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The best way of providing file download

2:51 pm on Oct 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Hi everyone,
Good day to you all.
We have a website that is hosted on a virtual Linux server. We now have a couple of files that we would like to provide to our users for download. What's the best way of doing this? The file size is about 170MB. Someone proposed to put the files in a folder, and use .htaccess to control it so that when user click on the file url location, the download will start. Is this the best way? Are there any potential issues with this method?

Many thanks for your help in advance.
1:51 pm on Oct 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

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If you want to have the files available only to certain people (ex: logged in customers) then you need to provide a way for them to log-in. You wouldn't want everyone to download them and waste your b/w.

Now servers by default don't let scripts run indefinitely so there might be a timeout for that kind of file size, if you have a server script directly (eg PHP) to send the whole output to the client.
There are methods available to d/l huge files one of them is metalink.
10:34 am on Oct 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I will first compress it.
10:40 am on Oct 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the reply guys. The file is flash file and probably would not become much smaller by compression. Thanks for the point about timeout, I do need to check that.