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What Is The Best FTP Software For Your Business?

Posted by Valerie Nolan on January 28, 2021

One of the greatest assets for video producers and media teams during this pandemic has been the ability to hire local crews in faraway cities for video production. With the liability factor and budget cuts, being able to outsource reliable video crews has helped producers and media teams continue professional and well branded video productions.  

Shoots are coming together in unique configurations, with crew members local to the subject handling the technical aspect of the production while the producer teleconferences in via Zoom or a similar software tool to provide feedback and oversight. But one obstacle that needs to be tackled during a time when teams are remote is how to get the producer or client the footage efficiently.  

In the age of 4K, video files can overwhelm most transfer systems. And at a time where unnecessary travel is being nipped in the bud, video professionals need a way to quickly and securely transfer video files. We talked to a few of our global DP’s to ask them about File Transfer Protocol (FTP) Software.  

The Importance of FTP Software: 

The File Transfer Protocol is a standard network protocol used for the transfer of computer files between a client and server on a computer network. FTP software offers access to a directory, with sub-directories that multiple parties can access. Users connect to these servers with a FTP client, which is a piece of software that lets you upload and download files to and from the server.  

This sort of usage has become less common in the age of easy-to-use cloud services but some folks prefer to have their files hosted on a home server and use FTP software to enable that. The modern, secure FTP alternative is all cloud-based. A website like Dropbox lets you store files, back up data, distribute information—and replace that tired old FTP server. 

“We use Dropbox as our go to for file sharing,” DP Larry Greenblatt said.  “Having no data limits allows us to easily share footage with our clients.  We have found that most, if not all other sites to be difficult and frustrating because of the lack of speed.”  

Other modern FTP software include WeTransfer and Google Drive. However, with the increased need to transfer files through a cloud or via internet, better programs need to be utilized and are available.  

A New and Improved FTP

We know that transferring files is not the most exciting part of the job. But a failed connection or low quality transfer can create panic, stress and confusion for both your team and your client. Especially at a time when crews and producers are not shooting video in the same space, effectively transferring video is critical to the success of the shoot.  

No FTP is perfect, but not every FTP is created equal. Often DPs and producers must compromise on a decently priced FTP software, speedy delivery or reliability. But we have recently discovered a new FTP that looks to be the most promising among our crews.  

MASV is a fast and reliable way for videographers and creators to transfer time critical files to clients. This FTP is pay-as-you-go with no plugins or limitations. MASV is similar to other large file transfer services but without file size limits, software to download, port-forwarding issues, expensive annual contracts, storage limits, slow file downloads or upload speeds, complicated interfaces, or transfer failures. 

When it comes to transferring 100GB+ files, speed is crucial. MASV rides on a dedicated global accelerated network. With over 150 servers worldwide, MASV achieves maximum transfer speeds in most locations across the world without the need for any software or firewall changes. You can start your free trial by clicking here.  

The Pros and Cons:

“I actually first discovered MASV through a Crews Control job. I was working with a client and they required me to use their MASV account to deliver footage during the summer of 2020 as a way of minimizing contacts during the COVID-19 pandemic. I’d never heard of it but it worked great.” DP John Palmer said. 

Here are just some of the features of MASV that our crews found most beneficial: 

  • Unlimited size transfer 
  • No need for both parties to have an account. The person receiving also does not need to have an account with MASV. They get an active download link by email for 10 days. But you can pay for it to up live longer per month. 
  • Lots of control over how long the files are archived. 
  • There is no monthly fee, yearly fee or “registration” fee. You pay per GB per download.  
  • There is now a free desktop app you can download. 
  • Easy to navigate interface and several customization options. You can add a logo, change the colors to match your brand, and further protect these files with a password.  

But every FTP is not without its faults. With MASV, you do not have control over downloads, so you cannot just send a link to someone to download. Each recipient must be named, and their email address added to the permissions for them to be able to download.  

“You get an email confirming you have sent the files and you get an email saying the receiver has begun to download the files, but no email that the download was successful or not,” DP Robin Probyn said. “You can check this off your web based MASV page of course, and it will give you all the details and costs. But I wouldn’t mind an email telling me ‘all files downloaded successfully’.”  

With financial costs charged per total GB download, you must make sure you streamline and control who downloads at the other end. Otherwise, you could get charged for each download. We recommend running a test prior to each shoot and finding out who needs the footage. “One solution to this is that clients can download from MASV to their own shared Google Drive’s or Dropbox, which is handy.” Palmer said. 

As with any file transfer service, uploading and downloading takes a long time, especially if it’s 4K footage. But our DPs defend that MASV is faster than other FTP software.  

Investing in a FTP: 

During an era of change and uncertainty, new technologies have come into play in the corporate and video production landscapes. While adhering to social distancing guidelines and city-wide lockdowns, video continues to connect media leaders with employees, crews and clients. The importance of transferring files online in a secure, quick and price-efficient way has increased with enhanced virtual set-ups.  If you have not considered upgrading or switching FTP software in recent months, we recommend exploring MASV as an option.  

“Since COVID I have been sending pretty much everything by MASV. I’m glad I started early with MASV as I was already set up before COVID struck. It was mainly to get around the old FTP system. When I started using MASV years ago, I could then do those shoots that demanded uploading of footage. I can’t remember the last time I sent a HDD for a corporate shoot.” Probyn said. “It’s a great service-it’s never once failed for me.”   

What new programs and services have you invested in during these trying times? Here at Crews Control, we are always eager to hear about the latest technologies that are trending within our industry. If you’d like to learn more about the new services we are offering or discuss your next great video shoot, contact your production manager or click here to fill out our free quote form.  

About Valerie Nolan

Valerie’s cool head and ability to put out fires with ease makes her a client favorite. She’s the office IT wizard and our resident trivia champ, which should give you at least a hint as to how darn smart she is. She’d like to make an entry into the Encyclopedia of Life, continue to travel, and maybe even get over her hang-up about the strange texture of popsicle sticks on your tongue.

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