Best Free Browser-based File Transfer Software

 
Introduction

Many users want to transfer or share files with family and friends without getting involved with FTP or VPN networking. "Wouldn't it be great if I could effectively host my own website on my own PC?" Some rock-solid freeware products reviewed here let you do exactly that.

 
In a Hurry?

Go to details...  Go straight to the Quick Selection Guide

 
Discussion

HTTP File TransferHFS (HTTP File Server) is well documented, very easy to use and runs "right out-of-the-box". It's tested and hardened webware, unlike, for example, XAMPP and WAMP. Please note that those are dev tools - development testing servers for a LAN environment - and should never be used for production (hosting live web resources of any kind).

HFS is different from classic file sharing because there is no network. It's a web server which uses web technology to be more compatible with today's Internet. You can limit this sharing to just a few friends, or be open to the whole world. Your friends can download files as if they were downloading from a website using a web browser; they don't have to install any new software. Works with both static and dynamic DNS.

Features
# Virtual file system
# Highly customizable
# HTML templates available (many)
# Bandwidth control
# Easy/Expert mode
# Logging
# Full control over connections
# User Accounts / Password protection
# Dynamic DNS updater
# Very responsive and friendly user-community (forum)

 

Other software that might be suitable and has yet to be tested or reviewed:

CC File Transfer
www.cc-file-transfer.com

FilesOverMiles (a web-based service)
www.filesovermiles.com

Tirminal
www.tirminal.com

MyDiskServer
www.hostyourself.net

You can also use a private FTP server such as Core's freeware mini-ftp server. Do not confuse this with their payware FTP server (there are two different apps). This is a micro SFTP server, and one that we recommend. It can be used for secure PC-to-PC file transfer:

Core Mini SFTP server
www.softpedia.com/get/Internet/Servers/FTP-Servers/Core-FTP-Mini-SFTP-Se...

 

Caution

Any web traffic solution of any kind involves risk of compromise of your computer by web-based threats. You should be especially wary of hosting any server software that is not widely recognised as being secure. For example, XAMPP and WAMP are not secure and cannot be made secure except by experts (who would use something else anyway, for production). Please exercise caution if using any server apps we do not specifically recommend. Currently we have only tested one secure solution: HFS.

There is no known complete tutorial on the Net for hardening XAMPP, and for novice users it cannot be hardened (secured against exploits). Experts will be able to harden it, but wouldn't do that in any case - if you are an expert in Apache, PHP, MySQL, Linux and Windows Server, why would you use a Windows / Apache dev tool to host a livesite? You'd use the right tool for the job, a LAMP server, if you are an expert. Therefore we cannot recommend XAMPP or WAMP except for their designed purpose: private LAN use for website development, teamsite hosting, or fileserving.

It is not acceptable to risk running an exploited webserver, just as it is not acceptable to be a typhoid carrier at large in the community. It might not hurt you yourself, but it hurts others.

 
Quick Selection Guide

HFS
4.5
 
Gizmo's Freeware award as the best product in its class!

Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
local web server, based on HTTP protocol
no classic network file sharing search
http://www.rejetto.com/hfs/
2.2f
600 KB
Unrestricted freeware
Windows, Linux

View the version history here
You can download betas here

 
Editor

This software category is in need of an editor. If you are interested in taking it over then check out this page for more details. You can then contact us from that page or by clicking here.

 
Tags

http file transfer, transfer files, share files, host own website

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Comments

by cheesemonkeyboy on 7. September 2010 - 23:43  (57426)

While I use HFS and I think it is probably better, I just ran across another free Browser-based FTP program called SynaMan = http://web.synametrics.com/SynaMan.htm

by MidnightCowboy on 8. September 2010 - 8:29  (57446)

Restrictions applying to the free version of SynaMan

One user account only. You can only use the "admin" account to connect. You must upgrade if you need to create other users.
You are not allowed to create public links.

by Anonymous on 18. June 2010 - 19:13  (52429)

You should check Gbridge out. http://www.gbridge.com/

br,
Mika K.

by Anonymous on 3. December 2009 - 6:22  (37744)

Software HFS was detected as a virus and immediately quaratined by Avira.
HK

by Anonymous on 21. January 2010 - 7:04  (41667)

False positive. Contact Avira and they will pull the notification back.

by jross on 13. August 2009 - 4:22  (26986)

Hi Folks,

I am in the process of testing and reviewing the software options that have been suggested and will be adding reviews in the near future.

For starters I will be reviewing the suggestions made here, namely, CC File Transfer, FilesOverMiles, Tirminal and my disk server.

If you have any other suggestions, please speak up.

Thanks,

Jim

by Anonymous on 21. January 2010 - 7:08  (41668)

You could check out the FileSharing App on Opera Unite. There are many Opera users out there and this is the best way for them to share files. Works similar to HFS but firewall issues are avoided because Opera provides a proxy if direct connection is not possible. Hopefully some people will try Opera and realise the very many features that it offers.
Also check out Tonido.

by chris.p on 2. August 2009 - 23:10  (26162)

Thanks for all the suggestions, they have been added onto the page for the editor, whoever that might be, when someone takes the page on.

Peter started this page, HFS is a fine app and very useful. If you go to the HFS site, Peter wrote the original documentation there, which is of high quality.

chris.p

by Anonymous on 10. August 2009 - 10:22  (26744)

The results for HFS in virustotal is 14/41 and jotti reports 7 out of 21 scanners reported malware.
SuperAntiSpyware detects this as a Trojan.

by chris.p on 17. August 2009 - 17:12  (31021)

HFS is a respected fileserver program. If a scanner reports a positive, there are two reasons:

1. It is a false positive
Since a server application contains several routines that antispyware apps are designed to pick up (such as phone-home scripts), an anti-spyware that didn't report it as dangerous wouldn't be much use. You just need to report the false positive to the A/S vendor and have them whitelist it within the app. This is how false positives are removed from A/S software - otherwise they would flag up half the apps on your PC.

2. The file has been exploited
There is always a chance that the download file has been got at. But since the authors are experts at hardening webapps, this seems less likely - especially as A/S will flag up HFS unless it has been whitelisted.

Ask the HFS authors for an MD5 hash if by some chance they don't supply one. If they do, and it checks out, you know where the problem lies - with your non-updated A/S app.

chris.p

by Anonymous on 5. June 2009 - 7:36  (23081)

OK, I see this is a nice self contained solution, but surely using something like WAMP server is just as simple yet provides for a DB backend and a potent php environment also.

by chris.p on 2. August 2009 - 23:13  (26163)

Yeah but HFS is hardened for the web, WAMP and XAMPP need to be turned off pronto as soon as you have got your files. They have a ton of exploits. No way are they 24/7 server apps like HFS.

chris.p

by peter on 5. June 2009 - 7:52  (23082)

Sure, it's really "just" a hassle-free alternative for family and friends to swap files of any size without using a "proper" server or P2P. Many use it, and like it.

by Anonymous on 9. April 2009 - 13:20  (19582)

HFS is awesome, found it myself some time ago when digging for a more convenient way of sharing files than FTP. And it is better than FTP, IMO.

I need to access my system from work, where we have pretty nasty rules regarding outside access (all external ports are blocked, except for HTTP, 80 and 8080).

But lo and behold, this wonderful little program uses HTTP ports and is immediately accesible. The "archive folder" and upload options are a godsend really. Not to mention that it allows for multi-threading (download accelerators) for some really insane download speeds.

Really, FTP's got nothing on this little gem.

by Anonymous on 4. April 2009 - 2:21  (19242)

And in case of a false positive, just download from the authors site! I've been using this for several years, and have built up quite a site using this as a back end. It's very customizable if you get into it, and is also like stated before a great server to setup for those not quite so tech savvy. Love this app!

by Anonymous on 1. April 2009 - 17:39  (19055)

Terrific find, Peter!

This looks like the perfect way of transferring files between my brother and me.

Thanks,
Mike S.

by Anonymous on 7. March 2009 - 18:29  (17403)

I've used this and even my non-tech sister-in-law figured it out.

by Anonymous on 5. December 2008 - 20:01  (11503)

2008-12-05 Antivir scan found no infections.

by Anonymous on 7. September 2008 - 1:17  (7450)

there is also MyDiskServer. Its Java based so it will run on any OS. It has built in https support. You can download folders in .zip rather than .tar. The only thing is that it uses more resources. But I think it should at least be listed as #2

by Anonymous on 27. August 2008 - 10:25  (6990)

Is having a webserver on you PC really the best way to the "Best Free Browser-based File Transfer Software". I would expect something that enables me so transfer a file from one computer to another computer, anywhere on the internet" using just a browser on both computers, not having hosting/using a webserver, FTP server, email server or the like. To me it would be something like a browser based, private P2P, file transfer utility. Dont know if it exists. But who knows.

by peter on 22. June 2008 - 17:25  (2904)
by Anonymous on 22. June 2008 - 0:17  (2846)

How about a "Best Free HTTP Web server software" category?
I know that Apache is free and really good, but it's very complex and hard to configure. HFS is great, I set it up in no time and now I have access to my files from anywhere in the world.

A HTTP web server software that is easy to use and configure would be great complement to HFS.

Any suggestions on free HTTP server software?

by Wizman87 on 6. July 2008 - 13:35  (3654)

Take a look into XAMPP - it is very user-friendly, but also very advanced (obviously we're talking about programming here, but that's a different story - this should help anyone get started with getting a web server up and running fast and quickly without too much trouble). Its a freeware bundle of everything you need to run a basic web server (e.g. Apache, PHP, MySQL, etc.), and it also includes a very detailed documentation incase you need help or require assistance (not to mention XAMPP's official forums and IRC chat incase of further required guidance). I've used it before and it works and runs smoothly, especially for local hosting, testing, having fun with, or actually hosting a real web server from/for your home and/or business(es). And if you or anyone else can't get it up and working, then you (or the person that you know) might have to try actually renting some web space online. =P

               .;.
Cheers C|_|

Website(s):
http://www.apachefriends.org/en/xampp.html
http://www.top-10-web-hosting.com

by chris.p on 2. August 2009 - 22:39  (26161)

You can't use XAMPP for hosting a livesite, it is purely for dev.

You could use it for private fileserving but HFS is much simpler and has had the holes plugged. XAMPP has dozens of holes and there is no complete tute on the Net for hardening it. Using it for serving a website is crazy. People do, but they have to hope no one knows their site is live.

We do not UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES advise that XAMPP is used for serving a website or files. Use HFS, it's hardened.

chris.p

by peter on 6. July 2008 - 13:37  (3656)

Thanks for all the info. We are preparing some articles on web sware, but of course it all takes time.
The point of HFS, of course, is that it is so easy to setup and use for non-experts.

by Anonymous on 12. June 2008 - 22:31  (1997)

i hope Kaspersky is not truly using the words "infected" and "malware", because UPX is just an open source software to compress executable files.
it would be a scaremonger.

by Anonymous on 5. June 2008 - 1:02  (1596)

This download is tagged by Kaspersky as being infected with a malware PE_patch.UPX.

by Anonymous on 7. March 2009 - 18:28  (17402)

This is a false positive.

by Anonymous on 19. May 2008 - 5:01  (763)

Terrific find, Peter!

This looks like the perfect way of transferring files between my brother and me.

Thanks,
Mike S.

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