Min.us, File Sharing Simplified

Martin Brinkmann
May 12, 2011
Updated • Dec 11, 2012

Which web service or program are you using if you need to send a friend, business partner or your mom a file? The majority of you will likely answer that they use email or a file hosting service. I do prefer email myself, as it means that the files are send directly to the recipient, and not hosted on a server somewhere in the world wide web. Then again, email has its limitations like attachment size or type limits. If you need to send a 40 Megabyte file, you cannot do that by email (unless you split the attachment).

Some services, like Microsoft's Hotmail allow multiple attachments with a size of up to 50 Megabytes each. They achieve this by hosting those files on their SkyDrive service.

The file size limit on file hosting sites is usually way larger than the 20-25 Megabytes per attachment that you get when you use email. While that is great if you need to send larger files, you should keep in mind that you transfer the files to a third party server. Use encryption or find a private server if you need to transfer important files.

Minus is a relatively new file hosting service that tries to fill the void that the popular file host Drop.io left behind (see Facebook buys Drop.io, shuts it down)

Minus offers file sharing for guests and registered members of the site. If you are a guest, you can simply drag and drop files on the minus web page to upload them to the file host. You can alternatively use the select link to launch a file browser to pick one or multiple files from the local system for uploading.

minus file host

The file size limit has been set to 25 Megabytes for guests and 50 Megabytes for members, which should be enough in most cases. You need to split files if you want to share files larger than the file size limit.

file upload

You can add a caption to each file that you have uploaded to minus. Links are available to share, view or download individual files. A click on share displays the file url on the Min.us server farm, view is available for some file types like images, while download is available for file types that do not have an online viewer associated with them.

Guests need to know that their session expires once they upload new files which means that guests cannot access previously uploaded files anymore. Bad if you forgot to copy the file sharing urls.

Member accounts come with several benefits, from the increased file size limit of 50 Megabytes and access to the upload history to file galleries and the ability to modify the sharing url of your uploaded files. Probably the most important difference to public accounts is the ability to delete files that have been uploaded in the past.

Min.us creates galleries of uploaded files automatically. One interesting option here is the ability to download all files of a gallery as a zip file, handy if you want to download dozens of photos that have been posted to a gallery.

download files

Tools for Windows, Linux and Mac, mobile devices and web browsers are available to make sure that users can upload files from virtually any device, even if they are not on the Min.us website.

What's Missing?

It appears as if all files that you upload are automatically public. They are protected by the randomly generated url (which members can edit by the way), but that's not the best of protections.

An option to set individual files to private, for instance by adding an option to password protect them, would be helpful.

Other than that, there is not much to criticize. If you are looking for an easy to use file hosting service, then you should take a closer look at Min.us.


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  1. croote said on May 14, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    to share files, I like ge.tt: what is the difference between ge.tt and min.us?
    Reading you’re article, min.us allow you, for example, to have galleries and so one.
    Not really important for me I think


  2. Jojo said on May 12, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    I’ve been using Min.us for a while. The service was not real dependable at first but it has gotten better. I use it for screenshot/image sharing in forums. It is nice and easy to just drag something into the window and then copy the URL to share with.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on May 12, 2011 at 8:44 pm

      Everything worked nicely during tests, still wondering about the company’s business model though.

  3. KRS said on May 12, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    Martin –

    How does Min.us compare with, say, Dropbox or public.me.com under MobileMe.com? Both of these let you upload files and make them available to others.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on May 12, 2011 at 3:39 pm

      Well for Dropbox, you do need an account before you can upload and share files. You get features on top of that but I’d say that both services target a different audience. I have not been using Mobileme before so I cannot really say how it compares.

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