File Transfer Protocol (FTP) Alternative or Replacement

Learn how Binfer is a better alternative to FTP

What is FTP?

FTP is File Transfer Protocol. It was created in 1980’s with
original intent to facilitate file transfers between internal
networks. It was not designed to be a secure protocol or designed to
transfer files over public networks.

Due to lack of other viable alternatives, it was patched and
band-aided to allow for public application of file transfer. Without
understanding its internals and deploying it carefully, one is
exposed to great security risks and unforeseen costs

It started as a command line program and is also available as a
graphical user interface. Today, it is mostly used to transfer files
to a webserver. However, many businesses use it to transfer files
between clients and offices

How FTP works?

FTP requires two key components to work

FTP Server

FTP server is a special software that is installed on a specialized
machine, typically called a server. It requires advanced knowledge
of ports, permissions, file systems and user management.

FTP Client

FTP client is another special software that is used by the end
users. The end user must know details such as IP address, port,
userid and password in order to connect to the FTP server.

Typical FTP setup

ftp-complex-to-setup-manage

Why is Cloud Not Better Than FTP To Transfer Large Files?

Cloud based file transfer is an enhanced FTP. Cloud based file
sharing is an incremental improvement from FTP. What it essential
does is simplifies the management of FTP servers by offloading the
server hardware and software management from the client to server.
However, it is not a straightforward switch from FTP to MFT/cloud
based solutions. MFT or Managed File Transfers introduce several new
issues

  1. There is a considerable cost increase
  2. Are more expensive in the long run.
  3. Need to be HIPAA compliant for certain kind of data.
  4. Lack of control over data.
  5. As secure as the vendor’s security controls.
  6. Not clear about at rest and in transit encryption methods.
  7. Heavy target of hackers.
  8. Several high profile public breaches every month, most go
    undetected.

FTP is Insecure

FTP was not designed to be a secure protocol. Unless special
precautions are take, FTP connections are un-encrypted. Which means
that data is transferred in clear text. Data is vulnerable to
interception. These are the known vulnerabilities of FTP:

  1. Packet capture
  2. FTP bounce attack
  3. Brute force attack
  4. Spoofing attack
  5. Username enumeration

With the massive data breaches, everyone is concerned about data
security. Security FTP using SSH is just adding another layer of
complexity and overhead. Lack of audit trails and transfer logs make
it even harder to track data transfer activities.

FTP is Complicated

An advanced technical knowledge is required to manage FTP. Being a
40 year old legacy technology, it cannot tackle modern day tasks
adequately. Following are some of the issues faced by users of FTP.

  1. Slow transfers
  2. Complicated setups
  3. Unreliable
  4. Limited logs
  5. Administration overhead

Transferring big files with FTP is a big problem and not at all
easy. There is no easy way to verify that files have been received
by the recipient. Being a central point of storage requires server
administration which adds to cost, both in terms of human personnel
and hardware. Being a central conduit also disrupts the
collaborative person to person workflow.

Why is Binfer a great alternative to FTP?

FTP is primarily used to upload website files to the web server.
In it’s default settings, FTP does not encrypt anything. User
credentials such as userid and password are all sent in clear text.
In addition to the authentication information, even the files
themselves are sent in clear text. This makes it very easy for
someone to intercept the information and be privy to it’s content.

Binfer’s Sync product is the best replacement for FTP. Binfer Sync
offers the following great features that make transferring files
between computes very easy.

  1. Not not need a special server to hold the files for transfer.
  2. Encrypts all data transfer using AES 256 bit encryption.
  3. Maintains detailed logs of all transfers,
  4. Automatically updates changed files.

Binfer Sync Compared with FTP

FTPBinfer
The first step is to figure out the kind of FTP setup that
will be deployed.

complex FTP setup
Binfer can be easily installed on any computer in minutes.

binfer create account

 

It works on variety of Windows, OSX and Linux operating
systems.

binfer installerbinfer for macbinfer for linux

Requires a server machine, either internal or external to
your company.
Does not require any server software.
The server needs to be setup outside the DMZ, configured for
NAT and firewall traversal.Appropriate protection technology should be installed to
deflect any Internet attacks.

FTP is inherently insecure and should be very carefully
planned before opening up to the outside world.

Does not require any special setup. As soon as an account is
created, sending and receiving of files can start right away
right from the desktop.
FTP implementation is expensive. One has to pay for the
server software and client software individually.The cost of an entry level FTP server(professional class), for
a 10 user license, starts from $2600

FTP high cost

Binfer does not require a separate server or client license.

A free monthly plan is included for all users. After consuming
the free , users can purchase either with a Pay as You Go Plan
or a Monthly Subscription Plan.

These plans are affordable. See Plans
for more details. Lastly, if it free for recipients.

FTP has a high learning curve and both the senders and
recipients need to learn some commands and operations.Should the file be sent in ASCII or EBCDIC mode? When should
one use, compress, block or stream mode. What ports should be
open? What is NAT traversal?

How are clients going to send and receive files with you? How
to handle these FTP vulnerabilities: brute force attacks,
bounce attacks, spoof attacks, packet captures and port
hijacks?

FTP clients are complicated

In contrast, Binfer interface is the familiar email style
interface. Sending a file to another computer is as easy as

  1. Select contacts from the address book.
  2. Drag and drop file, and send.

binfer new message

Or by using the Sync product, rules to automatically
synchronize files between computers, can be set with few
clicks.

binfer new rule

Transfer Big Files Without FTP

FTP is not the only way to transfer large
files or entire folders to someone. Binfer is a better,
easier and more secure alternative to FTP.
This video is a quick intro to
Binfer Sync. Click to play this video.
With Binfer one can:

  1. Send 10 GB or 100 GB files with a simple drag and drop.
  2. Drag and drop entire folders. There is no need to
    compress or zip.
  3. Media assets will transfer at the maximum speed allowed
    by the Internet provider. There is not throttling or
    bandwidth sharing.
  4. Use existing computers. No specialized hardware or IT
    infrastructure.
  5. Quick, fast and easy installation.
  6. Includes Chat and Email like messaging for an integrated
    experience.
  7. Other power features such as Web Dropbox, Web Pickup,
    Encrypted Transfers and Reports.
  8. Detailed Help
    Manual
    and Customer
    Support
    provided.

References