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updated 1/11/2013 12:50:09 PM ET 2013-01-11T17:50:09

Facebook is great for posting photos and videos for friends to see and comment on, but only if those files are smaller than 25 MB. And if you want to share a PDF or audio file, you're out of luck.

BeamItOver, a new free app for Facebook, overcomes these obstacles and lets you share large files of any type and any size with your friends on the social network.

For example, if you've got an hour-long video file from your child's concert recital, you could use BeamItOver to share it directly with the family and friends you want to reach instead of posting it to YouTube and the world.

Once you've uploaded a file, you can send friends a message to start a conversation about it.

The app takes advantage of BitTorrent technology for file distribution. (Despite its not-so-stellar reputation, BitTorrent itself is not illegal. Rather, it's a popular tool for people who want to pirate songs, movies and other media.)

The files remain on your computer, and when somebody wants to download one, the app creates a connection between the PCs to enable the transfer. And once friends have downloaded the original file, they become torrent-style "seeds" — others can download the file through them, as well. In fact, multiple people with the file can all upload parts of it to get the data to the new person faster. So if you, your child's uncle and your sister already have the rehearsal video, your neighbor will be able to get it even quicker.

BeamItOver requires both you and the person who downloads the file to install a browser plug-in, which acts as a Web-based torrent client. Once you install the app, you select files you want to share. You can batch several files together into a bundle to make it easier to upload and download several at once.

You don't have to be logged on to Facebook for people to access what you share, but because the files aren't actually on Facebook's servers, BeamItOver requires that the computer with the files on it be online at the time of the transfer.

Files you share on BeamItOver aren't private or encrypted. In fact, any friend with the BeamItOver app installed can see files you've shared. So you shouldn't use the service to transmit sensitive information.

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