When I released the original SmartDD (v0.98), there were a couple of minor niggles with it that made themselves apparent over time.

I think that the most annoying one for people was securely delivering large files.

To begin with the file size wasn’t a problem, but after a few months I started to get more and more support questions about why some files wouldn’t download.  After clicking on the link, the web page seemed to hang there without doing anything, and finally timing out.

We eventually realised what was happening.  Because of the way that SmartDD delivers files securely, it takes up a memory buffer on the web server equivalent to the size of the file.  If you’re delivering an ebook, it isn’t a problem as the zip files involved are only about 3-5MB.  The delay while creating the memory buffer is almost unnoticeable.

But if you’re delivering a video or an MP3, or any other large file, then it can take several seconds to create the memory buffer.

This became a problem when the file was very large and the time went over 30 seconds.  Many servers are now configured to time out after 30 seconds without a “keep alive” signal from the application.

Another problem was that an increasing amount of servers are being configured to only allow 8MB of memory to be allocated to an application.  Again this is a problem for people who want to deliver large file sizes securely.

Well, we fixed that in version 2.

Now you can specify a normal URL to a file and SmartDD will hide the real link while delivering it via the normal HTTP method.

While this isn’t as secure as the file system method, it’s still very secure.  The reason it isn’t as secure as the file system method is because you have to put the file inside your web space somewhere.  With the file system method you can store your file above the web root where no browser can get at it.

So, if you have small files (less than 8MB), use the file system method for very secure storage and download of files.  If you have larger files, use a URL to the file and SmartDD v2 (and above) will still hide the real location.

The reason I’ve said v2 and above is because we’re almost ready to release v3.  We have to do a little testing first, but when we’re done I’ll roll it out.

There will be a small charge for upgrading to v3 from v2, but I won’t be asking you to part with another $97.

I’ll post more details about the new features etc, here on this blog when I can.

-Frank Haywood