How To: Set up a free FTP server in your PC

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FileZilla Server Main

If you have been surfing the Internet for a decent amount of time, you will have come across sites that offer file downloads on their own servers. This is because those websites have set up their own FTP servers that they use to upload and share files with other people. There are several advantages of using an FTP server over using a conventional file-sharing site. The main thing here is that you can manage everything on your own so it will be a lot more secure and private.

FTP servers can be shared with friends and family so that you can all have your very own network in which files will be continuously shared. You will also be able to rest easy knowing that there is a 99.9 percent chance your files will stay protected and private. The client we will be using is FileZilla FTP Server a completely free solution that also happens to be the best one available right now. If you have another favorite FTP client, feel free to use that. Most of the things here can be applied in other clients as well but you will obviously have to adjust some parts to suit your needs. Now let us see how you can set up your own FTP server, starting from the very basics.

Configuring a Dynamic IP address

NoIp Setup

The very first thing you will need is a static IP address. Your FTP server needs to have a specific address to work with. Your router assigns a new one each time it restarts though so you will waste too much time finding the IP address and replacing it each time, unless you set a static one. For that we will use No-IP, a basic but completely free dynamic DNS service. Head on over to the site, register and download the client. Install it, run it and log in your account. Then, go here and create a new host name for your computer. This will be the name of your FTP server too. Now that we have set this up, it is time to proceed to the next step.

Setting up FileZilla FTP Server

Go to the link I gave you above, download the application and start the installation. Choose the standard settings, including the default port. If you have any problems later you can always change it to something more appropriate. After you install it, open it from the system tray and enter your details to continue.

Configuring and using your FTP server

FileZilla Users

There is a variety things you can do here.  First of all, you are pretty much done now if you are only looking to set the server up. You will find that you are already able to access it via the host name or your IP address. You can even try to access it from another PC and everything should work just fine. However, there are a lot of other customizations you can make to personalize your server even more. For example, you can create groups of users with different permissions and levels of access.

To do that, click on Edit > Groups and then click on Add. Give a name to the group and click on OK. To add users, click on Edit > Users > Add and place as many users as you want. From here on out you can set specific shared files, passwords and permissions for each user individually or for groups. If you are having troubles connecting, make sure your ports are open in the firewall. We might even make a troubleshooting post soon so check back soon to get more information. Till then, enjoy your new free FTP server!