How to Increase FTP Transfer Speed

By Kevin Lee

You don’t have to use File Transfer Protocol to transfer files over the network or Internet. Your browser, which uses the Hypertext Transfer Protocol, can upload and download files from Web servers. FTP is useful because it allows you to conveniently transfer large files between your computer and remote servers. FTP also enables you to rename, delete, copy and move files that lie on a server. To work at peak efficiency, your FTP needs to manipulate those files and transfer them as quickly as possible. There are several things you can do to speed up the process.

Check Your Hard Drive:

As PCWorld notes, "Hard drives are classic bottlenecks, and they definitely slow down computers." During an FTP transfer, your hard drive is constantly reading and writing data. If you have a slower drive, those reads and writes will be slower than if you had a faster one. Upgrade to a faster hard drive to speed up FTP and computing in general. A Solid Date Drive, or SSD, costs more than regular hard drives, but it's faster.

Other Hard Drive Tips

You can speed up FTP by terminating other activities that use the hard drive extensively. These activities include downloading files and rendering video. Ensure that Windows defrags your hard drive periodically to optimize your data. By default, the Disk Defragmenter runs weekly, but you can change the schedule to run more frequently or run it manually any time.

Upload Speed Vs. Download Speed

Internet Service Providers often sell plans where upload speed is slower than download speed. If your FTP seem slow, review your ISP agreement to see how fast your upload speed is. If it’s a low transfer rate, that may explain why uploads via FTP are slower than you’d like them to be. Ask your ISP about upgrade plans if you need faster upload speed. A faster upload speed also make browser uploads and video chat sessions faster.

Work More Efficiently

The free FTP built into Windows is functional and is useful for performing simple tasks. However, you can manage large numbers of files and folders faster using a third-party FTP client such as FTP Voyager, FileZilla or CuteFTP (links in Resources). These programs let you drag and drop files between your desktop to the FTP. They make it faster to connect to FTP servers by storing login information and settings. You can also use File Manager and Internet Explorer to drag and drop files when you visit an FTP site. Many third-party FTP clients enable you to transfer files faster by using several simultaneous connections. Check your program's documentation to learn how to use this feature. Your Internet Service Provider may also have a built-in FTP client that helps you transfer files to and from your hosted website. Because these clients work using your browser, you don't have to install any software on your computer.

FTP Automation Tips

Windows 8 and 8.1, like older Windows versions, still allows you to issue FTP commands from the command line. Access it by Typing "Windows-R" followed by "Cmd." Press "Enter" to view the command prompt. Some people may use the command line FTP to run scripts that automate FTP activities. A script, for instance, may log you in automatically, switch to a specific folder and upload some files. Some third-party FTP clients, such as CuteFTP also allow you to automate FTP processes using Visual Basic and other types of scripts.