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Author Topic: FTP Client - freeware with scheduler  (Read 7784 times)
Steven Avery
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« on: April 10, 2008, 08:54:57 AM »

Hi Folks,

  Do you have a good FTP Client that is freeware and that has a built-in scheduler ?  Granted
there are cmd-line and Windows Scheduler methods.  However I would prefer an integrated simple
solution for files that I share at work and home and here and there.  I would like to make sure
I don't have to save manually to USB drive or to my free Net storage area (DriveHQ, which is
FTP-friendly).  By scheduling once an hour when the program is up, I can make sure the current
file is available wherever I am just by having the program running in the background. The important
files might be about 15 megs, not too large, notes and bookmarks and PIM type of stuff.

   Seems like FileZilla doesn't have scheduling, just a queue (On my test it also seemed to drop
a couple of times, it did restart in the right place but I did not see an auto-reconnect feature,
is it there ?).  I saw an earlier version of Auto FTP Manager (3) on one of the Brit magazines,
that is one idea, one thread indicated pro versions of CuteFTP and WSTP are good on this,
but that is pro versions.  FlashFXP as well, good but not free.  Apparently Total Commander
would need some special scheduling stuff. 

   Keep in mind that an auto-reconnect feature in the midst of a download should be part
of this solution.  Another issue is the degree of security (do I want and need SFTP, do
people really try to intercept a generic FTP download from a cable connection to a web
storage area) and the WebDav possibility.

   Right now Fresh FTP looks good as a possibility, but my email code is slow arriving
so I have not tested it.  Not mentioned much in the forums on the net, yet looks interesting.
I always check DonationCoder, Snapfiles and FileForum, maybe CNet and a little extra-Google
before working with a new software.

   Any references or suggestions ?  And add any additional thoughts.  I would also use
this for a larger daily or weekly web backup of all critical files.

   Also if any of you are techies on FTP on the iSeries (AS/400) minicomputer and wouldn't
mind sharing some expertise and brainstorming, please contact me on that as well.  Thanks.

Shalom,
Steven Avery
« Last Edit: April 10, 2008, 08:58:52 AM by Steven Avery » Logged
mwb1100
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« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2008, 11:41:41 AM »

I'm not 100% certain, but I think that the freeware version of SyncBack (http://www.2brightsparks....reeware/freeware-hub.html) supports both FTP and scheduling.
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Steven Avery
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« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2008, 11:15:23 PM »

Hi,

Yes, mwb, thanks .. a good suggestion.  Syncback's free product is very savvy for FTP, to its credit (the setup to sign in and setup in eexpert mode since there is FTP and then go was super-quick, and included simulation modes and more) and Syncback has the advantage of thinking like a backup program in setting up the config and tasks (choose these files, directories, omit those, etc, various setting about overwriting files and things like that).  The scheduler is I think the Windows XP scheduler, which can do the job, even if not super-elegant.  Since it also does not have the "you must compress" problem I referenced from Backup4All and some others either the freeware or the paid product of Syncback may become my master straight file (not image) backup program.  I always knew it as a good, versatile product, this experience combining backup and FTP from freeware really brought it up a notch or two.

btw, Fresh FTP does not do the job.  It has the same queue mechanism as FileZilla, nice but not a scheduler. In fact, looking at interface and features it appears to me to be using the FileZilla code base, without acknowledgment that I could see.  And surprisingly the huge similarities were without mention in some articles and threads on the net that even discuss the two ! 

Shalom,
Steven
« Last Edit: April 10, 2008, 11:17:47 PM by Steven Avery » Logged
mwb1100
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« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2008, 11:59:38 PM »

I'm not familiar with Fresh FTP, so can't comment.  I'm not aware of any free software that's mainly an FTP client that has a built-in scheduler; it's just a happy coincidence that the SyncBack backup program lets you backup/sync to an FTP destination.

As far as FTP goes, I like FileZilla because it's free, it supports secure transfers, and it supports proxies (which I need at work) - as long as you stick with the 2.x versions.  The 3.x version is apparently a complete rewrite; as far as I can tell does not support proxies, and it seems that the main developer is really not interested in supporting them.  So I'm sticking with version 2.x, which gets the job done.

FWIW (I know you didn't mention secure transfers, but...) the only other free FTP client that I'm aware of that supports secure transfers is CoreFTP (http://www.coreftp.com).
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Steven Avery
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« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2008, 01:34:11 AM »

Hi Folks,

Yep

FileZilla and

CoreFTP (freeware with SFTP and more, main pro features scheduling and compression)
   both are impressive to this newbie to FTP.

And the SyncBack feature set on freeware is very kewl.
Not drag and drop, but more powerful for backup sets.

Actually I did wonder about security issues.

"Another issue is the degree of security (do I want and need SFTP, do people really try to intercept a generic FTP download from a cable connection to a web storage area) and the WebDav possibility. "

Oh, is this one possibly ok from your perspective, freeware with secure transfers, if not SFTP ?

Encrypted-FTP
http://www.encrypted-ftp.com/index.html

Shalom,
Steven
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wraith808
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« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2008, 03:50:04 PM »

I'm not sure if AutoFTP will help you, but this is what it was made for.  I didn't build it with a scheduler, because the windows scheduler was so robust that it seemed like a duplication of work... If you can't find one with a scheduler, you might want to take a look at it.
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Steven Avery
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« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2008, 09:11:52 AM »

Hi Wraith,

  Kewl.
  Working with AutoFTP, I did get the directory type info, but ended up with the email saying.

FTP Transfers failed.  Error Log follows.
550 Permission denied.

   Does it run in passive mode ? 
   My DriveHQ says this is a requirement.

   I checked the name and password, including case. 

DriveHQ does seem to support this type
of transfer, which I do sometimes in FileZilla. 

Here is my directory structure, I asked them for help and then
I set up a autoftp directory below my root.
http://ftp://SignonName:P...@ftp.drivehq.com/autoftp/

NOTES
   The bold required fields in the documentation does not show up as bold on my screen.
   You might simplify the SMTP section by allowing a Gmail account to not put in the server name.
   The reverse get would be very helpful, completing the basic utility.
   I like that (theoretically) I can schedule or create an icon on the desktop simply.
   When I set up a directory more than 8 characters your URL was truncated to 8.
      (this is no real difficulty, but worth noting)
   You could indicate a bit more under FTP Server "Host Name".  I am using the IP# and I gather
      the right URL is an alternative.

Shalom,
Steven
 
 
« Last Edit: April 14, 2008, 09:14:57 AM by Steven Avery » Logged
wraith808
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« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2008, 01:10:24 PM »

If I remember correctly, it does run in passive mode, but I'll check once I get home and let you know.  And thanks for the comments!
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Steven Avery
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« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2008, 09:05:15 PM »

Hi,

Your welcome.  I can probably come up with a few more thoughts  laters.  smiley

Anyway, if this is passive mode, and don't have a quick idea of what I have to change,
you want to spend a few minutes setting up a free DriveHQ account (works real good)
and it might be easier to troubleshoot.

Shalom,
Steven
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wraith808
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« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2008, 12:40:58 AM »

I haven't forgotten about you... I am looking at it.  It was not sending in passive mode, so I changed that, but I'm still getting the same error, even in passive mode. *sigh*
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wraith808
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« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2008, 12:44:54 AM »

Well, a few seconds later I figured that one out, but now DriveHQ is timing out when I try to transfer anything... no more tonight, but I'll try to get to it again tomorrow.
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Steven Avery
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« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2008, 07:42:53 AM »

Quote from: wraith808
Well, a few seconds later I figured that one out, but now DriveHQ is timing out when I try to transfer anything... no more tonight, but I'll try to get to it again tomorrow.
Thanks for the checking and help.  No problem waiting, appreciate the troubleshooting !  The problem could be DriveHQ related, and their support seems to be fairly helpful.  Maybe they were busy with people backing up 1040s last night. smiley

It's amazing sometimes how nice the simple one-smart-trick pony utility can be, so I like the potential of AutoFTP.  By simplifying uploads from various puters I can be sure to always have the more recent version of my main files available.  In fact, if Windows scheduler is not really versatile enough (ie. it cannot give a flexible range of times, so I end up doing a lot of unnecessary uploads) then I will simply look for a better scheduler to go with AutoFTP, one that I can tailor more precisely.  To save bit-and-byte-traffic.

Shalom,
Steven
« Last Edit: April 16, 2008, 07:44:57 AM by Steven Avery » Logged
Steven Avery
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« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2008, 07:24:10 AM »

Hi Folks,

Here is one that is pretty new, in todays ZDNet Downloads Digest newsletter.

http://www.sherrodcompute...m/products_sherrodftp.cfm
Sherrod FTP 2008

The freeware looks competent, allows only one scheduled item though, while the
$20 Deluxe allows unlimited scheduling.

Shalom,
Steven Avery
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wraith808
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« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2008, 11:49:50 AM »

Steven-

I'm having some interesting issues... LOL!  I have a version that works with DriveHQ... the only problem is the way I'm having to manipulate the sockets is working havoc with the e-mail function.  I can disable the e-mail function and send it to you to look at if you wish while I get everything else nailed down... just let me know!
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Steven Avery
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« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2008, 07:44:59 PM »

Hi Wraith,

  That would work fine.  You can send it to me for testing and trial though. However, my email is showing as hidden even though I don't have the boxed checked for hiding email addy.  Hmmmmm.

  Or you could take a few days and see how close you can get it to one version  smiley.  Send to me basically if you can use testing confirmation and trial.  Maybe Mouser or somebody will help figger out the show email thingy. Or do we have PM's on this forum ? Hmm.. Have to look around.

Shalom,
Steven Avery
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wraith808
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« Reply #15 on: April 19, 2008, 12:42:14 PM »

I fixed it, so no problems.  I added a few features also while I was at it, and cleaned up the interface a bit.  I'll be doing a bit more with it, but let me know how it works for you!

http://www.wraith808.com/...oftp_v101_2008-04-19a.zip

Changes:
Supports Passive FTP.
Removed RAS.
Supports deleting files after transfer.
SMTP is Asynchronous.
Added space for SMTP Auth.
Added a more verbose logfile mode.

Planned changes:
Make FTP Asynchronous.
Add option to save verbose logfile locally.
Add option to cancel operation in progress.
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Steven Avery
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« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2008, 05:36:05 PM »

Hi Wraith,

Ok. Some headway, however I am still getting a msg, this time :

FTP component not connected

 Part of the log while running is:
RequestDone Rq=11 Error = 500 Authentication type could not... (truncated)

 Is that password or something else ?

 Incidentally, I am running it from a shortcut/icon.  I don't think there is a direct mode, or
a simulated option.  Either would be nice too.

 On the FTP Server setting I have:
Remote Drive: http://ftp://mysignonname....com/my2ndleveldirectory/

My top level directory is given by DriveHQ as "My Storage".  I also tried that, instead of "autoftp"
my 2ndlevel directory, but then I hit the 8 character name truncation mentioned above. 

Can you figger out the needed tweak ?

Passive mode, one new setting, is now checked.

Thanks  smiley

Shalom,
Steven
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wraith808
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« Reply #17 on: April 20, 2008, 06:22:31 PM »

It should actually work... I tested it with DriveHQ quite a bit...

Under FTP Server, these should be the settings:
Host Name: ftp.DriveHQ.com
Remote Directory: /mydir/
username: signonname
password: password

Under SMTP Server, the settings should be:
Host Name: mailserver addy
Username/Password: Not needed unless sending to another server, in that case it would be the username/password for the SMTP server.
E-mail address: address to send to
E-mail subject: whatever you want
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Steven Avery
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« Reply #18 on: April 20, 2008, 09:19:04 PM »

Hi Wraith,

Yep, ran !
(I needed to tweak one or two things, fairly new to this FTP stuff.) 

An idea would be a picture of a good setup or two in the documentation as an example for future users.
And I think the biggest enhancements are:

BIG 4

Option : do not send identical and/or earlier files (this would be tremendously helpful).
Backup one specific file, not a directory
Reverse download
Option: Include all subdirectories


The ability to not send duplicate files, or older files, would allow you to be aggressive on your scheduling.  (Do this every hour.).  Without any concern about lots of unnecessary bandwidth, or having to find a more tweaked scheduling than the built-in XP.  (Only run this in such and such hours, etc.)  Granted, without scheduling you can simply use this as icon click-run-and-go.

Why one file ?  A program can be aggressive with backup files that are forced into the same data directory.  Powermarks does that, anyway, and I haven't found a way to avoid this.  (Other than triggering a copy before the FTP, not a bad idea but that might need a "Run Before" option or be done in a AutoHotkey type program.)

Possibilities
Cancel
Pause
Delayed Startup (to allow easy cancel when online)

Smaller Stuff
Job progress bar showing amount done, add time elapsed.
Log less than every 1460 bytes on detail log.
Commas in bytes transferred for easier number reading
Increase 8 character directory name limitation
Explain more in the documentation with samples of working setup

If you know that you really want a later transfer, the pause and/or cancel would do the job.  In fact it would be nice to have a delayed start option, so that if you were working on the files, and the scheduler was ready to rip, you could say "cancel" this upload without doing a task manager type thing.  ie. I will want the later one to upload.

Whoops.  There is a lot of stuff for you to consider !

Good job !  Usable fine, ready to roll, today.

Except.. I spoke a bit too soon.  I seem to be losing the connection without completion on my attempts.  My 12 megabyte bookmark file does not like to complete.  I'll be testing a bit more, this is the one that has the hard-to-shake backup extra files too. (Add-on note: I have shaken off the extra backup files, although if I want them they insist on being in the same directory.)

Shalom,
Steven
« Last Edit: April 21, 2008, 01:00:07 AM by Steven Avery » Logged
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