The file is around 170GB. I wouldn't upload it on the FTP, and download it. It is not reliable, sometime, connections drop, and it will have big trouble. So, is there any better way to do so? Anyone suggest? Thanks.

P.S.:two computers are not in same network.

  • 10
    An external USB HD?
    – mouviciel
    Mar 13, 2013 at 9:22
  • 9
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sneakernet is a network. Mar 13, 2013 at 9:27
  • 4
    Break it up into smaller pieces, then you only have to worry about one small piece at a time. Pro tip: BitTorrent does exactly this. Mar 13, 2013 at 9:29
  • 4
    I would use Skype but im not brave enough to put it as an answer :) Mar 13, 2013 at 11:31
  • 4
    Why is this flagged as a duplicate of questions asking how to e-mail 2-30 MB of data? There are a few orders of magnitude between "send 17 MB" and "send 170 GB", and the solutions are completely different. Dropbox/filehosters are not really a feasible suggestion for 170 GB... Mar 15, 2013 at 14:51

6 Answers 6


Wierdly enough bitorrent might work pretty well here, assuming office policies allow it- it breaks up the file for you, checks if its correct and if not redownloads it. You're probably going to want to run your own tracker, but many bitorrent clients do that anyway, and if possible use webseeds to speed things up even more - burnbit makes this easy.

As an alternative I'd also suggest doing the oldschool pirate thing, and splitting up the files and using a parity file, then transferring it by any means you have, FTP or web server. If you use a webserver, downloads can be continued - with something like wget, and the parity archive would allow you to rebuild the file with a few broken pieces.

Naturally consider encrypting the files or file chunks, if the data is of a sensitive nature as well.

A more recent option may be bitorrent sync - It runs on everything but the toaster (Unless your toaster run windows, linux on x86, PPC or ARM), and handles most of the grunt work for you. It uses the underlying bitorrent protocol but is a lot simpler to use.

  • 1
    additionally if you need to copy to multiple hosts you'll decrease the time significantly.
    – Colton
    Mar 13, 2013 at 18:02
  • +1 for toaster. U saved the toaster from toasting big chunks
    – PathToLife
    May 27, 2016 at 8:01
  • BitTorrent Sync was bought up and renamed to Resilio Sync. It's no longer possible to install the free version on WIndows Servers. You need a paid Business license to do that now.
    – Rudey
    Jan 15, 2022 at 19:49
  • TBH - 2 of the options I've suggested have changed, or are dead - which kinda reflects the problems with software recommendations :/
    – Journeyman Geek
    Jan 16, 2022 at 0:46

Take a look at robocopy, it supports restarting, and in general is a lot more stable than other options.

  • robocopy rules !
    – wim
    Mar 14, 2013 at 5:33

WinZip can produce lots of (relatively) little files (originally designed to archive to floppy disks, but you can choose 1GB now). Then non-resumable FTP (as the Microsoft option is) is OK. Finally, WinZip will retrieve the file at the other end.

  • 3
    I think 7-zip is much better than WinZip.
    – Alvin Wong
    Mar 14, 2013 at 0:31
  • @AlvinWong Perhaps; WinZip was first and still pretty good. I just haven't used 7-zip enough.
    – Mark Hurd
    Mar 14, 2013 at 1:59
  • 1
    something being oldest is not a good reason to use it in the IT world...
    – wim
    Mar 14, 2013 at 5:36
  • @wim I haven't needed to use anything else. If WinZip is so wrong downvote me, preferably giving reasons why it is actually crap for this purpose. If 7-zip is so right, add it as an answer.
    – Mark Hurd
    Mar 14, 2013 at 6:20
  • Well, you're not wrong so no downvote.. but Alvin has a point 7-zip capabilities are a superset of winzip, and it's free..
    – wim
    Mar 14, 2013 at 6:39

Robocopy and BitTorrent have already been suggested and sound like a good idea. Other options that may work better in a restrictive network environment where you cannot e.g. create the SMB connection that seems to be required for RoboCopy:

FTP. I know you don't like it, but with a good server and client, it should work well. Create an FTP server on either source or recipient, make sure that it supports encrypted connections (to prevent transparent proxies etc. from interfering) and files > 4 GB. Then upload/download the file using a good FTP client (making sure to use binary mode). FTP supports connection resuming, so if the connection drops, just resume. A current copy of wget should be fine.

You can do the same with HTTP: Set up a HTTP(S) server supporting large files, and download it with a current copy of wget.

Otherwise, there are rsync binaries for Windows and numerous proprietary rsync-like programs that you could use. Especially if you expect that the file will need to be updated and only small portions of the file will change, you may want to look into that direction.

Remember that at 8 MBit/s (1 MByte/s), it will take you two days to transfer the file. Unless you have really fast connection, sending a physical hard drive with a copy of the file(s) may be faster.

  • 1
    Send the hard drive by Fedex. In the end it will cost less and be faster. That is how most larger corporations move backups and such.
    – Pow-Ian
    Mar 13, 2013 at 19:06
  • 1
    Using the file transfer protocol for file transfer! Who'd a thunk it ???
    – wim
    Mar 14, 2013 at 5:37
  • @Pow-Ian: I did not want to advertise a specific company, but FedEx really lives up to their original Federal Express name. I handed them a (pretty sizeable) package weighing around 10-12 kg at noon on Saturday in Germany, didn't even pick their fastest service, and got it delivered to Belgium by 10:35 AM on Monday for 29 EUR. If I have anything that needs to get somewhere fast, I will definitely use FedEx again. Mar 15, 2013 at 14:48
  • @Jan Schejbal I say call a spade a spade. I know FedEx is the fastest so i don't mind telling others about my experiences. For full disclosure I have seen their facilities and toured their Memphis TN USA air port processing facility. They can literally ship things next day from NY, NY to Japan.
    – Pow-Ian
    Mar 15, 2013 at 14:51

Some things that come to my mind are private P2P Networks (uTorrent, DC++) or a tiny http server with wget


I would sugest to use some tool (windows) based on rsync http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rsync

  • 4
    one line sentences, on which a link supposedly answers the question are a no-no in SuperUser. please elaborate on your answer. Mar 13, 2013 at 15:59

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