Game Data Live can utilize a file server to improve performance and make your Game Data Live network more robust. When you transfer video from one device to another, those two devices are talking to each other directly. When you use a file server, the sending device transfers the file to the server and then sends a message to the receiving device(s) to get the video from the server. The server can be hard wired to your network. This makes transfers between wireless devices more efficient. Benefits of using a server include:
- Faster video file transfers. This enables you to use higher quality video formats.
- One sending device can transfer a video file to multiple receiving devices (Macs, iPads, iPhones).
- Refreshing a game can include links to server based video files. If your network connection gets interrupted, you can refresh your data and download the video files you missed.
Using a file server can double file transfer speed. To transfer a video from one device to another takes two transfers, so the total transfer time is about the same time. The sending device is finished in half the total time.
Setting this up will take some effort. The three benefits listed above are definitely worth the effort.
We have used the following File Transfer Protocol (FTP) servers:
A Router that can share a disk drive attached to a USB port using FTP. We have done this with several Linksys routers. We used a USB-3.0 flash drive that you can purchase for under $20.
A Macintosh computer running Mac OS X Server. Upgrading your Mac OS X to Mac OS X Server costs $20. This strategy applies to Macintosh computers running Mac OS Sierra and Mac OS El Capitan. This is generally faster than using a flash drive attached to a router.
Apple stopped providing an FTP server with macOS High Sierra.
Apple intends to remove more server functionality in the near future.
Game Data Live's ability to access an FTP server is also based on Apple interfaces that have been retired and may stop working.
Game Data Live is also able to use HTTP WebDAV servers. Its been tested with:
- "WebDAVNav Server" from the Macintosh App Store (free). It runs on a Macintosh with Mac OS El Capitan, Mac OS Sierra or Mac OS High Sierra. It can share Game Data Live's "Local Server" folder.
If you have a Macintosh acting as a file server from Game Data Live's "Local Server" folder, a copy of Game Data Live on that Macintosh can access the server using Macintosh file copy commands (fast) instead of using the HTTP WebDAV protocol.
- Western Digital makes a Network Attached Server called "My Cloud EX2 Ultra". It supports HTTP WebDAV plus several other protocols. Its basically a box that you attach to your network using an ethernet cable that provides file server functionality. We bought one from BestBuy for $339.
That's not free.
If Apple kills off FTP Server access and "WebDAVNav Server" quits working, the Western Digital "My Cloud EX2 Ultra" will keep your Game Data Live network going.
There may also be a reliability benefit when running the server on a dedicated device.