Transferring files from one folder to another, or from computer to computer is something most people do on a regular basis. Have you ever thought about speeding up the process by using a file transfer utility? They’re similar to the download managers in your web browser, except they’re made to be used all around your computer.
The best part is that the two free programs that I mention below replace the built-in Windows file transfer manager. You can still use Windows Explorer just as you normally do, but anytime you try to copy, paste, or move files, these apps will do the dirty work for you. Not only that, but both programs will pick up where they left off, should you shutdown your computer in the middle of a transfer, or need to stop it for some reason. Heck, you can even pause the transfers and resume them later on!
–Copy Handler (Homepage)–
This is probably my favorite of the two programs this article covers. It has an insane number of options (over 60) that you customize, doesn’t require any installation, and is open source. One of the reasons that I love this program so much is that you can adjust the number of simultaneous transfers, and once that number is hit it will queue up the rest for later on.
After you download the ZIP folder and extract the contents, the first thing you’ll want to do is register the DLL. This will ensure that Copy Handler replaces the built-in transfer manager for Windows:
Then whenever you go to transfer a file you’ll be presented with an extremely compact file transfer window (left – actual size), or you can open a more detailed window full of all the stats that you crave (right – click to enlarge):
Then if you want to try and speed things up even more, or want to change how something works, just head on over to the options where there are plenty of things for you to play with:
There is one downside to this program, and it’s that it isn’t actively developed any more. The last update was provided back in October 2006, but luckily it still works great on Vista. The developer is currently looking for a sponsor so that he can continue the development on Copy Handler.
This application is similar to the Copy Handler above, but I saw it on Lifehacker recently and it also piqued my interest. I gave it a whirl and found it to be much simpler than Copy Handler. It doesn’t really have anything for you to configure, and what you see below is essentially the entire application.
You’ll be notified if an error occurs while in the middle of a transfer, but TeraCopy will continue working on the other files. That way one bad file doesn’t screw up the entire batch of files being transferred.
You’ll only notice a large speed difference with these file transfer utilities if your moving or copying many files, or really big files. To give you a quick comparison of the differences in using these I transferred 85 images over the network that totaled 114MB. Again, the differences aren’t that large, but if you’re moving around a few gigabytes of data these utilities could possibly chop a few minutes off of the transfer time.
- Copy Handler – 58 seconds
- TeraCopy – 1 minute
- Vista (with Performance Pack) – 1 minute and 3 seconds
- Vista (without Performance Pack) – 1 minute and 14 seconds
Note: Default options were used in each of the applications.
If you find yourself frequently moving large things around, these apps could be priceless to you. Of the two, I would recommend Copy Handler to anyone that is a power user, and TeraCopy for anyone looking for a simple replacement for what’s built-in to Windows.