Webdav – a nice alternative to FTP

Recently I needed to let remote users to transfer several hunderd megabytes of data to my machine. In the old days I would just go ahead and setup an FTP server, but it is so-o 1975. It is insecure, requires pinching wholes in the firewall, et cetera, et cetera.

So I googled for the alternatives and chose WebDav. I setup a WebDav folder on my Apache with relative ease, and then they used built-in Windows client (“My Network Places”) to access it. Of course, for it to be secure one needs to have https, and it is not very easy to setup, but fortunately I’ve already got it.

Of course, we used manual uploads. The user just opens my webdav folder in Windows Explorer and drags files to/from it. if automated uploads are required, webdav may be harder to tackle then FTP, since there are fewer command line clients. But you need only one that works, right?

Bottom line – if you have your own web server with HTTPS, webdav is highly recommended for secure file sharing.

BTW, I ran afoul of Windows data redirection again – Apache simply would not pick up my configuration changes, until I realized I am making them in a legacy editor (FAR) without elevated permissions, and all changes go into my local profile.

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