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/snee'ker-net/ Term used (generally with ironic intent) for transfer of electronic information by physically carrying tape, disks, or other media from one machine to another.

"Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon filled with magtape, or a 747 filled with CD-ROMs."

Also called tennis-net, armpit-net, floppy-net, shoe-net, walk-net, foot-net.


Carrying a portable storage device such as a USB flash drive from one machine to another to exchange information. The term was coined in the early days when local networks were not common, and the floppy disk was the transport medium. However, there are still occasions when files will not transfer over a network due to sharing restrictions or just plain software bugs. If USB drive copy restrictions are not in place, sneakernet may provide a solution because files copied to and from a USB drive are a local procedure at both ends.

Floppies were superseded by a raft of portable disk cartridges, all winding up as ancient history after the USB flash drive became popular (for earlier disk devices, see magnetic disk).

Sneakernet Prevails
Alan Freedman, author of this encyclopedia, uses Windows and Mac side by side day after day. For years, Alan transferred files between platforms over the local network. In 2016, after upgrading the Mac OS, all of a sudden, the Mac could not access the Windows machine, and worse yet, it was intermittent. Flash drive sneakernet was the solution. See USB drive and SMB.

The only (almost) guaranteed method for transferring data between machines.
References in periodicals archive ?
Problems occur, and they default to the sneaker net.
The ability to share CDs anywhere on the network increases productivity: installed PCs do not need to be retrofitted with CD ROM drives; organizational sneaker net is eliminated; and asset control of discs and subscriptions is optimized.
By providing the ability to share CD collections as a network resource -- as easily as printers are shared today -- CD Net for Windows NT enables companies to increase workforce productivity dramatically while eliminating sneaker net.
Instead of relying on printed outputs and sneaker nets, users can quickly identify gaps between the schematic and layout, saving organizations valuable time and money through reduced scrap, rework, debug and repair time.
With over 200 PCs and servers, Supportkids has systems management needs that have outgrown point solutions and sneaker nets," said Steve Padgett, chief technology officer of Supportkids, the largest private company in the nation dedicated to collecting past-due child support for custodial parents.