cons

1. It Needs Internet

The only real con for this method is that you need a stable internet connection to use it. Both the sender and receiver must have a strong network connection to upload and download files respectively.

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