Recently in this thread
the subject of sending files through email came up and all the issues that entails. It got me wondering again whether there really is a good, easy
solution for sending files that is comparable to email in its simplicity and ease of use. So many people use email for this purpose because the functionality is there and it's easy to use and familiar. Yet it is terribly inefficient and riddled with problems - from lack of download resume capability (in most cases) to the 30+% bloating of file size - email and the standard POP email protocol just wasn't built with file sending in mind.
This also makes me wonder why a more efficient encoding method such as yEnc hasn't been adopted for email as it has for news protocol. Of course this would take client support, but I don't think that is a big deal. The sooner the better.
Anyone know of any alternatives? I don't consider rapidshare or similar systems to really be comparable. First of all they're not direct, person-to-person, and generally not secure because of that. Sure your email data passes through several servers via email anyway, but it's transient, it doesn't usually sit there just waiting for someone to look at it. There are also more steps involved with web-based systems like that and few of them have dedicated desktop applications for streamlining. P2P systems also for the most part do not work that easily for specific individual file transfer. IM is too unreliable. Something like HFS works great IMO - even for non-tech people - but they need to be convinced to use it and when email "just works", why would they bother? Nevermind that email doesn't "just work" all that well, especially for the poor ISP's running the servers. But of course the average user doesn't really think about that.
Anyway, thoughts, ideas, alternatives?