What to Consider

For this topic, the word "sharing" describes a situation where all parties are viewing the same physical file object or there is some automatic mechanism to synchronize all parties' copies of the file(s).  The parties' permissions to edit or create files may vary, but everyone is in essence working in the same shared space. 

There are several factors to keep in mind when considering the University-provided file sharing options.  Your answers to these questions will help determine the best file sharing option for you.

  1. Is any party you are sharing with external to the University (no University NetID)?
  2. Are you only sharing one file or will you be sharing multiple files?
  3. Do you need to share any files greater than 2GB each?
  4. Will anyone need to access the file(s) from outside the University network (ie. from home or at a conference)?
  5. How important is access from mobile devices?

Frequently Asked Questions

question 1 is blah, blah (linked to the appropriate section below)

question 2 is this, that and the other thing (linked to the appropriate section below)


What is the best way to share a single file with someone external to the University?

In many cases, customers find that they need to share a file they created with someone external to the University (the person does not have a University NetID).  The best option is to use OneDrive for Business, and it is the only option when it is untenable for you to have a University NetID created for the person you are sharing with.  Follow these instructions to share the file using OneDrive for Business.

If you do not need to "share" the file as defined at the top of this page, it may be more appropriate to email a copy of your file instead. (link to the appropriate FAQ question on emailing a file)

What is the best way to just give someone a copy of my file?

A more common need than "sharing" files is emailing other parties a copy of the current or final version of your file.  It is very quick and easy to accommodate the need to distribute a file, but it has its limitations.  You may continue working on the original file, but the other parties do not see any updates to you work unless you choose to send them another copy.

You must also be careful when sending a file containing sensitive or protected data.  Such files sent in email to non-UAlbany.edu email addresses travel over the public internet in plain text. It is highly recommended that such data be encrypted using one of the procedures below before attaching the document in email:

Encrypt Microsoft Office 2010 Documents (Word 2010, Excel 2010, PowerPoint 2010)

Encrypt Mac Office 2011 Documents (Word 2011, Excel 2011, PowerPoint 2011)

Can I get a file space where my team or workgroup can add and edit files?


How can I share OneDrive for Business files with someone if they do not have a University account?


Is it safe to store sensitive or protected data in OneDrive for Business?


Does the "OneDrive" link in Outlook Web App (OWA) take me to OneDrive or OneDrive for Business?


Is OneDrive also a University-provided and supported service?


How is OneDrive for Business different from DropBox?


Can I get a OneDrive for Business team workspace that does not use my personal OneDrive for Business quota?


Is it ok to continue using DropBox or another non-University service for sharing?


How can I share a file that is larger than 2GB?