File Transfer

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Because TNG is installed on a Web Host, installing and modifying TNG involves copying files across the Internet between a person’s home computer and a web host's computer.

Home File Transfer

File manipulation programs such as Windows Explorer and Macintosh Finder allow you to move files around on your home computer or home network. But they are not able to move files across the Internet, nor should they - you wouldn't want someone elsewhere on the Internet putting files on your computer without special provisions for permission, security, and privacy.

(Don't confuse file transfer with the movement of web pages across the Internet as they are bring viewed with browsers like Microsoft Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox. The World Wide Web is about viewing Web pages and uploading data in Web forms, not about copying files from one place to another. )

File and Folder Synchronization

Windows Explorer and Macintosh Finder are indispensable utilities, but they are not very good for the more sophisticated tasks of keeping folders in sync and detecting differences between two files or two folders. Many TNG administrators wind up keeping more than one copy of TNG on their home computers - perhaps one for backup, and one for active editing. In such circumstances, File and Folder Synchronization tools such as BeyondCompare, WinMerge or Meld are extremely useful.

Internet File Transfer

There are a variety of file transfer systems that copy files across the Internet - in particular, between your home computer, and your web hosting computer. Two methods have come to the fore: FTP and SSH. Programs to handle FTP and SSH file transfer are available from Both types of systems are available from reliable Open Source suppliers such as FreeBSD, from commercial vendors, and from shareware and freeware sites such as C/NET.


FTP is designed for casual file transfer across the Internet. Not all FTP programs offer secure file transfer; that is, transferring files with unsecured FTP is kind of like sending a postcard instead of a sealed letter. It is possible for someone else to look at the content of files as they are being transferred, especially if you are using a public Wi-Fi network. Still, most TNG administrators use FTP rather than SSH because FTP tools are more readily available and generally a bit easier to use. (See the TNG Wiki article on FTP.)


SSH is designed for the programmer; it establishes a secure connection between two computers over the Internet, allowing files to be transferred as if the file media were on the same computer. All file transfer is encrypted.

File Managers

The term "File Manager" is commonly applied to web-based tools provided by your Web Hosting Provider that let you copy individual files between your home computer and your web hosting site. They are handy for copying individual files, but generally cannot handle folders or multiple files at once.