FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol and is a means to transfer large files to a server for fast transfers. Anyone can create their own FTP server using an old computer and free software. FTPs will be useful for anyone who needs to send a large file – for example, a video – over the Internet, and wants to do so in a secure manner.
FTPs have many functions. The first can be as a backup for your files. If you’re out of the country and need to backup a large document in the event that your travel computer crashes, you can simply upload it to your own FTP and rest comfortably knowing your file is safe and at home.
Other reasons are for transferring large files to a group of individuals and monitoring who can access them. You can decide who will access your data and monitor who longs in and what they download. This opens possibilities that aren’t available with email attachments, and allows you to give instant access to large amounts of data.
If you’re looking to set up your own FTP server, you this tutorial will show you how. It is relatively simple and requires only basic computer knowledge and a bit of hard drive space. Follow the directions carefully and you’ll have your own FTP in no time.
Computer, whether an unused or used one – used one that can be dedicated is better
Step 1: The first step in setting up an FTP is to choose a computer. You can use any computer that has Internet access, whether it be your home computer that you use for other things, or a separate computer that you set up specifically for this process.
If the FTP you’re planning on creating is going to be used frequently storing large amounts of data, I recommended using a separate machine solely for this purpose. This will guarantee you don’t end up with lost data due to a virus or other issues that can arise from using a personal machine.
If your FTP is only needed online at certain times, or if it’s going to be used infrequently, then using a personal computer is okay.
Step 2: Once you get your machine, set it up and configure it for the Internet. After it’s hooked up online, test to make sure that it runs the way it should. If everything is good, proceed to the next step.
Step 3: Install FTP software. This part is simple, though you will need to take the time to research and find the appropriate software for your needs. In this example I am going to use Filezilla, simply because it is a frequently used, time-proven, reliable system.
No matter what software you choose, you’ll need to install it and get it set up. During set up, you’ll either be given your IP address or you’ll need to look it up. To find it in Windows, simply open command prompt and type ‘ipconfig. You’ll need to know this so others can connect to you.
You’ll also need to decide the rules for your server. Following the prompts as they appear and select the rules and limits for each section. You can tell it to allow anonymous logins, which will allow anyone to download from your site, or you can tell it only to allow specific users with a username/password combo. How you set it up is entirely up to you.
Step 4: Now that it is set up, just sit back and leave it alone. As long as it is hooked up to the Internet and turned on, anyone can use it.