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Looking for a good/easy FTP program & server
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February 19, 2010
11:51 PM
Wheezer
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I've been using Otengo for the last year or so to send videos to one of my sisters who lives literally on the other side of the world. But I''m gett'n really frustrated over the amount of time it takes to upload and download the videos.

It took about 45 minutes to upload a file that was a little over 100MB, and took her about the same to download it.

She recently uploaded some raw video for me to edit for her. The file size was just over 1GB, and it took over 3 hours to upload. I didn't get to download it, because when I installed Otengo on my new computer, Otengo wiped out my old account and set up a new one! My inbox is empty! For me to get the file she's gonna have to upload it again. No, I'm not very happy about that.

So out of frustration I'm wondering if it would be faster and possibly more reliable to use a free FTP program and a free FTP server to exchange videos with her.

I downloaded Filezilla once before and found it intimidating looking, so never used it. Are there easier programs out there that I could use? Maybe the Firefox add-on?

Suggestions for a program and server to use would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!

                       wheezertech.forumotion.com
February 20, 2010
12:32 AM
Ashraf
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I am not particularly sure what you mean by free FTP server? You mean someone/some company that runs a file hosting service but allows users to upload files via FTP? If so, I think FileFront.com allows for this but you need to e-mail them about it (ftp@filefront.com).

That being said, why did you find Filezilla intimidating? It is very easy to use!

February 20, 2010
12:49 AM
Wheezer
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Ashraf:

Yeh, I guess I am asking about a file hosting service.

When I looked at Filezilla it looked like a thousand things to set up before finally being able to upload a file. I was going to start reading about how to use it, but happened across Otengo, which works like an email program. Enter the “to” address, drag and drop a file into the email, and click send.

So I'll guess your suggestion would be to download and learn to use Filezilla. I'll have to give it a go again and this time actually take the time to learn how easy it is.

In your opinion, would it take less than 3 hours to upload a 1GB file using FTP? Assuming we're not using dialup internet access?

                       wheezertech.forumotion.com
February 20, 2010
1:41 AM
Ashraf
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I find Filezilla to be very easy to use, but that may be because I have been using it for a really long time. Check out Cute FTP as an alternative (I think it is free).

As far as I know, uploading via FTP or via HTTP is not significantly different in speed. Rather, it is for convenience. If you upload multiple files via HTTP, you will have to upload them one at a time and it will be a pain. With FTP, on the other hand, you can upload multiple files easily. If you are looking to upload just one file, I don't think you will find much of a difference between FTP or HTTP.

That being said, being able to upload 1 GB file in less than 3 hours? It would depend on the server and your connection speed. I really can't make a blanket statement because it varies highly based on those two factors.

February 20, 2010
5:40 AM
karen
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I’ve used WinFTP in the past and I use WinSCP (both free) at work. WinSCP does FTP, SFTP, and SCP.

I think most FTP clients work in a very similar manner. WinSCP, at least, shows you two “Windows Explorer” looking panes (1 for your computer and 1 for the recipient site) and you just drag and drop files between them. Very simple. To set up the connection, you just have to give the address of the ftp server (or scp server) and any login credentials. You can save connection info so that you don’t have to input them the next time you use the program.

That being said, you would need to find a file hosting site like Ashraf mentioned above.

But the speed is really going to depend on the speed of your computer, speed of your network connection to the host site, and the speed of the server you are connecting to.

For instance, it took me over an hour to download the latest version of Eclipse 192MB) from their website. If I had used one of the mirror site (although I cannot access the mirror sites at work), I probably could have downloaded the file in just a couple of minutes. So in this case, it wasn’t the speed of my computer or my connection to the network, but limited by the speed that their servers could send it.

So assuming that you have some sort of high-speed line (cable, dsl, or fiber), when you sign up for a file (ftp) hosting site, you need to check the speed that their servers will send data to you or accept data from you. For obvious reasons, they will throttle the speed so that all customers can have access. They may have a minimum guaranteed speed though.

Also, make sure that you are using SFTP, not just plain FTP because that sends everything including passwords in clear text.

February 20, 2010
7:09 AM
Ramesh Kumar
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Wheezer, one more dimension.Smile

Just double check:-

1)There are apps which tell you if your ISP is shafting you or not. Sometimes techie guys cheat others thinking they can get away with it - meaning you are not getting from your ISP the speed you should be getting. I'll try & find the link somewhere – trust me friend its absolutely simple. Confronted with facts your ISP will fall in line if he is not delivering what he is supposed to. I'll try & see where I've put that useful article.

2)Secondly ISP's also throttle speed on certain ports. All ports are numbered. You probably have more than 10,000 ports (they are all numbered) on your comp. An ISP throttles by also by throttling certain ports by default & by habit. If you change your port you escape their throttle. A port is like a pipe through which information comes & goes. By default there are ports for P2P like there might be for file hosting perhaps. Look at it this way – you have 10,000 pipes through which info comes & goes. Torrenters are very skilled at “escaping ISP throttle without doing anything illegal “. Many dottechies are skilled torrentors.

Some friend who is physically next to you can help you on this port matter. He can also tell which online checker app can tell you if your ISP is shafting you or not – aka which one is best. Do bear in mind your ISP can cheat you & yet pretend innocence.

His standard response is “Dont trust that app simply because it calculates download speed & upload speed between Wheezer & its own server rather than between Wheezer & the ISP server”. Refute him with facts & a baleful eye & the errant ISP will fall in line. Suddenly you'll notice that not just file hosting but everything got faster

RameshWink

February 20, 2010
8:00 AM
Ramesh Kumar
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Hi Wheezer! Smile

I found part of what I was looking for , for you. The app which tells you if your ISP is giving you good speed or not is measured by this app - Speed.io@http://www.speed.io

The article is  ( Contributed by Abhijeet from Jeet Blog ) . It was reported in http://www.makeuseof.com

The article states & I quote

Speed.io : Elegant Broadband Speed Test

There is no doubt that if you want to check the speed of your broadband internet connection, you could go to various websites online which offer broadband speed test service for free. However Speed.io, although does the same job of measuring the broadband speed, is different in this league.

It’s different because it has an elegant user interface which executes the job comprehensively, showing you the accurate download and upload speeds in Kbits and also the number of connections plus the ping or response time of the connection. It further classifies your connection on a scale of bad to excellent giving you an idea of the service which you are getting from your ISP.

Yeah, you can see my internet connection is ‘ less good ‘ and it’s time I switch internet service providers (if at all there’s a better ISP in my area)

Speed.io is flash based tool and also allows you to register for free and save the speed test results.”

Wheezer I could not copy-paste the image of how the app looks although I clicked upon the tree icon on my headboard which when moused over says “Insert/edit image”. It could be that I've not enabled some setting etc.

I hope this helps. Needless to say there are several good apps as dottechies would tell you.

RameshSmile

February 21, 2010
12:17 AM
Ramesh Kumar
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Hi Wheezer! Smile

The Big Book Of Torrent is a pdf file you can get from http://www.makeuseof.com. Remember in the thread about Daemonoid Registration you'd wanted to know how to go about things having got your registration? I'd replied to your post. The pdf Id suggested was this. It covers port management too! Now only one thing remains. I'll suggest good file sharing sites.

RameshSmile

February 22, 2010
3:31 AM
Ramesh Kumar
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Hi Wheezer!Smile

This concludes the remaining part of what I promised I was searching for you – good file hosting sites. Ashraf & Karen have already indicated &/or provided good tips as always – both examples of good sites & a good approach.

I haven't used the ones I am suggesting & do not know if they are free or not. I refer your query – “So out of frustration I'm wondering if it would be faster and possibly more reliable to use a free FTP program and a free FTP server to exchange videos with her”. – Wheezer

I would suggest you see this link which talks highly of 4 file sharing sites. See if it helps -

http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/4-ridiculously-simple-file-sharing-sites/

By Tim Watson on Dec. 9th, 2008 . The title of the article is “4 Easy Tools For Sharing Large Files Over The Internet”. Hope it helps

RameshSmile

February 22, 2010
3:55 AM
Ramesh Kumar
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@Wheezer – I'd like to learn one thing from you please.

I am assuming that when you transfer a video file you've already chosen a video file format which is comparatively compact and also offers good quality – so that your transfer is as fast as possible & also the quality of the video is as good as you require it to be. I had tried to grasp this understanding a few months back but failed. All I can infer is to select a video file format which falls under the category “lossful compression” rather than “lossless compression”. I am sure the principle is exactly similar to that of audio files where for instance  a .wav file (lossless compression) is >>>>larger than an .mp3 (lossful compression) & a .mp3 is >> than a .ogg file (lossful compression)

When I surfed & tried various search queries regarding video I could not find this out. Please help me get the answer to the following questions:-

1) Which video file formats work with dvd only

2) Which video file formats work with vcd only

3) Which video file formats work with svcd only

4) Which video file formats work with

  • dvd & vcd only
  • dvd & svcd only
  • dvd & svcd only
  • dvd, vcd & svcd also

While answering pls give me a grasp of not only video file format size but also video file quality so that I understand how much I'd need to compromise on one performance parameter in order to enjoy the other

Thanks

RameshSmile

February 22, 2010
4:23 AM
Ramesh Kumar
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Hi Karen!Smile

I'd like to understand this please. I am quoting you from your post -

1) “WinSCP does FTP, SFTP, and SCP”. What does SFTP, and SCP mean & how do they differ from FTP?

2) “If I had used one of the mirror site (although I cannot access the mirror sites at work), I probably could have downloaded the file in just a couple of minutes”. Karen I had always thought that “main site servers” are faster than “mirror site servers”. Obviously I was wrong on my thinking. Thanks

3) “So assuming that you have some sort of high-speed line (cable, dsl, or fiber), when you sign up for a file (ftp) hosting site, you need to check the speed that their servers will send data to you or accept data from you”. Karen could you clarify so I could learn this from you. I'll tell you how I had understood this matter earlier (I meant before your post that is).

There are 5 stages. 1st stage was between my comp & either my modem or my router. 2nd stage was between my modem or my router to my ISP. 3rd stage was between my ISP & your ISP via fiber or non-fiber. 4th stage was from your ISP to either your modem or your router. Finally the 5th stage aka last stage – from your router or modem to your comp. I understood that “speed” across these 5 stages vary & ultimately any or all these 5 stages could be the devil which ultimately affects file sharing & even surfing.

How does dsl vary from cable & how does cable vary from fibre? I used to think that dsl & cable were the same thing & fibre is a genre of connection (a kind of material). I also understand that in terms of genre a “fibre” connection was superior to “non fiber” connections. Am I right?

If this is voluminous you could even suggest a link & I'll grasp it using your link. If there are some portions you could explain in your wonderful inimitable manner I'll consider myself all the more luckier for it

RameshSmile

February 22, 2010
4:35 AM
Ramesh Kumar
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Hi Wheezer!Smile

I had mistyped this portion to you. Instead of 

  • dvd & vcd only
  • dvd & svcd only
  • dvd & svcd only
  • dvd, vcd & svcd also

kindly read it as 

  • dvd & vcd only
  • dvd & svcd only
  • vdc & svcd only
  • dvd, vcd & svcd also

Sorry

RameshSmile

February 22, 2010
5:05 AM
Ramesh Kumar
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Hi Wheezer! Smile

One last thing (from me that is!) which might help you transfer video files faster. When you check if your ISP shafts you or not you might find this useful:-

Let's say you have an internet speed of 100Mbps. This means 100Megabits per second. Small “b” means “bits” while capital “B” means Bytes. You already know 8 bits make a byte. If this holds & if all the 5 stages (refer my post no.12 in this thread) hold then this is the speed of video transfer you should actually get:- .

  1. 1000 bits make a Kilobit
  2. 1000 Kilobits make a Megabit
  3. 1000 Megabits make a Gigabit
  4. In the computing world sometimes “1000” is used & sometimes “1024”
  5. Therefore to calculate your internet speed the mathematics of 100Mbps means:- (100 x 1000 x 1000 x 1bit/second) divided by (8 x 1024 x 1024). Technically this means being able to exchange 11.9 GB's per second. This 11.9 GB/second includes a portion alloted for download & only the remaining portion for download. This is blazingly fast. As already mentioned this depends on 5 stages

Wheezer you'd be having a good set of friends physically close to you with greater domain expertise in this particular area. While you may not be able to get this speed, with the help of those friends you could armtwist your errant ISP (if he is errant) to improve at least partially if not fully.Wink Also read the ISP's bill & tariff plan. He might have committed something in writing from you just to get your business. Even a techie can lie. Catch him if he does!

Also check if some neighbour of yours uses the same ISP & has the same “internet plan package” you do. You can then quiz your ISP as to why you should suffer slower speed than your neighbour when both of you have the same ISP & also the same plan.Wink

Then you would achieve the objective you set out to do – send video files faster to your sister. I hope this helps

RameshSmile 

February 22, 2010
5:12 AM
karen
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1) FTP, SFTP, and SCP – just different file transfer protocols. SFTP is a more secure version of FTP (which sends passwords as plain text). SCP is just another common protocol.

2) Main sites are not necessarily faster than the mirror sites. Think of all the programs that cnet, softpedia, etc have. Cnet has a lot more bandwidth than the main developer sites have.

3) Your “step 3″ really needs some expansion. Data doesn’t go directly from “my isp to your isp” (I’m not including P2P here). So 3a) my isp to the server. This can include many “hops” to get there. 3b) the server (such as one of Cnet’s or an FTP site, etc) gets the request and determines exactly what I wanted, 3c) the server starts returning the requested data. The server could have throttling mechanisms in place or just have a slow connection. this also can require many “hops” to get back to your isp.

This is a really basic explanation. I’m not a networking/WAN expert. But there is software out there that given a URL can tell you how many “hops” it takes you to get there and back. The fewer the better, usually. It can actually be amusing to see the roundabout path you take sometimes. It kinda reminds me of the airline hub system where they force you to fly from Wash, DC to Chicago via Charlotte, NC.

February 22, 2010
5:23 AM
Ramesh Kumar
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Thanks Karen!SmileSmileSmile

But then from one like you what else can I expect – but a simple & great explanation………always.

This “hop thing” is interesting. I wonder which app it is. I am only saying in jest & sportiveness. So I won't bother you trying to find it out for me. Thanks again!

RameshSmile

February 22, 2010
5:25 AM
karen
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As for your question re dsl, cable, and fiber.

They are all high-speed although the speed varies. But generally …

1) DSL (digital subscriber line) is a service that runs over your existing copper telephone lines. It’s main limitation is that you can only be xxx ft from the telephone company’s nearest CO (Central Office – kinda like a switching station).

2) Cable – usually runs over coaxial cable. Shares the lines/bandwidth with TV. Higher max bandwidth than DSL, but the bandwidth is shared. So if a neighborhood has xxx bandwidth, everyone that is using that particular line is sharing that bandwidth, so cable companies often throttle the bandwidth that you are allowed.

Both DSL and Cable use electronic signals to send data.

3) Fiber – uses light to send the signals. Fiber is literally a very fine filament of glass that the light signals travel on. This is the highest speed and most/all telecom companies use fiber in their “backbone” regardless of what technology delivers to their end users.

If you have a fiber connection to your end location (in my case a service offered by Verizon called FIOS), basically that means you have a fiber connection all the way from the telecom’s CO to your house. The telecom probably already uses fiber on their “backbone” from the CO to the internet ether. And then at some point in your house, you have an ONT (optical network termination) which converts the “light” signals to a basic “digital electric” signal that your router understands which then sends the signals out over either wireless or the standard RJ45 lan cable.

Fiber can also handle TV, so many people that have a fiber connection to their home also use the fiber for their television. In this case, the ONT is basically splitting out the signal and the “data” signal is converted and sent over RJ45 and the “tv” signal is converted and sent over coax to your tv/dvr/etc.

February 22, 2010
5:27 AM
karen
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Ramesh Kumar said:

This “hop thing” is interesting. I wonder which app it is. I am only saying in jest & sportiveness. So I won't bother you trying to find it out for me. Thanks again!

RameshSmile


On a simplistic level, that is what DNS servers do. You send them an URL, they translate it to an IP, and then determine the best path to get there. It is rarely a straight line.

February 22, 2010
5:31 AM
karen
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Do a google search on “traceroute” and you’ll probably find some websites, software that do exactly that.

February 22, 2010
5:39 AM
Ramesh Kumar
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Karen, between FTP, SFTP, and SCP how would you compare the 3 different protocols in terms of:-

  1. Security aka virus etc
  2. Speed
  3. Cost
  4. Minimimum downtime aka reliability
  5. Privacy aka is it one on one or necessarily what you send is also viewed by other public recipients
  6. Can one or does it automatically delete the file after the exchange
  7. Most prevalent (by inference the most preferred)
  8. Best overall quality (mkt share does not always infer that) i.e. feature richness
  9. Most clients offered aka what uTorrent is to P2P protocol. Just an analogy, I know P2P is totally different genre compared to FTP, SFTP, and SCP

RameshSmile

February 22, 2010
5:43 AM
Ramesh Kumar
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Karen indeed you are quite admirable!  Smile

I am quoting you. Karen said “This is a really basic explanation. I'm not a networking/WAN expert”. If this is what you deliver when “you are not an expert” I cannot admirably imagine what you would deliver if you are an expertSurprised

LOL

RameshSmile

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