File Transfers--Year of the Internet?
"The Internet is the most viable, most available and most logical venue for prepress file transfer—period," says DAX's White. "Regardless of who the players are in file delivery today, everyone out there can use one very simple file transfer tool. The clear winner right now is FTP; it's free, clients can access it with little effort and it's reliable."
A Clear Winner
As usual, White makes sense. On the Internet, files can be transferred using e-mail or FTP, which is the standard that allows files and programs to be moved from one computer to another over the World Wide Web. Today, there exists a multitude of inexpensive software options for FTP, making the Internet an attractive file transfer option for many digitally savvy prepress operations.
In the (perhaps not too distant) future, intelligent software options attacking the Internet's obvious security threats and speed bumps may transform the World Wide Web into a more widely conducive connectivity option for multiple file transfer applications.
As for today, ISDN may still be the most secure, point-to-point connection for a host of small- to mid-size commercial printing sites. Burke McCarthy, president of Hermstedt U.S., is encouraged by the Internet's promise, but expects ISDN sales to remain strong, especially in light of decreasing prices in today's ISDN market.
"Compared to the Internet today, ISDN offers greater security, convenience and assurance to professional users who require predictable turnaround time and costs from their digital file delivery vehicle," McCarthy reports. "I can't envision, at this point, that the Internet will ever be able to effectively handle the high volume traffic, in both directions from one point to another that ISDN can today cover on an affordable, global basis."
For now, keep a close eye on all the latest tools for Internet connectivity—and the companies bringing those tools to market—as 1999 plays out and the Internet gains some more ground in the digital connectivity arena.