Pushbullet, Your Phone is practically fluent when it comes to duplicating notifications, but it fails when it comes to file transfers. The free variant of Pushbullet limits sending files to 25 Mb, while Your Phone doesn’t allow you to share anything other than photos.
Other file transfer apps like Feem, File Explorer + are usually slow. You can always use Google Drive but it significantly increases transfer times and don’t forget that it only works with an active internet connection. So first and foremost, I needed a file transfer app that didn’t have a file limit and also faster transfer speeds. So, here is the list of the best Android file transfer apps from Android to Windows PC.
Best Android to Windows File Transfer Apps
Snapdrop is the simplest and most minimal file transfer app. It works only within your Wi-Fi, but provides fast transfer speeds. Snapdrop works on a peer-to-peer architecture. This basically means that the data is shared directly between your Android and Windows PC. There is no central or cloud server involved.
Snapdrop is a cross-platform device and works on any device that has a browser. In fact, I also use it to transfer files to my Android TV. The only downside to Snapdrop is that it doesn’t work with mobile data.
What is good?
- Works on P2P architecture
- Multi platform
- Works in most browsers like Safari, Chrome, Firefox, etc.
- Snapdrop not working on the mobile network
Ideal for fast transfer between multiple devices on a home Wi-Fi network,
The most obvious alternative to unlimited cross-platform file transfer is AirDroid. AirDroid makes use of Wi-Fi to transfer files. I have used it a lot in the days for 2 main reasons.
- You do not need to log in or install additional applications on your desktop.
- Second, there is absolutely no limit on the size and number of files you send.
To share files with AirDroid, first, download the Airdroid app on your Android phone. Then open the app and tap on the “AirDroid Web” link. You will be presented with the IP address and port number that you need to enter into your PC’s web browser. Post that, you will see the AirDroid web interface where you can access the images, videos, contacts, etc. from your Android phone. On the right side, you have the
Besides files, you can also share clipboard data, control your mobile camera, view files, take screenshots, etc. AirDroid seems like an ideal Pushbullet alternative if you use the LAN only. As soon as you move to a different Wi-Fi network, AirDroid limits the file transfer limit to 30 Mb and the daily transfer limit to 200 Mb.
AirDroid still uses a cloud server, so it makes sense that there is a size limit, but this is where it gets cheeky. If you use the barcode scanner to connect the devices on the LAN, AirDroid will always show a pop-up window saying that the connection is not encrypted and you need to log in. Once you log in, the connection reverts to remote mode even though it is on LAN. In this way, your file size is limited and AirDroid can push the premium variant.
What is good?
- The connection is quite fluid
- Displays phone storage information and other statistics in the web application.
- The free variant does not have an encrypted connection.
- File transfer is limited to 200 Mb in remote file transfer
- Very limited transfer speed in the free variant.
- Android app is full of ads and suspicious app suggestions
Ideal if you want to sync notifications, mirror notifications along with file transfer.
Xender is a kind of AirDroid with similar functionalities but a completely different architecture and business model. First of all, Xender is free and does not have a paid professional variant. You can then connect your PC and Android via LAN or Hotspot. The Hotspot feature is really useful when you don’t have a Wi-Fi network in place. Additionally, Xender provides significantly higher transfer speeds at the access point compared to Wi-Fi. However, connecting your laptop to the mobile hotspot is a complicated process.
Apart from this, the Xender app is full of app promotions and advertisements. Therefore, I would not recommend using Xender for more than a single case.
What is good?
- The web application carefully classifies the phone data into photos, videos, music, applications, etc.
- Multiplatform support
- Transfer speeds are significantly slower when connected via LAN
- Full screen ads
Ideal if you don’t have a Wi-Fi network.
FileZilla is one of the oldest and most basic FTP client-server applications for Android. In case you are not familiar with FTP, I suggest you pass it on.
However, if you are well versed in some networking and command line terminologies, FileZilla works perfectly. All you have to do is start the FTP server on Android through the FileZilla app. The application will show you the IP address and credentials to use when logging into the FTP server. Next, open the cmd in Windows and connect to the FTP server in Android. Post that, you have to use the conventional get and put commands to download and upload files accordingly.
The best thing about FTP is that it works without an Internet connection within the same Wi-Fi network. Now the only caveat with FileZilla or rather FTP is internet access or remote access. If you want to access your FTP server over the Internet, you will need to enable port forwarding and a couple of firewall settings on the router.
Read: 5 Best FTP Clients for Windows and macOS
What is good?
- Easy FTP server setup on Android
- Since it works in cmd, there is no need to install an additional application on the PC
- There is no involvement of a cloud service and data is kept private
- Large amount of configuration on the router for Internet access
- No option to configure SFTP on Android
- The app’s user interface is quite intuitive to start with
Ideal for people familiar with networks and FTP.
5. Resilio Sync
Formerly known as BitTorrent Sync, Resilio Sync is the most intuitive file transfer application. Like Snapdrop, Resilio Sync works on the peer-to-peer network architecture.
Once you have installed the application on both Android and Windows, choose the file to send. The app then creates a unique link and a QR code. Now, you just have to enter the connection link or scan the QR code on Android to start the file transfer. Besides normal file transfer, Resilio offers a bunch of other options like folder sync, camera sync, and encrypted cloud sync.
Resilio works perfectly on the Internet and your local network. However, the free variant allows unlimited file sending and folder synchronization between 2 systems. If you manage a large number of devices and want to sync folders between them, you can upgrade to the pro variant in a one-time cost of $ 59.9.
What is good?
- Works over both the Internet and Wi-Fi
- Unlimited folder syncing and file sending
- No cloud server involvement
- Cross-platform applications for Linux, macOS, NAS, etc.
Ideal if you frequently send large files from your Android to a Windows PC and vice versa.
Similar to Resilio Sync, Portal also works on the P2P transfer protocol. It is developed by the PushBullet team. Unlike Pushbullet, Portal does not have any file submission limits. You have to download the Android application and visit “portal.pushbullet.com” on your Windows PC. Connect both devices by scanning the QR code and now, just drag and drop the files into the Windows Portal web app.
Portal works perfectly without problems. However, it has its own flaws. You can send files from your Windows PC to Android, however it doesn’t work the other way around. Portal works with the same P2P protocol, but it cannot send files over your mobile network. All these limitations are due to one simple thing: use Pushbullet for the additional features.
What is good?
- The easiest configuration via QR code
- Use the P2P protocol instead of a cloud server
- You can also save files to SD card
- Can’t send files from Android to Windows
- Doesn’t work with mobile data
Ideal for a one-time file transfer with friends on the same Wi-Fi network due to minimal setup.
SyncThing is an open source alternative to Resilio Sync. Contrary to Reselio’s proprietary protocol, SyncThing uses Open standard block exchange and replicates the same functionality. Having said that, SyncThing misses out on the most important feature: direct file sharing. You must go through the entire process of setting up a remote device and then copying the file to the shared folder. SyncThing will then sync the file from Windows to your Android device or vice versa.
I would not recommend SyncThing to send files occasionally. However, if you have a permanent use case, you can go back to SyncThing to keep your folders in sync.
In case SyncThing sync hangs at 0%, you will need to approve the creation of the folder in the web GUI in the Android app.
What is good?
- Open source standard
- Automatic peer discovery on the same network
- Works with both mobile data and Wi-Fi
- No option to share files directly
Ideal for people who want to sync an important folder on multiple devices permanently.
I use FileZilla or SyncThing when I dual-boot my Ubuntu laptop. On Windows, I mostly rely on Google Drive or Smapdrop. In case you rarely send files back and forth, Xender or Portal is a good choice. For more issues or inquiries, let me know in the comments below.
Also Read: 12 Step-by-Step Fixes for WiFi Connected But No Internet Access