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Unlimited Transfers vs. Unlimited Bandwidth: What
Martin Horan

By: Martin Horan on November 29th, 2017

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Unlimited Transfers vs. Unlimited Bandwidth: What's the Difference with Your FTP Software


If you are looking for a new file transfer solution, there’s a chance you have a long list of features your next solution should provide for your company. Maybe you need a solution that offers the highest level of security. Or perhaps your solution should accommodate an unlimited number of users. But, there are two features that are essential to efficient operations that many FTP solution buyers overlook: amount of file transfers and file transfer bandwidth speed.

Choosing a file transfer solution that doesn’t facilitate unlimited transfers and doesn't provide unlimited file transfer bandwidth speed could seriously impact your operations. While the terms “unlimited transfer” and “unlimited bandwidth” are often used interchangeably, these are actually two distinct elements that work together to ensure every single file you transfer arrives at its destination as rapidly as possible (bandwidth) -- and without incurring potential overage fees for exceeding some imposed limit (transfer).

Explore this article to learn more about these two features – unlimited FTP transfers and unlimited file transfer bandwidth – and the impact they have on your operations.

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FTP Transfers

You never want to begin a crucial file transfer, only to realize you’ve reached the maximum allotted amount of transferred data for the month. That’s right – having an unlimited amount of file transfers and downloads is not always an included benefit, if you select the wrong FTP solution. And, this limitation could be a serious hinderance to your operations.

For many companies that rely on the secure transfer of crucial data, there are a number of reasons you would want an unlimited amount of transfers – or the quantity of bytes per month your FTP site uploads and downloads. The most important reason to have unlimited file transfers is to maintain the efficiency of your daily operations. If you need to transfer a file, yet you’re unable to because you are nearing the end of your allotted number of monthly transfers, it could seriously impact your operations.

Another reason you would want unlimited transfers is the prevention of additional costs. Many FTP providers that don’t feature unlimited transfers charge a fee when you exceed your monthly transfer limit. With unlimited transfers, that’s not an issue. Also, watch out for FTP providers that advertise “unlimited” transfers, while having clandestine policies against transferring too many bytes per month. (FTP Today, by the way, does provide truly unlimited file transfers.)

In fact, top solutions even allow you to send expiring file links to an unlimited number of unauthenticated users, like clients or other interested parties outside your company, regardless of the FTP monthly plan size you choose. Look for an FTP provide that increases your efficiency, instead of hindering it, by enabling an unlimited amount of transfers and downloads each month.


FTP Bandwidth

Today, there is nothing more frustrating than waiting for something to load. Whether you’re watching a video or opening a webpage, slowed bandwidth can be a huge impediment to whatever you’re doing. That applies to your file transfers, too.

You may have heard the term “bandwidth” in relation to internet service, but it’s also applicable in the file transfer realm. File transfer bandwidth refers to the speed of transfer, or the volume of data per unit of time that a transmission medium (in the case – FTP server) can facilitate.

Think of it in terms of a highway. A highway is designed to facilitate travel between two points at a rapid speed. The more cars you have traveling on the highway – let’s say at rush hour – the slower the speed at which the cars can travel. To increase speed and reduce congestion, more lanes would need to be added to the highway. The same principles are true for file transfer bandwidth, too. Bandwidth is the highway and data is the cars. If you have bandwidth limitations, the data moves slower, taking more time to get from point A to point B.

Many FTP solutions offer high bandwidth speeds, but when you have numerous users all transferring files at once, that amount of bandwidth isn’t good enough. To ensure you’re not experiencing slow file transfers, you need a solution with unlimited file transfer bandwidth. This is the best way to maintain nearly instant transfers of crucial data.

Bandwidth capacity isn’t the only feature you should focus on. Watch out for FTP solutions that engage in bandwidth throttling, or the intentional lowering of bandwidth speed. Throttling can occur when there’s a high usage volume or large transfers occurring. Let’s say you’re transferring a massive file over your FTP solution, and simultaneously, your coworker sitting next to you starts experiencing slowed transfer speeds. Some FTP providers will throttle bandwidth to avoid the need to buy more expensive, faster equipment to facilitate these large transfers.

Ultimately, when you engage with a FTP provider that throttles bandwidth, you aren’t getting the bandwidth speeds you believe you’re paying for. As you’re searching for a top FTP solution, look for phrases like “unthrottled gigabit speeds.” This will ensure you’re actually getting the fastest bandwidth speeds, regardless of how many people are transferring files at once.

An unlimited amount of file transfers and unlimited, unthrottled bandwidth speed are two features that work in conjunction to get your most crucial data where it needs to go in an instant. Without these benefits, you could experience a loss of efficiency, not to mention the frustration of slow or limited transfers. That’s why it’s essential that you look for these two features in your next FTP solution.

Learn more about how to choose the best FTP solution. Download this free comparison guide to find out which solution is right for you.

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About Martin Horan

Founder of FTP Today and an expert in secure file transfer and Internet protocols. A software and IT geek since a young age, Martin has successfully led his companies through the digital age by spotting market niches and filling them with quality IT services.