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  • How to download large files when working remotely?

    Posted by Mohamed Yehia on June 12, 2023 at 6:41 pm

    I am a remote video editor and I plan to work on raw videos shot by high cameras with remote clients from different countries, but the problem is my internet is not fast enough to download large files in a short time. my internet speed is 35 Mbps download and 4 Mbps upload & this is the maximum speed that the landline can provide. I don’t prefer to move to another area that has FTTH. What are the other options I have & commonly used as a part of remote editing workflow? I heard about VPS and RDP. Can I depend on those for downloading files?

    Mohamed Yehia replied 11 months, 2 weeks ago 2 Members · 4 Replies
  • 4 Replies
  • Mads Nybo jørgensen

    June 13, 2023 at 1:52 am

    Hey Mohamed,

    Depending on your definition of “high cameras”, type of content, and your editing turn-around, there are not much that you can do, apart from either:

    1) Get a faster internet connection (1 GPPS, maybe 10 GBPS) – your profile does not show where you are based(?). But do check if you can not get high-speed fibre to the door, or if within reach use a space based system like Starlink.

    2) Modify how you do it, and how fast you can turn jobs around. If working in 4K, 6K or 12K, long-form, multi-cam on a quick turn-around doing the final master – then you should consider not accepting the job.

    3) However, if you are friends with the DIT, they may be able to send you proxies to start working with. Whilst the full-res is downloading. Just keep in mind that the upload of full-resolution master back to client will kill your business model on your current connection. Maybe check the neighbourhood and see if someone would be willing to let you “hire” time on a faster connection. Though you should be aware that larger media and corporate operations will not let their data be transmitted on a third-party unsecured network.

    4) There are firms offering remote/virtual models, where your editing software is hosted on a remote server, with your footage. That could work, but it is unlikely that this solution will give you the original footage to work on remotely, without some kind of compression, which could impact your grade/graphics delivery.
    Adding, that the virtual solutions that I have seen, the supplier will charge you a lot of money for software, host-server/computer, software, storing files on high-speed drives, and their internet connection – anything from £ 600 upwards, a week, in some cases.

    Sorry, I know this is not what you were hoping for.
    In short, on large file projects either work with clients who can hand-deliver a SSD drive, or who is happy to wait…

    Hope that this was helpful.


  • Mohamed Yehia

    June 13, 2023 at 10:47 am

    Thank you Mads Nybo jørgensen for your detailed answer. I will reply to each point.

    1) I am from Egypt and I work as a remote video editor and post-production specialist
    Yes, I can get FTTH if I move to another neighborhood but I’d rather check other solutions

    2) I worked on a 4k Sony A7S project where I downloaded 71 GB. it was hard to meet the 48hr deadline with this speed of the internet. However, I am aspiring to work with the 12k Alexa remotely and I am thinking about the remote workflow

    3) I did this in the project I worked on. I downloaded the videos in low quality and used these videos as a proxy then I reconnected them to the full resolution. However, this is not a reliable solution. I have to access high-speed internet. Regarding network security, I found an article explaining how to secure the home wifi network:<b style=”background-color: var(–bb-content-background-color); font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; color: var(–bb-body-text-color);”>

    4) I am particularly thinking about VPS and RDP as a solution to the Internet speed but I don’t know if they are reliable. that’s why I am asking my question. I want something reliable and have been tested before by professionals.

  • Mads Nybo jørgensen

    June 13, 2023 at 1:47 pm

    Hey Mohamed,

    You are very welcome.
    Sadly in your scenario, and I have been there, so I feel your pain:
    If you want to work on the original camera files, and they come in big sizes, you will need either time, or a couriered hard-drive/SSD. There is no other way, unless your client is happy to compress the files, or you are happy to work on proxies and let someone else do the final export. That this can be done in its native format without improvement in digital infrastructure.

    1) Short of moving, you should have a contingency plan in place in case your current internet breaks down.
    As part of that research, you may find a solution that both you, and more importantly your client is happy with. Keep in mind that most of your clients will hire you, for you, as you can deliver quality, and not necessarily because of expensive internet speed only used in moving files around.
    Do check wireless options (5G / Space delivered internet) and if there are co-working spaces near by with high-speed internet.

    2) If your internet speed is equal to that of a horse pulled wagon, you will not be able to compete in a F1 race. No matter how you dress it up. With all due respect to your client, if they are shooting on an A7, then they are on a lower-budget camera – nothing wrong with that, as it is an excellent camera for specific jobs.
    But does not change the nature of your business where you either need to charge for speed in delivery of master, or be given the time to deliver at a lower “file transport” cost.

    3) Your article does not show on my browser. But, I am sure that you can control your own internet connection – although some may argue that we have all been hacked in one way or another.
    There are still large scale companies, including broadcasters, where the editing suites are not connected to the internet (a pain when updating software and installing new plugins).
    My comment about security is the involvement of a local 3rd party with a potential open wifi, that might be fast enough, but not deemed secure.

    4) “VPS and RDP” will not change your base problem of working with large files. And, unless you have an established relationship with a host + the necessary technical skills, you may be wasting more time and money than what it will cost to dig a direct 10 Gbps cable from provider to your location.
    There are firms offering remote software hosting and files. A quick search got me to – “The enterprise solution for cloud-based editing”.
    The key-word is enterprise.
    They do offer a demo, which I would encourage you to do.

    And, notwithstanding that Egypt in my younger days (maybe still is) was the 2nd biggest, after India, hub for film production. So it would not be unthinkable that any RDP virtual Post-Production supplier would like someone local, with language skills, that can support and demonstrate their goods + do editing work for their clients.

    Go fetch – might solve several of your problems 😉


  • Mohamed Yehia

    June 14, 2023 at 1:14 pm

    Yes, after some research, I made sure that these are the two options ” couriered hard-drive/SSD for large files or just downloading for small files”
    there are some third parties that accelerate downloading terabytes but it didn’t change the fact that I will need high-speed internet.
    I also read about other problems like security and sync problems and their solutions.
    Video editing similar to other skills is outsourced to Upwork and Fiver freelancers to save costs. but most of these projects are social media videos, not commercial videos. I want to take this further and encourage more clients to outsource commercial videos shot by cinema cameras. As the technology of the internet develops, I think this will be possible & affordable in the future.

    I am thinking of this as an editor who came from a filmmaking background & studied editing, VFX, color grading, and workflows. I expected I will work on commercial videos remotely not TikTok videos. I am also thinking from the enturpeuneur perspective as there are post-production studios here in Egypt that can produce high quality at less price.
    Now my portfolio has social media videos of Sony A7S and BMPCC that I edited and colored for remote clients and now I am trying to solve the problems I faced to be well-prepared for similar or more advanced projects. the internet speed was a big problem. the best solution I can do now is to live in another neighborhood that has FTTH and get access to a 200 MBbs download speed.
    I don’t know if the client will be okay to ship a hard drive/SSD if I work on large files.
    I will check Qvest and I will also read more on Reddit and see if someone did this before but after the blackout 😔

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