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File Transfer Overview

There are several ways to transfer files from one computer system to another or from one user to another:

  • One very common method is SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol). There is a less common protocol SCP, and FTP, which is not recommended in general because it is insecure. To use these programs, one of the two systems involved must be running an appropriate server program, so this is appropriate for transfers between a personal machine and a central service such as DS-Filestore. For details, choose from the options on the left.
  • For DS-Filestore in particular, it is generally easier to mount your DS filespace directly on the desktop of your personal machine, where it then just looks like another storage device. For details of this facility and other options, see the Desktop Services pages.
  • To transfer files between two users of DS-Filestore, see the Desktop Services pages.
  • Alternatives for transfer of small amounts of material include email attachments, or simple cut-and-paste if you can login to the remote system and display the content you wish to move. For some types of transfer you also have the option of removable media such as memory sticks.
  • For transfers between two Macintoshes or between two PCs running various versions of Windows, provided the machines are suitably connected, it is possible to use File Sharing (peer-to-peer networking), which makes part or all of the filing system of one machine visible to the other machine. This is described in the relevant manuals. You should be very careful about the access you allow, and make sure you understand the controls available to you before using this method.

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