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Sneakernet, also called sneaker net, is an informal term for the transfer of electronic information by physically moving media such as magnetic tape, floppy disks, optical discs, USB flash drives or external hard drives between computers, rather than transmitting it over a computer network. The term, a tongue-in-cheek play on net(work) as in Internet or Ethernet , refers to walking in sneakers as the transport mechanism.Alternative terms may be floppy net, train net, pigeon net.
Sneakernets are in use throughout the computer world. Sneakernet may be used when computer networks are prohibitively expensive for the owner to maintain, in high-security environments where manual inspection (for re-classification of information) is necessary, where information needs to be shared between networks with different levels of security clearance, when data transfer is impractical due to bandwidth limitations, when a particular system is simply incompatible with the local network, unable to be connected, or when two systems are not on the same network at the same time. Because Sneakernets take advantage of physical media, security measures used for the transfer of sensitive information are respectively physical.
This form of data transfer is also used for peer-to-peer (or friend-to-friend) file sharing and has grown in popularity in metropolitan areas and college communities. The ease of this system has been facilitated by the availability of USB external hard drives, USB flash drives and portable music players.
The United States Postal Service offers a Media Mail service for compact discs, among other items. This provides a viable mode of transport for long distance Sneakernet use. In fact, when mailing media with sufficiently high data density such as high capacity hard drives, the throughput (data transferred per unit of time) as well as the cost per unit of data transferred may compete favorably with networked methods of data transfer.
When Australia joined Usenet in 1983, it received articles via tapes sent from the United States to the University of Sydney, which disseminated data to dozens of other computers on the country's Unix network.
In later USSR, the operating system called DEMOS was created and adapted for many types of Soviet computers by cloning versions of UNIX that were brought into USSR on magnetic tapes bypassing the Iron Curtain. This allowed to build Relcom country-wide X.25 network to provide global Usenet access for Soviet users which led to the registration of .su ("Soviet Union") top level domain in 1990.
The May 2011 raid of Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, revealed that he used a series of USB thumb drives to store his email drafts. A courier of his would then take the saved emails to a nearby Internet cafe and send them out to the desired recipients.
In September 2009, Durban company Unlimited IT reportedly pitted a messenger pigeon against South African ISP Telkom to transfer 4 GB of data 60 miles (97 km) from Howick to Durban. The pigeon, carrying the data on a memory stick, arrived in one hour eight minutes, with the data taking another hour to read from the memory stick. During the same two-hour period, only about 4.2% of the data had been transferred over the ADSL link. A similar experiment was conducted in England in September 2010; the "pigeonnet" also proved superior. In November 2009 the Australian comedy/current-affairs television program Hungry Beast repeated this experiment. The experiment had the team transfer a 700 MB file via three delivery methods to determine which was the fastest; A carrier pigeon with a microSD card, a car carrying a USB Stick, or a Telstra ADSL line. The data was to be transferred a distance of 132 km by road. The pigeon won the race with a time of approximately 1 hour 5 minutes, the car came in second at 2 hours 10 minutes, while the internet transfer did not finish, having dropped out a second time and not come back.
Google has used a sneakernet to transport large datasets, such as the 120 TB of data from the Hubble Space Telescope.Users of Google Cloud can import their data into Google Cloud Storage through sneakernet.
Oracle similarly offers its Data Transfer Service to customers to migrate data to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure or export data from it.
The SETI@home project uses a sneakernet to overcome bandwidth limitations: data recorded by the radio telescope in Arecibo, Puerto Rico was stored on magnetic tapes which were then shipped to Berkeley, California, for processing. In 2005, Jim Gray reported sending hard drives and even "metal boxes with processors" to transport large amounts of data by postal mail.
Wizzy Digital Courier provided Internet access to schools in South Africa with poor or no network connectivity by implementing UUCP on USB memory sticks. This allowed offline cached email transport and scoops of web pages to back-fill a web cache.
Data analytics teams in the financial services sector often use sneakernets to transfer sensitive corporate information and information obtained from data mining, such as ledger entries, customer data and financial statistics. There are several reasons for this: firstly, sneakernets can generally provide very high security (and possibly more importantly, they are perceived to be secure) due to the impossibility of a man-in-the-middle attack or packet sniffing; secondly, the volumes of data concerned are often extremely high; and thirdly, setting up secure network links between the client business and the analytics team's facilities is often either impossible or an extremely convoluted process.
Very Long Baseline Interferometry performed using the Very Long Baseline Array ships hard drives to a data reduction site in Socorro, New Mexico. They refer to their data transfer mechanism as "HDOA" (Hard Drives On Airplane).
The Rigsum Sherig Collection projectuses a sneakernet to distribute offline educational resources, including Kiwix and Khan Academy on a Stick, to hundreds of schools and other educational institutional in the Kingdom of Bhutan. Many of the schools in Bhutan have computers or IT labs, but no Internet connection (or a very slow one). The sneakernet, facilitated by teachers, distributes about 25 GB of free, open-source educational software to the schools, often using external hard disks.
North Korean dissidents have been known to smuggle flash drives filled with western movies and television shows, largely in an effort to inspire a cultural revolution.
El Paquete Semanal is a roughly 1TB compilation of media, distributed weekly throughout Cuba via portable hard drives and USB memory sticks.
In 2015 Amazon Web Services launched AWS Snowball, a 50 lb (23 kg), 50 TB device for transporting data to the AWS cloud; and in 2016 AWS Snowmobile, a truck to transport up to 100 PB of data in one load. For similar reasons, there is also a Google Transfer Appliance and an IBM Cloud Mass Data Migration device.
Observation data from the Event Horizon Telescope is collected on hard drives which are transported by commercial freight airplanesfrom the various telescopes to the MIT Haystack Observatory and the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy, where the data are analyzed.
There's a lot of band-width in a station wagon.
The very first problem in Andrew S. Tanenbaum's 1981 textbook Computer Networks asks the student to calculate the throughput of a St. Bernard carrying floppy disks.
The first USENET citation is July 16, 1985[ citation needed ] and it was widely considered an old joke already.
Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes hurtling down the highway.
Other alleged speakers included Tom Reidel, Warren Jackson, or Bob Sutterfield.
Although the station wagon transporting magnetic tapes is generally considered the canonical version, variants using trucks or Boeing 747s or C-5s and later storage technologies such as CD-ROMs, DVDs, Blu-rays, or SD Cards have frequently appeared.
The "valuable data file" has become a common MacGuffin in action films and television programs (the motif of the "valuable letter or documents" (pre-electronic information storage technology) dates back hundreds of years).
Small Computer System Interface is a set of standards for physically connecting and transferring data between computers and peripheral devices. The SCSI standards define commands, protocols, electrical, optical and logical interfaces. The SCSI standard defines command sets for specific peripheral device types; the presence of "unknown" as one of these types means that in theory it can be used as an interface to almost any device, but the standard is highly pragmatic and addressed toward commercial requirements. The initial Parallel SCSI was most commonly used for hard disk drives and tape drives, but it can connect a wide range of other devices, including scanners and CD drives, although not all controllers can handle all devices.
A tape drive is a data storage device that reads and writes data on a magnetic tape. Magnetic tape data storage is typically used for offline, archival data storage. Tape media generally has a favorable unit cost and a long archival stability.
In computer networking, IP over Avian Carriers (IPoAC) is a proposal to carry Internet Protocol (IP) traffic by birds such as homing pigeons. IP over Avian Carriers was initially described in, a Request for Comments (RFC) issued by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), written by D. Waitzman, and released on April 1, 1990. It is one of several April Fools' Day Request for Comments.
Expandable storage is a form of computer storage that is designed to be inserted and removed from a system. Some forms of removable media, such as optical discs, require a reader to be installed in the computer, while others, such as USB flash drives, have all the hardware required to read them built into the device, so only need a driver to be installed in order to communicate with the device.
A USB flash drive is a data storage device that includes flash memory with an integrated USB interface. It is typically removable, rewritable and much smaller than an optical disc. Most weigh less than 30 g (1 oz). Since first appearing on the market in late 2000, as with virtually all other computer memory devices, storage capacities have risen while prices have dropped. As of March 2016, flash drives with anywhere from 8 to 256 gigabytes (GB) were frequently sold, while 512 GB and 1 terabyte (TB) units were less frequent. As of 2018, 2 TB flash drives were the largest available in terms of storage capacity. Some allow up to 100,000 write/erase cycles, depending on the exact type of memory chip used, and are thought to last between 10 and 100 years under normal circumstances.
A disk enclosure is a specialized casing designed to hold and power disk drives while providing a mechanism to allow them to communicate to one or more separate computers.
A remote, online, or managed backup service, sometimes marketed as cloud backup or backup-as-a-service, is a service that provides users with a system for the backup, storage, and recovery of computer files. Online backup providers are companies that provide this type of service to end users. Such backup services are considered a form of cloud computing.
In computing, data recovery is a process of salvaging (retrieving) inaccessible, lost, corrupted, damaged or formatted data from secondary storage, removable media or files, when the data stored in them cannot be accessed in a usual way. The data is most often salvaged from storage media such as internal or external hard disk drives (HDDs), solid-state drives (SSDs), USB flash drives, magnetic tapes, CDs, DVDs, RAID subsystems, and other electronic devices. Recovery may be required due to physical damage to the storage devices or logical damage to the file system that prevents it from being mounted by the host operating system (OS).
A virtual tape library (VTL) is a data storage virtualization technology used typically for backup and recovery purposes. A VTL presents a storage component as tape libraries or tape drives for use with existing backup software.
Data theft is a growing phenomenon primarily caused by system administrators and office workers with access to technology such as database servers, desktop computers and a growing list of hand-held devices capable of storing digital information, such as USB flash drives, iPods and even digital cameras. Since employees often spend a considerable amount of time developing contacts and confidential and copyrighted information for the company they work for, they may feel they have some right to the information and are inclined to copy and/or delete part of it when they leave the company, or misuse it while they are still in employment. They can be sold and bought and then used by criminals and criminal organizations. Alternatively, an employee may choose to deliberately abuse trusted access to information for the purpose of exposing misconduct by the employer; From the perspective of the society such an act of whistleblowing can be seen as positive and is in certain situations protected by law in some jurisdictions, such as the USA.
An air gap, air wall, air gapping or disconnected network is a network security measure employed on one or more computers to ensure that a secure computer network is physically isolated from unsecured networks, such as the public Internet or an unsecured local area network. It means a computer or network has no network interfaces connected to other networks, with a physical or conceptual air gap, analogous to the air gap used in plumbing to maintain water quality.
My Book is a series of external hard drives produced by Western Digital. There are currently nine series of My Book drives; Essential Edition, Home Edition, Office Edition, Mirror Edition, Studio Edition, Premium Edition, Elite Edition, Pro Edition, AV Dvr "Live Edition", and the World Edition.
Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) is a part of Amazon.com's cloud-computing platform, Amazon Web Services (AWS), that allows users to rent virtual computers on which to run their own computer applications. EC2 encourages scalable deployment of applications by providing a web service through which a user can boot an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) to configure a virtual machine, which Amazon calls an "instance", containing any software desired. A user can create, launch, and terminate server-instances as needed, paying by the second for active servers – hence the term "elastic". EC2 provides users with control over the geographical location of instances that allows for latency optimization and high levels of redundancy. In November 2010, Amazon switched its own retail website platform to EC2 and AWS.
This is a comparison of online backup services.
Secure USB flash drives protect the data stored on them from access by unauthorized users. USB flash drive products have been on the market since 2000, and their use is increasing exponentially. As both consumers and businesses have increased demand for these drives, manufacturers are producing faster devices with greater data storage capacities.
Sideloading is a term used mostly on the Internet, similar to "upload" and "download", but in reference to the process of transferring files between two local devices, in particular between a computer and a mobile device such as a mobile phone, smartphone, PDA, tablet, portable media player or e-reader.
A USB dead drop is a USB mass storage device installed in a public space. For example, a USB flash drive might be mounted in an outdoor brick wall and fixed in place with fast concrete. Members of the public are implicitly invited to find files, or leave files, on a dead drop by directly plugging their laptop into the wall-mounted USB stick in order to transfer data. The dead drops can therefore be regarded as an anonymous, offline, peer-to-peer file sharing network. However, in practice USB dead drops are often used for social or artistic reasons, rather than for practical ones.
A personal cloud is a collection of digital content and services which are accessible from any device. The personal cloud is not a tangible entity. It is a place which gives users the ability to store, synchronize, stream and share content on a relative core, moving from one platform, screen and location to another. Created on connected services and applications, it reflects and sets consumers’ expectations for how next-generation computing services will work.
Amazon Neptune is a managed graph database product published by Amazon.com. It is used as a web service and is part of Amazon Web Services (AWS). It was announced on November 29, 2017. Amazon Neptune supports popular graph models property graph and W3C's RDF, and their respective query languages Apache TinkerPop Gremlin and SPARQL, including other Amazon Web Services products.
Who would ever, in this time of the greatest interconnectivity in human history, go back to shipping bytes around via snail mail as a preferred means of data transfer?
|Look up sneakernet in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|