Always very slow to upload the first file


I am using Fetch 5.3 as my FTP program on a Mac OS X 10.4 computer to upload files and make changes to my website. I have a high speed internet connection through my telephone company.

When I login I can see a listing of the files and directories of my website. When I then try to upload a file to my website the first file always takes a very long time to upload. (A few minutes.) Once the first file is uploaded then I can upload any additional files and even a full directory full of files fairly quickly. (A few seconds.) Why does it take so long for the first file to upload? Is this normal behaviour?


This isn’t normal. What upload speeds are you seeing for the slow file and the fast files? Have you tried setting Fetch to use SFTP instead?


Thank you Scott

I have switched from FTP to SFTP in response to your suggestion.

Using FTP I tried running a test of uploading two files of approximately 1 Mb in size. The first file was uploading at a speed of approximately 500 bytes/second when my connection with DreamHost spontaneously disconnected after only 4 Kb of the file had been uploaded. I then reconnected and the second file uploaded at about 80 Kb/second. The maximum speed I saw among the fluctuating speeds on the screen during the file uploads was 1000 bytes/second for the first file and 110 Kb/second for the second file. The speeds kept decreasing as the uploads progressed.

Under SFTP I have just tried uploading two files that are just over 7 Mb in size. Both the first and the second file uploaded at about 80 Kb/second. The maximum speeds I saw among the fluctuating speeds on the screen were about 400 Kb/second but they soon dropped to 80 Kb/second and then stayed fairly constant.

I will have to watch over the next few weeks to see if using SFTP does solve the problem. I have noticed in the past that the first file sometimes uploads as fast as the others in situations where I have recently connected to my website with Fetch. I have connected to my website at least a half dozen times with Fetch during the past two days.

If anyone else is considering switching from the default FTP to SFTP then I suggest you read the following two articles in the DreamHost Wiki:

In addition to selecting SFTP in Fetch (my FTP program on a Mac) I discovered that I also had to enter the DreamHost Control Panel and make a preference change in my account to enable SFTP protocol file transfers as explained in the two DreamHost Wiki articles.


It’s not uncommon for an ISP to allow for a high speed burst which then settles down to your actual connection speed. If you want to test a sustained transfer, you can try a speed test such as the following:


I have tried the speed test suggested by Scott and my maximum upload speed was 82 Kb/second plus or minus a kilobyte for three different locations. If I can always achieve that speed with the first file I upload to my website with DreamHost in a session then I will be happy. I hope the switch to using SFTP provides a long term solution. Thank you for your assistance Scott.