Technological Advancements in File Sharing
During the past two decades, the ability to share files has advanced beyond what most people could have imagined. It wasn’t that long ago that, in order to share a file, you needed to hand a floppy disk to your colleague. Now there are many different ways to share files; we do it all the time. Students and teachers exchange files. Files are exchanged in the workplace and with clients or investors. Even everyday users exchange files on an almost daily basis. Here are just a few of the technological advances made in file sharing in recent years. Removable Media Removable media was at first the only way to exchange files larger than email attachments would allow. The 3.5-inch floppy drives were around for quite some time. They still had their limitations, though, as they didn’t have large storage capacities. Then came the CDs and DVDs with larger storage capacity.
Soon, nearly every desktop and laptop computer came with the ability to burn CDs and DVDs making sharing files with these media a snap. Flash drives, too, caught on because they can be used on any device with a USB port. They worked well for traveling because they’re compact and easy to use. The problem with all of these methods, though, is that the media can be lost, making data susceptible to prying eyes. Email Attachments Email attachments were rarely the ideal way to send files. The file size limits are rather small, and unless the other party confirms that the email was received, you may never know if the intended person received it. There’s also the problem of some email messages getting lost in cyberspace. Confidential information needs to remain confidential, so you don’t want to risk sending emails with private information; it’s a security risk. Private Networks Uploading files to a shared server on a private network has been a wonderful solution for many businesses. The files are accessible to those who need them, and inaccessible to others who don’t have access to the private network.
The downside to this method of file sharing, however, is that it’s expensive to set up and maintain a private network. Unless your business has the resources to keep IT staff on hand, this may not be the best option for your business. File Sharing Services Finally, file sharing services emerged allowing everyday users to share files with one another instantly. It began with sometimes illegal peer-to-peer sharing services for consumers such as Napster and LimeWire. Anyone who has used these services can tell you that it’s risky though. Finally, reputable companies such as Evernote, Dropbox and ShareFile.com by Citrix began providing more secure environments for file sharing. Password protection and encryption keep files safe while still allowing you to share files via authorized logins or sharing links via email or social media. Many even have apps for your tablet and smartphone devices to ensure you can share your files anytime. File sharing has undergone a number of changes. You no longer need to interact with someone in person in order to exchange files. Reputable companies have entered the file sharing arena to allow you to keep your files safe while sharing with others.