Optimum transfer rate and how to achieve it

I am a novice at this. I have Vista and AVG firewall. I have succeeded in transferring my first file (499 Mb) but was unable to open it at the destination. I'm wondering if this had something to do with the very slow transfer rate - average 47Kb. The file took 3 hours to transfer - is this normal? I was sending it to lulu (a publishing site), in Word, using one of the recommended fonts, lots of images. Would it help to transfer to pdf? I am also wondering if I should have disabled the firewall but am quite nervous about doing that. Thanks

What are you exactly trying to do?

What is your upload connection speed to the Internet?