What is Firefox Send and How Does it Work

Why this file encryption service is safer than sending email attachments

Firefox Send on the Firefox browser on a MacBook Air laptop


Email is a great way to send attachments … until you need to send large files, or you want those attached files to be encrypted. When you need those two features, where do you turn?

Mozilla has created a service, that takes care of both of those needs. The service is called Firefox Send. Let’s take a look at how Send works and why you should use it.

How Firefox Send Works

The process of sending a file with Firefox Send is actually quite simple. The first thing to do is sign up for an account. The service is free, and if you already have a Firefox account (the same account you use to sync your different instances of Firefox), you’re ready to go. If you don’t have an account, point your browser to the Firefox Send page and click Sign in/up.

Screenshot of the Firefox Send Sign in/up button.

Once you’ve signed up for your account, you’re ready to work with Firefox Send. Here’s how to use the service:

  1. Sign into your Firefox account.

  2. Click Select Files to upload.

    Screenshot of the Firefox Send Select Files button.
  3. Select the expiration condition (either after the file has been downloaded X number of times or after a certain time has passed).

    Screenshot of the Firefox Send Expires after options.
  4. Click Protect with password (optional).

  5. If you protect the file with a password, type a password in the Password field.

    Screenshot of the Firefox Send optional password protection feature.
  6. If you protect the file with a password, type a password in the Password field.

Once the file has been uploaded, you will be presented with a share link. Click Copy link and then paste the link into an email or message to the recipient(s) of your choosing.

You will be automatically returned to the upload page, where your current upload will be listed. From this view, you can do the following things:

  • View the details of your download.
  • Copy the link again, by clicking Copy Link.
  • Delete the download from the Firefox Send server, by click the X associated with the download.
Screenshot of the Firefox Send download page.

Why Use Firefox Send?

You’re probably asking why you should use Firefox Send, instead of just emailing files to those who need them? There are two primary reasons:

  • Security
  • File size

The most important issue at hand is security. In order to securely send files to recipients, using only an email client, your client must be set up for encryption, and you need recipient keys. In many cases, this requires using a third-party application (such as GnuPG, Enigmail, etc.). If you’re looking for a much simpler route, Firefox Send is what you need.

The next issue is that most email providers have size limits for attachments. You cannot simply attach a 2.5 GB file to an email and send it. Many email providers limit you to around 100MB, which is significantly smaller than 2.5 GB. Firefox Send allows up to 2.5 GB, and because it’s a download link, the recipients will be downloading the file via web browser, so they too won’t have to be concerned with file size restrictions.

Simple File Sending

If you’re looking for the easiest way to send larger files, and have them automatically encrypted for you, you cannot beat Firefox Send. Give this simple file sending service a go and see if it doesn’t wind up being your default for the task.