I'm looking for a tool to quickly send large files from my PC to another one through my private network. My requirements :

  • Very fast (faster than using a USB flash drive)
  • Allows big files (~ 1 GO)
  • Any kind of file (films, archive, disk image, ...)
  • Windows 7/8 working. Optional Unix support.
  • Musts work on a basic private network (router with ethernet or wifi connexion, no other specific devices)
  • Gratis and light software
  • No GUI requirement, I accept CLI tips
  • No security needs (because it must be kept on my private network)

Edit : Actually I remember using 5 years ago (I was student) a windows XP's command allowing very fast upload/download (up to 100MB/s) with multicast support. I haven't be able to recover it, so I'm looking for a substitute.

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    What's wrong with using regular Windows network-shared folders? You can use them on unix-like systems with Samba.
    – yms
    Commented Feb 15, 2014 at 13:10
  • @yms I daily use Dropbox for my shared documents (is it that you call a smb network-shared folder ?), but it isn't enough quick for large data, and my need is for very occasional uses. Commented Feb 15, 2014 at 13:14
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    I sometimes use Teracopy to copy files across my network - which is reportedly very quick ("quicker") - however, I can't say it is noticeably any quicker than using standard windows file/copy between network shares. If you are using Dropbox to share files on your LAN then make sure "Enable LAN sync" is enabled in preferences - this avoids the need to send files to the internet and back. What is the speed of your LAN? You mention 100MB/s being "very fast", but Gigabit (1000MB/s) is common these days (although actual transfer speeds are lower).
    – MrWhite
    Commented Feb 15, 2014 at 15:02
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    @Fractaliste A SMB shared folder has nothing to do with Dropbox. What yms meant is that you can share a folder in Windows with another Windows PC in the same network. If you place your folder on a Server, you can always access your files. Commented Feb 15, 2014 at 15:57

8 Answers 8


I recommend Filezilla.

Its an open source FTP client / server (has it both). FTP is a very fast way of distributing Files. Its also very well documented so you can get it everywhere.

You open the server part on one machine and tell it what directories you want to be open. It then opens up the FTP Ports (20/21) that should be allowed by your local firewall configuration.

Then you go to the receiving machine and either install the FileZilla client there (see screenshot below) or you open up your regular Windows File Explorer click into the Adressbar and enter ftp://SERVER/ and you get a file listing there as the regular Windows Explorer is capable of FTP.

One usage advantage is also the continuation of failed transfers. You get a log and can just click it to continue.

Windows Explorer Client: Windows Explorer Screenshot

FileZilla Client: FileZilla Screenshot

(Note that I haven't used FileZilla since some years, but back then it worked like a charm)

For the speed: FTP uses up everything that it can with very few overhead so as long as you have a fast enough network it will be faster than a USB-Stick. But if you transport some GB and have a slow network than nothing will beat the Stick.

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    I often use FTP tools, but I hadn't thought to use it locally. I'm quite comfortable with this technology and FTP software have very interesting option, so I think using your solution. Thanks! Commented Feb 17, 2014 at 14:26
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    FileZilla is also good at handling failed transfers; it will log them and allow you to retry them with a few clicks.
    – user416
    Commented Feb 17, 2014 at 15:11
  • @JanDoggen Yeah, I added this to the A. Thats really a great thing. Commented Feb 17, 2014 at 15:42
  • Recently I had a need like this and I looked for answers here and found mine. So, yay me, I just saved myself a lot of time! Commented Dec 7, 2015 at 21:42

What you want to do can be done with pieces of software already provided with Windows and most Unix-based operating systems like Ubuntu and Max OS X.

You will need to learn:

  1. how to share folders of a PC running Windows
  2. how to access those folders
  3. and how to find out the network name of each PC of your local network.

Example of sharing a folder on Windows (there are many ways to do this): enter image description here

Example of accessing the shared folder from another PC: enter image description here

The details about how to do the same on unix-based systems will depend on the specific system that you are using. However in all (unix) cases you will need to install the Samba-Server package for sharing folders, and Samba-Client for accessing shared folders. Note that Samba is a free software, so you will not need to pay for it.

There are several advantages of this approach vs using a cloud service like drop-box:
1- File transfers are done directly from PC to PC, so it is usually faster than a cloud-service.
2- You do not need an internet connection for this approach to work, so even if you get disconnected from Internet for some reason you can still access your shared files.
3- Learning how to configure and use these tools can be an advantage when advertising yourself in the work market.

There is one disadvantage to point out, your shared folders will only be accessible within your local network. If you want to access a file from work or from your cellphone on the street you will still need to use a cloud-based service.


At the office we use IP Messenger or IPmsg for short, it's one of the most basic IM/files sharing programs that I've used. We use it mostly to communicate among staff, share files locally, and see whose PC is on :D

enter image description here

What I like about it is that:

  1. It's very basic, nothing complicated, a few seconds to download a few seconds to install. It works by finding available devices by their PC user name, IP address, logon, and host etc.

  2. Instant message to one or more PC.

  3. Share any type of files as fast as your network allows you (I suppose).

  4. Share screenshots by just PrtScr/paste into the IM area. Or use the built in tool to highlight and capture an area of your screen (can use simple brush to draw something or highlight an area) similar to Win Snipping Tool.

Features list from their website, basically what I just mentioned:

  • Serverless message communication

  • Fast file/folder transfer

  • Image embedded message,

  • desktop (area specified) capture

  • Message encryption(RSA2048bit + AES256bit) and sign/verify (PKCS#1-v1_5)

enter image description here

It's also available for Windows/Macintosh/UNIX/Linux and for iPhone, iPodTouch, iPad, Android and more. I use it on win7/8 though.

Here's a screenshot I took while writing this answer:

enter image description here

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    I've tested your software and it's awesome. It´ really cross platform (AppStore included), and very simple to use. Very good suggestion ! Commented Feb 17, 2014 at 20:36
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    Wasn't there something like this (but even simpler) that came with Windows many moons ago?
    – MrWhite
    Commented Mar 3, 2014 at 19:15
  • @w3d yeah I feel that there's something familiar about it but can't figure it out. But keep in mind that this up is out there since 97. So maybe you had a glimpse at someone using it with win98 back in the days. Commented Mar 4, 2014 at 2:43

You could use any XMPP client that supports Zeroconf/Avahi.

The clients will find each other automatically: they will show up in each other’s contact list, i.e., you can see their status, send them text messages and, of course, transfer files.

There are many clients that support Zeroconf, and every user/computer should be able to use a different client. Examples which run on Microsoft Windows: Gajim and Pidgin.

Personally, I only ever tried this with Gajim to Gajim (both on GNU/Linux). It worked perfectly, required no configuration. However, I can’t say if it’s a "fast" method or not (as my WLAN is never fast).


I think @yms answer sounds like the best way to do it in your particular case but if you really want to do it using some software instead of just mounting a network drive then BitTorrent Sync is a great tool for the job.

It is still in beta but it works perfect so far for me. It works very much like Dropbox but without a central server so you are the only one storing you files.

It also has another advantage over e.g. Dropbox and that is it adapts the transfer method used after the given situation. So if you sync a folder between two computers on the same local network then the transfer will go over the LAN, but if you move e.g. your laptop to another network the syncing will just continue working over the internet.

Also worth mentioning is that the communication is encrypted, it is really simple to use and one way syncing is possible.


The other answers in this category are easy to use and easy to get going with.

My answer is all about speed.

FileMQ is based on ZeroMQ. You'll have to compile it and there's no sort of gui. There is a client that subscribes to a folder and a server that serves up a folder. It's only one way for now. You can have multiple subscribers, so two computers can subscribe to the folder on a third computer and receive the files simultaneously.

The upside is that it's built to be fast and simple once you get it working. It can saturate a 1GB network if you have the disk io to meet it.


A friend and I made an open-source software to do that :

Files Drag & Drop

The PC version is free and open-source (Github). Basically, you just need to launch the software (it can launches on startup) on both computers and then drag & drop the files.

Very fast (faster than using a USB flash drive)

Use local network (wifi or ethernet speed)

Allows big files (~ 1 GO) Any kind of file (films, archive, disk image, ...)

No problem with large file and any kind of file

Windows 7/8 working. Optional Unix support.

Supported from XP to Windows 8, Unix and Mac OS X

Musts work on a basic private network (router with ethernet or wifi connexion, no other specific devices)

We use UDP and Bonjour to discover others devices on the network

Gratis and light software

Free and open-source, the soft is made with Qt but it still quite light.

No GUI requirement, I accept CLI tips

Our software needs a gui because it works with Drag & Drop, but there are some convenients way to send file (like a desktop widget)

No security needs (because it must be kept on my private network)

Our software doesn't have any security check (except on Android) but it seems it's not a problem here.

By the way, you may ask why we made this software and why I'm posting it here ? Well simply because we couldn't find any software that would matches our uses, and we though it could helps others users.

  • 1
    I see "Buy full version" at filesdnd.com/screenshots/android_auth.png does it mean the open-source version is limited somehow?
    – Nicolas Raoul
    Commented Apr 15, 2014 at 13:17
  • No, the PC version is fully open-source, but the Android app is closed-source and have a features-limited free version (which is enough for everyday use).
    – NitroG42
    Commented Apr 15, 2014 at 13:30

The also good option is Softros LAN Messenger tool, it sends files and folders any nesting complicity and size.


send folder

Recipient gets them in the same manner:

enter image description here

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