Do you need to send a Photoshop file or another type of digital file to someone electronically, and it is bigger than your email provider can handle? Then you need to “FTP” it!
FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. Generally, when your file is larger than 10 MB, you will need to FTP it rather than email it.
For those times when you need to send larger files over the internet, such as to a potential client (with a proper watermark, of course!) or a photo lab, you generally have 3 FTP choices:
- Use the client or lab’s user-friendly FTP service, usually available through their website.
- Use a web-based FTP service.
- Use your own FTP software.
The first choice should be self-explanatory and costs nothing – Businesses such as Costco will have a user-friendly interface that allow you to easily upload photos for printing.
The second choice would be to use a web-based FTP service such as SendThisFile.com or YouSendIt.com – This is great if you FTP rarely or occasionally, or you don’t want to hassle with the extra knowledge that having your own software requires.
Usually, if your file is smaller than 100 MB, the service is free. The only disadvantage to this type of service (unless you sign up for their premium services) is that they generally only allow one file upload at a time, and can be quite slow. Again, these services require no special knowledge: All communication between you and the recipient is done via email, and you use the service’s servers and user-friendly software for the actual FTP.
The third choice is to purchase FTP software for you computer. If you FTP on a regular basis, this is the way to go, and the software is relatively inexpensive. I use Fetch on my Macs, and FTP Shell Client on my Windows machines, but if you Google “FTP”, you’ll see that there are lots of choices.
You will need to learn some specialized knowledge with this method, but the know-how needed is really not all that hard to learn or understand. You will also need to know the recipient’s FTP address, username, and password.
OK, so that’s it! Now let’s hear your FTP recommendations and stories….
PS – By the way, since when did words like “Photoshop”, “FTP”, and “Google” become verbs as well as nouns?