al In-House FTP vs Hosted FTP: A Cost Comparison

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In-House FTP vs Hosted FTP: A Cost Comparison
Martin Horan

By: Martin Horan on February 28th, 2018

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In-House FTP vs Hosted FTP: A Cost Comparison


If you’re a business owner, you know that cost is a factor in every decision you make. So, before you choose a file sharing solution, you should weigh the costs associated with two different options: building an in-house FTP server and adopting a hosted FTP solution.

You’ve probably heard some benefits and drawbacks of each option. Maybe you’ve heard the price of building an in-house software solution can be substantial, which is why so many companies choose SaaS solutions over building their own.

Perhaps you’ve considered an in-house option, because it can be built to your specifications.

In this article, we’ll break down the costs associated with both in-house and hosted FTP solutions, and help you determine which path is the best choice to take for your business.


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Costs Associated with an In-House Server

In-house FTP servers allow businesses to build their own file sharing solution to fit their precise needs. That prospect can sound pretty appealing.

But, do the benefits of a personalized FTP solution really outweigh the required upfront costs to get a solution up and running?

Let’s look at a few costs associated with in-house solutions.

  • Dedicated Hardware – If you’re going to develop an in-house server, chances are you’ll need to invest in dedicated hardware to facilitate it. A server capable of hosting your file sharing solution could run you thousands of dollars. And, not only do you have to purchase it, you have to store it, as well. Depending on how large the server is, this could cost you prime real estate.
  • Operating System – You’ll have to choose an operating system to run your server. The choice alone will cost you time and setting it up will require implementation from your team.
  • FTP or SFTP Server Software License – Once your operating system is selected, you then need to choose an FTP or SFTP server software, depending on your company’s needs. This is an upfront cost that typically ranges from $3000 - $6000.
  • Software Maintenance and Upgrades – Your server is set up; you’re done with costs, right? Unfortunately, no. Beyond implementation, software licensing and upgrades usually cost around 25% of the licensing fee. This is an ongoing cost beyond your initial investment.
  • Business-Class Firewall – In order to stop malicious attacks, you’ll likely need to invest at least $500 into an industry-best firewall. This is essential in preventing an data breach.
  • Business-Class Internet Package – To ensure your server is fast and convenient to use, you’ll need top-of-the-line internet service with symmetric upload and download speed. Each month, that could run your business $1000.
  • Battery Backup – Because you want your in-house server to be available for access 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year, you also need a backup power system. If a battery dies or your server loses power, you’ll face huge impediments to your business. Expect to pay around $500 for a battery backup.
  • Storage Backup Systems – You never want to lose data in the event of a disaster or system error, so add a storage backup system to your list of in-house FTP solution accessories, another cost that will amount to about $100.
  • Salaried Staff – Finally, this one of the largest costs you’ll face when building an in-house file sharing solution. For the initial installation, implementation, and ongoing management of your file sharing solution, you will most likely need to hire more IT employees. This is a huge project that may extend beyond the bandwidth of your current IT team, so expect to hire at least one expert to manage your FTP server. Keep in mind – you need to cover both annual salary and benefits, a cost that can soar to six-digit figures.

Beyond the hard numbers associated building and managing your own FTP solution, there are a lot of drains on your resources, as well. You’ll need to invest time and effort into building your solution, in addition to the multiple thousands of dollars you’ll spend on the solution itself.


Costs Associated with Hosted FTP

A hosted FTP solution eliminates every single cost associated with building, implementing, and managing your own FTP solution. You will face a small monthly fee – about $50-500 depending on the size, control, and security needs your company faces. However, that’s the only cost you’ll face.

In fact, hosted FTP solutions eliminate more than just cost. They eliminate numerous hassles and inconveniences, as well. Some benefits of choosing a top FTP solution include:

  • You don’t have to purchase any equipment or server infrastructure. It’s all housed by the FTP provider.
  • You don’t need to keep a primary server and backup server, along with other hardware incurring utility costs. The FTP provider you choose will provide backup capabilities to ensure your data is always safe.
  • You don’t need to employ a large technical staff with high salaries. All the experts you need to help you maintain your FTP solution are employed by the provider. You’ll have expert help, without the high costs of hiring and employing them yourself.
  • You don’t need to spend time identifying issues and maintaining your server. With a hosted FTP solution, you automatically put time back in your IT team’s schedule.
  • You don’t worry about security issues and the resolution. Experts in secure file sharing work full-time to ensure data remains safe and hackers stay out.
  • You have the instant use of well-designed software without any licensing or maintenance fees.
  • There’s no delay once you choose an FTP solution. You can immediately begin using it, avoiding lengthy hardware installation or solution implementation.
  • You have support and training resources at your disposal. If something goes wrong or you just need help figuring out the correct administrative permissions, your FTP provider is available to help you effectively navigate your solution.

All-in-all, a hosted FTP solution provides the most bang for your buck. You reap all the benefits of an industry-best file sharing solution, without any of the hassle of setting it up yourself. With a hosted FTP, you can securely share your files at a low cost.

Looking for the right FTP solution? Download this free comparison guide to help you in your search.

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About Martin Horan

Founder of FTP Today and an expert in secure file transfer and Internet protocols. A software and IT geek since a young age, Martin has successfully led his companies through the digital age by spotting market niches and filling them with quality IT services.

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