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SRA Knowledge Base [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Center for Biotechnology Information (US); 2011-.

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SRA Knowledge Base [Internet].

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Problems Downloading Data


FTP Download Quits before Complete

I am trying to download files from the SRA, but the FTP process quits before the files are completely downloaded.

Sometimes this can be a temporary problem; wait and try your download again in an hour or two. If you continue to have problems, here are a few suggestions:

  • If you are using an internet browser as your transfer client, you may want to consider a dedicated FTP client. There are many free FTP clients like FileZilla, Cyberduck, and NcFTP available.
  • Do you regularly use FTP at your location without issue? If you are unable to access and download data from the Mozilla Foundation’s FTP site, FTP traffic may be blocked or restricted by your institution.
  • Consider using Aspera Connect to conduct your download since:
    • The amount of data for SRA projects can exceed 10 gigabytes and traditional FTP may be too slow to download your data effectively.
    • FTP performance degrades proportionally with the number of hops or switches the data must take to get to you. Aspera performance does not degrade with distance.

See the “Performance comparison of FTP and ascp downloads” section of this Knowledge Base for information on the differences between FTP and Aspera for SRA downloads.


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