File transfer methods are the modes that allow digital files to be transferred from one PC to another or between different operating systems that belong to the same PC. File transfer modes are common to all operating systems and must be considered carefully in the context of the event-specific needs arising from the amount of data to be transferred and the nature of the source and destination of the data transfer. Let’s look at how to transfer files from one computer to another.

Shared Folders in Microsoft Windows

Windows operating systems allow you to assign one or more file folders on your hard disk drive (HDD) for sharing over the network. With your permission, other people can link to your share and transfer files from it.

Web-Based File Transfer Services

Many companies offer paid and/or free file sharing services over the Internet through web-based upload and download interfaces. Some of these features, such as MediaFire, use cloud computing methods to better serve a large number of customers. People who run their own public websites online can even host data online.

Transfer Files from one PC to another using P2P Software

So-called Peer2Peer (P2P) software programs allow you to send and receive files and data over the Internet. P2P programs, such as BitTorrent, are specifically designed to effectively handle very large files such as videos and music.

Transfer Files from One Computer to another using FTP Software

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is one of the best-known ways of transferring files over the Internet. To use the FTP service, the files should first be stacked on a server computer. Then others can obtain a copy of the files using a software program called an FTP client.

Remote Access Software

Remote access software programs are designed to allow remote access from one of your computers to another via the Internet. Some of these programs, such as TeamViewer, include a file transfer function that allows you to exchange files between the two PCs as needed.

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External Storage Media

The typical means of backing up files and software is to use an external storage medium. Nowadays everyone has a thumb drive or at least a PC that can burn DVDs and CDs. An even better replacement is external hard disk drives that can be connected via USB – these too are characterized by insane speed with amazing storage space.

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There are three modes for backing up your files that you can track. Often the easiest way is to create file-related folders where you can store your files – pictures, movies, applications, documents, and so on. Later, on your PC, you can easily put them where you want them.

A backup copy requires even less effort. Just copy the folders where your data is located – Desktop, My Music, etc. – and you can combine them with the corresponding folders on your new computer.

Are you too lazy to do it with your hands? Then you can use backup software programs to do the work for you. In most cases, they’ll be able to return your file to a suitable location on your new hard disk, but they’re especially helpful if you’re thinking about making regular backups.

Easy Transfer Cable

Windows Easy Transfer is a new software program that is pre-installed in the latest Microsoft Windows operating systems. Among other things, the application can be used with an Easy Transfer Cable, an exceptional double “male” USB cable.

The cable, which can be purchased from a local or online computer store, helps transfer data between two Windows computers and works exceptionally well for our purposes. If you’re not looking to spend a little more money, this is an alternative you might want to consider. This is one of the fastest ways to transfer files from one computer to another.

Local Area Network (LAN)

You can even use your home network to share your files and data if both computers are connected. Speed can vary from “superfast” on a wired network to “damn slow” on a wireless unit.

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First, you need to enable the sharing option on your hard disk. In Mac OS X, just go to System Preferences -> Sharing, and the rest is pretty obvious. In Windows, the procedure is pretty simple as well. Go to My Computer -> right-click Properties on your hard drive. The Sharing tab prompts you to enable file sharing for the folder. Below is a screenshot of exactly how it looks on a Windows 7 computer.

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Note: If you cannot enable the file sharing option, you can find it in the ‘Advanced Settings’ menu.

Did you connect everything together? On your other PC, you must be able to see the drive shared on the ‘network’. When you open the drive, you will probably be asked for a password. From there on you can continue without any problems. Duplicate the data and files as if the network drive was just another folder.

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If you don’t have a home network or don’t want to use your wireless network, you can immediately connect your two systems with a crossover Ethernet cable. This appears to be exactly the same as your typical Internet cable, but has slightly different wiring. You can buy them for a few dollars at most computer and hardware stores.

Connect the Hard Drive Manually

This is the way most people end up doing it. If you don’t carry an external hard drive enclosure, why not create one? By pulling out your old hard drive and making the appropriate connections, you can connect it to another computer via USB. This way has many advantages – the speed is quite high, you don’t need (much) additional hardware, and you can transfer the files directly from here to there.

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All you need is (depending on your hard drive model) an IDE-to-USB or a SATA-to-USB adapter. These can be purchased together or separately with an external HDD enclosure – which is usually also inexpensive. If you already have an external HDD of the corresponding model hanging around, you can also use the case of that model and save the additional costs.

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