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Dated: Sep. 30, 2013

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Sharing files with Microsoft Windows

Microsoft Windows (and other personal operating systems) contain a built-in file sharing system. For example, the Windows folder can be shared over a local network (LAN) or the Internet by using Explorer as well as network drive mappings. You are also able to set restrictions on access security in order to control who can get the shared files.

FTP file transfer

File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is an old but it remains a popular method of sharing files on the Internet. The central computer is the FTP server and it contains all the files that are shared. You can log in to the server to get a copy. All modern operating systems include built-in FTP client software, and web browsers such as Internet Explorer can be configured to operate as an FTP client. Alternative FTP client programs can also be downloaded for free on the Internet. Like with Windows file sharing, it is possible to turn on the FTP server security access option but it needs the clients to give a username and password. Network file sharing

P2P - Peer to Peer File Sharing

Peer to peer (P2P) is an extremely popular method of swapping large files on the Internet, especially music and video. Unlike FTP, most P2P file sharing systems do not use any central servers, instead all computers on the network function as both a client and a server. A lot of free P2P programs exist, and every single one of them has its upsides and downsides. Instant messaging (IM) systems are a kind of P2P applications commonly used in conversation, but all the popular IM software also supports file sharing.

E-mail file sharing

For the past dozen years, files can be shared from one person to another through a network by using e-mail software. E-mail messages are able go through the Internet or inside the network of the company. Like in FTP systems, e-mail systems are using a client/server model. The person who sends the mail and the recipient of the mail can use different email programs, but the sender needs to know the address of the person who receives the mail, and the address must be configured to allow incoming mail. Email systems are designed to transfer small amounts of data, and generally limit the size of individual files that can be shared.

Online sharing service

Finally, a number of websites called file sharing communities exist on the Internet. Members post or upload their files to that site using a web browser, and then others can download a copy of these files using their browser. Some file sharing communities charge fees for membership, while others are free.

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