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#1
natcase

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We do not have a company FTP site, and more and more we find client email spam filters make email with attached files disappear into the ether. Add to this that many of our clients (or at least the folks at these clients who need to approve a proof before I send it to the printer/graphics people) have no idea how to reset email preferences, and we have a frustrating situation that makes us look bad.

We've been having great luck over the last year and a half or so using the free FTP site www.sendthisfile.com and before that www.yousendit.com.

I'm curious if folks have found any downsides to this technique. The only one I can find is that the links emailed to clients expire relatively fast (at least they do if you use the free mode). Are there other similar services folks here have used that they recommend?

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INCase, LLC

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#2
travelbug

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You might want to check out www.mediamax.com
They allow for hosting, and there's no time limit.

But since you host your own website, there's no need for FTP. Just upload the files to be sent to your root directory, and send your client the link, and delete them afterwards.

#3
Hans van der Maarel

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But since you host your own website, there's no need for FTP. Just upload the files to be sent to your root directory, and send your client the link, and delete them afterwards.


That would be a slight security risk, as they would be publically available. Also, it won't allow customers to upload anything.

My hosting provider (Godaddy) allows for the creation of extra ftp-accounts and to assign those only to specified directories. So I've created a guest account that's limited to the guest directory, where I can put files that I need to transfer to clients, and vice-versa. You could even go as far as making separate logins for unique clients. This also allows for logging the up- and downloads. Since Godaddy offers something like 5 Gb of disk space per hosting account, space isn't really an issue here.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
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#4
travelbug

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That would be a slight security risk, as they would be publically available. Also, it won't allow customers to upload anything.


Security is only a concern when other unintended folks find out the file name. Client upload is a real problem though.

#5
Hans van der Maarel

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Security is only a concern when other unintended folks find out the file name.


Or the directory is 'open'...

But yeah, clients uploading all kinds of other stuff is a bit of an issue too, I only use this with trusted parties (and you can counter this by changing the password every month or so). I also remove everything once it's downloaded by either me or the intended recipient.

Bottom line is, with FTP, there's always some security concern.
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#6
ELeFevre

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Nat,
Have you looked at any of the web-based project management systems available, i.e Basecamp? I'm sure there are open-source project management solutions available as well if you dig around. This may be a better long term solution that benefits your clients and your team.

We occasional use our own FTP folder to share files with clients, but more often than not the client has a difficult time accessing the site due to firewalls or unfamiliarity with FTP clients. It hasn't worked out so well. Now that Google (Gmail) allows for larger email attachments, I typically send the file to a generic gmail account I use solely for this purpose and provide the client with the gmail login. All they need is the username, password, and a browser. What's nice is that you can verify that the file is sitting in gmail before you send the client there. It's not a perfect system and only works for files under 10mb (maybe up to 15 or 20?), but it beats sitting on the phone with a client trying to figure out why they can't access an FTP folder. This new approach has yet to fail me. Google rules.



#7
Rob

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my company uses Rhinosoft's Serve U FTP server. $70, easy to work w/, and I've yet to have any problems in over three years.

#8
mike

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my company uses Rhinosoft's Serve U FTP server. $70, easy to work w/, and I've yet to have any problems in over three years.


I agree with Rob. I've used Serv-U in the past as well (actually about 7 or 8 years ago) with good results. I was running a file trading site with friends and this served my needs very well.

Nat, if you are not transferring huge amounts of data, then Serv-U might be the most cost efficient way to host an FTP. You just set it up on your own computer in your home or office. I had an older spare computer to hold the FTP on (you don't need a fast comp anyways). It worked very well and it is customizable so that you can create different types of accounts to restrict access to certain areas of the FTP. Also it's possible to limit bandwidths and control login times. You can even see who's uploading or downloading from your FTP at any time.

#9
Matthew Hampton

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I heard about Mail Big File the other day and it seems like a good (free) service. I was curious if anyone had used if for file-sharing with clients.

Oregon Metro - Portland, OR
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#10
Dennis McClendon

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We use webfilehost. Others in my bookmarks include savefile and Rapidshare. I used to use YouSendIt, but they began requiring clients to register for an account.
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
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#11
gp1

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I tend to use Megaupload for personal transfers. Our company runs OS X Server with ftp.




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