May 3, 2016

    Hosting on an FTP Site: How Does It Really Work?

    With so many different types of file sharing solutions available these days, it can be difficult to keep track of the underlying technology at play. It's one thing to say that something like an FTP site makes your important business files available from any location - it's another thing entirely to really understand how it works. Despite some of the most state-of-the-art technology currently available, the underlying infrastructure of an FTP site is actually quite straightforward.

    How Do Hosting FTP Site Services Work?

    When you create a file on a standard computer, that file is stored on the machine's hard disk drive. If you want to access the file you need to be physically sitting in front of the computer it is stored on. FTP sites ultimately work with the same basic concept, albeit with an important twist. Instead of storing a file locally, that information is instead stored on a remote server connected to the Internet.

    Using a piece of software called a client (which can be either Web browser or installed like a traditional application -- an FTP client), users can see all of the files contained on an FTP server and can upload or download at will, given they have permission to do so. Because the files are no longer being stored locally, they can be accessed from any computer or mobile device with an active Internet connection. In essence, using an FTP site is like having a hard drive that is always available for you to use, regardless of where you happen to be.

    The Benefits of FTP Sites

    This decidedly simple concept brings with it a number of key advantages for business users in particular. Not only can users access files from any location (giving them the ability to be more productive while out in the field or even work from home as needed), it is also more secure than a traditional hard drive. A local hard drive can fail or can be stolen, taking all important files with it. FTP providers like Sharetru not only encrypt information as it is being uploaded or downloaded, but also while it is at rest - meaning that anybody without the proper decryption keys will be unable to access that information even if they have access to the server itself. Whatever hard drives are associated with storing your files on the FTP site, all storage systems are safe behind multiple physical security layers of fingerprint sensors and locked data center cabinets.

    The Consequences

    Conversely, there are a number of important consequences to NOT having an FTP site that business owners in particular need to be aware of. For starters, choosing to go with a less-secure file sharing option like a consumer-grade cloud-based storage provider opens you up to security issues that can not only be costly to reconcile, but could result in files being lost, damaged or compromised. Other file sharing options or Web hosting with FTP included also don't employ the proper protocols or encryption types, meaning that a file can essentially be stolen while it is in transit from a local machine to the remote server.



    Martin Horan

    Martin, Sharetru's Founder, brings deep expertise in secure file transfer and IT, driving market niche success through quality IT services.

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