File Transfer App
April 30, 2005 1:16 PM   Subscribe

What approaches do you have for transferring/receiving large files from friends over the internet?

My experience so far is that web downloads are the most efficient (using sectioning downloading software). But I would rather not put up a website everytime I need to send a file, unless there was a very simple way to this.
Ive tried skype file transfers and found that they were not fast or consistent. Email isn't feasible or fast for large files. FTP does not seem fast and also requires server configuration. I am sure there are better solutions out there. What do you recommend?
posted by blueyellow to Computers & Internet (18 answers total)
 
I just upload to my server and send a link out.
posted by wsg at 1:18 PM on April 30, 2005


For very, very large files, real mail really does beat out the internet in terms of speed and convenience. At least for me.

FTP in and of itself should not be slow. It's possible your ISP is throttling the traffic on typical FTP ports. Perhaps you could try switching the FTP server to listen on a port other than 21. Make sure you pick something that isn't already used by some other P2P applications that might also be throttled. This is the method I personally use, and setup is a breeze using the right software. OS X has a built-in FTP server, and there are several options for Windows and Linux.
posted by odinsdream at 1:21 PM on April 30, 2005


Dropload
posted by sciurus at 1:23 PM on April 30, 2005


I don't know how quick it would be with very large files, but when just emaling the file doesn't work, I've used http://www.yousendit.com/. It temporarily stores your file on its server space and generates a link that it sends to the other party, so it's the same as uploading to your own space, but if there are space or bandwidth limitations on your server this might be better.
It also will do executable files, which some programs won't - Gmail won't accept .mdb attachments, for example, so I use You Send It to email them to myself instead.
posted by librarina at 1:24 PM on April 30, 2005


Whoa. Yousendit is a approximately .9 gigs better than Dropload.
posted by sciurus at 1:27 PM on April 30, 2005


AOL Instant Messager allows direct user-to-user file transfer.
posted by nicwolff at 1:27 PM on April 30, 2005


Oh yeah -- I forgot to note that You Send It takes up to a gig.
posted by librarina at 1:37 PM on April 30, 2005


A private IRC channel or a chat program for private material.
posted by Navek Rednam at 1:49 PM on April 30, 2005


Bit Torrent (e.g. Azureus) might be an option if more than one friend is invovled. Minimal setup required.
posted by Boo! at 1:57 PM on April 30, 2005


I don't know your personal level of tech savvy, but I personally use rsync. I wouldn't be surprised if there were user-friendly clients out there.
posted by Eamon at 2:20 PM on April 30, 2005


But I would rather not put up a website everytime I need to send a file, unless there was a very simple way to this.

Simplist program I have used is HFS - Http File Server. It will create a web page for you that can be password protected, files and/or folders are dragged and dropped into the program and you just send them the address.
posted by squeak at 4:07 PM on April 30, 2005 [1 favorite]


I use either the personal web server built into OS X, or my .Mac iDisk.
posted by toddshot at 6:15 PM on April 30, 2005


If you have an extra Gmail invitation, or know of someone who does, you can sign up for a new Gmail account if you do a lot of file transferring and then upload/send to that and give your friend the password so they can download it.

If you're using Windows and would like to speed up this process, there's always the Gmail Drive Shell Extension which creates a gmail drive in Windows Explorer.
posted by nakedsushi at 11:52 PM on April 30, 2005


I'd second odinsdream in terms of transferring huge files. If your friends are local, just haul on over there with a network cable. If they're not, burn stuff to CDs/DVDs and send it their way. I've found it's the best and fastest (not to mention most social) way to transfer large amounts of data.
posted by thebabelfish at 5:17 AM on May 1, 2005


If you're using Windows and would like to speed up this process, there's always the Gmail Drive Shell Extension which creates a gmail drive in Windows Explorer.

I was recently told about something called Roamdrive which also creates a gmail drive, but I think Gmail may have blocked it (at least to non-USA users). At any rate, my Gmail accounts showed 0 bytes when I came to upload files to them :-(

Would an application like this violate the GMail EULA?
posted by essexjan at 9:00 AM on May 1, 2005


I've found that while YouSendit.com is better than DropLoad in some ways (such as interface), it's about 10% the speed of FTP'ing to my server and giving the URL to someone. Uploads take forever. Downloads seem to be faster (I tried both at different times using the same DSL link). Anyone know why?

It really depends on the size of the file you're trying to send. How much is it usually, blueyellow?
posted by madman at 2:53 PM on May 1, 2005


Uploads take forever. Downloads seem to be faster (I tried both at different times using the same DSL link). Anyone know why?

Possibly because you have an asynchronous DSL link, so your upstream isn't as beefy as your downstream.
posted by pompomtom at 7:45 PM on May 1, 2005


FTP is insecure, you might want to look at using SFTP (secure ftp) instead...
posted by raster at 1:52 PM on May 3, 2005


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