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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Floppies were superseded by a raft of portable disk cartridges, all winding up as ancient history after the USB flash drive became popular (for earlier disk devices, see magnetic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 ?
The best way to get rid of SneakerNets is to explain it to an IT manager as if it's just another data transport mechanism and let them make the choice for themselves," says Brad O'Neill, senior analyst with the Taneja Group.
Traditional physical workflows, affectionately known as sneakernet by some in the industry, are being rapidly transitioned to digital tapeless-based workflows.
From sneakernet to digital workflows: boosting efficiencies and lowering costs 20
Although there has been much hype about multimedia home networks, low-cost portable storage devices that can move content throughout the home via sneakernet may win the favor of consumers because luggable media provides low-cost, high availability, and convenience, reports In-Stat (http://www.
By doing it though iNotion instead of sneakernet or emails, we maintain a permanent history of all problems, managers are able to intervene and re-prioritize problems as needed, and can generate summary reports of all outstanding problems at any time," said Allgood.
Today, a great deal of design communication still takes place by faxing or FedExing detail drawings, emailing large CAD files, or through SneakerNet," said Ilya Mirman, web business development manager for SolidWorks Corporation.