Frequently Asked Questions

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Compatibility

On which platforms and browsers does MakeSends work?

In general, MakeSends runs on all major HTML5-compliant web browsers, including Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer. However, since it relies on some features that have only been added recently to web browsers, there are some known issues:

Both issues are likely to be fixed by the respective companies in the near future. In the meantime, we recommend using Mozilla Firefox.

Passwords

What if I lose my password?

To keep entire control over your own data, only you know your password. Hence, please record your password somewhere safe. If you lose your password, there is no way to recover your MakeSends files.

You may write down the password on a piece of paper, and keep it in your wallet.

Why don't you keep the password for me?

The password is your personal door to your data. If you reveal the password to anybody (including us), they can access your data. We do not want to access your data, and therefore do not keep your password.

How long should my password be?

Longer password provide better security, while shorter passwords can more easily be guessed by hackers. You'll find a good overview on our security page.

If you cannot memorize the password, write it on a piece of paper and keep it in your wallet. This is safer than picking a short password.

Why do the generated passwords consist of simple english words?

Passwords do not need to contain special characters to be secure. An english word is about as strong as two characters (letter, digits, symbols).

Words are not only easier to remember, but also easier to type on computers and smartphones (autocorrect-friendly).

Sending

Can I transfer large files?

MakeSends puts no restrictions on the file size. However, Google's Chrome browser (version 32) is currently limited to about 500 MB. We recommend using Mozilla Firefox.

Do you get to see the files that are sent using your service?

No. Once the files are encrypted on your computer before sending, there is no way for us or anyone else to see the content of your files. That said, we ask your abide by the terms and conditions regarding the type of content that can be sent using our service.

Are file names encrypted as well?

Yes, the file names, types, and dates are encrypted as well.

Are sender and receiver addresses encrypted as well?

In the transfer itself, sender and receiver addresses are encrypted as well. However, we notify the receivers through a standard, (non-encrypted) email, in which both sender and receiver addresses are visible.

My file won't upload. Why?

On Mac OS X, some files are folders in disguise, i.e they contain multiple files within. Try zipping the file before uploading.

I have not received a confirmation email. Has the transfer succeeded?

Please check if your spam folder. That is one possible place the email may have ended up. Sometimes the email may take a couple of minutes to be sent if the file is too large.

I received an email from you but the receiver has not. Why?

Assuming the email address was typed correctly, please ask you friend to check the spam folder.

How do I send an entire folder?

You can zip the folder before sending it.

Should I keep a copy of the files I sent on my computer?

We keep your encrypted data very safely. If you lose your password, however, there is no way for us or you to restore your files. So, yes, please keep a copy of the files you've uploaded.

Receiving

Can I receive files on my smartphone?

In general, MakeSends also works on smartphones and tablet devices with an up-to-date HTML5-compliant web browser.

For how long are my files available for download?

If you have a Pro Account, your files and transfers are available as long as you want. You can remove them at any time to free up space on your account.

For single transfers, we keep your files for 10 days, so that receivers have ample time to download them.

Security and encryption

What is encryption?

Think of a file as a long chain of bits. A bit can either be 0 or 1. When encrypting a file, some 0's are replaced by 1's and vice versa. Which of the bits get flipped depends on your password (secret code).

To decrypt a file, you take the same password and flip the same bits back. Somebody who does not know the password, does not know which bits to flip back, and therefore cannot decrypt the file.

What is end-to-end encryption?

End-to-end encryption refers to encrypting a file on your computer (at your end), and decrypting it on the computer of the receiver (at the other end) only. In between, the file remains encrypted at all times, and nobody can decrypt it.

You therefore keep full control over your data: you decide with whom you want to share your data by revealing the secret code to those people.

What encryption scheme does MakeSends use?

MakeSends uses AES with a key length of 256 bits. Security experts around the globe believe that this is a very secure encryption scheme, and many researchers have analyzed its security without finding any significant weaknesses.

Can a hacker crack my files?

To crack your files, a hacker would have to try all passwords (code combinations). If you pick a short password, this can be done within seconds on a home computer. If you pick a long password, it would require centuries to try out all possible combinations, even with very powerful computers.

Breaking the encryption scheme itself would require billions of years of computation, and is therefore not a viable option.

Is encryption in the browser secure?

Yes. Websites such as MakeSends are very similar to apps: they are being downloaded from the internet through a secure connection (HTTPS), and then run locally on your computer. In the case of an app, the program is first installed on the computer, and then updated from time to time. In the case of a website like MakeSends, the program is stored in the browser cache, and updated when required.

Web browser apps such as MakeSends actually run in a sandbox within your web browser, and cannot do any harm to the rest of your computer. In that respect, they are safer than programs installed on your computer.