05/30/2018 - Updated on 02/18/2020
File Transfer Protocol (FTP) allows you to transfer data between computers over an internet connection and remotely store files on an FTP server. Sure, there have been considerable advances in security and cloud-based file transfer services since 1971 when FTP was introduced.
FTP as a way to store and transfer files is still used by a wide variety of industries and businesses.
In some cases, FTP is used because the industry or governing body requires it. As the oldest protocol, FTP is a tried and trusted way of sending files. Businesses use this protocol to upload files to an FTP server where they are stored and can be downloaded and accessed later.
Key industries that often require FTP include; medical, legal services, manufacturing, wholesale distribution, financial and AEC.
The Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry rely on FTP to share architecture diagrams and components. FTP is the best way to send large files such as CAD or SketchUp diagrams that are common in the AEC industry. Construction and related fields that work with CAD diagrams and similar file types often rely on FTP due to its speed in transferring these large file types.
FTP is a key component for engineering workflows to upload and transfer documents for approval throughout a design project. The completed files can be quite large and are uploaded and stored on the FTP server after project completion. If needed for future reference, easily download files from the server.
FTP supports large file uploads and bulk file transfers. Transcription services and graphic designers find FTP to be ideal for their large print jobs. Printers rely on FTP when they have folders full of PFDs ready to download and print.
Web developers are another core group that uses and relies on FTP for uploading files. FTP is essential for building a website. It allows the web developer to move stuff from their computer to the server hosting the site they are working on. FTP is the main route to the FTP server where all the integral pieces of the website are stored.
Accountants, consultants, and business owners doing their accounting and financials know that keeping logs is a critical requirement for running a compliant business. They need a good file structure in addition to granular permissions that FTP services can be configured to accommodate.
Another benefit for business is that FTP is the quickest and easiest way to transfer files. For many retail and hospitality companies, FTP comes in handy when sharing files with employees, clients, and customer all around the world. FTP is more reliable and less of a hassle to manage than email attachments. Plus, you don’t have to worry about files not being received due to email size limitations.
Consider your local news agency. They need to send around the clock video data from their weather cams to an FTP server. The video plays on their website livestream and aires on the actual TV news broadcast. FTP facilitates all this video transfer with efficiency.
So, while you enjoy your morning coffee, FTP is part of the process that provides you with the daily weather forecast.
Now let’s look at why FTP is important.
FTP is fast. When searching the internet, you will find many references to FTP as the best for fast file transfer. From SmartFile to ExaVault, many companies are continuing to offer FTP services with secure FTP servers for file storage.
Using an FTP server for remote storage is ideal for disaster recovery and backup of files. Don’t let the thought of losing essential business files keep you from moving forward. With a hosted FTP service, you get the data protection you need in today’s digital market.
With ExaVault, all data from primary data centers is backed up to a physically owned disaster recovery facility meeting the secondary redundancy standard. The disaster recovery facility is fully capable of taking over the primary production facilities should the need arise.
FTP transfers your largest files. With more work being done online and digitally, documents are getting larger. Advances in graphic design, engineering, and video production mean larger, more robust files. FTP provides a way to quickly get your design documents and video edits where they need to be without worrying about file size limitations or loss of data.
FTP sites can provide storage that helps businesses with their industry compliance. From things like GDPR compliance to comprehensive auditing and security controls to help you monitor your file shares. As we move forward, it is inevitable that regulations and compliance guidelines will evolve. New policies will emerge regarding how data is transferred and stored.
You may have noticed that many companies offering FTP services have options for SFTP, FTPS, limiting the IP addresses that can access your files and advanced login with SSH keys. These are all additional layers of security.
One more feature common with file transfer solutions is enterprise-grade security. FTP can be a mission-critical component of a customer’s workflow. Keeping files secure keeps the workflow on target. Enterprise-grade security protects data through various physical and customer accessible online security options.
FTP does the heavy lifting when it comes to file transfer. An FTP service with the right features takes care of the security and compliance side of things.
Your business may be able to use a simple online file transfer service, but FTP might be the option you really need.
FTP supports large and bulk file transfers. If your business has large files or numerous files and folders to upload, store and send, you’ll want a hosted FTP service.
Hosted FTP is ideal for small to medium businesses. It can reduce IT costs. Maintaining an FTP server and network infrastructure can be expensive and time-consuming. Look for hosted FTP solutions and leave the technical worries to someone else. With a continuously updated web-based FTP management interface, what small business wouldn’t benefit.
Does your small business produce a large number of PDFs that need to be set up for batch printing or shared with clients on a regular basis? FTP is great for uploading and storing PDFs and can send folders full of PDFs faster than cloud-only services.
Use an FTP service that includes granular permissions to help streamline your workflow. Modern features like user permissions let you decide who can view or access which files stored in your FTP account. A simple and easy way to manage and share files with business associates.
There are also ways to automate some file transfers with the help of ExaVault’s API.
Finally, when looking for file storage and sharing services, have you been told your business needs FTP? There is probably a reason for that. It could be a government regulation. Or, it could be that your industry has tried and trusts FTP. Best for sending large files, FTP isn’t going anywhere. The right FTP service can provide additional security options to further protect your uploads, downloads and all your daily file transfers.