How do I setup out site network to send large files?
May 11, 2005 12:13 AM   Subscribe

I am trying to setup a server or something (i am very amature at computer network) so that I can share radio records and video files (200mb to 600mb) with my parents abroad?

My family abroad are not computer savvy. They basically know how to browse web pages (mostly one or two newspaper sites) I tried to teach them to download radio shows and videos to watch... but now I realize that it is too difficult for them to sign in to a site find right section and download to a folder and play. I want to either send 200mb-600mb via internet and actually put them in to a folder for them after I download files my self from my state.

Problem is my upload speed is way too slow for me to do this 3 or 5 times a week ( i have regular CABLE connection) . Maybe I can set up a server behind my router and have them download files directly from me. However I worry about my own security and their download speed of about 150kb/s. (this is best their DSL can do... CABLE was too slow also)

What I really want to do is download files from my computer and at given schedule, automatically upload files to their computer at night. (I assum it should take 6-8 hours. every night) This way, they can open their folder during the day and listen/watch instantly.

I even have hard time trying to Remote Desktop to their computer but I think I can set it up if needed. We all have XP pro on computers.

I tried to burn it on DVD and send files via mail but.. oh my.. even once a week seems too much hassel for both of us.

Can some one give step-by-step suggestions.

I even bought Godaddy's Internet File Folder thing... but upload was painful and large files did not work well at all.
posted by curiousleo to Computers & Internet (13 answers total)
Would it be possible to set up WarFTP or similar on their computer, run a local batch script on your computer to FTP to it? IIRC you can still run FTP as a batch from a Windows comand prompt. Set up a drop directory on their side, lock it all down with passwords. Not quite step-by-step, but a place to start looking.
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 12:15 AM on May 11, 2005

Response by poster: That FTP thing sounded promising. But I don't even know where to begin. What do I have to do to my parent's xp pro and my computer? what software?

I did hear about Vitual Network... but same thing I don't know where to even begin.

I am usually good with computers and willing to learn more.
posted by curiousleo at 12:25 AM on May 11, 2005

Response by poster: By the way command prompt and scrips do scare me a little.
posted by curiousleo at 12:26 AM on May 11, 2005

ABC (yet Another Bittorrent Client) has a remote web interface. So you can have it running on a remote machine, and download things directly. This is not an easy solution.

Soulseek is a peer to peer program, very simple to install, has no spyware as far as I know, and I think it allows you to create a trusted relationship between users, so you can send files to a remote machine at will.

Both of these options become more complicated if either user has a router or firewall installed, I expect other people will have better answers, but I figure I'd toss 'em out there.
posted by Jack Karaoke at 12:28 AM on May 11, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks for those suggestions. You are right about the firewall and router issue. I am considering taking out router at my parent's place and just install Zonealarm.. which should give some obvious control i think...

But I do want some security at both places. My life was so much better before firewalls.

I wonder if X-drive or something similar may help? any experiences?
posted by curiousleo at 12:45 AM on May 11, 2005

You might want to try UltraVNC. It's a remote control program that you install on each end and includes file transfer. You will have to set up port forwarding on your router, but they give decent instructions. Another way to deal with the slow downloads is to try to make files smaller. Are you compressing them as much as is practical? What format are the files you're transferring?
posted by SteveInMaine at 2:23 AM on May 11, 2005

I'm pretty sure every solution is going to be more hassle than just mailing a CD every other day. Plus, since your parents seem to be not computer savvy at all, I think a CD with some nice autorun-magic is going to be a lot easier for them.

If your internet connection has a upload speed of 15 kilobyte/second, it's going to take about 4 hours to transfer 200mb, or 12 hours for 600mb. You seem a bit confused in your question: "Maybe I can set up a server behind my router and have them download files directly from me. However I worry about my own security and their download speed of about 150kb/s." If you host the files at your house, they won't be able to download faster than your upload speed.

BTW, 600mb seems really huge. What kind of video is it? If it's just you talking on a webcam for half an hour, it should be less than 100mb.

Another consideration: do your parents have a static or a dynamic IP-address? If it's dynamic, that's going to be problematic for all server-based solutions.
posted by reynaert at 6:45 AM on May 11, 2005

you could use You Send It which lets you upload to a secure server, emails a link to them, and permits them a nice quick download. I use this to get large files from work to home when I don't have my trusty usb disk with me.
posted by tomble at 6:46 AM on May 11, 2005

You're always going to run into the problem that any files transferred from your computer to their computer can only transfer as fast as your upload speed, or their download speed, whichever is slower.

There is a bit of overhead when sending files across the tcp protocol, and then depending upon the protocol you use for sending the file (whether FTP, HTTP, or other), there is some overhead as well. FTP will probably be the fastest, but it will still be kind of slow transferring such huge files.

Is there any way you can compress the files? What format are the files in?
posted by stovenator at 6:55 AM on May 11, 2005

If at least one of the machines has a fixed IP, you can set up that machine as a VPN server and the other as a VPN client. Then use Windows Share to move files between them.
posted by event at 7:17 AM on May 11, 2005

Response by poster: The files are usually mp3, mpeg, or avi.
I record live radio station through Total Record software automatically. It seems to generate mp3 about 200mb or so for couple of hour shows.

mpeg or avi files are from old tv soap shows that they enjoy watching in foreign language. I usually download them from share site. (some may scorn me for copyrights but hey... these are old foreign tv soaps for my greying parents) Those shows usually last about an hour per episode... so they are usually 200 to 600 mb.

It would be great if they can record and download these things but as I mentioned before It is next to impossible.

I am just trying to make their lives little more entertaining. Where they live now don't have any access to these type of programing. And they truly enjoy these a lot when ever they get them.

I have tried You Send It. A single large files have problems sending...

Both of us have just your normal home Cable and Dsl connections so i don't know about ip-address.

UltraVNC seem promising though... Do you think it would be easy to setup?

Interesting... The 600mb mpeg files i download usually takes about 3 hours from a file sharing site. I had to download their downloader software before hand though.
posted by curiousleo at 8:27 AM on May 11, 2005

I like Skype. I've used YouSendIt, but it's glitchy, and oversimplified, and not encrypted. Skype is encrypted, not glitchy and simple enough.
posted by airguitar at 11:55 AM on May 11, 2005

I've used FolderShare to share files with my brother.

It works through firewalls and with dynamic IP addresses, though to share large files, you'll probably need to open a port (or let it do it via UPnP). They won't have to do anything, firewall-wise, on their end.

Initial setup is pretty straightforward. They'll need to install a small app, create an account on the foldershare website, and point the app to a folder that will receive the files you transfer to them.

After that, just drop a file in the appropriate folder and the app will go to work transferring it with no attention or intervention on either your part or theirs. Same goes for any additional files you add to the folder.

They just need to check the folder from time to time and open any new files that have showed up.

Skype is also good to transferring big files, but it requires coordination between the sender and receiver. Foldershare just runs quietly in the background.

There is a free version that will probably do the job for you.
posted by Good Brain at 11:03 PM on May 15, 2005

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