One of the original e-mail safety tips was to be careful about attachments from strangers. Never open anything attached to a message that...

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One of the original e-mail safety tips was to be careful about attachments from strangers. Never open anything attached to a message that you weren’t absolutely sure about.

That hasn’t really changed. You still don’t want to click on anything that arrives from a strange place. At the same time, rules about attachments have changed. People now send presentations, documents and movies to each other, increasing the heft, if not the quality, of the communication.

Which leads us to another irrefutable technology axiom: As soon as you fix one problem, another will emerge. We accept the general safety of attachments from people we know, and the average bandwidth is large enough to handle the transfer of large files. The hurdle originates from Internet service providers, which set limits on the size of files that can pass through their systems. In most cases, it is around 10 MB, which can be far less than the average multimedia-rich file you want to share with your relatives or colleagues.

A service called Send6 offers a solution. Here, you can bypass your ISP to transfer large files and send them directly over the Internet instead. You log on to the site and upload the file in question, which can be as large as 2 GB. You then send a secure link to recipients, who download the file directly to their machines. No limits, no obstructions and no cranky ISPs

As for the Send6 financial model, we travel more deeply into the atmosphere of Planet Predictability. The service is free for 1 GB of data per month. After that, you need to sign on to one of three different paid plans, designed to accommodate different levels of transfer needs and bandwidth. There is even a new service — due for rollout this week — that combines the file transfer with a storage service. Here, you can keep large files online for access when you need them, and manually select the people you want to receive them.

I’ve written about enough of these companies that I should install a macro: “Press Shift + F1 to insert phrase ‘will offer basic useful services for free but charge for premium features required if you want to do any heavy lifting.’ ” But when I call something “predictable” it is decidedly not a put down.

It is remarkable that a small company can determine a flaw in existing technology, develop a solution and bring it to market in months — all without harming any plants or animals. And if you are willing to accept less than “full-featured,” it doesn’t cost a dime.

Send6 will hit the spot for some people, who will immediately sign on for the top-of-the-line plan. The rest of us will add www.send6.com to the Favorites list and use it as an option in the rare times we need to send something really big. If you’re are not a graphic artist or multimedia merchant 1 GB a month is more than enough.

If you have questions or suggestions for Charles Bermant, you can contact him by e-mail at cbermant@seattletimes.com. Type Inbox in the subject field. More columns at www.seattletimes.com/columnists.