How to Receive Large Files with MASV Portals

by Jim Donnelly | March 23, 2021

Whether you’re working with collaborators on the other side of the world, or just across town, MASV Portals are the easiest and fastest way to receive large files.

In this article, you’ll learn:

Why use a MASV Portal?

A MASV Portal is a faster, easier way to send and receive large files, even when you’re working with a large number of non-technical users.

In 2021, almost every video workflow is moving to cloud — or at least trying. The pressing need to shift to cloud has revealed the challenge of moving ultra high resolution content and creative assets. There are plenty of file transfer options out there suitable for small files. However, transferring large files can be unreliable, slow and frustratingly complex. At times, enterprise fast-file transfer tools can be so complicated that users practically need an IT degree.

That’s the unfortunate reality of many large file transfer services–but that’s not the worst of it! In 2021 large files are still being couriered by hard drive. One should never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes hurtling down the highway, but the pace of today’s productions call for faster access to source files than couriers, FTP or generic cloud storage solutions allow. Many of today’s conventional cloud or managed file transfer services may suffer from one or more of the following:

  • Needless complexity: Complicated software or plugin installations and firewall tweaks are often required
  • Guesswork: Contributors, especially in distributed workflows or those involving contractors or freelancers who might be unfamiliar with your transfer or asset management processes, can be forced to guess which folder to upload to, and may miss a password or a login, leading to unnecessary churn, questions and back-and-forth. These are all unnecessary distractions to the creative process.
  • Dated and clunky workflows: Complicated interfaces mean users often need training and tutorials to use the service effectively
  • Cost inefficiencies: Many enterprise offerings have large annual price tags
  • File size limits: Many services have hard limits on the amount of data you can transfer and store
  • Slow, unreliable service: Slow file download or upload speeds, delays, and even outright failures are common with many providers

Even in 2021, creatives are sticking to outdated processes to avoid these services. Sometimes going old-school (but predictable) through a courier, or breaking up files to send large files over email, or using all sorts of time-consuming file compression techniques. And who has the patience for all that – especially when you’re on deadline?

As the old saying goes, coordinating creatives is like herding cats. Well, herd cats no more. MASV Portals eliminate the complexities of tedious folders in the cloud, firewall, and IT headaches. MASV Portals provide a single, simple upload experience where you can gather all your assets and automatically deliver them to your chosen storage.

What exactly is a MASV Portal?

A MASV Portal is an incredibly easy-to-use gateway to MASV’s large file transfer service. Effectively, Portals are a single simple space on the web where you can centralize and even automate the collection and transfer of your assets.

Portals have two primary functions:

  1. For Portal owners: The capability to collect large files from anyone, anywhere, and automatically deliver them to the location of your choice
  2. For collaborators and partners: The capability to send large files to Portal owners easily, reliably, and for free–often with no login (meaning no credential-juggling, no guesswork)

masv portals complete

Portals make it easy to receive and store large files sent from anywhere in the world, enabling you to receive footage from anyone with an internet connection including film festivals, broadcasters, event organizers, or creative agencies. They’re powered by MASV’s dedicated global accelerated network of 160 servers distributed across the globe for maximum transfer speeds and reliability. Tailor-made for today’s remote workflows, some Portal clients have even discovered they’re a handy tool for expanding their access to global talent.

Owners can invite contributors to upload their files through a simple link (more how-to information can be found in the section below – but Portals are so easy to use, we bet you won’t even need it). Creating a new Portal is free and takes just a few minutes, and users can create and use as few or as many Portals as required.

But it gets even better: MASV Portals eliminate the technical and usability issues we mentioned earlier that plague many large file transfer services. This is thanks in large part to an ever-growing set of features designed to make large file transfers as simple, secure, and reliable as possible, including:

  1. Literally no setup or configurations: MASV’s browser-based Portals don’t require any software or plugins to install and configure, and its TCP-based transfers don’t require any firewall changes
  2. Dead-simple file transfer: Just send an email link to partners or collaborators and they can begin using your Portal immediately. For file senders, using a Portal is as simple as sending an email (no training or tutorials required)
  3. A client-proof and intuitive dashboard: Portals improve everyone’s focus and productivity (and mood) by eliminating all those pesky “How do I do this?” calls from clients or partners
  4. No limits: Unlike practically every other file transfer solution on the market, MASV has no file size limits for transfers or storage.
  5. Built-in automations: To make things even easier, MASV Portals uses Watch Folders to remove manual tasks around file transfers by automatically delivering transfers to your cloud storage platform of choice
  6. Security-first design: MASV Portals are built on the back of AWS cloud security, and all file transfer services use TLS encryption both in flight and at rest combined with password-protected uploads
  7. Automatic file transfer recoveries: MASV file transfers are designed to handle unexpected internet drops or computer shutdowns. When you’re back online, the upload automatically resumes

Portals are fully customizable to your organization’s colors and branding (including the main application, delivery emails, and download pages) and can even be embedded right on your company website (or any website, for that matter). MASV’s pay-as-you-go payment model means it always costs $0.25/GB to transfer files, and for those with large data volume needs, custom plans are available.

You can also integrate MASV Portals with popular collaboration tools such as Slack and, which when combined with automations and your favorite cloud storage platform makes for a truly slick file transfer experience. 

MASV’s robust API means we’re always looking for new integration partners. If you don’t see an integration you need from our list, give us a shout.

In a nutshell: How to use MASV Portals

While anyone with an email address can sign up for a MASV account and begin sending large files right away, it’s regular recipients of large files who are best suited for a MASV Portal. Because they’re free and just take a few seconds to create, you don’t even need a credit card to get started (you will need one, however, to eventually download your files from MASV once they’ve been transferred).

Note: Those who don’t enjoy reading instructions can also watch the instructional video.

Setting up a Portal to receive large files

Portals are primarily for receiving files, so it’s the recipient’s job to sign up and create a Portal. You can set up as many different Portals as you need. Here’s how to do it in 10 super-quick steps (some are optional):

  1. Either sign up or sign in to MASV, where you’ll be taken to the Send screen. Click on the menu icon at the top left.
  2. Click on the Portal option in the drop down to either create a new Portal or view your current Portals. You’ll be taken to the Portals main page.
  3. To create a new Portal, click on Create New Portal at top right.
  4. Name the Portal and assign a subdomain (this is the link you’ll send to your collaborators). Click continue.
  5. Enable password protection for uploads and downloads (optional).
  6. Add email addresses to your recipients field.
  7. Add a message to your Portal (such as a standard greeting, upload instructions, or file format specifications).
  8. Change the Delete After field (optional) to the number of days you’d like your files to be available in MASV. MASV provides up to 10 days unlimited storage for free, but anything longer than that costs extra. Click continue.
  9. Set your Portal’s branding (optional) to update your Portal’s background image, accent colors, and logo. Click Continue.
  10. Assign a cloud connection (optional) – this allows you to save your files in a third-party cloud storage provider. Click Create, and your Portal is ready!

It’s important to also note that nothing is set in stone here, either. Portal owners can easily edit these specifications at any time by clicking the edit button on a Portal from the main Portals page.

Create a new MASV Portal

Sending files to a Portal

Collaborators with large files to send can also use MASV Portals – and they don’t even need to pay anything or have a MASV account to do it. Many post-production houses and creative agencies use MASV Portals to receive files from film crews shooting in far-flung locations or colorists on the other side of the country. 

As mentioned, all any Portal owner needs to do is send collaborators their unique portal URL link and they’re good to go. Once they’ve got the link, collaborators can start uploading files by following these five easy steps:

To upload files to a MASV Portal, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Portal URL, which takes you to the main Portal window.
  2. Use the file dialog box to add files or folders (you can also drag and drop files from your computer or cloud storage to the Portal).
    • Once all your files are selected, you’ll see an indication of the total number and size of all your files
    • If you’ve uploaded a folder, you can also browse or edit your folder structure (MASV large file transfers always retain your desired folder structures)
  3. Enter your email address to identify yourself to file recipients.
  4. Name your file package (optional).
  5. Add a message (optional), then hit Send. You’ll receive a confirmation once the transfer is complete (and so will your recipient).
Upload large files to MASV Portals

Receiving files from a Portal

For Portal owners, receiving files is just as simple:

  1.  Navigate to Packages → Received under the main menu of the MASV user interface. You’ll see a list of all file packages you’ve received from all your Portals (including other useful data and a cost breakdown).
  2. You can push back MASV’s automatic 10-day file deletion window (optional) by clicking the calendar action icon in your file package, where you’ll be provided with an estimated cost for extended storage.
  3. To share the package (optional), click the link action icon. You’ll receive a download link. Simply copy and paste the link and send to your recipient.
  4. Click the down arrow action icon to see the file package’s download page (the same page your senders see when uploading the files).
  5. From the download page:
    1. Select Download All to download all files
    2. Select individual files for download
    3. You’ll also see the option to download files directly to Google Drive or Dropbox
  6. Click the cloud action icon to share the file package with your preferred cloud connection. You can also provision new cloud connections using this icon:
    1. Click Add New Connection
    2. Click on the Service field and select a cloud provider from the list
    3. Connect your account by filling in the relevant information (connection name, URL, container name)
  7. Click the trash can action icon to delete files.
  8. Click the three dot action item to get more information on your file package, including:
    1. Date created
    2. Recipients
    3. Status
    4. Number of downloads (the default limit is three, but this can be customized or disabled)
    5. If desired, you can use this page to set a download password for recipients or add more recipients to a file package
Receive large files with a MASV Portal

How others use MASV Portals

MASV Portals are used by individuals, startups, and large organizations to easily receive massive files from anywhere in the world. Here’s how a few MASV clients use Portals:

Think Out Loud
A creative content agency founded by former Tesla, Apple, DJI, and Airbnb employees, Think Out Loud combines the power of MASV Portals with integrated video workflow software. After dealing with countless file transfer failures using Dropbox and Google, Founder and Head of Production Casey Schendel says the agency tried MASV.

Their reaction? “Oh my God, this is the easiest thing ever. It’s just the best.” Think Out Loud now uses the MASV desktop app combined with fully branded MASV Portals, where partners or clients can upload as much content as they can shoot for free without a login. MASV Portals’ automated file deliveries and recoveries in case of network interruptions allow users to let file deliveries “cook overnight,” as Schendel puts it, rather than babysitting transfers in case of a hiccup. “When it’s done, it directly emails the client or our team member we’re working with.”

MASV’s integration with even further simplifies the company’s file transfer workflow, especially from the client or partner side, who simply upload their files to Think Out Loud’s MASV Portal. All the agency needs to do is send their clients or partners a link to the Portal. The uploaded files are then automatically transferred to their account without anyone having to lift a finger.

Shadow Magic Studios
This Glendale, CA-based post-production house combines MASV Portals and Watch Folder automations to complement its proprietary Magic Box DIT rig and workflow. This has allowed the company to develop a practically hands-free workflow by combining upload and download automations:

  • When clients or partners record raw footage in the field, they transfer the footage from their device’s memory card to the Magic Box’s onboard storage via Hedge software
  • MASV automation then kicks in: As soon as content touches Magic Box’s onboard storage, the files begin uploading to a predefined MASV Portal
  • Once these files are uploaded to the Portal, automated downloads to any intended recipients begin. This includes cloud archive buckets (cloud vaults) and secure machines that Shadow Magic’s dailies operators can remote into

“MASV automations have big connotations in that you can multitask more, and you don’t have to spend time waiting for stuff,” says Shadow Magic CEO Jordan Maltby. “If you’re downloading a half terabyte media card, you don’t have to sit there and wait for a half an hour – you can go and do other things knowing it’s going to upload when it’s done. Those little seemingly insignificant tools are actually huge time savers, because the automation also works on the other end.”

Try MASV Portals for free

MASV Portals are the world’s fastest and most reliable way to collect digital assets from anyone, anywhere in the world with an internet connection (even if you’ve got a spotty connection) thanks to MASV’s dedicated global accelerated network of 160 servers worldwide.

Help clients, partners, and colleagues send you large files fast with MASV Portals. Click here to get started and send 100GB free.

Need to Receive large Files Now?

Receive large files within seconds of using MASV, no plugins, all in the browser. Sign up for your free MASV account to get started.

Frequently Asked Questions about MASV Portals

How do I get started with a MASV Portal?

Sign up for a MASV account, or if you already have a MASV account, just sign in. Then click on the menu and select “Portals” to create a new Portal and follow the onscreen instructions. Once you’ve created your portal, you can choose to enable password protection, and add your email recepients. 

How much does it cost?

MASV uses a unique pricing model enabling you to pay-as-you-go. MASV Portals allow you to receive files from others while paying the transfer costs through your account. If a user uploads a file through your portal, your bill only increases if – and only if – you download the delivery. The price of $0.25 per gigabyte is the same as sending files.

What level of security is provided by MASV Portals?

We use top-of-the-line TLS encryption on file transfers both in-flight and at rest and password-protected uploads that administrators can edit at any time. MASV is built on Amazon Web Services, which has built-in on-premises and in-cloud security that’s second to none.

We allow you to password protect your Portal uploads from unwanted users, and we allow you to password protect the files when downloading, so only intended recipients have access to your files.

How do I customize a MASV Portal with my own branding?

When you create a new portal, you can upload your own image to use as a background image, upload your logo, and change the accent color to match your brand.

How do I embed a Portal in my web page?

From your Portals page, click the Embed Portal button (<> icon). Click Edit Portal to customize your uploader settings if desired. Once all fields are set, click Copy to copy the embed link. Paste the embed link into your website builder.

How do I remove MASV's branding from my Portal?

MASV does not charge a premium for its services. As such, MASV does not allow our logos to be removed. To fully customize your MASV Portal, you are able to embed our Portal Upload form directly into your own webpage. This allows you to have your own look and feel to your website along with allowing customers to send you files via MASV.

How can I automatically deliver Portal uploads into my chosen on-premise or Cloud storage?

MASV’s ‘Deliver To Cloud’ feature helps you receive incoming Portal deliveries directly into your cloud bucket(s).

Just connect the Portal with the cloud service of your choice and we will send any incoming delivery through that Portal to your cloud bucket.

Once connected, any incoming delivery to your Portal will be sent directly to the cloud service. MASV handles everything automatically at the backend and sends you a confirmation email upon successful delivery to your bucket.

How can I customize notifications to tell me when deliveries have been received/completed?

To access User Level notification settings, navigate to Settings > Profile. Here you will find toggles for notifications such as product announcements, delivery confirmation, package deletion notification, etc., which are received by you only.

Are Portals supported within the MASV API?

The MASV API can be used to integrate Portals with your other content system. Via the API, you can create and control functions of your Portals.

When are files available that are sent via a Portal?

Packages uploaded into a Portal are available immediately following the completion of the upload. Once the package is uploaded, all recipients of the Portal will receive a notification and the package will be available for download via the email notification, or from the Packages -> Received page within the MASV Dashboard.

Is it possible to automatically download packages received by MASV Portals?

Using the MASV Desktop app, you can set up an Automation and select the “Download From Portal” option. Once the Automation is created and active, files will automatically be downloaded to your local workstation.