[dropbox]

What is Exchange File?

Exchange File is a service that can transfer relatively large chunks of data between people inside and outside of the University of Hertfordshire (UH). It is an alternative to file sharing systems such as Dropbox, Gdrive, Onedrive, YouSendIt, and MailBigFile.

At least one end of the transfer must involve a member of the University of Hertfordshire with a functioning @herts.ac.uk email address.

There is a short video showing a drop-off and pick-up of data here.

Quick Start if you have a UH email address:

- to drop off files for someone else to pick up.

Login to Exchange File using your university username;
Click 'Drop off';
Click 'Next' to go to File Upload Screen;
On the File Upload Screen, click the Green Plus Icon in the To: field in order to add recipient email addresses;
Click 'done' on the pop-up box when you have finished adding recipients;
Click one of the 'Choose file' buttons and select a file to upload from your device; repeat if you have more than one file to drop-off;
Click 'Drop off files' to upload your files to the server.

Important - leave the browser window open until the upload finishes and you get a Drop-Off Summary Screen. This may take some time for large files. You can open another tab in your browser or do something else whilst the upload continues in the background.

Quick Start if you do not have a UH email address:

- to drop off files for a University Member.

(It is easier to ask a University Member to 'Request a drop off' from you.)

Go to home screen of Exchange File;
Click 'Drop off';
Enter your name, organisation, and email address;
Play the 'Prove you are a human' challenge response game;
Click the 'send confirmation' button;
Wait for an email from the system. It should arrive within a few minutes;
Click the long link in the Notification Email - this will take you to the File Upload Screen;
On the File Upload Screen, click the Green Plus Icon in the To: field in order to add recipient email addresses. All recipients must be @herts.ac.uk;
Click 'done' on the pop-up box when you have finished adding UH recipients;
Click one of the 'Choose file' buttons and select a file to upload from your device; repeat if you have more than one file to drop-off;
Click 'Drop off files' to upload your files to the server.;

Important - leave the browser window open until the upload finishes and you get a Drop-Off Summary Screen. This may take some time for large files. You can open another tab in your browser or do something else whilst the upload continues in the background.

Quick Start pick up files

Click the long link in the Notification Email in your mailbox;
Play the 'Prove you are a human' challenge response game (unless you are already logged in);
At the Drop-Off Summary Screen click on the filename of each file to download it;
The files will appear in the usual downloads folder on your device.

Alternatively (because some mail systems break the long link in the Notification Email);
Go to home screen of Exchange File;
Click 'Pick-up';
Play the 'Prove you are a human' challenge response game;
Click 'Pickup files';
Enter the Claim ID and Claim Passcode that were included in the Notification Email;
At the Drop-Off Summary Screen click on the filename of each file to download it;
The files will appear in the usual downloads folder on your device.

Downloads may take some time for large files.

Support

We think Exchange File is easy to use, but if in doubt contact helpdesk@herts.ac.uk.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I use Exchange File?

You may have a file that is too large to go through the mail system, or data that should be not be retained in a mail system, such as Personal or Confidential Information (PCI).

Why should I use Exchange File in preference to other file sharing systems?

Systems such as Dropbox, Gdrive, Onedrive, YouSendIt, and MailBigFile are unregulated and do not meet University of Hertfordshire information goverance regulations. In particular, they should not be used to store or transfer any Personal or Confidential Information (PCI).

Who can use Exchange File?

Anybody, provided that one or other of the sender and recipient has a functioning University of Hertfordshire email address (@herts.ac.uk).

How does Exchange File work?

The key concept is that of a 'drop-off'. The sender can initiate a transfer by dropping off files for a recipient. There can be more than one recipient. Also, recipients can request a drop-off from a sender.

The system uses email to notify both parties and grant access to dropped off files. Alternatively, an exchange of tokens can be used.

Is Exchange File secure?

Exchange File uses the same secure HTTPS protocol that is used for ecommerce transactions and other secure transfers on the web. In addition, files uploaded to Exchange File are scanned for viruses. Nevertheless, you should exercise the same degree of caution as you would with any other file you download.

Should I treat PCI differently?

Yes, you are strongly encouraged to password protect and encrypt any Personal or Confidential Information, or otherwise valuable data, before transferring it, particularly outside the University. We recommend using TrueCrypt. There is an introduction to personal data encryption, including a Guide to using TrueCrypt here.

How do I drop off files?

see Quick start.

How do I know if a drop-off succeeded?

When uploading is complete you will see a Drop-Off Summary Screen which contains details of the Drop-Off.

How do I know when my drop-off has been picked up?

You will receive a Confirmation Email.

How long do the Notification and Confirmation Emails take to arrive?

Mail usually arrives within one or two minutes. Occasionally, if the University's outgoing mail server is busy, it might take longer.
If you were expecting mail from the system and it does not appear - check your junk/spam mail folder (especially if you use Gmail or Hotmail).

My recipient lost the email, how do I resend it?

Login to Exchange File;
Click the 'Outbox' link in the Navigation Bar;
Click on the title line of the drop-off that you wish to resend;
Click the 'Resend Drop-off' button.

My recipient didn't receive the email, what should I do?

Login to Exchange File;
Click the 'Outbox' link in the Navigation Bar;
Click on the title line of the drop-off in question;
Locate the Claim ID and Claim Passcode which can be found at the foot on the Drop-Off Summary Screen;
Copy and send the Claim ID and Claim Passcode to the recipient;
Ask them to visit Exchange File, click 'Pick-up', and enter the Claim ID and Claim Passcode.

How do I cancel a drop-off?

Login to Exchange File;
Click the 'Outbox' link in the Navigation Bar;
Click on the title line of the drop-off that you wish to delete;
Click the 'Delete Drop-off' button.

How do I request files from someone else?

You need to 'request a drop-off':

Login to Exchange File;
Click the 'Request a Drop-off' button;
Complete the form and click 'Send the Request 'button;
Wait for a Notification Email that says a drop-off has been made for you.

Why should I request a drop-off?

If you are a member of the University and wish to ask someone outside the University to send you data, you can make the process easier for them by logging in and requesting a drop-off.

How do I pick up files?

see Quick start.

How do I pick up files if I have lost the Notication Email?

Login to Exchange File;
Click the 'Inbox' link in the Navigation Bar;
Click on the Claim ID of the drop-off that you wish to pick up.

If you are not a university member ask the sender to re-send the drop-off or send you the Claim ID and Claim Passcode for their drop off, see Quick start.

The pick up link doesn't work, what should I do?

Sometimes the long link in the Notification Email does not work because it is truncated or split as it goes through the email system. You can use the Claim ID and Claim Passcode instead.

Go to home screen of Exchange File;
Click 'Pick up';
Play the 'Prove you are a human' challenge response game;
Enter the Claim ID and Claim Passcode that were included in the Notification Email;
Continue to pick up the files, see Quick start

What happens if the recepient does not pick up a drop-off within 30 days

The drop-off is deleted. You will have to repeat it.

Why do drop-offs expire after 30 days?

Exchange File is a data transfer facility, not a storage facility. This is a housekeeping measure to stop the server filling up; but it makes good sense it terms of information security too because it means your data is automatically disposed off when it has served its purpose.

Which web browsers are supported?

Exchange File supports all modern browsers.
It has been tested with, Internet Explorer 8 & 10; Firefox 27, 28 & 29; Chrome 34; Opera 19 & 20; and Safari 5.1 & 6.
It supports most older browsers too, but Internet Explorer 6 and 7 will be limited to 2GB per file.

What are the system limits?

The largest file supported is 5.0 GB;
Up to 19 files can be included in a drop-off;
A drop-off must be less than 10.0 GB in total.

Drop-offs are automatically deleted after 30 days;
Requests to drop-off expire after 5 days;
Drop-offs time out after 2 hours if uploading is not complete.

These values are a compromise put in place to work with the resources available on the server. They should be more than sufficent for nearly everyone.

What if I have more than 10.0 GB of data to drop-off?

You will have to do more than one drop-off and segment your data in files less than 5.0 GB.

If you regularly need to exceed the drop-off limit contact helpdesk@herts.ac.uk for advice.

I have a lot of files to drop off, what is the best way to do this?

If you have more than a handfull of files you can save effort for you and your recipient by zipping them into a single package to drop off.

on Windows;
put all the files to drop-off into a folder
right click the folder
choose 'Send to'
choose 'Compressed (zipped) folder'
drop-off the resulting zipped folder

on OSX;
put all the files to drop-off into a folder
ctrl-click the folder
choose 'compress...'
drop-off the resulting .zip file

The drop off is taking a long time to upload. Is that normal?

It depends on how much data you are trying to drop off and how much bandwidth you have in your location.

Some approximate examples upload times are:

up to 1MB;
via the University Network - instantaneous;
via a fast domestic fibre or cable broadband line (10 Mbit/sec) - 1 second;
via a typical domestic adsl broadband line (2 Mbit/sec) - 5 seconds.

100MB;
via the University Network - 15 seconds;
via a fast domestic fibre or cable broadband line (10 Mbit/sec) - 90 seconds;
via a typical domestic adsl broadband line (2 Mbit/sec) - 8 minutes.

1 GB;
via the University Network - 2 minutes;
via a fast domestic fibre or cable broadband line (10 Mbit/sec) - 15 minutes;
via a typical domestic adsl broadband line (2 Mbit/sec) - 1 hour 15 minutes.

max drop off 10 GB;
via the University Network - 20 minutes;
via a fast domestic fibre or cable broadband line (10 Mbit/sec) - 2.5 hours (exceeds upload timeout);
via a typical domestic adsl broadband line (2 Mbit/sec) - 12.5 hours (exceeds upload timeout).

Note: domestic download speeds are generally 5 to 10 times faster than upload, so picking files up should not be a problem.

Why don't you use the Captcha challenge-response system?

We found most people can pass the 'Prove you are a human' challenge response more quickly and with less inconvenience than Captcha.

Why doesn't this look like the main University of Hertfordshire website?

Exchange File is built with ZendTo, which is opensource software. It has its own interface and we have limited scope to modify it without compromising the way it works. You can trust it. It really is for you.

About ZendTo

ZendTo version 4.28 is developed by Julian Field. Based upon the original Perl UD Dropbox software written by Doke Scott.