File Sharing is a method of transferring data from one computer or device to another computer, a friend, or a team member in a different geographic location, etc. Files can be shared using a local network at the workplace or over the internet.
The Evolution of file sharing is quite impressive and vivid. The impact of technology on file sharing is quite humungous.
Due to the advancement in technology, file sharing methods have evolved faster. The one big challenge which comes with file sharing is data protection. Remember protecting data is as important as transferring your files to other geographic regions or devices in a few steps.
File sharing has evolved from posting documents to the desired location to sending emails attached with files in a single click. Protecting files in a locker room to storing files in a server with a user id and password. There are various file sharing methods have come into existence, which can broadly have classified into P2P, F2P, cloud services, portable devices, etc.
And there is no doubt that email has remained a widely preferred tool for sharing smaller files and it is constantly improvising its features to meet the users’ expectations and the challenges from its competitors in file sharing industry.
Types of File Sharing:
Files sharing can be performed using multiple methods, but the most common techniques for file sharing are as follows.
File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
FTP is a client-server protocol established between the client and the server over a computer network. It is one of the most renowned methods to transfer data across networks using a command prompt window or a tool with a user-interface.
Under FTP, files are stored on the server, a user should log in to the FTP server using a username and password to download a file from it. By utilizing FTP, a client can upload, download, edit, delete, rename, and move files on a server. However, in some servers, users can directly access data without any authentication which is known as anonymous FTP.
FTP can be used to transfer large and multiple files including the directories. However, FTP can be considered as a non-secure way of transferring files because of the reason that when you transfer a file, the data along with the user name and password are shared in plain text, which can be easily accessible to the hackers.
Some of the common examples for File Transfer Protocol are FileZilla Client, Coffee Cup Free FTP, and Core FTP.
Peer to Peer (P2P)
Peer to Peer is a decentralized way of transferring files from one computer to another without the use of the server. P2P allows users to obtain files such as photos, videos, ebooks, and other media files securely. Under P2P file sharing, individual clients are connected to a distributed network of peers to transfer files over their own network connections. The basic purpose of a P2P server is to eliminate the role of a centralized server that stores data.
P2P method of file transferring is very helpful if you want to share files quickly and it also eliminates the cost of a separate server. However, in this method, maintaining a backup and performing data recovery is challenging. Some common examples for P2P file sharing are Bluetooth, LimeWire, Skype, Telnet, etc.
- Physical Storage Drives
Portable drives like memory card, USB drive, external hard drive, SSD, etc. are commonly used physical storage devices. Basically, these devices are non-violate storage drives that are used to store and transfer thousands of files such as photos, raw-images, videos, Microsoft Office files, etc., based on their capacity.
These physical storage devices are commonly used to take a backup of important files. The data stored on these physical drives are prone to corruption or deletion in various scenarios like accidental formatting, file deletion or loss, malware-attack, bad sectors, etc. If you know how to recover deleted files using reliable methods then, you can easily get back your files, or else you need to visit a trustworthy website like https://www.remosoftware.com/ that offers secure data recovery software, which are available for both Windows and Mac operating systems including Windows 10 and macOS Catalina.
The data stored on a physical storage device like a pen drive or SSD can be accessed without internet connectivity. However, there are various scenarios under which one might lose data saved on it. If you happened to break or lose the drive, then the data saved on it will be permanently deleted.
- Cloud Service
Under this method of file sharing, the owner of the content has to upload the data into the server which is hosted by a third-party. With the help of a link, one can directly download the files from the cloud server. However, the owner of the file can set permissions to the data uploaded on the cloud such as view only, edit, download, etc.
The cloud service method is best-suited to take a backup of important files and folders. Dropbox, Box, OneDrive, Google Drive, iCloud, etc. are commonly used tools to backup and transfer files. The common drawback of cloud file sharing service is its dependency on internet connection. During no or low internet connectivity accessing files is merely impossible.
Basically, when someone says file sharing, the first thing that comes to our mind is email. This is obvious since it is one of the most popular methods of file transferring. However, one cannot limit file sharing only to email because of our daily work life dependency on it. There are various file sharing methods available in today’s world which can prove more beneficial than email in certain circumstances. But no one can deny the importance of email as a tool to transfer files in simple clicks.
Email works on basic principles, wherein the sender has to attach a file in an outgoing email with the recipient address. This method of file transferring is crucial when you want to send smaller files. The most popular tools are Gmail, Microsoft Outlook, etc.