SSL Encryption for Large Files

One great feature of FilesDIRECT is that all of our plans come with free SSL encryption – many of our competitors don’t offer such protection except on their more expensive plans. What exactly is encryption and why do we provide it?

Encrypting (then decrypting) a piece of data on its way to a destination means that the data is scrambled up while it's moving, then re-assembled into the original order when it arrives. SSL (that's Secure Sockets Layer in nerd-speak) encryption is the common method used on the web, but there are dozens and dozens of methods to use. We add the SSL encryption so that we can prevent the easy reading of the file in transit by someone other than who you intend to receive the file.

This is a concern for two reasons. First, the long-distance pathway a file takes to get to its destination is not always known or predictable and can pass through other countries, companies, or networks on its way. In the past, this has allowed unscrupulous persons, agencies, competitors and others access to the file as it passes through their domains. A file encrypted with SSL is not easily or cost-effectively readable to any of these, providing a significant measure of long-distance security.

The second concern is local security. Today, we are in a wireless world and the stuff we download comes to us across wireless links. The convenience of wireless comes with a stiff price in security: many wireless access points are not configured properly and pass data without encryption, allowing people across the street or down the hall or on another floor of the building to see what data is moving around on the network. FilesDIRECT uses SSL to plug up that weakness as well - an encrypted file can be intercepted from a wireless access point but can't be easily read at all.

The great thing about SSL is you don't need to do anything special to use it. When you see a FilesDIRECT URL that starts with the prefix


...that means you're already using it and getting that security benefit!

Print | posted on Friday, March 12, 2010 1:29 PM


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