File Sharing In The Age Of The Lockdown

by Flora Muschamp – Product Manager, Sohonet

As we all strive to find a healthier work/life balance, the trend towards more flexible ways of working has been evident for a while. Many of us work from home regularly and are making use of cloud technology and remote collaboration tools to facilitate this.

But recent world events have accelerated this shift so that we are rapidly having to rethink the way we work,  with many more of us stuck at home for the foreseeable future. As I write, 20% of the world population is under coronavirus lockdown orders.  As we are forced to move quickly, it is all too easy for individuals to scramble to find the nearest and most available tools for the job, with little time to assess new technologies. People will always find the shortest possible route to fix a problem, and whilst this can work for a while, it can be an administrative nightmare for IT departments trying to keep track of what’s being used. It’s very hard to enforce a security policy over 10 different toolsets for the same workflow.

An obvious initial hurdle for everyone to get over is how to share files when you’re not physically connected to your office server anymore. This is particularly difficult in our world of media and entertainment where file sizes are large, and the security of pre-release content is of paramount importance. Options like Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, or Office 365 are great for sharing documents and less sensitive information and can be really useful for team collaboration, but it can be difficult to track where your assets are, as people download and sync files across numerous machines. With the auto-sync features turned on, you can end up with many unwanted synced files flooding your computer if your not careful and you may not even be aware this is happening.

Our domestic internet services are being pushed to their limit with multiple people working from the same connection; kids are homeschooling, we’re juggling conference calls, streaming entertainment, and trying to keep in contact with our teams across multiple locations.  This can make uploading and sharing files really tricky without file acceleration. File delivery tools that use UDP for acceleration are really unfriendly to other traffic and will make you very unpopular as you wipe out everyone else’s connectivity in your household.

Why FileRunner could be the answer

FileRunner is our answer to file delivery over the internet. It provides accelerated transfer of files of unlimited size and volume through your web browser. It is used and approved by many of the leading film studios because of Sohonet’s dedication to balancing security and ease of use.

Getting your teams synced on one tool

Getting your team set up on FileRunner is extremely fast and easy. There’s nothing to download or install on your machine in order to get started; all you need is a web browser and a basic internet connection. Users are invited to join via an email when added by an admin and can send files immediately. It’s very simple to use, so most users will not require any training at all. If they do need help we have a comprehensive user guide and a help center full of articles answering all your questions on best practices. If this doesn’t cover it, we have a Customer Success team who will be available to help troubleshoot or advise you and our highly skilled support team are available by phone and email around the clock.

We provide a complete usage history of upload and downloads across all users so you can keep track of where your files are, including download IP addresses, current package status, number of downloads etc. This means your team can get on with their work and you can monitor deliveries wherever you are.

Home Internet

FileRunner will make its best effort to upload your files even on a heavily contended, low bandwidth domestic internet connection. We use multi-threaded parallel TCP uploads to accelerate your file transfer. TCP is far more traffic friendly than UDP because it shares available bandwidth with other connected users, ensuring you can continue your upload in the home office whilst your partner holds a conference call on the couch.

We also have an optional auto-download client, which will download any file sent to your account using the same multi-threaded acceleration as our web-based upload,  for faster downloads direct to your local drives.

If you are really struggling with a bad connection you can set your upload to complete ignoring any failed file uploads. This will ensure whatever we can upload will be delivered, and you won’t lose your upload progress. For more information on how this works, see our Help Center.

Security Options

As well as providing a secure audit log, FileRunner offers multiple additional security features to protect your transfers. As an admin, you can choose to have transfers locked down to authenticated users only so that all transfers are protected by username and password,  or you can add additional PIN authentication wherein users are sent a PIN via SMS in order to unlock packages before they can proceed to download them.

Individual senders can rescind access to a package after they have sent it, and are able to control the access expiry for any package so that it is not stored for longer than is necessary to perform a  transfer. During transit, FileRunner packages are stored on our dedicated FileRunner servers, within Sohonet Media Network Connected PoPs. We do not use third-party cloud storage. These are in auditable data centres and we know where your data is at all times.

FileRunner Offer

Until June 1st we will be offering a significantly discounted rate on our Pro FileRunner service to make the switch an even easier decision for you and your teams. We will be offering all the Pro features including up to 50 team members and our auto-downloader at less than our standard Basic tier pricing and with no install fee.

FileRunner Discount Pricing 2020 for Coronavirus

Get in touch for more information from our sales team. And be sure check out our ‘Guide to Navigating Remote Working for M&E’ too.