We recently looked at how to share files on a local network using the built-in Windows feature called HomeGroup. For an easier interface for sharing folders, and support for operating systems outside of just Windows 7 and 8, a program called File Acceleration Protocol, or FAP, may be used.
FAP allows folders to be shared with other local network users that are running the program. After a folder is prepped for sharing, a web interface can be accessed for downloading the files instead of the standard Explorer environment.
Let’s take a look at how FAP shares files between networked machines.
Sharing a Folder on a LAN
Start by downloading FAP here.
Here are the general menu items that aren’t clearly marked as to their function. Some are used very often and we will describe their function.
General > Search:
Fast full network file search. Note results are limited to 10,000 per remote client and only every 10 seconds.
General > Download queue:
Right click items in the queue to reorder them.
Config > Shares:
Add/Remove your shared folders here. Shares with the same name will appear as a single folder remotely.
Compare specification of each client and get an overall system score.
Config > Settings:
Set your Username, Upload limit and download folder among other items.
Using this Software
Before you being sharing files you can create an avatar and name/description for the computer.
Do this from the “Config > Settings icon” item. If more than a few FAP programs are running on a LAN, it may be necessary to better identify them by user, location, or type.
To begin sharing files, a share must first be created. Click the “Config” tab and choose the “Shares” icon to begin.
Choose “Add Folder” from the bottom menu and give the share a name upon prompt, like “Software.”
You can exit the window with the shared folders and immediately have access to them via a web URL. Right-click the account and choose “View Web share” to open the IP address and port number specific to FAP.
Here’s an example of a web share:
Every file we just shared in the “Software” folder is available for access like any file download. Just click a file to prompt for download.
There’s a search area to the right, which is extremely handy when you’re sifting through hundreds of files. It’s an instant search, at that:
When more than one FAP install is running on a network, you can view them together from the main window. View the shared folders of another FAP client by right-clicking it and choosing “View Shares.” You can also start a chat with the other user from this context menu.
Then choose any folder or file and click the “Download” button.
Downloading via this method is different than the web share in that the downloads will appear in the downloads folder defined in the settings. Change the default download location from the “Config > Settings” menu option.
If you’re tired of using standard methods of sharing files in Windows, maybe FAP is a better alternative for you. Although there aren’t password-protection features like with a HomeGroup, a web interface is a plus that Windows doesn’t natively offer.