Possible Duplicates:
Best method of transferring files over internet?
Free way to share large files over the Internet?

I have been asked to design a system for transfering large files (1GB+) across the internet. These files are pdf documents that customers need to download from my website.

I have never built anything like this before, and I'm not sure what hardware or software would be best suited to this, or whether it would be best to host it internally or externally.

Any advice or recommendations for hosting would be much appreciated.

marked as duplicate by sblair, Sathyajith Bhat Jun 23 '11 at 4:25

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    Which level of security do you need ? Do you plan to encrypt the file by yourself ? Can you trust third party web sites ? Btw, you are really sending 1GB+ PDF Files ? – JMax Jun 22 '11 at 8:30
  • lol. Apparently they are 1GB+ pdf files (according to the client)- I have my doubts too. Anyhow it's sensitive data, so I need it to be totally secure, and don't mind how it gets encrypted. I'm happy to trust third party sites if they are reputable. – Urbycoz Jun 22 '11 at 9:01
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    Do the files only need to be transferred once, or will you need to archive older files so they can be retrieved later? Would probably affect how much storage space you will need. My two cents. – Richard Lucas Jun 22 '11 at 9:44
  • can the client have a client software, or does it need to work for arbitrary systems? – Journeyman Geek Jun 22 '11 at 10:10
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    Some PDFs that are nothing but scanned images or pages, especially if they run into the hundreds of pages, are very large. A 1GB PDF would not surprise me. – LawrenceC Jun 22 '11 at 11:34

We use LeapFile: http://www.leapfile.com/

It is not free, but it is very reliable, and it works great. Read the "Why LeapFile" web page for more info: http://www.leapfile.com/why-leapfile


You may want to keep this all in house - I would not put anything confidential 'out there' to be managed by another entity. Zendto may fit the bill:


The safe, secure and completely free way to transfer large files around the Web. ZendTo is a completely free web-based system, which you can run on your own server with complete safety and security. It runs from any Linux or Unix server or virtualisation system and there is no size limit and it will send files one and a half times faster than by email. It will also integrate with any Active Directory, LDAP or IMAP system you already have in place.


well if downloading from a website you set up a website with files and links to them. you transfer/upload to the website via FTP you need anybody offering web hosting with the multiple GB space on it. people downloading download via a web browser.

or you could upload it to mediaupload.com or rapidshare, you may want to subscribe, for example a subscription may ensure it stays up longer. you then send out links to the files.

if you want some security, then, If using a website then perhaps links not publicly advertised or with obvious/guessable names is enough.

if encrypting files beforehand, well, I think axcrypt might be pretty good.

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    Please not. Never do security through obscurity. Give it HTTP authentication, also use HTTPS. The HTTP authentication data can be put into the url like user:pass@hello.world/file.pdf. This will ensure that only people coming from the business can access these, as long as nobody leaks the password!!! – sinni800 Jun 22 '11 at 12:02
  • I said "perhaps it's enough", it's up to him. He hadn't mentioned security at all in his question, so it was just an idea that'd be a bit more private/secure than listing them publicly. But I did mention encrypting the files beforehand with axcrypt, which is of course more secure than just using links that aren't advertised. – barlop Jun 22 '11 at 12:46
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    @sinni800 your HTTP authentication and HTTPS looks like a good idea, you could post an answer explaining to him how. – barlop Jun 22 '11 at 12:48
  • Yes please. That https method looks good. – Urbycoz Jun 22 '11 at 14:49
  • @sinni800 What is the problem with security through obscurity? – Urbycoz Jun 22 '11 at 14:55

Depending on the level of security your customer demands, you could simply set up a WordPress (of other) blog that's only accessible via https (which is very simple) and set up accounts for those customer staff authorized to upload, and more limited accounts for those authorized to download. WP has sufficiently granular access controls to handle a simple case. Not perhaps the most "elegant" solution but it would work, and an experienced admin could set the whole thing up in an hour, including installing and configuring Apache on the server.

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