KNOWING ABOUT FILE SHARING: UNDERSTANDING, METHODS, AND BENEFITS
The existence of computers makes it very easy for humans to carry out various kinds of activities. Especially with the development of technology that makes computer equipment more sophisticated, so that things that used to look impossible become possible to do. Maybe you too one of the people who often use it. But for those of you who don’t understand file sharing, this article will help you. Here is more information:
File sharing is an activity of sharing or providing data access to digital media on the internet to others. The data that is shared can be very diverse, ranging from computer programs, documents, electronic books, or multimedia (images, videos, and audio). To be able to share, the file provider must first upload the file to the server computer. Then other people can download it from the server computer.
File Sharing Method
through several methods, including the following:
World Wide Web-based on hyperlinked documents.
Peer-to-peer (P2P) network.
Benefits of File Sharing
With file sharing, there are several benefits as follows:
Ease of sharing files with an unlimited number of other people. File management made easier. No need to store data using storage devices such as flash drives, CDs, or hard drives. Can share files with fairly large size. Each provider has different limitations, but the average capacity is up to 15 GB for free providers.
So, do you understand file sharing? Take advantage of this file-sharing feature and get the benefits it brings.
File sharing isn’t the same as network sharing. To share a file is to send it to another device such as a computer or phone. Network sharing shares a network connection so that nearby devices can access network resources. Several programs allow you to share an internet connection.
How to Share Individual Files and Folders
There are several ways to share files over a network, and while some methods are easier than others, all are similar.
1. WITH A FILE TRANSFER TOOL
An on-demand file transfer program is a quick way to share files over any network, whether it’s the internet with someone in another country or a local network between two computers in an office. You usually don’t need a user account to use these file-sharing tools, and the directions are often straightforward.
FTP is one example that involves setting up an FTP server on the computer that has the files to share. Anyone that wants the files uses an FTP client to communicate with the server to download the files. There are also peer-to-peer (P2P) tools for file sharing, such as ShareDrop. With this file-sharing tool, you’re provided a special URL that grants access to download your files, and you choose what to share from your computer. Take a file and JustBeamIt are similar services that share files over the internet between two computers. You can also use torrents.
2. FROM A CLOUD STORAGE SERVICE
Cloud storage services store the file on a server. Others can download the file if they have the link to the file. Cloud storage services offer high speeds to download files, speeds a normal user might not be able to support (your upload bandwidth caps P2P file-sharing speed).
Use an online file storage website to share the same file with multiple people or to share a file with someone in the future and not re-upload it. The file is stored in your cloud file storage account for as long as you want. Temporary cloud storage services keep files for a few hours or days. WeTransfer and WeSendit.com are examples.
3. OVER A MESSAGING APPLICATION
Another popular way to share files between computers is with a messaging app. Email and texting are two methods, but there are others. Look for a file selector where you can choose which files to share.
Some apps that support file sharing include Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Slack, and Skype. Many are web-based messaging services, meaning you can share files without installing anything.
4. USE YOUR OPERATING SYSTEM
Another way to share files over a network is with your computer’s operating system. There are often tools built-in to the OS that can do it, although this method is usually only beneficial for sharing files over a local network.
A mapped drive is an uncomplicated way to set up a file-sharing network in Windows. A mapped drive allows you to download files directly from another computer that sets up a network share. You can also set up file sharing on a Mac and other operating systems.
When a computer is shared over a network, every file and folder on the computer is also shared. This isn’t something that you can do with a P2P file transfer service, cloud storage service, or messaging app. Those methods have you pick specific files to share, so a different solution is needed to share the entire computer.
For example, you can share files in Windows by enabling the admin$ share so that anyone on the local network that knows the admin password can access every file on the computer.
Another way to share access to all the computer files is with a remote access program. These tools work differently than a typical file sharing utility because instead of sharing the actual files, only the computer screen is shared.
Types of file sharing
There are four main kinds of file sharing methods that you can go with. Which one you choose is going to depend on the type of files you’re sharing and how much security or protection the data that is being shared requires.
1. File transfer protocol programs
One of the most common ways to share a file is through a file transfer protocol program (FTP). This method transfers files between a computer and a server over the internet and is typically used to transfer large files or large amounts of data between multiple stakeholders.
Users of this method can gain access to the files shared from a specific FTP server site. These sites either offer public file-sharing or the ability to view or download files by having a specific password.
FTP is usually used for file transfer of business documents or business data, nothing that includes specific financial or health information. As an example, webmaster teams use FTP to transfer web pages, web application files, and images to their web server.
2. Peer-to-peer networks
To share a file using peer-to-peer networks, you’ll need to have computer hardware and software to communicate without the need for a central server. Essentially, files are located on one’s computer and then shared with someone else, who can be on an entirely different server.
An example would be instant messaging services or social media applications, like Slack or Facebook Messenger. Sending and sharing files as attachments in emails also falls under this type of file sharing.
3. Removable storage media
One of the original ways to share a file was with removable media, which is anything that can remove from a device or a computer. Once a file is transferred onto the media from the device, it can be physically handed over and shared with whomever they’d like to share the file with.
Examples of removable storage media are memory sticks, memory cards, floppy disks, and removable hard drives.
4. Online file-sharing services
When you’re sharing files or storing data on the internet for personal or professional use, go with online file-sharing services, sometimes called cloud content collaboration software.
This type works when one user uploads a photo, written document, spreadsheet, or PDF to an online platform that allows others to download and access these files on the same platform. There’s also the feature of setting accessibility permissions that include privileges like reading, viewing, or editing the file.
Risks of file sharing
- Copyright laws: While there are legal ways to share and download files, some websites have come under fire for sharing music and videos illegally.
- It’s best to avoid sharing copyrighted material without the permission of the owner.
- Potential viruses: It’s best to be careful when downloading a file from the internet, especially if it’s from someone you may not know. Certain files could contain spyware or malware, which can slow down or crash your device.
Before downloading music or other files, especially free files, make sure you have a good antivirus or firewall software installed to protect your personal information against unwanted visitors within your network.
Benefits of file sharing
Even with the risks listed above, file sharing has many benefits, as long as you’re doing it safely.
- Cost-effective: More often than not, sharing a file is free, making it an attractive option for those on a budget.
- Efficient: Depending on the type of file sharing you choose, it’s often a quick and efficient way to send another person a file. As technology advances, even large files are becoming faster to download.
- Access anywhere: Depending on the type of file sharing service you use, you can access the files you need any time, from anywhere, on any device.
- Collaboration: If using cloud content collaboration software, it’s simple to edit and make comments on files, which makes working with team members easy.
When asking for feedback around file sharing, John Donnachie of ClydeBank Media had to say: “Since we have a distributed remote team, we use file-sharing tools a lot.”
He went on to share, “Microsoft Word’s integration into OneDrive is a fantastic way to share files internally, and sharing externally to the organization is pretty straightforward as well.”
File sharing software
As you research the right file-sharing software for you and your needs, consider who you’ll be sharing these files with and what information they’ll contain.
Below you’ll find file-sharing software broken down into two categories: sensitive data and general or personal data.
File sharing software for sensitive data
When sharing a file that includes sensitive information, like health records or bank statements, you’re going to want to use managed file transfer (MFT) software, as these tools offer the secure exchange and delivery of data across a network. They’re designed to add management and security features to protect and scale the delivery of data and files.
* Below are the top five leading managed file transfer software solutions from G2’s Spring 2020 Grid® Report. Reviews may be edited for clarity.
1. GoAnywhere MFT
GoAnywhere MFT is a managed file transfer software that streamlines, secures, and automates critical file transfers through a centralized enterprise-level solution. It provides centralized control with extensive security settings, detailed audit trails, and helps process information from files into XML, EDI, CSV, and JSON databases. Beyond securing data transfers, GoAnywhere MFT seamlessly works with applications you use every day, such as EDI and cloud integration.
What users like:
“The admin portal is a concise way to handle all of my managed file transfer needs. Projects, monitors, logs, and encryption vaults are all at my fingertips and easily accessible. The stability and ease of use were very helpful as a newcomer to the IT space.
We have seen a drastic improvement in the number of transmission errors or dropped connections compared to our free-to-use software. Support has been beyond excellent. Upgrades have been seamless. I couldn’t be happier with this product and will push to have this at any company I’m associated with.”
What users dislike:
“It doesn’t have a drag-and-drop interface. Compared to other software, it can be a bit difficult to get a good overview of what the job is doing. The other problem has been the quality of technical support. It’s also very easy to stump the technicians with relatively simple questions.”
2. GlobalSCAPE Enhanced File Transfer
GlobalSCAPE Enhanced File Transfer (EFT) is a powerful managed file transfer solution on the market designed to meet the demands of global enterprises. GlobalSCAPE’s managed file transfer platform allows users to securely transfer, integrate, and transform data between people, systems, and applications.
What users like:
“GlobalSCAPE is a one-stop shop for managed file transfer services. It allows the monitoring of folders and custom triggers for transmitting files to a location. File transfers can also, which is a great feature.
With the addition of the Advanced Workflow Module, administrators have the additional ability to create complex workflows that connect to cloud resources, modify or concatenate files and examine file data to make decisions on manipulation or transmission.”
What users dislike:
“The one aspect that I don’t like is how general some of the errors are. You can see where the job breaks down by having an email send-and-stop process, it just tells you which step it breaks down.
I wish the error codes in the logs told you more about the issue that caused it. It can be to see if it is on the local or remote side because of this. Also, if the resources on the server get over-utilized, you can get a main loop broken error, which will cause random events to fail and become inactive.”
3. AWS Transfer for SFTP
AWS Transfer for SFTP is a fully managed service that enables the transfer directly into and out of Amazon S3 using the Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP). AWS Transfer helps users seamlessly migrate file transfer workflows to AWS by integrating with existing authentication, and providing DNS routing with Amazon Route 53. With data in Amazon S3, can be used with AWS services for processing, analytics, machine learning, and archiving.
What users like:
“SFTP Transfer for SFTP provides the ability to have uploads and downloads directly from S3 buckets. It’s a perfect tool for integrations while maintaining certificates and high availability. Plus, it requires no infrastructure.”
What users dislike:
“Set up isn’t very easy, so you need to know what you’re doing. They could make the setup easier to complete by adding hints and tips during the process. This threw me off a little bit.”
4. Cleo Integration Cloud
Cleo Integration Cloud (CIC) is a cloud-based integration platform, purpose-built to design, build, operate, and optimize critical ecosystem integration processes.
The CIC platform brings end-to-end integration visibility across EDI, non-EDI, and API integrations that gives technical and business users the confidence to rapidly onboard trading partners, enable integration between applications, and accelerate revenue-generating business processes.
What users like:
“It is great for managing the data of all the projects and the web in an easy manner. The Harmony version provides an easy and effective way to move data across networks and offers the most effective communication. It also offers seamless data transfer without any hassles.”
What users dislike:
“Employee authentication sometimes delays customer or supplier contact, it should be easier and faster.”
5. Ipswitch MOVEit
Ipswitch MOVEit Managed File Transfer software is used by thousands of organizations around the world to provide complete visibility and control over file transfer activities. It assures the reliability of core business processes and the secure and compliant transfer of sensitive data between partners, customers, users, and systems.
What users like:
“The software was easy for me to set up and create rules for transferring files. The documentation to set up and troubleshoot MOVEit Automation and Transfer are also very useful and easily accessible online.”
What users dislike:
“Limited administrative reporting and some of what is available is very cumbersome as well. Missing a few key administrative functions, like a mass update of an email across all alerts.”
File sharing software for general data
When you’re sharing a Word document, PDF, spreadsheet, media, or anything else for personal use, you’d likely want to use cloud content collaboration software. They allow users to easily store, share, create, collaborate on, and find content within the system and are available from multiple types of devices.
* Below are the top five leading cloud content collaboration solutions from G2’s Spring 2020 Grid® Report. Reviews may for clarity.