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Digital Pigeon speeds file transfers

Most people have moved away from sending large files as email attachments, turning instead to services such as YouSendIt and Dropbox. But uploading to these services can be a slow process, and that's where Digital Pigeon comes in.

Said to be the first Australian file transfer service, Digital Pigeon has onshore servers allowing much faster upload speeds than the competition.

An anonymous customer quoted by company officials said "We upload via Telstra 4G normally, to Dropbox we were getting about 60KB/s - but via your service - we were getting 2.1MB/s using the same internet connection. Truly saved our skin."

The company's own trials show that sending and receiving a 1GB file took 6 minutes with Digital Pigeon, 54 minutes with YouSendIt, and 71 minutes with We Transfer. The speed of the internet connection used for testing was not revealed.

Digital Pigeon service starts with a free plan allowing 2GB of storage. Then there's Basic ($15/month, 20GB), Professional ($22, 50GB) and Team ($45, 100GB). Files up to 10GB can be sent via the service.

The company offers Mac and Windows (currently in beta) versions of its desktop app to simplify uploading. Features include address book integration, preventing the computer from sleeping during uploading, and pause/resume.

There is also an iOS app to report when an upload is complete, and when the recipient has downloaded the file.

The Pro and Team plans include the ability to brand the user interface and to specify a preview image for the benefit of the recipient.

Team plans allow different levels of access for participants - most employees would be given basic rights to send files, while an owner or manager retails full control over the account.

For the benefit of overseas customers, Digital Pigeon also has servers in the US and the EU, but Australian customers' data remains on the Australian servers until downloaded by the recipient.

"File sizes are increasing with advances in technology, and Australians are turning away from using their standard email system and are choosing dedicated large-file transfer services like Digital Pigeon," said co-founder Dan Washusen.

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.