February 6, 2018

    Online FTP: What to Look for When Replacing an In-House Server

    Are you tired of maintaining your in-house server? The high costs, regular maintenance, and data security require a lot of time and resources from your company. That’s why many companies are looking to move from in-house servers to a managed online FTP solution.

    While it might seem like a daunting task to switch over, a hosted FTP solution offers too many benefits to pass up. To ensure you choose the right online FTP server, explore this checklist for features you need in your next FTP solution.


    Compliant Data Center

    To ensure your data and your business remain protected, you need an online FTP that features a compliant data center. Data protection requires both physical and digital safeguards. It’s imperative that you the physical locations of your data servers has all the necessary security certifications and regularly undergoes audits to validate their security measures.

    FTP Today, for example, undergoes annual audits to ensure their facilities are continually safe and in alignment with the international standards for an ISMS (Information Security Management System). With FTP Today, you know that you’re trusting you data to facilities with the highest security standards, mitigating the risk of physical breaches.


    Backup and Disaster Recovery

    You never know when disaster will strike, so it’s important that the online FTP solution you choose to replace your in-house solution has built-in backup and disaster recovery safeguards. Whether you’re protecting from accidental file deletion (which may occur particularly at the beginning in setting up your new system) or a complete facility failure, it’s essential that there’s always a secure backup of your data somewhere.

    Talk to the online FTP providers you’re considering about their disaster recovery methods. Look for providers that offer continuous backup of your data every few hours. This maintains business continuity and ensures your business is productive even in the face of disaster.


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    Unlimited File Size

    When you’re working with large files, you don’t want productivity to be hindered by what you can and can’t send. Many online FTP solutions restrict the size of file you can send based on your monthly subscription plan or whether you are using a web browser vs. an FTP client. That means if you need to send something that’s large, you’ll like have to break it up into different transmissions, which could lead to a potential loss of data, not to mention the hassle.

    Look for an online FTP solution to replace your in-house one that permits unlimited file size. This ensures you maintain productivity and promote convenience with your file sharing.


    Support for Multiple Protocols

    Each company has different needs, and you need an online FTP solution that facilitates any file transfer, regardless of what protocol you use. Select an online FTP that features configurable standard protocols, including HTTPS, FTP, FTPeS, FTPS and SFTP, for all your security needs.

    Depending on your customer’s requirements, you may need one protocol over another. So, make sure your provider can support all of the above protocols (hint: the most popular file sharing services do not support SFTP, a protocol in high demand). With a top online FTP, you can have control over which protocol you use and require your clients and employees to use as well.


    Multiple Authentication Methods and Multi-Factor Authentication

    Ensure your data is only accessible by those who are supposed to access it. Make sure the provider supports a user-supplied SSH key in lieu of a password, as this will be important to automated SFTP connections.

    Two-factor authentication in an online FTP solution is also key for increased security. Requiring both a password and an instant one-time passcode (OTP) will provide added protection, even if a user’s password falls into the wrong hands.


    Multiple User Roles

    One of the best ways to keep data safe is by having granular control over who has access to your files. When you have the ability to assign users roles, you can determine who has what level of administrative role.

    For example, with FTP Today, you can assign roles including site administrator who have full rein over the whole site, team managers who can manage users and folders within their own team, and standard users who only have access to their assigned folders and files. Each of these roles simplifies operations and makes it easier for users to manage their own data access.


    File Structure and Architecture

    Beyond security, usability is an essential feature of an online FTP solution. For your users and clients to maintain productivity, you need a file sharing solution that is easy to navigate and simplifies file sharing with parties outside your organization. Consider file structure and architecture carefully before you choose a solution. Look for one that allows you to replicate a similar file structure to ones your company is used to, transitioning to a new solution is less disruptive to your employees.


    File Sharing Controls

    Have you ever sent a client a link, only to get an email from them a few weeks later saying the link expired? That can work for you from a security standpoint, but can hinder productivity both on your side and the client’s side. When you choosing an online FTP option, look for one that has gives you full control over link expiration.


    Email Notifications

    If you want your system administrators to have maximum visibility into file sharing activities, look for an online FTP solution that provides email notifications. You can easily stay up-to-date on file sharing activities by receiving email notifications triggered when users upload, download or delete files.



    Reporting is crucial for maintaining compliance and auditing purposes. Talk to the online FTP providers you’re considering about the reporting capabilities of their solution. You should, ideally have access to on-demand reports on all file sharing activity and a complete, detailed audit log of your entire site history.

    When you work with a top provider like FTP Today, you can access transfers, deleted files, and storage summaries at any time. That way, you constantly have eyes on all file sharing activities, giving you a high-level view of how data is being handled.

    Finding an online FTP solution with these features to replace your in-house FTP might seem like a daunting task, but it’s important that you invest time and effort into the process. Consider your options carefully and select a top FTP provider like FTP Today that offers all these features and more.

    Find out more about choosing the right online FTP solution. Download this free comparison guide to help you decide.

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    Martin Horan

    Founder of Sharetru (Formerly FTP Today) and a respected voice in secure file transfer and Internet protocols. A software and IT geek since a young age, Martin has successfully led his companies through the digital age by spotting market niches and filling them with quality IT services.

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