Storing and Sharing Large Files and Video

It is frequently the case that faculty, students, and staff need to store or share large media files. Depending on your need, the following file storage resources are available to all community members.

Note: We are retiring the use of Box on August 30, 2023 and will standardize on Google Drive for cloud file storage.

Google Drive

Google Drive can be accessed on the web by visiting All Emerson users, by default, are granted 100GB of storage. There are no limits on the size of individual files, and Google Drive makes it simple to share files with anyone, so this is a great option for uploading and sharing large files.

After some time to process, video uploads are playable from the web, but Google Drive is best used for sharing files rather than hosting videos for playback. Panopto is the best option for distributing videos for playback.

The most notable downside to using Google Drive for media is that, as a cloud platform accessed on the Internet, upload and download speeds will be contingent on Internet bandwidth. For instance, uploading many GBs of files will likely take hours. If possible, we recommend compressing video to avoid storage limitations and improve speed of access.


Panopto is the College's video hosting and distribution platform. Much like platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo, Emerson users can upload, share, secure, and embed videos. Most notably, Panopto integrates with Canvas to allow for video submissions for assignments and discussions. Users can even create playlists or lock videos to their course.

In this sense, Panopto is not a file sharing platform, nor should videos be stored permanently. To reduce the time it takes to upload and ensure smooth playback, users are encouraged to encode their videos in advance of uploading.


Bin is Emerson's network storage, used by video production professionals to store and directly work with video files, including those that are not compressed. When on campus, our network allows extremely fast file transfers to and from Bin, and is used by our production facilities, teams, and post production curricula to collaborate and sometimes submit work. Additionally, students will experience these speeds in the Residence Halls or anywhere on campus, especially when connected to the wired network.

Bin is accessible from off-campus over the VPN, but users will only experience a fraction of the speed they experience on campus. Bin is best used as a remote hard drive and for collaboration, and not for playback or video distribution.

External hard drives/personal storage

Each of the above resources have retention policies that will purge data after the user has left the College or otherwise completed their work. Additionally, they each have scenarios in which they would not be highly accessible. Storing your projects on personal media ensures that you have a local copy and can work with it when you need.

Backing Up

We recommend backing up your storage in all circumstances. If you're storing critical media files on any of Emerson's storage resources, keep a personal copy as well. If you're working on a video project on personal storage, backup your project file (they tend to be very small) to Google Drive in case it becomes corrupted. Never keep important data in just one place!

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