file upload

  fymlor 19:14 16 Aug 2005

is there any way or software
i can upload large files from my computer via the internet too my customers using broadband with out using ftp like in the old day using direct file transfer via modem?

  Forum Editor 19:30 16 Aug 2005

and how big are the files?

  fymlor 20:20 16 Aug 2005

that is impossible too say
we are running a security firm and with computers cctv footage avi files
these computers are instaled by us and we need too transfer large files so we could install software too help us.

  Taran 20:38 16 Aug 2005

How big will a typical file be, and when you say you want to upload them to your customers do you mean client space within your website or direct to their computers/network/servers ?

HTTP file uploads will fall flat unless you have access to your web server to override the default settings for file uploads. Max file size is typically 10 or 20 megabytes, but even if this is sufficient an HTTP upload is still fraught with peril. If the transfer is dropped it will fail with an error and not automagically restart until finished.

Unless you have access to your own and your clients web and/or network server things could come unstuck pretty sharpish.

FTP can handle large files, and you can automate date/time/filename/file location with most good FTP programs, but here is where things can get messy and the security implications of a standard FTP link are pretty horrific.

Using an FTP server program could help, depending on how you want to be able to do this.

I often use VNC and PuTTY to securely connect from my own network to a clients machine or server. Advantages are that it is effectively remote desktop access where you can remotely log into and control a clients machine, including transferring files between your network and theirs. Disadvantages can be browsing speed since the GUI of their desktop has to be loaded when you click to go somewhere on their computer or server.

For regular machine to machine or network to network file transfers I'd suggest thinking along the lines of an FTP server with an FTP client program on the target machines. Configure the clients to 'listen' for the servers output and schedule transfers to prevent file 1 to client 1 bumping into file 2 for client 2 and so on.

If you need to run a lot of these transfers you're going to need som very, very serious bandwidth and standard cable/ADSL will just not suffice due to the upload speed from most providers.

Finally, if you want to run FTP based transfers, at a bare minimum yuo need to use secure FTP (which still isn't terribly secure) or, preferably, you need to start getting into VPN to lock down the data transfer link between networks. VPN has a performance hit though, since the data is encrypted outbound and decrypted again inbound on the destination machine, and depending on the file size/type this can slow things down a tad.

In case you hadn't realised, you asked a very big question and the possibilities and technologies involved are a bit varied, to say the least.

This is doable but I don't think it's going to be a simple thing. A bit more detail from you could certainly help.


  Taran 20:51 16 Aug 2005

When I mentioned an FTP server with FTP clients listening for transfer data this should, in my opinion, be run through a secure VPN tunnel to link networks in different locations.

If your property is in London and your nearest client is in Glasgow, a VPN tunnel will securely connect the two networks and any FTP session that goes through the tunnel is, by default, secure.

Big subjects here, but if you want more information feel free to ask. I keep a lot of my clients networks linked to my own via VPN tunnels for secure access/data transfer.



There are some relatively inexpensive options to set the tunnels up and some fo the current hardware devices feature pretty impressive VPN support for multiple tunnels without paying costly licensing costs on a per tunnel basis.

Draytek Vigour routers, for example, can be a very cheap way to set up multiple tunnels. You can set them up offsite and simply mail the configured device to your client or install it onsite yourself. I did this for a small firm recently and it works like a charm. They took an hour or so to set up at my office, I mailed them out and the client plugged them in, connected a network cable, telephone cable and switched them on. The result was an instant VPN link which will automatically reconnect if the connection is interrupted. I think the Drayteks were about £160 each, if memory serves, and they've run without incident for several months.

A similar budget solution can be found in Linksys Wireless G WAG54G ADSL modem/gateway. Its firewall is pretty impressive and the VPN otions allow multiple tunnels to be configured.

Other manufacturers produce similar couterpart products, or you could also go higher end for CISCO devices or even set up your own Linux box to do all of the above (I did that too for another client recently - what fun...).

My point is that secure channels are a large consideration, regardless of how you finally get your data from A to B.

WS_FTP Server and WS_FTP Pro would be an excelent starting point though.

  fymlor 22:27 16 Aug 2005

the problem is at the moment we trying too keep the cost down.
we down't operate a server and need too conect the computer direly together like a remote network just one way in the cheapest pos way for now .the files can be at times large and it may be slow but it can be overnight

  Taran 23:12 16 Aug 2005

No offense intended, but where security is concerned you can't afford to skimp.

At the very least you will need some sort of secure channel through which your tranfser can tunnel.

Without it, the data you are sending can be intercepted and that is hardly the road to go down for a security company.

Take a point A to point B example:

Building A links to building B.

A and B may either have a complete network or one system - it doesn't matter at this point.

Install a Draytek Vigor 2600G router at each property (£130 each) and set them up to VPN tunnel to one another. There's your secure link taken care of.

Download and install Serv-U to act as an FTP server on point A computer. It can be used on one system for free after the trial expires, but check the agreement to make sure you qualify.

Download and install an FTP program onto the other computer at point B.

Schedule your transfer to run overnight so that it doesn't interfere with daily data transfer for web/network access.

Total cost under £300.

Security rating 100%.

There are other ways using free Linux software and a lot of clever coding, if you know how, but for an off the peg solution the one outlined above works well and is relatively inexpensive.

I don't know of another way that isn't far more expensive either in money or in Linux expertise plus some additional hardware.


  Forum Editor 23:29 16 Aug 2005

You're not the only one in the same situation by a long chalk, and you'll need a server to handle this. There are quite a few service providers who specialise in facilitating file transfers in exactly the way you describe - you set up an account, and then transfer your files to your customers over the internet with a mouse click. These systems are very secure, and are used by tens of thousands of small businesses every day.

click here to take a look at one company which provides precisely the service you need.

  Aspman 14:00 17 Aug 2005

One thing not mentioned. ADSL is Asyncronous. Fast downloads slow uploads. Standard broadband is not fast in both directions. If your clients are going to uploading very large files they may need to consider SDSL which is fast in both directions.

VPN are only as secure as the machines at each end. If the computer at the client end is not correctly and securely configured and maintained you could be leaving yourselves open to attack.

An alternative is to use an SSL VPN such as Netilla or Juniper Netscreen. These operate like terminals on the remote station and are secured against any nasties that could be lurking on an abused client workstation. Not pennies though.

click here
click here

  Taran 17:48 17 Aug 2005

That's an interesting link provided by Forum Editor.

I got so engrossed in an inexpensive (relatively) onsite solution that a third party hosted solution didn't even occur to me [hangs head in embarrassment].

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