How fast is FTP on a broadband connection?

Posted on 2007-10-03
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-02
I have a cable modem, but when I FTP I find it dog slow.  What rate might it be communicating with?  Can it be sped up?

Nested directories take the longest.  If I send to many sites in parallel, will it be slower still?

Is there a way to zip up files locally and unzip them at my website.  (I do not have a dedicated virtual server in which case that would be a yes)

Question by:newbieweb
LVL 16

Accepted Solution

Brian Pringle earned 2000 total points
ID: 20009956
The FTP speed will be based on whatever speed you have at your end as well as the speed that is set at the other end.  Most hosting companies will limit the amount of bandwidth used for FTP to make sure that there is enough available bandwidth available for people browsing Web sites.  

The reason that nested folders take longer is that, technically, FTP does not allow for folders to be copied.  Windows has to do some stuff in the background to create those folders on the remote host, switch to those folders, and copy each individual file.  

As for zipping a file and then unzipping it on the FTP server, this won't work because your computer will have to extract the files locally and copy them back to the server.  It would take even longer.

There really is no way to speed it up unless your hosting company will increase your available bandwidth for FTP.
LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Jeff Darling
ID: 23397428
If you have secure shell  access then you can use compression.  You just need to make sure that the compression program is installed on the server.  most likely the server is unix, so you would use Gzip for compression.  

I disagree with btpringle.

It will be CONSIDERABLY faster to compress first, transfer the compressed file over the line, then login using a shell account and perform the decompress.

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