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When you create your own file server or network-attached storage, you might be surprised how much thought you need to give to moving your files around.
To the human eye, each approach looks the same (as in invisible), but on the technical level, your computers are talking in very different ways. Which approach you take will depend on what operating systems and types of devices you intend to connect.
FTP - File - Transfer - Protocol - Method
FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. It’s a standard method for moving files around between a client and a server. Your laptop, for example, is the client. Your home server is, well, the server.
FTP is versatile in that your operating system really doesn’t matter. The protocol has been around since before any of them had graphical user interfaces. Your router may even come with a USB port and support transferring data to an external hard drive via FTP (which is an easy way to create a home server, albeit nowhere near as robust as setting up a dedicated machine for the job).
Data - Username - Password - Default - FTP
You can protect your data by requiring a username and password, but by default FTP will transfer your credentials unencrypted. This may be okay on your home network, but you will want something more secure when operating on a larger network or transmitting files over the internet.
That doesn’t mean you need to abandon FTP. You can try FTPS, a variation that encrypts your connection.
SMB - Server - Message - Block - IBM
SMB stands for Server Message Block. Though it began as an IBM project, it became a means for computers running Microsoft Windows to communicate over a local network. When you create a folder using Windows Explorer and expand access to other users, you’re doing so via SMB.
SMB is not limited to Windows users. You can also access these files from macOS, Linux, and other Unix-like operating systems. Apple calls...
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