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Enabling or Using Real-Time Transfer Compression  -  KB Article #1420

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Compression and Serv-U

In order to faciliate the easy transfers of large files, both the Serv-U File Server and FTP Voyager software include full support for compression across all file transfer protocols. Compression, a method of reducing the amount of space that given data takes, allows Serv-U to receive a large amount of data that takes less time to be transmitted over the Internet because it's compressed size is less than its normal size, allowing for more effective use of bandwidth. Compression is supported on all file transfer protocols used by Serv-U.


The MODE command in the FTP and FTPS protocols allows for clients and servers to communicate in detail about the type of compression that will be used during the connection. There are 9 levels of compression possible, ranging from low-compression/low-CPU usage to high-compression/high-CPU usage. The level of compression is determined by the client, and most clients will compress at level 6 in for a solid balance between compression and overall performance.


SFTP over SSH2 uses a native form of built-in compression that is negotiated during the initial SSH connection. This compression is effective, and does not need to be configured in any way.

Like SFTP, the HTTP and HTTPS protocols support native compression, not permitting any customization of compression settings.

Compression Settings In FTP Voyager

There is no need to enable compression in FTP Voyager, as it is enabled by default. To change FTP Voyager's compression settings:

  • Start FTP Voyager
  • Select the desired FTP Site Profile or create a new one.
  • Select the Advanced button.
  • Select "Compression" found under "Connection".
  • Select the desired compression options. Press F1 or the Help button for complete details.

NOTE: Not all FTP servers and clients support this capability. FTP Voyager and Serv-U compress transfers very well together.