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  • RIP FTP: There’s a better way to share files

    Posted on Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody blog RIP FTP: There’s a better way to share files

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      • #2141833 Reply
        Tracey Capen
        AskWoody MVP

        SMALL BUSINESS By Amy Babinchak Back in June of last year, I wrote about how Microsoft finally got its OneDrive cloud-storage service right. Today, I’
        [See the full post at: RIP FTP: There’s a better way to share files]

        3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2141835 Reply
        SearchingForParadise
        AskWoody Plus

        That’s bad news.

        Why?

        Have you ever tried to resume a http download? I don’t understand why people like the http download method over ftp.

        There are better ways, of course. One of them is to use wget.

        YMMV

        • #2141840 Reply
          anonymous
          Guest

          Resumable http downloads are in fact a thing.

          The real reason ftp is dead is not because of some cloud service, but because ssh/sftp and rsync are a thing. No need to run a separate server, the ubiquitous ssh server works. Fast and secure.

      • #2141858 Reply
        davews
        AskWoody Plus

        fttp/fttps is still universally used for web server updates and have not heard of any alternative in the foreseeable future. Just about to download my last week’s web site traffic logs – in fttps.

         

        3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2141864 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        No, FTP isn’t dead. SFTP and FTPS are perfectly usable, capable protocols that are robust and secure – I’ve been using them for the past 30 years without any issues, and will probably continue to use them for the next 30. You’re also completely forgetting about the members of the *nix community that don’t use Microsoft products – why would I want a OneDrive? Yes great, they’ve seamlessly integrated it into W10, but then they’ve integrated it so well that malware can propagate and spread without any user intervention.

        8 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2141882 Reply
          Ascaris
          AskWoody_MVP

          Quite right.  FTP, like lots of other protocols, is a tool. If the tool fits your needs, use it.  If not, look for something that does.  For a lot of uses, FTP still works, so why would I want to pass on a free and open protocol for a proprietary commercial solution from Microsoft?

          I have a FTP server set up on my backup server, using the open Filezilla software, for when I used to use Windows-based backup software to perform backups and restorations of my PCs (including its Linux volumes).  The restore software would sometimes have difficulty working with the SMB shares on the server, but FTP always worked.  Of course, I am not a business user, but it is conceivable that a small business could be operating under similar conditions as my home LAN.

          Ironically, now that I use the Linux-based Veeam backup program (closed-source, but then so was my Windows backup software), I no longer need the FTP server, as the rescue media has never failed to work with Samba.  I had all kinds of issues getting Windows-based rescue media to work, which is kind of weird, given that SMB is a native Windows networking protocol, and most of the Windows rescue media were based on WinPE.

           

          Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.18.3).

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2141881 Reply
        matjazp72
        AskWoody Plus

        Why would I blindly trust cloud providers for file sharing, especially M$?

        Sensitive data, non-Windows servers, for secure data sharing is SFTP/FTPS more than enough and you don’t need anything from M$. If you transfer files between financial institutions I really don’t see any reason at all to start using M$ OneDrive, no real benefit.

        The same goes also for other cloud based file sharing services.

        3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2141903 Reply
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        SendSafely is an alternative solution for those without OneDrive.
        There is a free version for occasional use and a paid version for business.

        cheers, Paul

      • #2141925 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        An assumption in the article is that I know beforehand which files I want to transfer. In other words, you’ve missed my use case of I’m away from home and have forgotten an important file on my home system. I could use an SSH or FTP server — I happen to use the latter thanks, in part, to the excellent FileZilla.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2141964 Reply
        geversti
        AskWoody Plus

        Nothing could be faster or easier for updating a website than to do a batch transfer of files using sftp.  Batch files (presumably also out of favor) are great for this function.  The ftp commands can be stored in another file.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2142103 Reply

        Ummmm…I still use a separate ftp client to download/revise/upload batches of HTML files on my websites in conjunction with a WYSIWYG HTML editor, and never had any issues, security, or web host static about it. Sure, it’s old. So are screwdrivers and hammers. It’s a tool. 🙂

        Win7 Pro SP1 64-bit, Dell Latitude E6330, Intel CORE i5 "Ivy Bridge", Group "Wait for the all-clear", Multiple Air-Gapped backup drives in different locations, "Don't check for updates-Full Manual Mode. ESU 1 yr."
        --
        "Just because you're an engineer doesn't mean you're good at everything." -Anonymous

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2144472 Reply
        saturn2233
        AskWoody Plus

        I think that anyone who trusts Microsoft with their files is a bit of a risk taker. Not for me.

         

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2145823 Reply
        Nathan Parker
        AskWoody_MVP

        I still use SFTP for a file transfer server with WebMate Drive. I use WebMate Drive for online backup, syncing the contents of a NAS to it, and for file sharing. SFTP is still what I need for all of those features.

        I use OneDrive for Business at work and school, but WebMate Drive is such a breeze to use for large file sharing personally.

        Nathan Parker

      • #2149232 Reply
        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        Nathan, I use sftp and ssh, that now have in practice totally replaced good old ftp and telnet in just about any site I need to go or any machine I have to log in remotely. I do it from the command line, directly or by launching scripts to connect to sites with data bases I need to get files from or put files in.

        Are there applications for the Mac (there are for Windows) for doing that (leaving using one’s scripts aside) from a graphical interface, rather than from the command line? It is always more convenient to point and click rather than to type and type.

        Steve Jobs noticed that, thought about it, fooled around a bit with it, and then went on to make a great deal of money off it. Others looked at what he was doing and liked it, the money-making part in particular, and started to follow suit. And here we are.

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

      • #2152773 Reply
        steve1916
        AskWoody Plus

        How does all this relate to IDE web maintenance for those that use FTP?  I’m  tired of getting functional applications being abandoned, changes just to make changes, complicated replacements that fail, hundreds of mobile apps that are worthless, personal data being stolen by mobile business and nearly everyone else including the DMV and cities that install red light cameras instead of fixing defective traffic control problems.  It doesn’t take an engineer or a Six Sigma project to figure out that 29,000 tickets in a year at one location means that something is wrong.  This is not a rant, because nearly the entire software industry is broken.  Why does a Windows Update that doesn’t break something happen only once or twice a year?  No more apps, no more business emails, no more products or services that only consider revenue generation as their primary goal along with misleading and deceptive advertising.  A  general overview that identifies who should benefit from any new technology would allow a lot of people to determine if they need to read the article and all the responses.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2152786 Reply
          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          steve1916,”How does all this relate to IDE web maintenance for those that use FTP?

          Short answer: it does not. So far. But it could. If it were brought up for consideration.

          This is a discussion about whether ftp is “dead”, or rather, not used anymore, and about what are the alternatives to ftp, not only for Windows, as things related also to Macs and Linux PCs are fair topics to discuss in AskWoody. IDE has not reared its head so far, that I’ve noticed. If you would like to bring it here in a way that can be discussed, then, please, do so, by all means. I would not be able to comment, as I do not work on Website building or maintenance, so the topic is quite foreign to me, but quite possibly is well-known to others.

          Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

      • #2152857 Reply
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        How does all this relate to IDE web maintenance for those that use FTP?

        The article is about using FTP for file sharing.
        Website updates are a separate issue and FTP is the right protocol to use if you have a secure link. If not, it’s SFTP or similar.

        cheers, Paul

      • #2152914 Reply
        wavy
        AskWoody Plus

        If you like a GUI for SFTP or such check out WinSCP homepage is https://winscp.net/

        🍻

        Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2190234 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        After reading this thread and having used ftp and the newer versions with much more security, my issue is the “final nail in the coffin” comment in the article. We hear things such as this, predicting, or outright telling us that because something is old, it’s now useless. As the author eluded to, it’s dead. A well written and understandable article by Amy, I happen to disagree with the premise.

        New and improved is the only way to survive uh-huh. If you are prone to believe everything Microsoft does is for, and in “our best interest,” then have at it and do the it’s my way or the highway thing. But, we don’t have to be a conformist.

        I will use Windows 7 as an example. Win7 ain’t had the last nail pounded in it’s coffin, no matter how many say it should be put out to pasture, or put down like a diseased animal.

        Surely ftp still alive and well, and is better explained by FTP: Why This Old Protocol Still Matters,than I could type here.

        Of course you could always bow to Microsoft’s wishes and store and transfer all your files with them. You would in essence, be their kind of conformist.

        anon51

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2199854 Reply
        DaveH52
        AskWoody Plus

        Today (3/16/20) I received a link to download a file I had requested.  It was to an ftp server that contained the document I wanted.  It’s also the most convenient way for me to upload files to my local media server.  FTP isn’t dead, but it’s mostly forgotten, like Kermit.

        As for OneDrive, it constantly wants to upload everything on my computer, which will exceed my available space and then tell me I need to pay for more space.  That seems to me like a marketing ploy, so I keep turning it off.  There’s no way I’m going to pay for 10TB of storage, when I only use it to share a few files between my computer, my phone, and the occasional friend. For friends, I usually use Google-drive, Box, or Dropbox.
        DaveH52

      • #2209053 Reply
        MHCLV941
        AskWoody Plus

        I think that anyone who trusts Microsoft with their files is a bit of a risk taker. Not for me.

         

        Anyone who trusts any cloud-based service is too trusting.

        The key value add for FTP and its siblings is that the files are transferred directly you and the person sending or receiving the file(s).  No Microsoft, Google, Box, ShareFile, etc., etc.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
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