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There’s a myriad of file-transfer methods available. You can send files via ADSL, ISDN, or leased line; it can go via FTP, peer-to-peer IP transfer methods; private networks… the list goes on. Now picture the confused sender who doesn’t know what these technologies are, or if they have access to that kind of thing.
For a simple solution, WorkSpace could take the pain out of things such as talking a novice through compressing and FTPing. It works on a similar principle to Apple’s iDisk, which is part of the .Mac service.
The subscription to WorkSpace gives you a virtual volume held on a server in the US. This volume can be accessed via a Web browser or FTP, or it can be mounted on your desktop just like a hard drive. The volume is managed via the Web, and you can give anybody with Internet access the ability to connect to it.
For security reasons, the passwords need to be typed in every time. Once logged into the Web site you can mount the disk on the desktop. This is the simplest way of accessing your WorkSpace, because it looks and acts like a hard drive mounted on your desktop. But it’s dead slow.
File-transfer using this method isn’t much good for big files: a 10MB files took a whisker under seven minutes to transfer. Luckily, the FTP access is quicker, but the trade-off is that you lose the ease-of-use of the mounted disk.
So why would you want WorkSpace? It makes sense if you’re already a Wam!Net customer, or you intend to be. You can set-up hot folders that can transfer files to other Wam!Net customers, via ISDN or the Purple Box. You can also set-up WorkSpace to receive files from ISDN.
You can use your WorkSpace as a Web host – albeit a basic one (you can’t run any server-side applications), and there are options for remote proofing, hosting image libraries, and more.
If all you want is to have a big chunk of disk space accessible from anywhere on the Internet, then Apple’s iDisk will work better than WorkSpace. If, however, you want to get an integrated workflow, then WorkSpace is ideal.
The options can be baffling, so talk to somebody at Wam!Net to figure out what you need.