ACORN Backup, CD or FTP?

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While some of our ACORN client courts still receive their quarterly backup copies on CD, many have now switched to receiving the backup copies via an FTP transfer.

Here is a quick overview of the two methods, describing some of the advantages of each.


CDs have been around for a long time, are easy to use, and are familiar to everyone.  Since CDs are physical media, they have to be mailed to the court. While we have never had a CD get lost during shipping, some courts feel that this could be a security risk.  CDs have a physical limit of roughly 600 MB. For some courts, this is more than adequate for the quarterly backup data.  However, since the amount of data in the backup is dependent upon how many files the reporters upload, it is sometimes necessary to create more than a single CD for a given quarter.  In that each CD is $50.00, this can increase the cost to the court.  Finally, although CD media is long lasting, it is possible for a CD to get lost or to get damaged.  


FTP stands for “File Transfer Protocol”. It is a method of transferring files between computers and has been in use for many years.  It allows large amounts of data to be quickly and securely transferred from the ACORN server to a server on the court’s network.  Since the backup data is sent directly to the court’s server, the possibility of the data being lost during shipping is completely eliminated.  Because there is no need to wait until the CDs are created, the court receives the backup data more quickly.  Even if there is a large amount of data uploaded by the reporters, there is no limit to the size of the file to be transferred.  This means there will never be a need for more than a single $50.00 FTP transfer per quarter.   When the FTP file is ready, an email is sent to the court’s IT staff.  They can then download the file at their convenience.

FTP is:

  • More secure, since the backup data is downloaded directly to the court’s server. The possibility of CD being lost during shipping is completely eliminated.  
  • Easier to use, since there are no CDs to manage or track.
  • Faster, since there is no need to wait until the CDs are created.  The court receives the backup data more quickly.  
  • Less expensive, since there is no limit to the size of the file to be transferred.  There will never be more than just one $50.00 FTP transfer per quarter, no matter how many note files the reporters upload to ACORN. 


We are happy to create the backup copies for your court in whichever format the court prefers.  If your court is currently receiving the quarterly backup copies on CD media, but would prefer to use the FTP option instead, please give me a call at (949) 727-2001 or send me an email at